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Old 10-06-2008, 11:37 AM   #1
Bungleau
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Question Mark Big Brother... errr... Daddy in the car?

From Yahoo News... not Odd, just News...
Quote:

Ford feature will let parents set limits for teens

By Tom Krisher, AP Auto Writer

New feature in 2010 Ford vehicles will let parents limit teen drivers' speed, stereo volume

DETROIT (AP) -- So you think junior is a little too lead-footed when he drives the family car? Starting next year, Ford Motor Co. will give you the power to do something about it.

The company will roll out a new feature on many 2010 models that can limit teen drivers to 80 mph, using a computer chip in the key.

Parents also have the option of programming the teen's key to limit the audio system's volume, and to sound continuous alerts if the driver doesn't wear a seat belt.

"Our message to parents is, hey, we are providing you some conditions to give your new drivers that may allow you to feel a little more comfortable in giving them the car more often," said Jim Buczkowski, Ford's director of electronic and electrical systems engineering.

The feature, called "MyKey," will be standard on an unspecified number of Ford models when the 2010 cars and trucks come out late next summer. The feature will spread to the entire Ford, Lincoln and Mercury lineup as models are updated, spokesman Wes Sherwood said.

Ford arrived at the 80 mph limit even though freeway speed limits are lower in most states because it wanted to leave a margin in case an unusual situation arises, Buczkowski said. In some states, freeway speed limits are above 70 mph, Sherwood said.

"Just lopping it off at exactly 70 mph was felt to be too limiting," Buczkowski said.

The company already uses computer chips in its keys to prevent thefts. The car won't start unless it recognizes the chip in the key.

"It's making use of existing technology, and through the magic of software, we're able to build features on top of the features we already have," Buczkowski said.

In addition to speed limits, MyKey also will limit the volume of the audio system, and it will sound a six-second chime every minute if seat belts are not fastened. The chime sounds for adult drivers, too, but ends after five minutes to avoid annoying adults who adamantly don't want to wear seat belts, Buczkowski said.

Parents also have the option of having the car sound a chime if the teen exceeds 45, 55 or 65 mph.

Ford said its market research shows 75 percent of parents like the speed and audio limits, but as you might expect, 67 percent of teens don't like them.

Danisha Williams, a 16-year-old senior at Southfield-Lathrup High School in suburban Detroit, said she's against the idea.

"I wouldn't want my parents to have that much control over how I'm driving," she said. "If your parents are holding your hand, you're never going to learn."

Brittany Hawthorne, 17, another Southfield-Lathrup senior, said there may be emergency situations where she'd have to drive more than 80, possibly to accelerate to avoid a crash.

Ford's research shows that parents would be more likely to let teens use their vehicles with the system, Sherwood said, and if it gets them the car more often, the number of teens objecting drops by nearly half.

A top official from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, a research group funded by the auto insurance industry that is pushing to raise the minimum driving age to 17 or 18, found the key intriguing. IIHS says car crashes are the leading cause of death among teenagers.

"Research we've done has shown that speeding is a major factor in teen crashes, especially novice teen drivers," said Anne McCartt, the institute's senior vice president for research. "So I think a system that tries to correct the speeding behavior has the potential to improve safety."

More than 5,000 U.S. teens die each year in car crashes. The rate of crashes, fatal and nonfatal, per mile driven for 16-year-old drivers is almost 10 times the rate for drivers ages 30 to 59, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
As a parent, I find this interesting. As a frequent driver, I find it... interesting. I can see why parents like it, since the combination of excess speed and youth are often found together, and only alcohol is linked to more fatal accidents than excessive sped. As a father with a daughter getting ready to drive in four years (and a son in seven!), I'm starting to have a vested interest in this

Some facts:

  • Speed was a factor in 30 percent (12,477) of all traffic fatalities in 1998, second only to alcohol (39 percent) as a cause of fatal crashes. (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, or NHTSA, 1999)
  • In 1998, 40,000 people were critically injured in speeding-related crashes, 72,000 were moderately injured and 599,000 received minor injuries. (NHTSA, 1999)
  • The economic cost to society of speeding-related crashes is estimated at $27.7 billion per year. (NHTSA, 1999)
  • Crash forces on impact double with every 10 mile per hour increase in speed above 50 miles per hour. As crash forces increase, so does oneďż˝s chances of being killed or seriously injured in a crash. (NHTSA, 1995)
  • Young drivers (under 30 years old) are more likely to speed than other drivers. Of all drivers involved in fatal crashes, young males are most likely to speed. The relative proportion of speeding-related fatal crashes decreases with increasing driver age. (NHTSA, 1999)
  • Alcohol involvement and speeding often go hand-in-hand. In 1998, 43 percent of drivers with a 0.10 BAC or higher who were involved in fatal crashes were speeding, compared with 14 percent of the sober (0.00 BAC) drivers in fatal crashes. (NHTSA, 1999)

I know we've got folks on this list of all ages... what do you think? Good idea, or bad idea?
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Old 10-06-2008, 12:03 PM   #2
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Default Re: Big Brother... errr... Daddy in the car?

