Parenting and stress are as inseparable as teens and texting.
Chevy is trying to minimize what one online poll calls a parent’s biggest worry: teens driving.
The General Motors Co. brand will expand the automaker’s Teen Driver technology to 10 2017 Chevrolet vehicles, including the Bolt EV, Camaro, Colorado midsize pickup, Cruze, Malibu, Silverado and Silverado HD pickups, Suburban, Tahoe and Volt.
Teen Driver debuted on the 2016 Malibu. In addition to Chevy, GM has expanded to offer Teen Driver on several Buick, GMC and Cadillac vehicles. More than 20 GM vehicles will have the technology for the 2017 model year.
Activated by the key fob, the Teen Driver technology can let parents limit the maximum volume on the radio and can give audible and visual warnings when the car is traveling faster than the pre-approved speed set by the parent. Safety features such as stability control and lane-departure warnings cannot be disabled. If front seat belts aren’t being used, then the audio won’t work. (We wish the car wouldn’t work for all drivers and front-seat passengers without seat belts.)
“Chevrolet developed this system as a tool that can give teens some additional coaching as they’re gaining experience,” Chevy safety engineer MaryAnn Beebe said in a statement. “Driving on your own is a big milestone for teens, and Teen Driver helps to remind them to practice safe driving.”
Teen Driver provides a report card showing how the teen drove for parents to help coach (or punish) the teen on safe driving habits. The report card can show distance traveled, maximum speed reached, anti-lock braking events, tailgating alerts and “wide-open throttle events.” If equipped with the technology, Teen Driver will also tell if the car had any forward collision alerts and forward collision braking events.
The system allows parents to view the car’s display to see how their teen drove the car.
It’s a tough time to be a teen. All this info would have prohibited most, if not all, of my peers from the family truckster.
Other automakers have teen monitoring systems, including Ford MyKey, Hyundai Blue Link, Kia Uvo, and Mercedes-Benz mbrace, though Chevy’s is the most comprehensive. Some insurance companies offer similar programs and good driving can lead to discounts.
The Teen Driver expansion comes in the wake of a small online survey of 638 parents with teens, where 55 percent said the biggest worry is their teen driving without supervision, followed closely by academics (53 percent), drug and alcohol use (52 percent) and sexual activity (49 percent).
There was no corresponding poll asking teens if they worried about mom and dad becoming Big Brother.
Detroit News Staff Writer Melissa Burden contributed.