Safety Features in New Autos

According to the South Florida Sun-Sentinel (FL) Via Acquire Media NewsEdge, a new safety feature in Ford autos will help parents monitor their children's driving, and possibly cut insurance premiums, is set to debut this summer in the 2010 Ford Focus. It will likely come standard in most Ford, Lincoln, and Mercury models thereafter.

MyKey is a programmable car key that parents can use to limit a car's top speed to 80 mph and set their audio system to play at only 44 percent of peak volume. MyKey also mutes the audio system until the driver and passenger buckle up, and sounds a speed-alert chime at 45, 55 or 65 mph, along with a message on the display that reads: "Vehicle near top speed." The key works in tandem with an onboard computer to regulate the car's systems.

There is also a chance that MyKey could reduce insurance rates. In the past, insurance companies have given discounts for features like anti-lock brakes and air bags.

It appears that Ford spoke with several insurance companies that showed interest in reducing rates. For now insurance companies will monitor the accident rates for these cars, and make their decision from there.