I wouldn't say it's a bad idea, but the number of computer saavy teens is growing steadily. How will Ford ensure that the next generation of kiddies won't be able to bypass the system.
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Old 10-06-2008, 12:04 PM   #3
Variol (Farseer) Elmwood
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Default Re: Big Brother... errr... Daddy in the car?

I know Corvette and some other cars have had 3 keys for 3 different speeds for years now.
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Old 10-06-2008, 12:06 PM   #4
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Default Re: Big Brother... errr... Daddy in the car?

As a young driver...I agree with the speed limitation, although sometimes when overtaking you would want more... Don't agree with the volume limitation.
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Old 10-06-2008, 12:17 PM   #5
Bungleau
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Default Re: Big Brother... errr... Daddy in the car?

Chips in the keys are what control everything, just like they do for many vehicles now. Once the tools to be able to read (and program!) the keys become more available, the ability to hack them will increase dramatically.

I wasn't aware that Corvettes offered speed-limiting keys.... have to check those out.

Just priced one out trying to find info on those keys... amazing what you can get in a car for a mere US$70k...
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Old 10-06-2008, 12:26 PM   #6
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Default Re: Big Brother... errr... Daddy in the car?

It'd be interesting to see how easy it is to hack one of those...
Eh, I can see how it would be a good idea in theory, but I don't think it's going to catch on.
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Old 10-06-2008, 12:31 PM   #7
Variol (Farseer) Elmwood
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Default Re: Big Brother... errr... Daddy in the car?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dragonshadow View Post
It'd be interesting to see how easy it is to hack one of those...
Eh, I can see how it would be a good idea in theory, but I don't think it's going to catch on.
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Old 10-06-2008, 01:03 PM   #8
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Default Re: Big Brother... errr... Daddy in the car?

Hmm, this seems like a promising idea, though the limiter probably would need to change depending on highway/local streets. Because having a 70mph limit on a local road doesn't make sense,thats still way too fast. Going at a speed of 70 on a 60mph limit is going to feel limiting, but going at 70mph on a 40mph or less is going to give the thrill of speeding (which is even more dangerous).

So unless it can change limits depending on where the person is, (gps connectivity? bluetooth gps? something) its not going to really make things any safer, and infact it'll probably make teens more dangerous.

And of course this is a generalization of teens, but I'm speaking of those who are prone to speeding intentionally, not those who don't (for the latter it shouldn't really matter whether they had a limiter or not because they don't speed, right ? )
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Old 10-06-2008, 05:22 PM   #9
Bungleau
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Default Re: Big Brother... errr... Daddy in the car?

Excellent point. I know my GPS "knows" what the speed limit is where I am... it'd be helpful to have the car thing know the same thing, and limit me based on where I am. 80MPH (130kph) in a school zone *just* isn't a good idea...

And while I don't think it will catch on from the young driver's point of view, I think it's got a lot of possibilities from the parents' point of view. And depending on who's buying the car... their point of view generally wins

I did a little more research and foundthis Australian company and product.

Quote:

New In-Car Device Warns Speeding Drivers

By Robert Roy Britt, LiveScience Managing Editor

posted: 14 June 2006 08:26 am ET

An Australian company has developed a system that lets drivers know when they're speeding. When the technology becomes commercially available, it could help lead-footed drivers avoid tickets and also save lives.

It could even be used by parents to monitor teen driving.

The product, called SpeedAlert, links real-time location data and speed obtained with the help of the Global Positioning System (GPS) to a database of posted speed limits stored in a driver's PDA or programmable mobile phone.
Anyone have any experience or familiarity with it?
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Old 10-06-2008, 05:56 PM   #10
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Default Re: Big Brother... errr... Daddy in the car?

I see no major issues with the volume limiter, if they can work it with the GPS like with the speedlimiter.
Say reducing the volume below a certain level in residential zones? I don't care how loud you have it out on the streets, but I don't want to hear your bass speakers inside my living room.
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