Feeds

Ford cars get draconian parental controls

Speed capped, wheelspin nixed, shock-jock radio stifled

The Essential Guide to IT Transformation

Teenagers will soon find radio shock jocks off the listings, along with loud music, speeding of any kind and wheel spins too – if Dad upgrades to Ford's MyKey system that is.

MyKey works with the MyFord Touch system, a standard feature on many US models which can already lock on the traction control and limit the stereo volume to protect a child's delicate hearing. Now the beloved first-born* can have his top speed capped, and isn't even allowed to listen to "explicit" radio stations, which should remove any remaining vestige of street credibility.

Kids will have to wear seatbelts too, or face a journey in silence as the radio cuts out entirely if belts aren't worn. Mum and Dad are allowed to fly through the windscreen to an accompanying soundtrack as usual, if the air bags don't catch 'em.

The MyKey technology is based on the transceiver already built into many key fobs – used to immobilise cars if the ignition key is bypassed. The fob is already used by some cars to adjust seats and mirrors to pre-programmed settings for that driver; My[First]Key just allows a parent to make those settings on behalf of their children, and will come as standard on the higher-end (US) Fords next year.

According to Ford, 60 per cent of (American) parents want to be able to block explicit radio stations (around a dozen of the several-hundred stations provided by Sirius satellite radio), while 85 per cent of them approved of speed-capping and 45 per cent of their kids even liked the idea – "if it meant the possibility of additional driving privileges".

One might argue that better parenting and some trust would work as effectively as any technology, and that might be true with speeding and wheel-spinning, but surely some freedoms are worth sacrificing to protect children from the worst excesses of US radio jockeys. ®

* Following children are never as coddled as the first-born, anyone with more than one kid will confirm that.

Build a business case: developing custom apps

More from The Register

next story
14 antivirus apps found to have security problems
Vendors just don't care, says researcher, after finding basic boo-boos in security software
'Things' on the Internet-of-things have 25 vulnerabilities apiece
Leaking sprinklers, overheated thermostats and picked locks all online
iWallet: No BONKING PLEASE, we're Apple
BLE-ding iPhones, not NFC bonkers, will drive trend - marketeers
Only '3% of web servers in top corps' fully fixed after Heartbleed snafu
Just slapping a patched OpenSSL on a machine ain't going to cut it, we're told
How long is too long to wait for a security fix?
Synology finally patches OpenSSL bugs in Trevor's NAS
Secure microkernel that uses maths to be 'bug free' goes open source
Hacker-repelling, drone-protecting code will soon be yours to tweak as you see fit
Israel's Iron Dome missile tech stolen by Chinese hackers
Corporate raiders Comment Crew fingered for attacks
Roll out the welcome mat to hackers and crackers
Security chap pens guide to bug bounty programs that won't fail like Yahoo!'s
HIDDEN packet sniffer spy tech in MILLIONS of iPhones, iPads – expert
Don't panic though – Apple's backdoor is not wide open to all, guru tells us
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Backing up Big Data
Solving backup challenges and “protect everything from everywhere,” as we move into the era of big data management and the adoption of BYOD.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.