Wednesday, 7 September 2011

Ford: thinking of the cheeeeldren

I was somewhat less than amused to see that Ford has introduced nanny-state cars:

The US motoring company announced that it was extending a concept called MyKey to its European models from next year. The system allows owners to programme a particular key with limitations for the vehicle, including a maximum speed and even a cap on the audio system's volume.

Already standard on most US Ford models, the technology allows a series of options designed to make teenage motoring as safe – or, depending on your perspective, as irritating – as parents choose.

The maximum speed can be set at an already-illegal 80mph, with the option of warning chimes at 45, 55 or 65mph. Another feature means the system that curbs tyre spin cannot be deactivated. Seatbelt reminders can be set to be more regular and insistent than usual, with the radio set on silent till the deed is done.

Seriously. It's a good thing I don't fucking buy Fords, but really? I would just fucking "lose" my key and have to borrow my dad's. The whole fucking thing smacks of lunatic cotton-wool-wrapping gone totally fucking bonkers.

As if that wasn't enough:

In a slightly more nannyish vein, the warning about low fuel can be made to sound sooner, while there is an option to bar deactivation of electronic parking assistance and blind spot detection systems.

"In a slightly more nannyish vein"??? How is that more fucking nannyish than limiting speed or hifi volume, for fuck's sake?

How fucking long will it be before the government gets to dictate what parts of the car we can and can't control any more.

Of course, it's no surprise that this useless bunch of turd-burgling fuckmonkeys are happy turn motorists even more ovine than they already are, they've got a long tradition of cosying up to bullying fucks who "know better".

I'm sure BRAKE are masturbating themselves into a coma over this mongstrosity.


Anonymous said...

Ignoring all the slippery slope bullshit, I like it.

If my kid wants to borrow my car, or have me pay for it, they will put up with my bullshit.

Otherwise GTFO and get your own place/car, fucking children.

edsel said...

sometimes the speed limit has to be broken.One day a kid is going to be killed because he couldnt get out of trouble in a timely manner.

Richard said...

"How fucking long will it be before the government gets to dictate what parts of the car we can and can't control any more."

It's already under way for motorcyclists. Legislation in the pipeline in the EU will make it a criminal offence to alter anything about the bike that will affect performance or emissions. Type Approval will mean that even replacing the indicators with non-standard items will be an offence. Bye-bye aftermarket exhausts and any kind of home tinkering - you will have the approved product or nothing. compulsory ABS, compulsory high-viz clothing - it's already started in France.

Most will say that's OK, because it's only bikes - but car drivers, you're next. They won't be happy until they control every aspect of our lives.

Vladimir said...

I must say, I have trouble squaring this with your previously-stated anarcho-capitalist views.

Firstly, this isn't government-mandated, or government advised, or taxpayer funded. Who are you -- who is anyone -- to say what a private business such as Ford should or should not be making?

Secondly, isn't it the right of a car owner to decide how the car can be used? Doesn't Ford's invention simply allow the car owner to do that?

MrAngry61 said...

If parents really care that much about their offspring driving their precious car, buy the little bastards a £650 banger and let them try to get the thing to exceed 50MPH or the radio working at all.

In any event, everyone I know (including myself) had a knock or two in the first car that they drove, so better that it's a shit-heap to start with rather than their Daddy's pride and joy.

Finally, I accept that the state may decide to preset certain MyKey functions in the name of elfnsafety, but the option of earlier low fuel warning sounds useful. I'm driven to distraction by a relative who only notices that her car's low on petrol when it starts stuttering, and doesn't even know the fucking fuel type that the cars takes. Those people need all the help that MyKey can provide.

MrAngry61 said...


How fucking long will it be before the government gets to dictate what parts of the car we can and can't control any more.

Dunno about the government, but a friend lives in Canada, and it's apparently common for the bonnet/hood to be inaccessible to the driver, and only 'serviceable' by garages. Not that I know much about what goes on under the bonnet of my car, but at least I'd like to see it...

Andrew said...

"How fucking long will it be before the government gets to dictate what parts of the car we can and can't control any more."

There is no need for the government to do that, you just won't be able to get insurance for an under 25 year old driver unless they are using a system like this. And a tracking device, and anything else that is "offered." The alternative is a £17000 premium, or such.

Obnoxio The Clown said...

Vladimir, when you look at the OnStar stuff and how it allows the government to view your movements, it seems like a remarkably dangerous development.

Vladimir said...

But you don't have to buy a car with OnStar, and even if you do, OnStar only works if you pay its subscription fees.

Isn't this the free market? Customer decides if something is worth the cost?

Obnoxio The Clown said...

As far as I know, the US govt can access OnStar vehicle movements even if the service isn't paid for.

I do stand under correction on this, though.

Richard Allan said...

Why do people like Vladimir think that "You can't be locked up for choosing what to do with your private property" is equivalent to "No-one's choices can be criticised, ever"?

Vladimir said...

Seems to me that Ford's choices are being criticised on the grounds of nanny statism, which is ironic given the source.

Considering that Ford is a corporation, not a state. And the choices just allow a property owner more control over his property. And they are offered on the free market, not forced on people. I'd think an Ancap would be keen on this.

Are we saying here that Ford should be regulated by some sort of authority to prevent it making bad choices? Even if those choices are popular with customers? Are there some powers that shouldn't be available to property owners for the greater good? Should there be "checks and balances" from an authority able to intervene on behalf of "the people"? Is that it? You see, it doesn't add up.

Obnoxio The Clown said...

"Are we saying here that Ford should be regulated by some sort of authority to prevent it making bad choices?"

No, what I'm saying is that Ford is not focusing (!) on making better cars, but instead presenting itself as an implementer of regulation.

It will not go unnoticed by those who like regulation, I can assure you.

Anonymous said...

Sounds like an expensive system. What's the extra cost of that?

Most folks can't even programme a microwave or a vcr so it'll be fun to read of the scrapes that mongs get into with this. Watch Ford getting sued for extortion, or suchlike.

My other half has a newish Yank car and its obvious from the numerous safety features and unsightly signs that it comes from a land where 5-year olds drive. You want to reduce accident rates? Replace the fucking airbag with a steel spike sticking out the steering wheel. Easy and cheap!

Buy a classic. No nanny overseer. No 'devices'. Privacy. No road tax. Doesn't require a degree in advanced interstellar physics to fix. And you can fit whatever the fuck radio and attachments you want to it. Did I mention cheaper classic car insurance too?