Most drivers are reluctant to hand over their keys to others—be it the punk who does the valet parking, the self-styled rock star at home or the freeloading colleague. Now there is hope for them to stay in control, thankfully without much of an argument!
Volvo calls their control device ‘Red Key’ while Ford does it with ‘MyKey’. The key to both gadgets are pre-set limits and functions that cannot be turned off. Safety settings are maxed out; speed limit is set to safe levels; and speakers are prevented from blasting through the sunroof! Not surprisingly, someone has described the Ford MyKey as “a remote babysitter for children while they are behind the wheel”.
Hyundai’s system is like a strict governess. It alerts parents if teens are ‘hanging out’ after the time they are supposed to be home or if they drive beyond designated boundaries, or hit the key fob’s panic button, besides setting speed limit warnings. This ‘parenting feature’ has almost become a statement of commitment for automotive brands now. Pioneers like Mercedes-Benz have a teen driver safety programme too. Chevrolet’s programme even flashes a report card on the young driver’s performance!
Understandably, such self-regulation has been welcomed by parents for the peace of mind it affords, but what about the children? If a few more restrictions mean they can have the car more often, isn’t that worth the barter?