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Ford To Introduce Restrictive Car Keys For Parents

kdawson posted more than 5 years ago | from the no-you-cannot-borrow-my-keys dept.

Transportation 1224

thesandbender writes "Ford is set to release a management system that will restrict certain aspects of a car's performance based on which key is in the ignition. The speed is limited to 80, you can't turn off traction control, and you can't turn the stereo up to eleven. It's targeted at parents of teenagers and seems like a generally good idea, especially if you get a break on your insurance." The keys will be introduced with the 2010 Focus coupe and will quickly spread to Ford's entire lineup.

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1224 comments

All this sounds nice, but there's another side. (1, Insightful)

J. T. MacLeod (111094) | more than 5 years ago | (#25281055)

This is sure to make every one feel better... until some poor kid gets creamed because he couldn't get out of the way.

Re:All this sounds nice, but there's another side. (3, Insightful)

whoever57 (658626) | more than 5 years ago | (#25281101)

You are missing the much more important other side .... if parents think it is good to limit performance while kids are driving, what if your government thinks it is a good idea to limit performance for all drivers?

Re:All this sounds nice, but there's another side. (4, Funny)

MagicDude (727944) | more than 5 years ago | (#25281129)

Just like what if the government decided that everyone should have a 10 PM bedtime, and no desert for a week after yelling at your sister. Parenting a slippery slope people.

exactly, GOV DRM backdoored into your car. (-1, Flamebait)

plasmacutter (901737) | more than 5 years ago | (#25281159)

Government DRM backdoored into your car.

Additionally.. what happens if your kid, or someone around him, is in an emergency, and must push the car to its limit.

I'm sure californians will feel very safe knowing they can't access every single horsepower to get off that bridge before it collapses in an earthquake.

Re:exactly, GOV DRM backdoored into your car. (4, Insightful)

vux984 (928602) | more than 5 years ago | (#25281263)

I'm sure californians will feel very safe knowing they can't access every single horsepower to get off that bridge before it collapses in an earthquake.

Riiiiight... so the golden gate bridge is bucking and swaying, cars all around you are coming to a stop... and your going to slam on the gas in your Porsche? You won't get 10 meters before you have an accident on the bridge at the best of times... and your going to do during or in the immediate aftermath of an major earthquake...

Re:All this sounds nice, but there's another side. (4, Insightful)

Strange Ranger (454494) | more than 5 years ago | (#25281171)

That's just silly. Let's apply that logic to something (anything!) else:

If parents think it's ok to have an established curfew for their kids, what if the government thinks it's a good idea to establish a curfew for everyone!?

If parents think it's ok to monitor their kids internet usage, what if the government thinks it's a good idea to monitor everyone's internet usage!?

If parents think it's ok to send their kids to their room when they don't eat their vegetables, what if EVERYONE gets sent to their room when they don't eat their vegetables?!

So no there is no "much more important other side"... unless of course, you're silly.

You're committing a logical fallacy. (1)

plasmacutter (901737) | more than 5 years ago | (#25281271)

That's just silly. Let's apply that logic to something (anything!) else:

If parents think it's ok to have an established curfew for their kids, what if the government thinks it's a good idea to establish a curfew for everyone!?

unenforceable. Ford is pioneering a technical means which would make it 100% enforceable, and, of course, irrevocably locked in, assuring you can't escape collapsing section of the LA freeway.

If parents think it's ok to monitor their kids internet usage, what if the government thinks it's a good idea to monitor everyone's internet usage!?

Telecom warrantless wiretapping was not limited to only phones.
"Arts + labs", as well as several congressmen, are actually trying to push this, with the encouragement of certain cable-co's who want to use DPI to lock out competition and turn the internet into the next cell-phone bill.

If parents think it's ok to send their kids to their room when they don't eat their vegetables, what if EVERYONE gets sent to their room when they don't eat their vegetables?!

between drug laws, copyright laws, and the patriot act, that's basically what the government can do now. When the government can't do it believably, they get their friend rupert murdoch to pull a dixie chicks on them.

So no there is no "much more important other side"... unless of course, you're silly.

Yes there is a "much more iportant other side", unless you're blind.

Re:You're committing a logical fallacy. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25281307)

*sigh* when retards get the net....

Re:You're committing a logical fallacy. (2, Insightful)

zappepcs (820751) | more than 5 years ago | (#25281317)

Indeed... current empirical evidence indicates that the US government will use any means in their grasp to establish and run a police state. Buying a car that gives them control over your actions is ... well, naive at best, fucking stupid at worst.

Until the US government decides to show that they are not trying to install a police state, there is absofuckinglutely NO reason to trust them. period.

