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Transportation

Chevy Malibu 'Teen Driver' Tech Will Snitch If You Speed 224

mpicpp writes General Motors wants to help curb teen crashes with a new system that lets parents monitor their kids' driving habits—even when mom and dad aren't actually in the car. Dubbed Teen Drive, the new system will debut in the 2016 Chevy Malibu, offering a bunch of features designed to encourage safe driving. It will, for instance, mute the radio or any device paired with the car when front seat occupants aren't wearing their seatbelts, and give audible and visual warnings when the vehicle is traveling faster than preset speeds. It doesn't end there. Brace yourself, teens, because you might not like this next part too much. The new system also lets parents view a readout of how you drove the car, including how fast you went, how far you drove, and whether any active safety features (like over-speed warnings) were engaged. Parents can also set the radio system's maximum volume to a lower level, and select a maximum speed between 40 and 75 miles per hour, which, if exceeded, will trigger warnings.
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Chevy Malibu 'Teen Driver' Tech Will Snitch If You Speed

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  • ...you let your teenage kid drive your brand new 2016 car.

    In the real world, most would typically have to endure the initial "proving grounds" shitbox of a car first.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Jax Omen ( 1248086 )

      Today's brand new 2016 car is next decade's shitbox old 2016 car.

      • by kuzb ( 724081 )

        Entirely true. It would just make more sense if they developed technology that could be retrofitted in to any car instead of just their newest line.

        • by cjb658 ( 1235986 )

          There's probably an app for that. Granted it would be easy enough to just turn your phone off, but it would be pretty suspicious if data wasn't getting logged.

        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by Jax Omen ( 1248086 )

          If car manufacturers did sensible things we wouldn't have had to bail them out a few years ago.

          They love vendor lock-in and planned obsolescence as much as gadget manufacturers do.

          • If car manufacturers did sensible things we wouldn't have had to bail them out a few years ago.

            You mean, like, not hire the UAW to run their fabrication for them? Yeah, that would have gone a long way to avoiding that bailout.

        • by jonwil ( 467024 )

          Such things already exist. Devices that plug into the OBD2 port on a vehicle and monitor/log all the relavent information already exist. Some combine this with GPS tracking (to log where the car is as well as how its being driven).

          Plenty of options for parents to monitor how their teenager is driving and whether they are driving safely or not, this just happens to be one actually built into the car (and capable of doing more than just logging as a result)

        • Entirely true. It would just make more sense if they developed technology that could be retrofitted in to any car instead of just their newest line.

          There are a fucking million of them [google.com] but, what good is a device that goes for around $100 when you can sell [announcer voice] aaaaaaaa new caaaaaaar! [/announcer voice].

        • Except there's no positive purpose of this technology outside of driving home to your kid that you don't trust them, ever, or for any reason. Discount for the moment the fact that this sort of technology is also intended to keep tabs on where every human is all the time, do you really trust your kid so little to do the right thing that you need a technological solution to a complete non-problem? Why the fuck even give them a car if you can't bring yourself to trust that they'll do the right thing?

    • by taustin ( 171655 )

      You've clearly never lived among The Beautiful People of southern California, where a lot of kids would literally murder their parents in their sleep if they didn't get a brand new car for their 16th birthday.

      • Hell, in Southern California we have kids who murder other kids and off themselves because the brand new BMW, large allowance, college tuition, and rent weren't enough.

      • Not just A brand new car, but it has to be a NICE brand new car. Mustang, Camaro, BMW, etc.

        A brand new Toyota Corolla? As IF! Mom, why do you hate me?

        Living outside of California, I was thrilled to be granted access to the family vehicle (and would be thrilled whether it was a minivan, or a Kia Rio), later I was thrilled to have to opportunity to inherit it for my exclusive use (as it reached the shitbox phase in life).

    • Yes lets take inexperienced drivers and put them in an unreliable vehicle. What a BRILLIANT plan.

