Aimed at parents worried about hand over the keys to a teenager, Ford has added MyKey technology to block incoming phone calls and deter text messages while teens are behind the wheel.
The Do Not Disturb feature, which is available on all 2011 vehicles featuring SYNC with MyFord Touch, will now be available as a feature parents can control through MyKey, beginning with the new Explorer in early 2012.
When hooked up to SYNC, this new feature blocks incoming phone calls or text messages from a Bluetooth-paired mobile phone, diverting calls into voicemail and saving text messages on the device for viewing later.
But unlike turning the phone off, drivers can still make voice-activated outgoing phone calls and the SYNC 911 Assist feature can make a call in case of emergency.
The MyKey system allows parents to program any key through the vehicle message center. Along with the added Do Not Disturb feature, MyKey includes a top speed of 65, 70, 75or 80mph. It has a "no belts, no tunes" feature that mutes the audio system until the front occupants buckle up. It can also block satellite radio channels carrying adult programming, while the volume control can be limited to 44 percent of maximum output. It's also possible to make it impossible to deactivate the traction control system and trigger an early low-fuel warning beginning at 75 miles until empty.