With teens heading back to school, many parents fear letting their teens drive themselves to school. Fatal crashes are the leading cause of death among Americans ages 15-20. New technology may set those parents’ minds at ease this coming school year. Ford and General Motors have taken two approaches to allowing parents to have some control over their teens’ driving habits.
Ford’s MyKey lets parents set the maximum speed of the car and limit the volume of the audio system. General Motors’ Family Link, part of it’s OnStar service, tracks the location of the car driven by the teen and send text messages to the parents if it is driven outside a stipulated area.
Available in any model equipped with the MyFordTouch infotainment system, this technology gives a special key to the parent that allows setting the controls. Maximum speed can be set for 80 mph. Beeper reminders will sound as the car reaches designated speeds. The parent can put limits on the volume of the radio to minimize distraction. The radio will not turn on if seat belts are not fastened.
General Motors Family Link
The GM system does not involve controls on the car itself. It lets parents stipulate where the teenager can drive. Once you set that perimeter online, you will get a text message if your teen drives outside that barrier. You can also locate the vehicle at any time by going onto the system’s website.