Testing GM’s Teen Driver System: Like a Toddler Leash, however for brand new Drivers [Video]
“Dad, I’m going to projectile vomit,” I hear my 15-year-old daughter, Noa, say via the passenger seat.
As I bend This specific 2017 Chevrolet Malibu into the back chicane on M1 Concourse’s 1.5-mile road course, in what I’m sure is usually a meaningful demonstration of cornering technique, I think to myself: How would likely she know what kind of vomiting she’d be doing?
in addition to as I get out in addition to give her the keys, I also think: Aren’t I the one who’s supposed to be nervous?
Aside via watching your daughter get on the back of a Harley Road King that has a guy named Dallas, there’s little more petrifying to parents than handing over the automobile keys. Actually, a Harris Poll that will Chevy conducted in 2016 revealed that will driving unsupervised is usually parents of teens’ greatest worry. This specific’s a bigger concern than academic performance, drug in addition to alcohol use, or even sex with guys named Dallas.
GM has devised a way to relieve some of that will anxiety. This specific’s called Teen Driver, in addition to the system became available on most Chevrolet types for 2017 (This specific’s still not available on Corvette or Equinox). We are here on This specific bright winter morning, as mutually freaked-out father in addition to daughter, to check This specific out.
A sort of go-everywhere monitor for those wet behind the wheel, Teen Driver is usually a trick bit of software programming that will does three things, according to General Motors’ Fred Huntzicker: First, This specific sets boundaries around some of the automobile’s capabilities, muting, for example, the audio system until both front occupants have clicked their seatbelts. The system also allows parents to set speed warnings, limit audio volume, in addition to set an 85-mph top speed. Second, Teen Driver automatically sets all safety features to their least forgiving settings in addition to makes them undefeatable—the young rascals can’t turn off stability control, traction control, or automatic lighting. Third in addition to most essential, the system issues a report card that will measures distance driven plus how many times the driver uses wide-open throttle, trips the speed warning, triggers forward-collision alerts, activates traction or stability control, tailgates another vehicle, in addition to more. Basically, all the things that will you, as a parent, stay up late about.
Ford carries a similar feature-limiting system called MyKey, however This specific doesn’t offer the crucial report card, meaning you can’t shove anything in your kid’s face in addition to say, “SEE?!?!?” Like Ford’s system, which is usually standard on most types, GM’s Teen Driver is usually built into all of its latest-generation infotainment systems (MyLink, IntelliLink, in addition to CUE); This specific’s not part of some expensive safety package.
To activate This specific, go to the main screen menu, select the Teen Driver tab, in addition to set your PIN. The PIN allows you to manage settings in addition to access the report card. Then register your teen’s key by placing This specific in a nook inside the armrest cubby. Simple. The system is usually on whenever the automobile detects that will This specific’s been started off with the Teen key, in addition to the report card only collects data when that will key is usually used. (A notable companion system to Teen Driver is usually what GM calls OnStar Family Link. This specific tracks the automobile’s location with NSA-levels of tradecraft, in addition to This specific can issue emails about the state in addition to location of a given vehicle.)
Noa drove first. I opted for the 85-mph speed limiter, figuring she’d come up against that will on the track’s first corner. To my amazement, she not only never hit the limiter, she never even set off the speed warning I’d set at just 40 mph. (Her top speed was a lame however precise 39.8 mph.) Moreover, she actually followed my instruction as I showed her the racing line. Only 17 or so times did she turn to me in addition to say, “Dad—will you stop talking?” Her report card was an unqualified A+: No WOT, no avoidance braking, no exciting of the automobile’s traction or stability controls. “So,” I asked her, “you’re trying to embarrass me?”
I fared much, much worse. I’d give myself a D- in addition to not an F on Teen Driver only because I never put all four wheels off. however I definitely had the system dinging in addition to ringing in addition to tallying up the offenses like an accountant on tax day. I could swear I saw a faint plume of smoke issuing via the MyLink screen. “in addition to that will,” I told her, “is usually how you should never drive.” Man, that will’s some Dad of the Year material right there.
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Noa didn’t truly agree with my self-assessment, however she did feel that will the system performed its duty. “I was more aware of what I was doing when I was driving,” she said, which is usually the whole point. “I was truly trying to pay attention to the gas in addition to brakes. in addition to even when the system dinged, This specific wasn’t annoying. Unlike you.”