Can Technology Really Correct Bad Driving in Teenagers

It’s easy to become distracted while driving due to loud music, phones and other passengers. While distracted, it is easy to forget to wear a seatbelt and watch speed, especially when safety features are deactivated. It has come to a point where teenage driving habits need to be documented or restricted.

Chevrolet has announced that it will offer parents a creepy level of oversight when it comes to letting the kids borrow the family ride, and the NSA-style spying begins with the 2016 Malibu. A system dubbed Teen Driver will debut on the bow-tie brand’s newest mid-size sedan (which itself bows at the 2015 New York auto show). It allows parents to set speed alerts, limit audio volume, and even receive vehicle reports “so parents could use it as a teaching tool with their kids—they can discuss and reinforce safe driving habits.” Um, who’s ever heard of a productive, teachable conversation with a teenager?

Anyway, like Ford’s MyKey system (both current and future), Teen Driver lets parents with a Jason Bourne complex program speed warnings that flash when their child exceeds a preset velocity (from 40 to 75 mph) and set sound-system volume limits. Parents can also pull customizable reports full of juicy stuff, such as distance driven, top speed achieved, preset-speed warnings exceeded, stability-control events, anti-lock brake events, and forward-collision alerts and auto-braking events—on vehicles equipped with those systems.

Wily teens might just shut off stability control, traction control, and the like, but a PIN-protected menu enables parents to dictate just what features can or cannot be deactivated. In that way, control over the activation status of stability control, parking sensors, blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert, forward-collision warning, automatic braking, daytime running lights, and traction control can all be wrested from your little speed junkie.

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