Re:All this sounds nice, but there's another side. (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25281249)

I get your Orwellian fear brother, but everywhere I've been so far, the government is already limiting your performance on the road.
Speedlimits, cops, traffic lights and signs etc. They're all there to limit your performance. And they were put there by the government, because they, umm, kinda own the public roads.

ban everything (2, Insightful)

globaljustin (574257) | more than 5 years ago | (#25281281)

what if your government thinks it is a good idea to limit performance for all drivers?

yep, that's one of the reasons why there's a "thinkofthechildren" tag...

This is part of the trend towards restriction being the answer to everything. I'm a liberal, but I have a strong libertarian streak, and it seems like whenever our society confronts a problem, increasingly the answer isn't to understand the cause and think about a solution, but to dumb the process down so much that it's impossible to do anything

Re:ban everything (5, Insightful)

gnick (1211984) | more than 5 years ago | (#25281367)

thinkofthechildren?

You're all doing it wrong. I remember having the family car as a kid. The point wasn't to go 80+. It was to cruise for a while doing 25-40, and then find a place to stop for a couple of hours. As far as long-term life-impact, the family car is as dangerous parked in a nice secluded spot as it is at top speed. The car's meant to get you to the spot where the trouble starts.

Re:All this sounds nice, but there's another side. (5, Insightful)

MozeeToby (1163751) | more than 5 years ago | (#25281117)

If you're trying to accelerate from 70 to 90 mph to avoid an accident I'd be willing to bet that you would have been much better off just hitting the brakes anyway. If they were talking about restricting acceleration, you might have a point. As it is, I don't see having a limited top speed causing any accidents.

Re:All this sounds nice, but there's another side. (0, Redundant)

plasmacutter (901737) | more than 5 years ago | (#25281131)

Go live in atlanta, dc, or pennsylvania for a while. Then type that with a straight face.

Re:All this sounds nice, but there's another side. (4, Funny)

inzy (1095415) | more than 5 years ago | (#25281215)

Go live in atlanta, dc, or pennsylvania for a while. Then type that with a straight face.

prolly easier to type with my hands and a keyboard, wherever i am

Re:All this sounds nice, but there's another side. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25281151)

The OP is an idiot. These are electronic governors and as such it's looking at top speed, and not acceleration.

Re:All this sounds nice, but there's another side. (1)

dangitman (862676) | more than 5 years ago | (#25281275)

The OP is an idiot. These are electronic governors and as such it's looking at top speed, and not acceleration.

That's exactly what the OP said, so how is he an idiot? I think you might be somewhat stupid for lacking reading comprehension.

Anyway - how quickly do you think a Ford Focus is going to accelerate from 80mph? I'd say pretty damn slowly.

Overtaking 18-wheelers (1)

sznupi (719324) | more than 5 years ago | (#25281331)

What about when you overtake some big f***ing truck on two lane road (each lane going in different direction; this kind of road is typical where I live) and situation arises when you're doing 80 already, but it would be much, much safer if you'd hurry.

They could somehow mitigate this if they would allow higher speed for short period of time...

Re:Overtaking 18-wheelers (2, Insightful)

superdave80 (1226592) | more than 5 years ago | (#25281349)

If you need to do faster than 80 MPH to pass a truck, then the truck is probably going plenty fast, and you have no reason to pass it.

Re:All this sounds nice, but there's another side. (1)

thesandbender (911391) | more than 5 years ago | (#25281169)

I'm the original poster. I agree with you. I live in Texas where the speed limit is actually 75-80mph in some very rural places. Drivers should have the option of going over the speed limit for a set amount of time. I'll say 20-30 seconds but I'm sure the insurance companies can come up with a better figure.

Re:All this sounds nice, but there's another side. (2, Insightful)

Bill, Shooter of Bul (629286) | more than 5 years ago | (#25281189)

Well, then the car won't sell very well in rural texas. Not every solution is applicable to every problem.

Re:All this sounds nice, but there's another side. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25281319)

Well, then the car won't sell very well in rural texas

Of course it will, it's a Ford.

Re:All this sounds nice, but there's another side. (5, Insightful)

Neoprofin (871029) | more than 5 years ago | (#25281303)

You are aware that a lot, if not most, newer commercial vehicles (cargo vans, straight trucks) have speed limiters on them that cut out somewhere between 66-80mph. As someone who drives them every day I couldn't tell you once that it's ever been an issue other than "I wish I was going faster because then I'd get there sooner."

Don't like that one? There are plenty of cars that have top end limiters, I believe there one of the old Chevys cut out at 115 or so. How many people do you think have been complaining about that one?

