Ford adds parental controls "as standard", denies mind control

In a further attempt to engineer some dark Orwellian future, American car-makers are now attempting to subvert natural selection.

New US research has suggested that if people drive like maniacs, they're more likely to die. Instead of allowing the gene pool to advance by letting them, Ford will begin building cars with parental controls.

Ford will introduce the MyKey system on some US makes of car on sale in 2010, the first of which will be the Ford Focus, although the system will in time become a standard feature.

The main element of MyKey is to limit the top speed to 80mph, though parents can decide if warning tones should sound if a car goes faster than 45, 55 or 65 mph. It can also limit the volume of music and annoy the living hell out of all concerned if seatbelts aren't worn. Yet the car still won't fly, dammit. Come on Ford, that's the real future. And jetpacks.

"Research we've done has shown that speeding is a major factor in teen crashes, especially novice teen drivers," said Anne McCartt, senior vice president for research at the US Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.

"Also, water is wet and you should never set fire to your own hands."

No, she didn't say that last bit, but talk about stating the bleeding obvious.

So how far should car manufacturers go, exactly? Fit speed limiters to every car? Should signal dampeners be used to prevent mobile phone use once the engine starts?

What about people who drive to the shops in their slippers? Should they lose a finger? Should the sleep-deprived be given random electrical shocks to stay alert? How about a blanket driving ban on anybody with their own name tattooed on their neck?

Actually that last one seems pretty sensible.

Photo by cRckis on Flickr. Some rights reserved.

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