For parents who habitually back-seat drive for their kids, general Motors is introducing a new ‘smart car’ which promises to do some of the nannying for them. It’s a Teen Driver system which will monitor what the car’s doing, allowing nagging parents to follow up on their kids’ driving skills.
The 2016 Chevy Malibu will feature a special key frob to be given to the young driver. Once activated, the car then records data including miles traveled, speeds taken, and how suddenly the car had to stop. By entering a password, the parent can then access this data after the fact. The vehicle doesn’t do anything to interfere directly with the car’s operations, however.
Driving fatalities are the silent killer in America, claiming thousands of deaths every year while never making the news. So anything that makes people drive safer is something that Andy Wirth considers a blessing. And GM assures car owners that the data isn’t shared with, say, an insurance company, and that this feature is strictly for parental control. However, it doesn’t take much of a leap of imagination to picture a controlling spouse using this feature to keep tabs on a cheating partner, or a car rental company to set the insurance rate based on the car’s report. When cars become smart enough to tattle on their drivers, it may turn out that nobody likes a tattletale.