I rarely drive the speed limit in anything but rush hour traffic, but the idea that not being able to go faster than 80 is endangering anybodies life, or especially more people than it's protecting is complete bullshit. It's right up there with people who don't wear seatbelts because they know a guy who knows a guy who was killed by one, you can come up with any harebrained scenario to justify it (I've already seen "racing off a collapsing bridge") but you're just grasping at straws.

Performance? In a Ford? (4, Funny)

b1ng0 (7449) | more than 5 years ago | (#25281057)

Do Fords even go up to 80?

Re:Performance? In a Ford? (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25281111)

They sometimes do. If you put your feet down and run really fast, and you have the wind at your back. Going downhill. If you hit 81 though, the car starts to fall apart.

Re:Performance? In a Ford? (3, Funny)

jeffmeden (135043) | more than 5 years ago | (#25281155)

Just be careful, hitting 88 might result in you losing track of time. ALL of it.

Re:Performance? In a Ford? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25281141)

I will neither confirm nor deny the fact that I blew through New York (not the city, of course, the Intarstate) in the middle of the night awhile back, at speeds rather close to triple digits in my '98 ZX2.

I will confirm that I burn every piece-of-trash Miata driven by memberless men whenever I encounter them at traffic lights. (Not that it's hard to do; I just like making fun of men who drive chick cars.)

Ford owns. Or at least their ten year old cars own. :p

(BTW, my car is completely unblinged and was running on good old fashioned 87 regular. Premium is for chumps.)

Possible redundancy... (3, Funny)

wronskyMan (676763) | more than 5 years ago | (#25281061)

Don't know if an external component speed limiting the Focus to 80 is really necessary anyway.

Re:Possible redundancy... (1)

John Courtland (585609) | more than 5 years ago | (#25281161)

Yeah, that's what I tried telling the cop when I got nailed going 88 in a 65 driving my buddy's Focus. Didn't work :(

should have had this when i was a kid (5, Funny)

seringen (670743) | more than 5 years ago | (#25281069)

would have saved me the humiliation of "racing" my parents' taurus

Just spank 'em (2, Insightful)

ilovesymbian (1341639) | more than 5 years ago | (#25281077)

A good old fashioned spanking will set them right.

No need to worry about this hi-tech gadget rubbish, that too in Ford. :)

Prior Art? (2, Insightful)

hcmtnbiker (925661) | more than 5 years ago | (#25281083)

I would have thought that vale key limiting the holder to only accessing ignition and not glove compartment/trunk would be prior art to this. They are both keys that limit access for practical reasons.

i should have patented them (1)

boxlight (928484) | more than 5 years ago | (#25281093)

outstanding ideas -- in fact, i thought of some of these in the early nineties -- i should have patented them

*sigh*... (4, Insightful)

Entropius (188861) | more than 5 years ago | (#25281099)

That's absurd. If you're old enough to drive, you're old enough to take responsibility for the way you do it. If a parent can't trust her kid to drive responsibly, she shouldn't be letting him drive in the first place.

While there are a few situations I've been in where the ability to exceed 80 mph has been critical to safety (getting out from behind dangerous drivers on the freeway who are liable to cause a pileup, for instance), that's not the point.

If you can't trust your kid to drive responsibly, get his ass off the road until you can.

Re:*sigh*... (5, Insightful)

Concerned Onlooker (473481) | more than 5 years ago | (#25281135)

"While there are a few situations I've been in where the ability to exceed 80 mph has been critical to safety (getting out from behind dangerous drivers on the freeway who are liable to cause a pileup, for instance), that's not the point."

Is this supposed to be a joke? You're the only one likely be causing any pile ups driving like that. Sheesh.

Re:*sigh*... (2, Insightful)

Entropius (188861) | more than 5 years ago | (#25281299)

Okay, I suppose I have to tell the story then.

I was driving on the US Interstate, going about 80 mph like everyone else on the road. I normally am quite conservative about following distance, and was happily chugging along behind a couple of trucks when we start to be overtaken by a traffic pack.

Many of these drivers are safe about passing, but one fellow in a large SUV decides he needs to tailgate trucks at literally three feet, while changing lanes at 75mph, trying to get around them. He passes a few slow trucks doing this but continues to tailgate and weave around in dense traffic.

I can either stay behind him and risk being caught in a pileup when he wrecks (not good); slow down to 55mph and cause a traffic hazard for the large pack behind me; or accelerate to 85+mph and pass him. He's still tailgating people, but it's reasonably clear for a little while. I use all of my 100 horsepower to gain sufficient passing speed (85-90 mph) that I won't be near him for long to be caught in one of his crazy maneuvers, pass him, and continue at 90 mph for a while to get away from this guy.

