A recent Harris Poll survey commissioned by Chevrolet found that the daners of unsupervised teen driving it the top concern of parents, with 55-percent of the respondents identifying it as their biggest fear. The survey of 638 parents/legal guardians of individuals age 13-17, 55 percent found that teen driving outstripped worries about academic performance (53%), drug and alcohol use (52%), sexual activity (49%) and problems with friends (41%).

Chevy expands teen driver tech

To help anxious parents cope with this classic coming-of-age concern, Chevrolet is expanding its teen driver technology, a free, non-subscription system designed to help coach and caution these high-risk operators about ways to cultivate lifelong safe-driving habits. Introduced on the 2016 Malibu, this permanent service is standard issue on that vehicle and will be added to the 2017 Chevy Bolt, Camaro, Colorado, Cruze, Silverado, Suburban, Tahoe and Volt models. The Chevy system supports basic prudent practices by muting the radio or the audio of any paired device when front seat occupants aren’t properly buckled in, limiting the maximum volume level of the sound system and setting off audible/visual warnings anytime the vehicle is exceeding a preset speed limit. It also logs the actual distance travelled.

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Beyond the basics, the system can generate what Chevy claims is the industry’s first virtual “report card” that notes when a potentially dangerous situation may have occurred. These include things like speed limiter violations, ABS/stability control events and Forward Collision/Forward Collision Braking events on vehicles equipped with those features. For 2017, the list has been widened to add traction control activations, wide-open-throttle events and tailgating alerts. To activate the teen tech system, the key fob must be registered in the vehicle’s system settings which will allow parents to stipulate which elements they wish to have tracked.

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While arguably the most comprehensive in scope, Chevrolet is not the first or only manufacturer to offer this type of technology on its vehicles. Ford Motor Company’s My Key has been around since the start of the decade and more recently, Hyundai Blue Link Vehicle Safegaurd Alerts and Kia UVO eServices also have been providing similar kinds of data to assist parents in keeping better tabs on their teens' driving habits.

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