Andrew Sarkisian says he finds inspiration in other people's lives, but raising two teenage girls may be more inspiration than he's willing to admit.
Sarkisian, safety manager at Ford Motor, is considered the father of MyKey, a new technology to help parents control some of their teen drivers' behaviors. Ford is rolling it out on several models this year.
MyKey lets parents configure one key as the teen's. When
the car is started with MyKey, top speed can be limited to 80 mph, and
chimes can be set to sound at 45 mph, 55 mph and 65 mph.
Seat belt use is encouraged in two ways: If the driver and passenger don't put on their belts, a chime sounds until they do. Possibly more important to teens: The audio system won't turn on until the front two passengers are buckled up.
It can also max out the audio at half volume (which is still plenty loud), keep track of the young driver's mileage and provide earlier low-fuel warnings than standard.
MyKey will become standard on most Ford (F) models; it's available now on a dozen, including Taurus, Focus and Escape SUV.