On open road like the Interstate, speed isn't what's dangerous; it's maneuvering at speed. Driving 90mph in a straight line for a little while is a lot safer than staying behind some nut who is one truck-retread-blow away from causing a serious accident, and in that circumstance slowing down wasn't an option due to all the people behind me.

Re:*sigh*... (1)

vux984 (928602) | more than 5 years ago | (#25281323)

"While there are a few situations I've been in where the ability to exceed 80 mph has been critical to safety (getting out from behind dangerous drivers on the freeway who are liable to cause a pileup, for instance), that's not the point."

I guess you drive in excess of 80 all the time. Because there is always another driver further up ahead liable to cause a pileup. And some of them don't even give an indication they are going to cause a pileup until they do... so you should pass those too, just in case. ;)

In fact you'll be safest if:

a) you are in front
b) nobody behind you is gaining on you

Good luck with that. :)

Do you have kids? (5, Insightful)

EmbeddedJanitor (597831) | more than 5 years ago | (#25281179)

Much, perhaps most, dangerous driving by kids is caused by trying to show off to their mates. Limit the speed and power and the vehicle to its baic transport function. No fun trying to do a burn out in a car that refuses to do it.

Re:Do you have kids? (4, Insightful)

Entropius (188861) | more than 5 years ago | (#25281315)

If you can't trust your kid to not try to show off to his mates in a dangerous fashion, don't let them have the damn car!

Re:Do you have kids? (1)

plasmacutter (901737) | more than 5 years ago | (#25281347)

Much, perhaps most, dangerous driving by kids is caused by trying to show off to their mates. Limit the speed and power and the vehicle to its baic transport function. No fun trying to do a burn out in a car that refuses to do it.

oh.. you mean buy them any honda.

Seriously, just don't let them drive dad's "mid life chrisis" z-28 and you have no trouble with that.

Of course, the fact that dangerous driving is just as prevalent among adults is completely ignored by hypocrites.

75% of accidents i avoided between the ages of 16 and 18 were men ages 20-35 being dickweeds and trying to muscle their way through traffic in big trucks and SUV's.

I've been: almost hit several dozen times while moving at under 5 MPH, almost hit several dozen times on my green arrow, tail gated from here to hell, almost run off the road 3 or 4 times while minding my own business.

Before you start accusing me of something or other for this account.. I was driving a '92 corolla DX. It literally couldn't go over 80, and was incapable of accelerating up hill.

Re:*sigh*... (1)

Jeanius (1369311) | more than 5 years ago | (#25281197)

I trust very few 16-18 y.o.'s with anything, let alone my car. But it isn't that I don't trust them to keep it below 80, there are very few places around LA other than the freeway where I'd be nervous they'd get into an accident. How much physical damage can be incurred just on city streets that happens well below 80, with traction control on, and the stereo blaring? I think it's a matter of them needing the car to drive for them, or learning to drive better, rather than limiting their top speed.

Re:*sigh*... (1)

chinakow (83588) | more than 5 years ago | (#25281283)

HAH, yes, driving faster is safer. I knew it, more energy means less danger in an accident, how could I have been soo stupid? Oh what's that? You are making excuses? I thought so, don't be so black and white about avoiding bad drivers. Stopping is a perfectly rational and even easier on the ol' processing center to boot. stop for a few minutes and when you proceed learn about following distances(can't stop on highways? slow down, I know you where speeding anyway, a 5mph delta isn't as bad as people seem to think.). Ever since I started restricting myself to a 2 second gap or MORE no matter what, I have felt much more at ease while driving. Yes I know someone will cut in front of you. Nobody ever mentions that they will also probably be going faster than you as well so that is a bit of a red herring, just ease off that pedal on the right, it works no matter what side of the car the steering wheel is on. What's that? you'll be later? You did plan ahead and leave time for traffic right? If not, that is not my fault and I don't see why you should be speeding and endangering me just because you can't plan ahead. I would say these things are, "common sense," but alas, no one seems to follow them so they are at least not, "common," ideas.

Re:*sigh*... (1)

Entropius (188861) | more than 5 years ago | (#25281357)

Mmm, troll.

Don't lecture me about physics, please; I (ABD in physics PhD program) know a little bit about it.

I do drive quite conservatively, especially when it comes to following distances; on the highway I usually leave something more like a five-second gap (yes, that big) when conditions allow.

Read my other post; in the one anecdote about speed being safe (which I specifically said wasn't the point, if you actually read the parent), the whole point of driving fast for a little while was *not* to endanger people (in my case, my passengers and myself). Slowing down wasn't an option either; someone driving 10-20mph below the traffic pattern in the middle of a large pack is *not* safe.

