Will Ford's MyKey technology mean a cut in teenage driver insurance?
As anyone knows, statistically teenagers are far more likely to be involved in car accidents but if the usual contributing factors such as excessive speeding and distractions from things like the over-exuberant use of the car stereo can be limited by technology then the should really be recognised by insurers.
But somehow I doubt it will be too soon.
MyKey is a long time coming to Europe and has been standard in the States for some time. It is basically a key that can be programmed to switch off or on various features in the car, including a speed limiter.
It can also put a lid on the volume of the stereo, prevent wheel-spinning and, no doubt annoyingly, keep the seatbelt reminder chiming and the audio system silent until the rebellious teen complies and straps in.
All great ideas for parents but not so cool for the young boy racer out to impress a girl. Imagine the embarrassment of a voice reminding you not to speed as accelerate past 45, 55 and 65mph. It would be like having your mum sitting in the rear seat nagging you about the way you drive.
That is the whole idea, I guess, because speed is the key factor in so many teenage car accidents and the tragedy is when the driver is taking chances with a car full of pals on a dark night. Those heart-wrenching incidents just seem so utterly pointless even when you don't even know the victims.
So good on Ford, it's a great step forward here, and begs the question: Why did you take so long about it?
Let's hope the other car manufacturers follow suit pronto and then when it's a widely used technology maybe insurers will play ball and reward the cautious parents and teens.