New improved Remote Parental Unit

A couple of years ago, you may have read about this Ford feature:

Ford Motor will roll out a feature on many 2010 models that can limit teen drivers to 80 mph, using a computer chip in the key.

Parents also have the option of programming the teen’s key to limit the audio system’s volume, and to sound continuous alerts if the driver doesn’t wear a seat belt.

Technology marches on, and now Ford’s MyKey system has a few more features of this sort:

[P]arents can now block their children from listening to certain radio stations — say, for instance, Howard Stern or Playboy Radio on satellite. In fact, there are a dozen stations listed as explicit by Sirius, and all of them can be blocked using MyKey starting in 2011.

Also seeing an upgrade for 2011 is MyKey’s speed-limiting technology. Previously, the top speed of a properly equipped Ford vehicle could be capped at 80 miles per hour (with chimes sounding at 45, 55 and 65). Now, users can preset a desired speed limit at any of four different settings — 65, 70, 75 or 80 mph.

In other news, there’s a Playboy Radio on satellite. (Question: Do you have to turn the car 90 degrees to hear the centerfold?)

Alas, the feature most desired by parents — the ability to deny entry to their teens’ dubious acquaintances — is probably still a long way off.





8 comments

  1. McGehee »

    2 January 2011 · 1:31 pm

    Alas, the feature most desired by parents — the ability to deny entry to their teens’ dubious acquaintances — is probably still a long way off.

    It’ll come along about the time U.S. Robotics comes up with its first robot chauffeur — voiced by Alan Tudyk.

  2. unimpressed »

    2 January 2011 · 4:24 pm

    They’d better have some serious security on the keys or the kids will have the presets reset fifteen minutes after being handed the keys. Even if the kids aren’t technically proficient enough, -someone- will have the ability to do it for a price. At the very least, there’ll be how-to guides on the internet before the first cars equipped are moved off the dealer’s lot.

  3. CGHill »

    2 January 2011 · 4:46 pm

    I went looking for such things, inasmuch as Version 1.0 has been out for about a year now. Didn’t find any that looked plausible, but then again I’m not a frustrated kid with serious motivation either.

  4. Brett »

    2 January 2011 · 7:38 pm

    Fathers of teenage daughters may wish to include the “No Particular Place to Go” app for their princess’s safety belt ;-)

  5. CGHill »

    2 January 2011 · 8:10 pm

    You can be sure that all the way home they’ll hold a grudge.

  6. Lynn »

    2 January 2011 · 8:59 pm

    — “Alas, the feature most desired by parents — the ability to deny entry to their teens’ dubious acquaintances — is probably still a long way off.” —

    Oh that’s easy. It’s called the “Smart Car”.

  7. CGHill »

    2 January 2011 · 9:08 pm

    Damn. Shoulda thought of that one. :)

  8. Brett »

    2 January 2011 · 9:38 pm

    As long as the grudge is all the boy is holding, I figure dad will be fine with that ;-)

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