General Motors Co. (GM) has announced that they’ll be debuting a new system that promotes safe driving for teens on its 2016 Chevy Malibu called Teen Driver. The new system has a number of features that should satisfy parents and the concern of their teen being behind the wheel.
Teen Driver has of number of safety features for drivers including muting the radio when front seat passengers haven’t buckled up. What seems to really interest parents in Teen Driver is its report card function, which gives parents a nice report of their teen’s trip. This function can tell parents the distance the car was driven, its maximum speed during the trip, the number of speed warnings, stability control events and antilock brake events. If equipped with the right technology, the system can even tell if the car had any forward collision alerts and forward collision braking events. With this system, teens also get an audible and visual warning if they drive over pre-set speeds by parents. Another interesting feature, is the radio volume can be set to a lower level that can’t be exceeded.
GM says its Teen Driver system is a first in the auto industry that can let parents view on the car’s display how their teen drove the car. “We developed this system so parents could use it as a teaching tool with their kids – they can discuss and reinforce safe driving habits,” said GM safety engineer MaryAnn Beebe.
As it turns out, GM isn’t the only one with a system tailored to parents who want to make sure their teen is driving safely. Since 2008, Ford Motor Co. has had something similar called Ford MyKey. This feature does a number of things such as muting the radio when the diver or passengers aren’t wearing a seatbelt. Its controls can limit radio volume and speed, and something pretty cool – a “do not disturb” feature which lets parents block incoming phone calls and hold texts messages on a synced phone while teens are driving.
Some insurance companies offer similar programs that utilize GPS or other devices to monitor teens’ driving; and for some, good habits may be used for insurance discounts.
Given that car crashes are the leading cause of death for ages 5-18 in the U.S., GM’s new Teen Driver system is one more safety mechanism that is of great value to parents. Teen Driver will be standard on the Premier trim model and optional on LT models with GM’s convenience package and up-level radio. According to the NADA, the 2016 Malibu will be unveiled in early April at the New York International Auto Show. To view the full article, click here.