Teen driver safety tool headed for Europe

Ford is to roll out a new system designed to encourage safer driving for teens in Europe from next year.

The Ford MyKey system, which restricts certain functions of the vehicle at the behest of its owner, will be available as standard on compatible vehicles from 2012, the US giant said September 1.

MyKey allows parents to issue their children with specially-programmed keys that can limit the car's top speed and audio volume, in an effort to reduce the number of accidents that involve younger drivers.

Additional features include the ability to mute audio until all passengers have their seatbelts fastened, and a speed warning which can be programmed to chime at speeds between 70-100 km/h.

Other features, such as Lane Departure Warning System, collision alert warnings and blind spot monitoring, can also be made mandatory for drivers using the special keys.

Increasingly sophisticated technology is rapidly making it easier for parents loaning their children vehicles to have far more control over how - and where - their offspring go.

Last month, Ford's major competitor General Motors unveiled a new trial using its OnStar product that allowed parents to instantly locate their vehicle using its on-board GPS system.

The trial provides a small number of participants with a portal which can show the vehicle's position and send automatic alerts as prespecified intervals.

http://www.ford.com

http://www.onstar.com

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