Ford Motor Co. is giving parents the power to censor the music selected by the teen drivers in their household.
The updated MyKey feature has been upgraded to allow parents to block explicit satellite radio programming while their teens are driving. The upgraded version of MyKey will debut as a standard feature late next year on the Ford Taurus and Explorer and will quickly be offered across a variety of Ford and Lincoln models, company officials said.
“Ford wants to give parents peace of mind that their kids are following practical household rules in the car,” says Graydon Reitz, director, Ford Electrical and Electronic Systems Engineering.
“Parents obviously like this type of feature, and many teens are okay with it when they hear parents may give them the keys more often if the car comes with a technology such as Ford’s MyKey,” Reitz said.
The radio-blocking feature is specifically targeted at a dozen channels labeled by Sirius Satellite Radio as “explicit.”
While similar technology is used for blocking explicit content on televisions and computers, never before has such an option been available for radio programming in vehicles, Reitz said.
Ford’s current MyKey system – standard on most North American vehicles after launching in summer 2009 – allows owners to program a key that can limit the vehicle’s top speed to 80 mph, with chimes sounding at 45, 55 and 65 mph.
The upgraded MyKey technology will now allow parents to limit a vehicle’s top speed at any of four different settings – 65, 70, 75 or 80 miles per hour.
A new poll by Penn, Schoen & Berland shows a majority of parents with teen drivers like MyKey’s features, according to Ford, including nearly 60% who feel the feature to block adult radio programming is important and 85% who believe the speed-limiting feature is important.