Device from Ford will let parents control car radio remotely

The Detroit Free Press

DETROIT – Ford is planning to give parents even more power over teenagers with technology that can block out explicit satellite radio channels such as Howard Stern and Playboy Radio.

The new feature will debut later this year as standard equipment on the Ford Taurus and Ford Explorer and will eventually be available in most Ford and Lincoln vehicles.

“Ford wants to give parents peace of mind that their kids are following practical household rules in the car,” said Graydon Reitz, Ford’s director of electrical and electronic systems engineering.

The technology works by screening out more than a dozen channels labeled by Sirius Satellite Radio as “explicit” and will be part of Ford’s MyKey system.

Sirius XM Radio could not be immediately reached for comment. According to its Web site, the company already allows customers to block channels with explicit programming by calling a toll-free number and requesting a family plan.

Launched in the summer of 2009, MyKey is standard on most Ford cars and trucks in North America.

MyKey is designed to help parents encourage safe driving habits among teens. The programmable key can limit a vehicle’s top speed and the volume of the audio system, and can mute the radio until the driver and passenger put on their seatbelts.

Ford said a recent survey revealed that nearly 60 percent of parents with teens said they view a feature that can block adult radio programming as important.

“Parents obviously like this type of feature, and many teens are OK with it when they hear parents may give them the keys more often if the car comes with a technology such as Ford’s MyKey,” Reitz said.



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January 2011
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