Defensive driving 101: on the highway, be where the other cars aren't.

Re: total trust or nothing (5, Insightful)

bornwaysouth (1138751) | more than 5 years ago | (#25281287)

You seem to live in a boolean universe. Parents sort of trust their kids to drive responsibly, but know it will vary with who else is in the car. It makes sense to loan a car that they cannot show off in, nor be *encouraged* to drive faster than they have competence. Also, distraction in the car is a problem is well. Slower means more time to react to a threat.

Stats show that males (prob females too these days) stabilize at safe driving only when over 25. Stupid to only allow them to borrow the car when that old. They need the socialization way before then. Slower accidents may cause injury, but are no where near as likely to be fatal.

As for needing to drive over 80. Yup, it is remotely possible that that might happen. They also would need a bottle of whiskey in the car to act as medicinal alcohol in case of accidents. Yeah, right.

Re:*sigh*... (1)

Neoprofin (871029) | more than 5 years ago | (#25281327)

It may sound nice, but the laws, insurance companies, and common sense in general disagree with your logic.

Re:*sigh*... (1)

Strange Ranger (454494) | more than 5 years ago | (#25281373)

If you're old enough to drive, you're old enough to take responsibility for the way you do it.

Either you were born an adult, or you completely forget being a teenager.

That said, limiting the speed limit and the radio is silly. Here's what the system needs to do:

-Jam cell phones whenever the vehicle is moving.
- Stall the engine and come to a slow stop when too many pheromones are detected or the phrase "Oooh aahhh oooohh" is uttered.
- Refuse to move when more than 8 people are jammed into it.
- Stall the engine and come to a slow stop when the phrase "Hey don't Bogart that" is uttered.
- Phone the police when full acceleration is used over a lawn.

Toss in a Breathalyzer ignition and I think we're done here. :)

Obligatory (1)

Oblong_Cheese (1002842) | more than 5 years ago | (#25281105)

Just wait until Ford start up a subscription plan that forces you to buy a new key every two years for "maintenance" reasons, with the unwanted result of not buying a new key being that it no longer starts your car. I could be serious, I could not be. It's a thought, anyway.

Someone tell the European (3, Interesting)

Max Romantschuk (132276) | more than 5 years ago | (#25281109)

In Finland, where I live, driving cars is for over 18 year olds only. While an 18-year-old is by no mean (emotionally) an adult, it's still a far cry from 16.

So, how does it work in the states? I understand 16-year-olds are allowed to drive under some circumstances?

Re:Someone tell the European (3, Informative)

TooMuchToDo (882796) | more than 5 years ago | (#25281137)

Almost any 16 year old can drive in the states if they take a driver's ed course, get their permit, rack some hours up with another licensed driver, and then take a test.

Re:Someone tell the European (2, Insightful)

Max Romantschuk (132276) | more than 5 years ago | (#25281157)

I find that scary. Then again I live in an area where public transport actually works, might be different in a country planned with the assumption that everyone has a car...

Re:Someone tell the European (2, Insightful)

TooMuchToDo (882796) | more than 5 years ago | (#25281217)

Those are the things you have to deal with when your country grows after the advent of the automobile, and not before. (You could also argue that the problem is both social and civic engineering in nature, but that's a topic for another occasion).

in north dakota... (1)

CaptainNerdCave (982411) | more than 5 years ago | (#25281203)

you can get a license at 14 by doing the things you listed. getting a license at 16 is even easier

Re:in north dakota... (2, Insightful)

TooMuchToDo (882796) | more than 5 years ago | (#25281371)

Depends on the state. In my state (Illinois), the minimum age is 16, although other states (low pop. density or heavy agricultural industry) have the age as low as 14.

Re:Someone tell the European (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25281145)

Depends on the state. Some states, 16 year olds have pretty much the same ability to drive as everyone else.

Re:Someone tell the European (3, Interesting)

Kazlor (1020030) | more than 5 years ago | (#25281153)

It differs depending on which state you live in. Some states allow for teenagers at 14 or 15 to get their learner's permit (which by law, you are required to have someone of a certain age (21 or 25, depending) in the vehicle with you while you drive). Others are at 16, but also require the permit. After a probationary period, or they turn 18, they can get their license. I'm not certain which states are which, I know California requires you to be 16. I know when I was that age, I was afraid to drive, and I didn't bother getting my license (never got a permit) until I had turned 18. But then, according to this topic, I was out of the norm.

Re:Someone tell the European (2, Insightful)

paro12 (142901) | more than 5 years ago | (#25281191)

It varies from state to state.