      • by kuzb ( 724081 ) on Friday March 20, 2015 @07:44PM (#49305979)

        Old doesn't necessarily mean unsafe or unreliable. Plenty of people drive 10 year old cars that are not putting them in danger.

      • by jonwil ( 467024 )

        Many older Japanese cars like Corollas, Pulsars, Civics etc are VERY reliable and still good choices even today (in terms of the likelihood of things going wrong and needing to be fixed) as long as they haven't been written off (crashed and rebuilt and re-registered) and have been properly maintained.

        • by l810c ( 551591 ) *

          Older Corollas and Civics(and many others), Yes. Very reliable and safe cars.

          Pulsar(Hell no!) Dad bought my brother one that was 3 years old. Always in the shop. You would not need this monitor on the Pulsar, they were absolute slugs. So much in fact that I consider them dangerous. It was such a slug that when driving you were unable to Avoid trouble. I actually(on my brothers behalf) took he and dad on a test drive to prove to dad it was dangerously slow and unresponsive.

          • A late 2000s base model suburu impreza is the perfect new driver car. 2.0l 4wd, non turbo, fast enough to do the speed limit but slow enough to not get yourself in trouble. And they are bullet proof. And for the vanity concious teenage they look pretty decent.

            Given it will be 12 years before my eldest is on the road though my impreza will probably be long gone by then

      • by Lumpy ( 12016 )

        It's been done for decades for more than 90% of the population, Let me guess you were just born yesterday and you live in beverly hills.

        less than 1% of new drivers have a new car. 90% drive a shotbox that is barely running. Most dont have a nice trust fund that pays them $4500 a week like you do.

    • by Anonymous Coward on Friday March 20, 2015 @08:00PM (#49306059)

      It's a Chevy. It's already a shitbox.

    • by fizzup ( 788545 )

      Good point. You are a genius. Chevrolet should have added these features in 2006. That way, they wouldn't be stupidly adding them to a brand new car. Wait, what?

  • Glad this wasn't around when I was 18. Of course then my insurance was more than the car payment.
    • Glad this wasn't around when I was 18. Of course then my insurance was more than the car payment.

      Aren't insurance companies offering discounts for installing such devices reporting to them? If not, perhaps soon?

    • It's only important that the younger "voters of the future" generation are softened up to some global panopticism. Surveillance wonks don't care about the old people now.
  • A cheaper solution (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Thraxy ( 1782662 ) on Friday March 20, 2015 @07:46PM (#49305985)

    If you don't trust your kids, don't lend them your car.

    • If you don't trust your kids, don't lend them your car.

      It isn't about trusting your kid, it is about learning the hard way how your kid's behavior can change in the company of others his own age.

      Especially when alcohol is involved.

  • by jonwil ( 467024 ) on Friday March 20, 2015 @07:58PM (#49306051)

    Teenage drivers with fresh licenses should be driving older cheaper-to-buy cars.

    Unless a teenager (or their parents) are rich, they should be buying an older cheaper car that doesn't require taking out a massive auto loan. In Australia the usual recommendation/good option is something small and Japanese like a Toyota Corolla, Honda Civic, Suzuki Swift, Mitsubishi Lancer, Nissan Pulsar, Mazda 323, Honda Jazz or something like that but in the US the best option may be different.

    • Sometimes you want to let your kid drive, but without buying him a new car (or without him buying a new car).
    • The odds are very good that your teenager will crash their first car. There are a variety of factors that go into this, but the number one is probably inexperience. When they crash, you want them in something with the most modern safety standards. As my father used to say, machines can always be replaced, people can't. I would hate to be in a situation where my thrift ended up killing my kid.
    • Nonsense, I totally think kids should be in new cars...

      New cars tend to have the best safety equipment, or at least better than what was standard 5-10 years ago.

