It was actually two weeks back when the first reports regarding the 2016 Chevrolet Malibu’s Teen Driver feature emerged. But now we’re here to remind you of that feature once again, as the new Malibu made its debut at this week’s New York International Auto Show with Teen Drive highlighted as a main selling point.
Teen Drive is, to summarize it in a few words, an automotive version of those “net nanny” programs that shield young users from age-inappropriate material, or police their hours of Internet usage. This time around, the Malibu’s Teen Drive feature is there not only to track a teenage driver’s habits on the road. It will also tell on their parents if a teen has been driving irresponsibly or recklessly, and while we can’t deny the safety advantages of such a feature, it’s safe to say a lot of 2016 Malibu owners will be grounding their kids if they decide to drive like the average teen.
Parents can make use of the feature by programming one of the Malibu’s key fobs so that it’s designated as the teen’s key. As the teen drives, the 2016 Malibu will pick up all sorts of driving data, and when they return back home, that’s when parents can review the information Teen Drive had collected. This info includes maximum speed, distance driven, and even the number of times the teen had activated safety features. In addition, Teen Drive lets parents set a maximum volume on the car stereo, and will prevent the stereo from turning on (if the teen is driving) if the front seatbelts aren’t placed properly.
Despite all the hype surrounding Teen Drive, the 2016 Malibu isn’t the only car to come with such a feature. Ford’s MyKey device, for instance, limits certain features when a teen is driving with a designated key. It doesn’t, however, provide blow-by-blow details on the teen’s driving like the Malibu does.