In some states you can get a jr. license at 16. This generally limits when you can be behind the wheel (usually from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m.) how many passengers you can have in your vehicle (sometimes only 1 or no other passengers under the age of 18) and mandates that if you get a moving violation you lose your license for a period of time automatically. Again, all of the above vary from state to state, and sometimes even city to city.

In other states you have to be 17 to get a license, and in some parts of the country (NYC for example) you must be 18 in order to obtain a license.

The bigger problem IMHO, is the requirements that are needed to get a license. I'm sure it has changed by now, but 10 years ago or so, to get a license in NJ, you never even had to take the car out into traffic. License tests were administered in coned parking lots. I'm sure there would be far fewer accidents with young people behind the wheel, if the testing to get a license was more stringent, and actually proved that you were a good driver.

Re:Someone tell the European (2, Informative)

Max Romantschuk (132276) | more than 5 years ago | (#25281313)

The bigger problem IMHO, is the requirements that are needed to get a license. I'm sure it has changed by now, but 10 years ago or so, to get a license in NJ, you never even had to take the car out into traffic. License tests were administered in coned parking lots. I'm sure there would be far fewer accidents with young people behind the wheel, if the testing to get a license was more stringent, and actually proved that you were a good driver.

That's very different from Finland. Here you have to be 18 to get your license, although you can start taking the required courses earlier. (I think I took the actual test on my birthday actually.)

But it's like 20 hours of driving with a professional instructor here, and about as much of theory lessons. The driving lessons also include driving in the dark (nighttime lesson) and driving on slippery surfaces (winters here). Finally there's an actual independent test, which if failed leads to more mandatory lessons.

And I still think most 18-year-olds behind the wheel are a huge risk, myself at that age included. Then again you have to start sometime... :)

Re:Someone tell the European (1)

plasmacutter (901737) | more than 5 years ago | (#25281193)

Under all circumstances. There are minor restrictions, which are more or less unenforceable, in some conservative states.

You must understand it's necessary here.

The "corner store" is a 10 minute drive where I live.

Public transit is a joke because of how sprawled the suburbs are.

Until the government introduces policies to get rid of the mcmansions and reign the cities back into actual metropolitan areas (fat chance), it will continue to be this way.

Re:Someone tell the European (1)

postermmxvicom (1130737) | more than 5 years ago | (#25281207)

Every 16 year old could drive.

However, many 15 year olds can drive (on a learners permit w/ an adult).

And I believe 14 year olds (maybe younger) can drive without a license and without supervision on public roads under certain circumstances if the car has farm use plates.

But the laws vary from state to state.

Re:Someone tell the European (1)

thesandbender (911391) | more than 5 years ago | (#25281305)

Actually... many states in the US do not allow a full license until your 18. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Driver's_license_in_the_United_States [wikipedia.org]. However, the definition of "Full License" varies from state to state. As one of the posts below this pointed out... there are many states where driving is pretty much a necessity (Alaska, Montana, the Dakotas, west Texas, etc.). At it's widest my grandfather's ranch was about 30 miles across... and if we had to bring cattle back we weren't dragging them behind a horse. However, we weren't driving on a public road either.

Re:Someone tell the European (1)

Macman408 (1308925) | more than 5 years ago | (#25281329)

It varies by state. Where I live (Wisconsin), you can get a learner's permit at 15.5 years old (meaning you can drive only with an adult), and a license at 16. However, this requires having a sponsor (usually a parent) and taking a drivers' education class - at 18, those requirements are removed. Also, after I got my license, they started a "graduated licensing" system, where a new teen driver doesn't have complete driving privileges: specifically, they can't drive between midnight and 5 AM (except between home, school, and work), and they can only have one passenger in the car (excluding family or responsible adults).

It seems to work, for the most part - and you can bet there are a lot of relieved parents who no longer have to worry about driving their kids to school activities. My mom was thankful when I got my license, because my dad no longer had the opportunity to work on Saturdays while I was playing in a youth orchestra. My dad was not so happy, as it meant that he had to do yardwork and similar chores.

So you are stuck with the crap build in stereo als (1)

Joe The Dragon (967727) | more than 5 years ago | (#25281139)

So you are stuck with the crap build in stereo also kids like to put in there own amps so the sound limit may not work that well then.

Re:So you are stuck with the crap build in stereo (5, Funny)

inzy (1095415) | more than 5 years ago | (#25281175)

Apparently, spelling and grammar help readers understand what others are writing.

Re:So you are stuck with the crap build in stereo (3, Informative)

vux984 (928602) | more than 5 years ago | (#25281369)

So you are stuck with the crap build in stereo also kids like to put in there own amps so the sound limit may not work that well then.

