Ford is preparing to debut a new version of its breakthrough MyKey technology that – for the first time – will allow parents to block explicit satellite radio content in the vehicle, much like parents are able to prevent children from viewing certain types of television and Internet content.
The new feature will debut next year as standard equipment on the Ford Taurus and Ford Explorer, and will eventually be available across a variety of Ford and Lincoln vehicles. MyKey – designed to help parents encourage safe teen driving habits – is an easily programmable key that can limit a vehicle’s top speed, limit radio volume and encourage safety-belt usage by muting the radio until front occupants buckle up.
The radio-blocking feature works by screening out more than a dozen channels labeled by Sirius Satellite Radio as “explicit.” While similar technology is used for blocking inappropriate content on televisions and computers, never before has such an option been available for radio programming in vehicles.
Additional MyKey features that can be programmed through the vehicle’s MyFord Touch menu:
• Parental control of explicit radio programming.
• Limited top speed of 65, 70, 75 or 80 mph.
• Traction control system, which limits tire spin, cannot be deactivated.
• Limited audio volume to 44 percent of maximum.
• A speed alert chime at 45, 55 or 65 mph.
Using MyKey to encourage teens to avoid speeding can provide an added benefit – improved fuel economy. Ford research shows that driving 55 mph instead of 65 mph consumes 15 percent less fuel, and mastering other eco-driving habits, such as avoiding jackrabbit starts and excessive idling, can help improve fuel economy by more than 50 percent.