the current generation ford fiesta is the first car in the uk to feature ford's mykey technology which enables parents to place restrictions on younger drivers to promote safer driving.
On sale from March 2013 the new supermini features the Ford-exclusive 'MyKey' system which enables owners to programme a key - usually for younger drivers - that restricts the top speed of the Fiesta, reduces the maximum volume of the audio system, and even disables the audio system altogether if driver and passengers are not using safety belts. It can also prevent the driver from deactivating safety technologies such as Electronic Stability Control and Active City Stop, which can help mitigate or prevent low-speed collisions.
All parents know that if teenagers are experts at one thing, it's finding ways of getting into trouble, said Ford's European MyKey system architect, Peter Patzelt. MyKey allows Fiesta owners to set sensible restrictions for young drivers, and delivers peace-of-mind for parents. The launch came as the Government confirmed it will take action to improve road safety among young drivers.
European drivers under the age of 25 are up to twice as likely to be involved in a fatal accident*; and a Ford-commissioned survey of the parents of 17- to 20-year-old drivers reveals 46 per cent say their number one concern is that their children are speeding**.
The MyKey system forms part of the Fiesta's safety and driver assistance package that also includes SYNC Emergency Assistance and Ford's Intelligent Protection System with seven airbags.
MyKey was first introduced by Ford in the US and is now standard on most new North American Ford vehicles. MyKey also now features as standard equipment across much of the Fiesta range, and Ford ultimately plans to roll-out the technology across its European product line-up by 2015.
MyKey works by recognising different keys for the same car and then adjusting the vehicle settings according to the owner's requirements. It also enables owners to programme chimes to sound at set points between 40-80mph, prevents seatbelt reminders from being disabled and delivers an earlier low-fuel warning.
The survey of more than 6,000 parents of young drivers across Europe found 53 per cent of parents would be more likely to allow a teenage son or daughter to drive their car if it was equipped with MyKey technology.
Parents love MyKey because it helps them reduce their teenagers' exposure to risk at the wheel, Patzelt said. Young drivers are not too keen on MyKey until they learn that it often improves the chances their parents will allow them to drive in the first place.
** Opinion Matters carried out the research in August 2011 from a sample of 6058 teenagers aged 17-20 from the UK, Germany, France, Spain, Italy and Russia and 6058 parents of teenagers aged 17-20 from the UK, Germany, France, Spain, Italy and Russia