This would be used to limit their (mis)use of YOUR car. One would presume that if they are installing stereos and amps, its their car, and if its their car, they'll own the 'adult' keys for it anyway.

nice ...theatre (2)

Shadukar (102027) | more than 5 years ago | (#25281147)

Anyone else get the feeling that this is a really cheap/pointless marketing BS that isn't actually meant to really accomplish anything ?

80miles per hour is plenty fast to kill a lot of people... yup, awesome safety feature right there. Wait, let's go for double the safety, 40miles per hour...hrm, can still kill plenty of people ...and you're prolly endangering others by driving too slow in areas where you're supposed to drive fast.

so pretty much ...pointless/useless equivalent of "security theater" ?

But wait, let's look at it from the direction this system oppresses kids/curtails their "freedoms" instead. Yeah, stick it to the man! (mum) fucking nazis making you do the dishes and not let you drive over 80.

Not such a good idea... (4, Insightful)

uber-human (842562) | more than 5 years ago | (#25281163)

Why haven't people realized that this kind of thing isn't compatible with the way teenagers think? When you restrict them like this, you're basically telling them that they aren't trusted. I don't care whether or not that's true, but that's how it will be interpreted by them. They're going to push against the restrictions, especially when so many of their friends don't have to put up with the same limitations. This is no substitute for teaching teens to be responsible drivers. Letting them know that you trust them and allowing them to use their own judgment is a huge step towards them becoming more mature and responsible. Chances are they'll probably have more respect for their parents and the vehicle itself. But yeah, if they screw that trust over this seems like a pretty good punishment. I just hope no parents enable these features on their poor children by default.

Re:Not such a good idea... (1)

courseofhumanevents (1168415) | more than 5 years ago | (#25281257)

So? It's sending them the message that they aren't trusted because they aren't trusted. If they were trusted, there would be no reason to use this.

parents are hypocrites....ford are fools (4, Insightful)

inzy (1095415) | more than 5 years ago | (#25281167)

so, why do the parents need to drive over 80, turn off traction control, and turn the stereo up to 11? they all seem like pretty bad ideas whoever is driving the car?

Re:parents are hypocrites....ford are fools (1)

Neoprofin (871029) | more than 5 years ago | (#25281375)

Because turning off traction control to do donuts is essential to freedom/safety.

I have to agree, I'd say I'm more reckless than 95% of people I've ever met, but I've never seen so many whining replies to an optional feature. There is no right to driving fast, driving stupid, or demanding that your parents let you. Don't like it? Don't buy it/use it. Period.

Just as effective... (5, Insightful)

jonesy2k (934862) | more than 5 years ago | (#25281177)

Would be a car that logged exactly where it went and at what speed, automatically uploading it to a PC in your house. I don't think kids would be anywhere near as reckless knowing that their parents would see exactly how they'd been driving.

Re:Just as effective... (2, Interesting)

TooMuchToDo (882796) | more than 5 years ago | (#25281229)

Already done. You can get modules that plug into the OBDII port (or CANBUS on the latest cars) that record every piece of info every couple of seconds, after which it can be uploaded via USB.

Is 80 even legal? (4, Interesting)

pembo13 (770295) | more than 5 years ago | (#25281201)

Is 80 MPH legal anywhere in the USA?

Re:Is 80 even legal? (4, Informative)

mrbrown1602 (536940) | more than 5 years ago | (#25281301)

Yes - West Texas, along portions of Interstates 10 [wikipedia.org] and 20 [wikipedia.org]. Check the I-10 wikipedia page for a picture of the sign...

Re:Is 80 even legal? (1)

Neoprofin (871029) | more than 5 years ago | (#25281343)

I've seen plenty of 75s in Montana, Wyoming, Utah, and Colorado. I want to say I may have seen an 80 somewhere in there, otherwise that 110 was worse than I thought.

80??? Not much of a limit. (3, Insightful)

dangitman (862676) | more than 5 years ago | (#25281239)

I don't see how limiting speed to 80 is very useful at all. That's already extremely fast. For you metric folk:

80 miles per hour = 128.74752 kilometers per hour

Not only that, but some of the most dangerous driving happens in much slower speed zones, for example residential areas, or around schools. How is this going to stop drivers from ploughing over children at 40 mph?

Re:80??? Not much of a limit. (1)

Bitsy Boffin (110334) | more than 5 years ago | (#25281359)

80 miles per hour = 128.74752 kilometers per hour

That's 28.74752 km/h faster than the fastest speed limit in New Zealand, if you got seen by the police doing that speed around here, even when overtaking, you're gonna be nicked quick smart.

I can't believe the number of people in this discussion saying "but what if they need to go faster to avoid an accident".

