Extra Comfort with Teen Driver Technology


Imagine having the technology to help your teen driver when they are driving. If you are the parent of a teen, then you understand how nerve-wracking it can be to unleash your teen behind the steering wheel of a vehicle. Statistics show that parents have a very high concern with their teenager driving.

Fortunately, General Motors is a company that understands these concerns. It has come up with the signature Teen Driver Technology that debuted in the 2016 Chevy Malibu. I had the pleasure of traveling to Warren, Mich., to the General Motors Technical Center and speaking with MaryAnn Beebe, Chevrolet safety engineer. I wanted to know what this technology did and she was able to share the reasoning behind it.

“We are trying to reinforce safe driving habits and, at the same time, we have this in Vehicle Report Card that gives parents some insight into their teen’s driving and give teens feedback as well,” Beebe said.

I was also able to see firsthand many of the unique features of the Teen Driver Technology in a 2016 Malibu Hybrid. The first thing parents are prompted to do is to create a four-digit PIN. Second, parents can register any of the keys to be a Teen Driver key. Third, the technology automatically turns the settings on and activates Teen Driver.

Parents also have the ability to set custom alerts, such limiting the audio whether it is the radio or when it is paired with a phone. When the custom settings are complete, the teen will be aware of them when they start the vehicle. One nice safety feature is that all audio is muted until seatbelts are fastened for the front passengers.

I got to test drive the 2016 Malibu Hybrid and see for myself what all it was capable of doing. The technology made me aware of when I strayed from the parameters of my lane and when a car was in the passing lane on either side of me. It also alerted me on my speed. I will admit I wondered how I was doing. It made me think of what my Vehicle Report Card would look like afterwards. Each time I tried to turn up the volume on the radio a message would display Audio Volume-Teen Driver on the screen.

Although the technology can’t prevent teen drivers from making mistakes, it does provide a valuable tool for teens to improve their driving. The Vehicle Report Card gets conversation going between teens and parents. It gives teens an opportunity to learn from their driving habits. For 2017 the Teen Driver Technology will be available in 10 more vehicles. With technology evolving, it’s comforting to know General Motors is doing everything it can to give parents extra peace of mind.