Ford launches MyKey parental controls for cars

Monitors speed and seatbelt use… Doesn't prevent bad driving

Ford smashes the dreams of boy racers the world over

Ford has launched a parental control system for its cars, with the MyKey system checking young drivers' speed, safety and limiting stereo volume.

MyKey will enable car owners to limit the top speed of their car to 80mph, limit the upper level volume on their stereo and make the car sound a continuous alert if passengers are not wearing their seatbelts.

Optional warning tones can also be sounded if the car goes faster than 45, 55 or 65 mph.

Boy racer prevention

It's either a case of sensible boy racer accident prevention or nannyish parenting gone insane, depending on your point of view and personal politics.

For the record, TechRadar is glad that youngsters driving a MyKey-enabled car will no longer be able to cut us up at 100mph in the inside lane of the north circular, while enjoying the latest grating R'n'B drone at top volume.

Ford plans to introduce MyKey controls in its Focus Coupe from 2010, and soon after that date as a standard feature in all its cars.

Innovative death prevention

"This is a very innovative way of reducing the number of teen road deaths on British roads," says Ian Dickson, Editor of MSN cars.

"And if it leads to a reduction in insurance premiums, too, it could become a very popular addition to modern cars. But it's another example of our freedom gradually being eroded."