Damn, faster than that on typical public highways and you are an accident waiting to happen.

GM already did that (5, Funny)

kimvette (919543) | more than 5 years ago | (#25281241)

GM already did that in a car where cutting back the car's performance makes a difference - a
"valet" key limited the 1990-1995 ZR-1 Corvette to 225bhp or so, by shutting off the secondary intake runners and secondary fuel injectors.

Who's going to notice the difference in a Ford Focus? Limited power or not, 0 to 60 still takes about eight weeks. Traction control? Can a Focus actually break traction on dry ground?

Dear Ford (1)

oldhack (1037484) | more than 5 years ago | (#25281245)

It's nice that you improved the valet key, but you'll need to do better than that to win back your old customers. Keep'em up, though.

This isn't entirely new (1)

Goonie (8651) | more than 5 years ago | (#25281247)

I remember reading articles about Chevrolet Corvettes with a similar feature back in the 1990s.

I'm a little bit torn in this case about the merits of the idea. In principle, I sympathise with the idea that if you can't trust kids to drive responsibly, you can't trust them to drive. In practice, being out late at night with friends can turn otherwise sensible teenagers into wannabe street racers.

...especially if you get a break on your insurance (3, Insightful)

Hans Lehmann (571625) | more than 5 years ago | (#25281253)

Initially you'll get a break on you auto insurance if you opt in to this feature. After a little while, of course, you'll pay an additional fee if you *don't* take this feature. After all, only reckless drivers wouldn't want to be limited in their maximum speed, right? Once enough car owners "opt-in" to this feature, it will become mandatory in all cars sold in the USA, along with your mileage tracking GPS black-box, which was also sold in the beginning as something that would give you a break on your insurance, or "for the children", or some other B.S.

Tell me something. With all the safety features that have been added to cars in the last 30 years or so, from seat belts to air bags, all peddled as something that would keep our insurance rates from going up, how come everyone's auto insurance keeps going up, *never* down.

Re:...especially if you get a break on your insura (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25281377)

In constant dollars it's actually not that expensive anyway... would you agree to work today for what you would have made 30 years ago.

I can remember buying gas in 1970 at 35 cents a gallon, but only making 75 cents an hour. And a gallon of gas only got me maybe 8 miles or so in a car that needed to be tuned up at least twice a year (for winter vs. summer) etc. And was worn out after 50-100 thousand miles.

FORD SUCKS! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25281279)

FORD(Found On Road DEAD)

but the 2008 F-450 is already governed to ~84 mph (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25281293)

my 2008 Ford F-450 is not only detuned from the regular F-250/F-350 pickups but also governed at ~84 mph, and even has an OBD-II code for speed exceeded! The underlying limitation is actually the load-rated tires which can only handle 87 mph at capacity.

Full Disclaimer: I tow heavy and actually *need* the F-450's capacity, though I hate the new regenerations found on all the new diesel pickups.

Slashdot new beta index problems! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25281297)

I'm noticing the following issues using the new beta index:

1. (Not really a bug, unless one is prone to seizures) When you click the links to get a previous day's stories, the page begins wildly flickering up and down as the stories are removed and then added back. Once all the stories are back, everything is fine, but you have to sit through 5-10 seconds of spazzing out before it resets.

2. Click on yesterday's stories, and take notice of the stories that appear on the page. Now click a link to go to one of the stories. Click the back button - you're now back to the home page with the current day's stories loaded!

Anybody else having these problems? This is on FF 3.0.3.

-Posted anon to avoid the karma burn in case this is modded down

That is the American way ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25281311)

I love it ...

I like how American parents push their responsibility on to everyone else. Maybe Ford will start out in Pittsburgh where students are always half.

http://idle.slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=08/09/23/1528259

Maybe the plate number could be added to the key ... so they know what car is theirs

80? God help them. (1)

The Master Control P (655590) | more than 5 years ago | (#25281333)

I routinely did 85 on hwy-170 in Los Angeles and I was in the bloody slow lane. I5? Shit, parts of that do 90 (or 95+ in the Imperial Valley parts that pass cow farms).

God help any kids who get this and then get on the highway.

Hey, Fuck You. (0, Flamebait)

dcollins (135727) | more than 5 years ago | (#25281345)

"It's targeted at parents of teenagers and seems like a generally good idea, especially if you get a break on your insurance."

It's a terrible idea. Teenagers need to be practicing setting their own responsibilities and limits. The more they're "protected" the less time they have to learn to be self-reliant.

Seriously, traditional societies recognize adulthood at, like 13. That's when you're physically mature. The more you fight that physical maturity vs. 2nd-class-citizenhood, the more fucked-up and schizophrenic people will become.

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