Ford Motor Company introduced an innovative new technology – called MyKey – designed to help parents encourage their teen-agers to drive safer and more fuel efficiently, and increase safety-belt usage.
Ford’s MyKey feature – which is standard equipment on the 2010 Ford Focus and will quickly become standard on many other Ford, Lincoln and Mercury models – allows owners to program a key that can limit the vehicle’s top speed and audio volume. MyKey also encourages safety-belt usage, provides earlier low-fuel warnings and can be programmed to sound chimes at 45, 55 and 65 miles per hour.
The MyKey system allows the parent to program any key through the vehicle message center, which updates the SecuriLock passive anti-theft system. When the MyKey is inserted into the ignition, the system reads the transponder chip in the key and immediately identifies the MyKey code, which enables certain default driving modes, including:
- Persistent Ford Beltminder with audio mute. Ford’s Beltminder system typically provides a six-second reminder chime every minute for five minutes. With MyKey, the Beltminder chime continues at the regular interval and the audio system is muted until the safety belt is buckled. A message center display “Buckle Up to Unmute Radio” also appears on the instrument cluster.
- Earlier low-fuel warning. Rather than a warning at 50 miles to empty, MyKey provides a warning at 75 miles to empty.
- If MyKey is in the ignition, features such as Park Aid and BLISTM (Blind Spot Information System) with Cross Traffic Alert cannot be deactivated.
Additional MyKey features that can be programmed through the vehicle’s message center setup menu:
- Limited top speed of 80 mph
- Traction control system, that limits tire spin, cannot be deactivated
- Limited audio volume to 44 percent of total volume
- A speed alert chime at 45, 55 or 65 mph