Ford’s MyKey technology is an onboard babysitter for teens driving solo

Ford Edge If given the option now, I imagine a lot of those eager to drive teens would probably prefer it if their parents didn’t buy a new Ford.

With a focus on keeping teens safe behind the wheel, Ford has announced that its Ford MyKey technology, which enables parents to place limits on some in-car features, is now standard on six million Ford vehicles.    

The MyKey system includes a number of different features such as Persistent Ford Belt-Minder that mutes the radio to remind teens to buckle up, according to an official Ford press release.  A message on the instrument panel is also displayed: “Buckle Up to Unmute Radio”

MyKey also enables parents to limit the volume of an audio system to 44 percent of the radio’s maximum output. In addition, there’s a feature that activates a chime at 45, 55 and 65 mph to remind teens to slow down. The system allows parents to limit the top speed of Ford vehicle to 80 mph as well.

Ford MyKeyHowever, perhaps the most feared MyKey feature for teens is one called “Do Not Disturb” that enables parents to block incoming phone calls and hold text messages on a phone paired with Ford SYNC when teens are driving.  

The MyKey system, which can be activated by inserting a special coded key into the ignition with a transponder chip, also gives teens an extra warning at 75 miles to remind a teen driver to fill up in addition  to the typical warnings displayed when the fuel level reaches 25 and 50 miles to empty.

Andy Sarkisian, Ford safety planning and strategy manager, said, however, the technology is more about keeping teens safe than under control.

“MyKey is about love. said Sarkisian, who has two teen daughters. It’s about helping your children manage the transition from childhood to adulthood, and keeping them safer while they do it.”

 According to Ford’s analysis of National Highway Traffic Safety Administration data, teen driver fatalities increase every month beginning in May before declining in September.


Will high-res radar make tomorrow’s cars safer?

Modern cars have sensors designed to make driving safer. The problem? They don’t work well. A combination of radar, lidar, and cameras is a solution, but we aren’t there yet.
Product Review

With the XT4, Cadillac's tech game goes from frustrating to first class

The 2019 Cadillac XT4 is the American luxury brand’s first small SUV, slotting under the XT5. Aimed at younger buyers, the XT4 is intended to be a nurturing product — something to introduce new customers and lead to future Cadillac…

Exclusive: Faulty radars are compromising Nissan’s emergency braking system

Faulty radar modules are causing the automatic emergency braking system in select 2018 Nissan vehicles to turn off. AEB is designed to alert a driver of proximity to the car ahead, and apply the brakes when the driver can't.
Product Review

Alfa Romeo delivers the quintessential Italian high-performance SUV

Alfa’s Romeo’s Ferrari-powered sport utility delivers hair-raising straight-line performance, admirable capability in the corners, and head-turning style, but comes up a bit short in a few key areas.

Volkswagen shows us the workaholic side of its modern-day classic van

The Volkswagen I.D. Cargo concept is an electric, connected delivery van based on the I.D. Buzz concept from 2017. It boasts up to 350 miles of range and cool features like solar panels on the roof and a 230-volt outlet for power tools.

It’s not easy being green: California strips HOV rights from clean-air cars

Changes to California's Clean Air Vehicle decal program are raising the ire of early adopters. The decals let LEV and ZEV drivers travel solo in commuter lanes. More than 200,000 drivers will lose the privilege January 1.

BMW’s redesigned Z4 gets two turbocharged engines, long list of tech features

The redesigned BMW Z4 will be available in sDrive30i Roadster and M40i Roadster guises when it goes on sale next year. The more powerful M40i will do zero to 60 mph in just 4.4 seconds, according to BMW.
Emerging Tech

These flying cars want to take your commute to new heights

The future is closer than you'd think: Companies around the world are working on flying car models, with many successful tests! Here are all the flying cars and taxis currently in development, and how they work!
Smart Home

Here’s how to pre-order everything Amazon announced this week

Amazon announced new devices available in its Echo, Fire TV, and AmazonBasics lineups. Most of the devices aren't available quite yet but if you head over to Amazon, you can pre-order them.

Tesla says dash cam feature using car’s built-in cameras is coming soon

Tesla CEO Elon Musk is promising the next version of Autopilot, which is expected imminently, will include a dash cam feature that uses the car's built-in cameras. It's a feature many Tesla drivers have long been asking for.

Amazon Alexa can now hitch a ride in any car with Echo Auto

At its massive hardware event, Amazon unveiled Echo Auto, a dashboard-mounted device that adds Alexa to any car. It's one of myriad ways Amazon is trying to integrate Alexa with cars.

Aced it! Tesla’s Model 3 earns a five-star crash-test rating

The results are in and they're great: the rear-wheel drive Tesla Model 3 has aced the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration's different crash tests and earned a five-star safety rating.

Audi’s subscription service lets you roll in style without commitment

Audi expanded its mobility options by launching a car subscription service in the Dallas-Fort Worth area. For $1,395, buyers can choose from five models (including the Q7, the Q5, and the A4) and swap cars twice a month.

Stop the madness! Here's how to fix those squeaky brakes

Few noises are worse than the sound of squeaky brakes. Luckily, there are plenty of ways to go about fixing the issue without giving up your weekend or investing a small fortune. Here's what you need to know.