Filed under: Safety, Technology, Ford

Ford's upgraded MyKey for 2011 - Click above for high-res image gallery

Modern technology means that parental controls are now spreading to cars as factory equipment, and the automaker leading the charge is Ford. Using the latest version of the company's MyKey system, parents 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. While an obvious safety feature, the technology can also dramatically improve fuel efficiency.

Already, Ford's MyKey allows parents to limit audio volume, encourage seatbelt usage by muting the radio until front occupants buckle up and provide earlier low-fuel warnings. All of these could be considered important safety features, considering that the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports that teens are more likely to speed (a contributing factor in 30 percent of fatal accidents) and are less likely to use their safety-belts.

Ford contracted the firm Penn, Schoen & Berland to conduct a survey regarding its new MyKey features, and the results aren't terribly surprising: 85 percent of parents believe the speed limiting controls are important and 60 percent say the same regarding the radio content controls. Even 45 percent of teen drivers themselves say they approve of the technology... just as long as it means they get extended driving privileges from their parents. Of course, said teens can also simply circumvent the MyKey safety leash by listening to CDs or their MP3 players, but we digress.

Check out a video and full press release after the break to learn more about how the system works.

Gallery: Ford's upgraded MyKey for 2011

[Source: Ford]Continue reading Ford MyKey now allows parents to block Howard Stern, Playboy Radio [w/video]

Ford MyKey now allows parents to block Howard Stern, Playboy Radio [w/video] originally appeared on Autoblog on Wed, 29 Dec 2010 15:31:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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