Chevrolet today said it is expanding its Teen Driver technology this fall to nine nameplates, covering 64 percent of the brand’s sales.
The technology, which debuted on the 2016 Malibu sedan, mutes the audio system until front-seat occupants buckle their safety belts, warns the driver when exceeding a preset speed and allows parents to set a maximum audio volume. It also prevents disabling active-safety features such as lane-departure warning and gives parents a report card showing how the vehicle was driven.
It will be included on the 2017 Bolt, Camaro, Colorado, Cruze, Malibu, Silverado, Suburban, Tahoe and Volt. The service is free for the life of the vehicle.
“Chevrolet developed this system as a tool that can give teens some additional coaching as they’re gaining experience,” MaryAnn Beebe, a Chevy safety engineer,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. And for parents, it’s easier to give guidance to your teen when you have some information on what they’re doing behind the wheel.”
Chevy says it is the first in the industry with vehicle-generated report cards about teens’ driving habits, but other automakers give parents the ability to set limits and encourage safer driving. Ford Motor Co., with MyKey, and Kia, through its UVO system, are also among those offering such features for free.
To use Chevy’s Teen Driver feature, parents register their teen’s key fob in the vehicle’s system settings. Parents then can limit the vehicle’s speed, configure an audio volume limit and receive report cards that track information, including instances of antilock braking, collision alerts and wide-open throttle.
Chevy said each of the nameplates with Teen Driver also offers Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility to discourage use of handheld phones while driving.
A Harris Poll online survey commissioned by Chevy in June found that 55 percent of parents with teens worry about driving, compared with 53 percent who worry about academic performance, 52 percent who worry about drugs and alcohol, and 49 percent who worry about sexual activity.