Big Brother Alert: Ford Introduces Nanny Key

John Horner
by John Horner

Assuming there’s still is an auto industry in the upcoming year of magical beings, 2010, Ford plans to roll out the Nanny Key. Ford’s press release sums it up thus: “Ford’s MyKey feature — which debuts next year as 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.” Parents seem quite keen on the idea, but the kids are not exactly thrilled. “Teens surveyed by Harris said they are largely open to MyKey if it means they will have more freedom to drive. Initially, 67 percent of teens polled said they wouldn’t want MyKey features. However, if using MyKey would lead to greater driving privileges, only 36 percent would object to the technology.” In our home, we achieved pretty much the same end by buying an old Volvo 240. Hey! Isn’t that a Ford product?

John Horner
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  • Quasimondo Quasimondo on Oct 06, 2008
    Yes and no. It’s a fine point, but one that’s played out every time kids who live under iron-fist parents move away for the first time in their lives. There’s a reason why a significant number of kids who end up pregnant or in detox in frosh week are the ones who were part of top-down abstinence groups in high school. The assumption that kids who were raised by strict parents lose their minds the moment they move out of the house is something that's based on stereotype and some 'good girl gone bad' fantasy. Personally, I'd rather have iron fisted parents who kept their kids in line over lassez-faire parents who have no idea the kind of trouble their kids were getting into.
  • Mr. Hypercritical Mr. Hypercritical on Oct 06, 2008

    It won't be long until every car sold in the U.S. has an 85 mph top speed limiter and our max speed limits are lowered to 55 mph once again. And wait til the safety nannies and government get their hands on this brilliant technology from Ford. I can imagine the scenario where if you had a couple of speeding tickets within a certain period of time, the court will have your keys programmed to limit speed. And don't think about getting replacements - your name/car will be in a government database which the car dealer will be required to check before issuing new keys. This business is getting scary - it makes me want to go out and buy 3 or 4 of my favorite cars right now and just hang onto them for the gawdawful automotive future that awaits us. With Ford's soccer mom throttle control (no engine braking on any Ford car I've driven recently), lack of direct control over every gear in its new 6 speed autos, the completely ruined Focus, no SVT product, and now this, they are pretty much giving up on the enthusiast market. And don't talk to me about the Mustang - it's a bloated pig of a car for sentimental baby boomers, despite the wonderful 4.6 engine. Don't get me wrong- I've been a Ford booster since growing up in a Ford family. And my 97 F150 is the single best overall vehicle I have owned. But they are squandering their goodwill with me with every move they make.

  • Anonymous Anonymous on Oct 06, 2008

    [...] Big Brother Alert: Ford Introduces Nanny Key [...]

  • 26theone 26theone on Oct 07, 2008

    yep I agree with quasimondo. Its just sheer luck Im still walking the earth after my teenage driving years. I had strict parents and I still drove like an idiot on several occasions. I say bring on mykey if it even makes a slight improvement to keep kids from killing themselves or other people while driving.