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2016 Chevrolet Malibu’s Teen Driver Program Ready to Snitch on Teens

Motor Trend logo Motor Trend 4/2/2015 Scott Burgess

Forget Big Brother, teen drivers should worry about their parents. When the new 2016 Chevrolet Malibu rolls out later this year, it will include an all-new, all-knowing, all-snitching Teen Driver feature. Parents may like this. Teens will not.

The system is pretty straightforward. Program one of the key fobs as the teen’s key. Then whenever the teen is driving, the Malibu will collect more data than the NSA. When the teen returns, the parents can then hop in the car and pull up all kinds of interesting information.

2016 Chevrolet Malibu’s Teen Driver Program Ready to Snitch on Teens

© Provided by MotorTrend The car will tell the parent the maximum speed the car was driven. It will give the total distance driven. It will sound alarms when the driver tops the speed limit. It will count how many times any of the safety features, such as stability control and forward collision alert systems are activated when the teen was driving. It will also allow parents to set a volume limit on the stereo, whether using the regular radio, satellite radio, or any other device. Furthermore, when driving with the teen driver’s key, the stereo won’t even turn on if the front seat belts aren’t clicked closed.

The system can be disabled if the correct PIN is entered, but parents should only provide the teen with a key, not the security code. Currently, the system only displays all of this information in the vehicle, but it would not be unreasonable to have the information shipped over to the parent via the OnStar app that already provides some of this information on it. That’s just programing.

© Provided by MotorTrend While it’s arguable that these features will make teen drivers safer, there are rafts of other safety features that will help every driver in the Malibu. Things like adaptive cruise control, a rearview backup camera, parking assist system, blind spot monitoring, and lane keep assist are all driver enhancement features that can improve driving.

If none of those are enough, the 10 airbags on board will help. Furthermore, Chevrolet isn’t the first manufacturer to include this kind of feature. Ford offers a MyKey device that is similar in limiting some features for teen drivers using the car with that key. Ford does not include a report card with every driving run. Perhaps in the future, the Malibu can also recommend the number of days a teenager should lose his or her car privileges based upon their most recent driving record. No doubt, there’s already an algorithm for that, somewhere.

What are your thoughts on this Orwellian approach to curbing bad teen driving? Tell us in the comments below.

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