Ford Australia has given a big push to its MyKey system with the introduction of the software on the entire Fiesta range.
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MyKey, which was previous available on the Ford Fiesta ST, has been revised begins a wide spread implementation starting with the entire Fiesta range this year and Focus, Mondeo and Mustang next year.

The system relies on two keys for the car - a master and a MyKey - the latter of which allows parents to give their kids a key that restricts certain elements of their car.

Speaking to CarAdvice at the MyKey demo yesterday, Ford Australia’s director of communications, Wes Sherwood, said the technology will help parents of new drivers have some control in their kids driving manner.

Ford MyKey_3

“Parents have an interest in this technology, there has been a reaction broadly from the public because everyone is affected by teen driving. Teens are over represented in fatalities and traffic incidents. It affects everybody,” Sherwood told CarAdvice.

Although the system was previously available in the Fiesta ST, Sherwood admitted there were some insights to be gained before it achieved wide spread implementation

“As we rolled it out at Fiesta ST, we had some learning, particularly around the top speed limits. Currently it’s at 140-160km/h. People asked if we could have it lower.”

The speed limit setups were taken from European requirements, but Ford Australia looked to Canada where speed limits are lower than Europe and more closely related to Australia.

Ford MyKey_6

The blue oval brand now offers the ability for parents to lock the top speed limit starting at 100km/h up to 130km/h in 10km/h increments.

Setting up a MyKey is relatively simple. Simply start a MyKey-enabled Ford with the chosen key, use the menus to select create a MyKey and then pick the restrictions to be put in place.

Apart from the hard speed limits and speed alerts, which cannot be broken in any situation, there are other MyKey features that are somewhat interesting.

Parents can set the audio system’s volume limit to 40 per cent to curb driver distraction. It may seem rather 'lame' - particularly if you’re a teenager - but in reality it is actually not all that quiet. Better still, if the front occupant seatbelts are not done up, the audio system won’t even start. A sure way to teach good habits.

Ford MyKey_8

Perhaps most useful is the ability to stop the driver from being able to disengage electronic stability control or emergency assist. MyKey can also log the number of kilometres travelled, but will not record GPS locations as Ford doesn’t want the system to become a surveillance tool.

The other feature is the low-fuel level warning, being increased from 80km range to 140km range to help young drivers better prepare for their impending fuel stop.

Ford’s own research says 61 per cent of parents “have concerns about their children not paying attention to the road or being distracted by others”. According to the company, 40 per cent of young drivers – who are 2.5 times more likely to be killed in a car accident than any other age group – would also agree.

The MyKey system rolls out across all new Fiesta models starting this week, however buyers will need to check with Ford dealers to make sure their car is the newer MyKey-enabled build.

Although entirely a software based system, it will not be available on the upcoming Ford Falcon update due to an architectural change that would be required.

Do you think MyKey is a good idea? Do you think 100km/h top-speed limit is too low?