Fords MyKey technology to let parents control settings when their kids drive touches a deeply emotional issue for any parent: their childrens safety.
In an October 8 column, Automotive News Executive Editor Edward Lapham says he likes some of the features in Fords technology, such as warnings when the speed is creeping up. But Lapham objects to restricting the speed, asking why hamstring the vehicles ability to avoid a dangerous situation?
Overall, his position was that personal responsibility -- both for parents to teach their children the limitations and power of motor vehicles and how to handle them and for teenagers to behave -- is the key.
Inevitably, our community is taking sides.
Explain to me the situation where a 16-year-old driver will be in more danger because he cant go more than 80 mph? asks John V.
Mike agrees with Lapham about advisability of not spying on offspring, but adds a technology to prevent them from speeding is a great idea.
In support, andi says If you cant trust your kid to do the right thing, then dont let them drive. And the writer adds, Whats next? Will we find out that they are installed for anyone that has a speeding ticket?
Also in support of personal responsibility over nanny technology is Ford Retiree, who says Remember parents, you cant control everything they do.
But andi, in a second post, suggests that anyone who is happy to restrict a teenager to a specific speed might also be happy if all cars were speed restricted. Or how about a car that reads the speed limit off a sign and restricts the car to that?"
In a droll dig at Lapham, Kenny says the problem with Fords technology is that the only ones that will use it are cautious, responsible families while those who really need it -- and here he repeats Laphams words about his own kids experience -- will deride it.
So who is right here? What is the best way to handle turning the keys over to teenage drivers? Personal involvement in their training and depending on their judgment, or the training-wheel approach of Fords MyKey technology?
I suspect Ford is unsure about the precise details, or it wouldnt be talking publicly about something not available until 2010 models come out. This is the sort of thing everybody absolutely wants to get right. What do you think?