      I'll bring up my point right here:

      https://youtu.be/TKL_cn8vhjo [youtu.be]

  • by tool462 ( 677306 ) on Friday March 20, 2015 @08:19PM (#49306133)

    Why can't they have what I had?
    A POS car that could only go 75 if you turned off the AC.
    The radio would cut out when you turned left, and if you tried to turn the volume up, you'd just blow a fuse anyway.
    The backseat was so small you weren't getting up to anything even if you could convince a girl to look past the rust and bubbling clear-coat.

    All this for less than $1k, and it gets 40mpg due to the three horsepower engine (one for each working cylinder)! Put the money you save into their college fund since they now have a chance of getting out of high school alive and childless.

    Now excuse me as a I return to my Fortress of Solitude...

    • A POS car that could only go 75 if you turned off the AC.

      Your first car had an A/C? Wow....

      • My first car had A/C that probably stopped working 5 years before I got it. I got a junker for 500 bucks and fixed it up (well it ran without breaking down anyways). Fixing cars is still pretty easy for most repairs and motivating teens to learn to fix the easy stuff is a good life lesson. I didn't actually buy a vehicle worth over 2k usd till I was done with my undergrad.
  • by Revek ( 133289 ) on Friday March 20, 2015 @08:20PM (#49306147) Homepage

    Those poor kids might have escaped the tornado if their car hadn't been limited to 45 miles per hour.

  • Teens learning to drive in anything but the last decade, without these parental smart phone apps. We should all have died an instant fiery death.

    just one more step into the 24/7 surveillance life. Get them used to it early, then they won't think it abnormal it later.
    • by Lumpy ( 12016 )

      Many did. My graduating class in the last two years we had 40 kids out of a graduating class of 300 die in car accidents.

      One of them at the rear of a semi truck in a corvette at well over 100 mph. 16 to 18 year olds are absolutely not mature enough to drive safely on their own. There are exceptions, like kids that started driving at 12 on the farm, or kids that started riding dirt bikes at age 8.. They all made very safe drivers because they had the years of experience that the car is not a big toy a

  • by Lumpy ( 12016 ) on Friday March 20, 2015 @09:36PM (#49306469) Homepage

    we had this for over a decade. ODB-II dongle that is easy to install that records all that. Hell you could buy a version that had a gps that logged location.

    Glad to see GM is finally catching up to 2005!

  • Kids learn from their mistakes. I learned from mine as much as my parents tried to protect me, mine learned from theirs. I made some real doozies but miraculously survived, by all indications mine weren't as reckless. Not positive it was because I was far less restrictive but it seems plausible.

    • Kids learn from their mistakes.

      Yup, except for the dead ones. Also hard for the other people they kill to learn to avoid being around teenage drivers.

  • by afidel ( 530433 ) on Friday March 20, 2015 @10:44PM (#49306733)

    I wonder how much this opens the owner up to additional liability when there's an accident and the opposing council subpenas the records of the vehicle and shows a pattern of reckless driving?

  • by DigiShaman ( 671371 ) on Friday March 20, 2015 @11:22PM (#49306851) Homepage

    Title says it all. This is a pilot program for the automotive insurance industry to offer "reduced rates". Eventually, it becomes mandatory on new cars based on some government regulated standards.

    Yeah well, they can suck my cock and like it!

    • And auto makers to selling data about my frequent speeding to improve $afety via highway patrol.

      The Mark II version will simply report on you and you'll get your ticket in the mail, bypassing the insurance company. (well, they'll raise your rates and get a cut too) I can't wait for the redlight camera scam version of that where they 'misprogram' a road at 15mph below the posted speed and ticket everyone.
  • by spaceyhackerlady ( 462530 ) on Saturday March 21, 2015 @11:47AM (#49308573)

    In the noughties my employers set out to develop similar technology. We had GPS-based units that would record where a vehicle was and could be programmed to tell on you if you drove too fast, stopped for too long, went to somewhere you weren't supposed to go, and so on. They communicated over a 2 way paging network.

    The technology worked. I did the mobile device programming and put together a test unit that used differential GPS. Instead of telling you which street you were on, it could tell you which lane you were in. :-) The marketing, on the other hand, didn't work. :-(

    ...laura

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