The car key that keeps an eye on your son’s driving

This is a brilliant idea. But the kids aren’t going to like it…

Ford have introduced the programmable speed and volume capping MyKey in US models of the 2010 Focus.

Parents get to set top speeds of between 65 and 80mph – though this would presumably be less effective if Kevin was tearing up the single track lanes in Herefordshire.

Other safety features include a chime that sounds at 10mph intervals, starting at 45mph, and an advanced notice when fuel levels are low. MyKey will also limit the volume of the audio system and it will sound a six-second chime every minute if seat belts are not fastened. What is quite amusing, however, is that the chime sounds for adult drivers too, but ends after five minutes to avoid annoying adults who adamantly don’t want to wear seat belts, said Jim Buczkowski, Ford’s director of electronic and electrical systems engineering.

The new features will come standard issue on the 2011 Ford Taurus and Ford Explorer, and will eventually reach across both the Ford and Lincoln brands.

“Our message to parents is, hey, we are providing you some conditions to give your new drivers that may allow you to feel a little more comfortable in giving them the car more often,” said Buczkowski.

Ford said its market research shows 75% of parents like the speed and audio limits, but 67% of teens don’t like them.

Shocker.

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