Handing over the car keys to teen drivers always sends chills running down the spine of parents. Car manufacturers have technology that gives some measure of mitigation to those spine tingling fears. Among the automakers that provide a high technology solution are General Motors, Ford and Hyundai.
General Motors On Star System Family Link
Family Link is an optional add on service to the On Star System. It allows parents to log into the On Star system and using the Family Link they can see exactly where their teen drivers are. In addition, parents can have the system email them or text them the car’s location at set intervals. The cost of the service is $3.99 per month, but you must also have an On Star subscription.
Ford MyKey System
The Ford system is not as passive as General Motor’s On Star system. According to Ford promotional material MyKey: “keeps an eye on teenage drivers when you’re not there.”
Actually the system does more than keep an eye on drivers. Encoded on the teen driver’s car key are settings that limit car speed and the volume the audio system can be played at. Parents also have the ability to block objectionable (explicit) satellite radio stations, set the system so that it chimes forever unless seatbelts are used; the system also features the ability to prevent Active Park Assist, blind spot warning and traction control systems from being turned off.
There is no charge for the MyKey system from Ford.
Hyundai Blue Link
Hyundai Blue Link Essentials system is available on all Hyundai models. With this two way communication system parents can set a “Geo-fence” that defines the geographic boundaries within which the car can be driven. If the teen driver leaves the designated area parents are notified by text message or email or an automated phone call. In addition, parents can set a curfew time. It the car is driven after curfew they are notified in the same manner. In addition, the system can set speed limits –exceed them and the car rats the teen driver out to parents by the methods above.
The Hyundai Blue Link system costs $179 per year,
The least intrusive system is the On Star system from GM, Hyundai makes the most active system. The Ford MyKey system is key specific so it is always on.
While parents may feel some measure of relief through their technological connection to their teen drivers. However, it is almost certain that teens are going to feel that their limited rights are being infringed. Your car, your rules, be vigilant in using your system to keep an eye on that teen you love and worry about.