Ford MyKey technology prevents drivers from texting, speeding

The days of teenagers speeding or making phone calls while driving in their parent’s Ford may be numbered when new technology, which blocks people from receiving phone calls and also places a speed limit on the vehicle, arrives in Australia.

The device, called MyKey, integrates with Ford’s Sync voice system which allows drivers to make phone calls using speech recognition.

MyKey blocks incoming phone calls or SMS messages from a Bluetooth-enabled mobile phone. However, drivers can still make voice activated phone calls.

Parents or vehicle owners can also program the device to implement a speed limit, turn the stereo system down to 44 per cent output and keep traction control activated so the car won’t end up auditioning for Fast and the Furious part six. It is currently available on the Explorer and Focus models in the US.

However, a Ford Australia spokesman said that he could not give an estimated time frame on when the technology would be available in Australia as the company needed to assess how it could get MyKey aligned to new vehicles.

“It’s whether the electrical architectures of our cars can carry that system. A lot of the newer cars have different architectures in them so they can utilise this electronic medium [MyKey] a lot easier.”

When asked what would happen if the driver tried to turn off the Bluetooth function, he said that the car had the ability to `tell’ the phone that it was connected via Bluetooth.

This would then disable certain phone features to prevent overriding of the system.

The spokesman also said that as various Australian states had different speed limits, this had to be factored in when MyKey was finally released here.

“We need to have those discussions with our engineers before we implement the technology in Australia,” he said.

Follow Hamish Barwick on Twitter: @HamishBarwick

Follow Computerworld Australia on Twitter: @ComputerworldAU

Copyright © 2011 IDG Communications, Inc.

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