The new Fiesta will debut Ford's MyKey technology when it is launched in South Africa early in 2013.
The smart technology enables parents to place restrictions on younger drivers in order to promote safety. MyKey technology enables owners to programme a key — usually for younger drivers — that restricts the top speed of the Fiesta, reduces the maximum volume of the audio system, and even disables the audio system altogether if driver and passengers are not using their safety belts.
It can also prevent the driver from deactivating safety technologies such as ESP (Electronic Stability Programme), which can help mitigate or prevent collisions.
"Parents will love MyKey," says Ford Marketing Manager Gavin Golightly. "It's a tool that will allow them to reduce their childrens' exposure to risk at the wheel. Conversely young drivers may initially be sceptical but when they learn that it may ultimately improve the chances of their parents allowing them to drive in the first place, they too are likely to see the benefits."
The MyKey system forms part of the new Fiesta's safety and driver assistance package that also includes Ford's Intelligent Protection System with seven airbags.
MyKey works by recognising different keys for the same car and then adjusting the vehicle settings according to the owner's requirements. It also enables owners to programme chimes to sound at set points between 70km/h and 140km/h, prevents seatbelt reminders from being disabled and delivers an earlier low-fuel warning.
The new Fiesta goes on sale locally in the new year and will offer a host of technologies, including Ford's voice-activated in-car connectivity system SYNC. It will also be equipped with the acclaimed 1.0-litre EcoBoost petrol engine offering the kind of fuel economy normally associated with small-engined vehicles while simultaneously delivering the performance of a larger displacement engine.