Most of us were at one point teen drivers that wanted to go faster than our skill and experience enabled us to. And while we’ve grown to become experienced drivers, youngsters are still tempted to hammer it for a bit of adrenaline, sometimes unwisely. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety cites that the ages of 16 to 19 years are statistically the most dangerous by far. Fortunately for parents who want to coach teenagers on how to learn safe diving skills, GM has come up with a system that supports safe driving habits even when tutors are not in the car. It’s called Teen Driver and it’s set to debut in the 2016 Malibu.

A first in the industry according to Chevy, Teen Driver is a built-in system that lets parents view how their teenager drove the vehicle by tracking car data. Parents can view the data on the car’s display and decide whether their teenagers need more tutoring or not. But how does it work?

Continue reading to learn more about the 2016 Chevrolet Malibu.

How Does It Work

To use Teen Driver, a parent only needs to activate the feature by creating a PIN in the Settings menu of the car’s MyLink system. It’s important to note here that the tool will be standard on the Premier trim and optional on LT models that are equipped with the Convenience Package. When active, Teen Driver automatically mutes the radio until front safety belts are fastened. Also, the radio system’s maximum volume can be set to a lower level so it doesn’t distract the driver from the road ahead. Parents can also select a maximum speed between 40-75 mph, which, if exceeded, activates visual and audible warnings.

The car’s safety features, such as stability control, traction control, forward collision alert or forward collision braking, are automatically turned on when Teen Driver is activated, with no option to manually disable them. The nannies will be active as long as the app has a firm grip of the car. When in traffic, the system records stability control and antilock brake events, as well as alerts issued by the forward collision features. That’s on top of monitoring the distance and the maximum speed the sedan reaches with the Teen Driver feature turned on.

Why it matters

Granted, this system won’t stop teen drivers from doing foolish things in traffic, as there’s no actual supervision and they can ignore all the warnings anyway, but knowing you’re watching will definitely make them think twice. Needless to say, Saturday night out with dad’s car just got boring, but correspondingly safer.

2016 Chevrolet Malibu

2016 Chevrolet Malibu Exterior
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Press Release

It’s hard to hand the keys to a teenager for their first drive alone.

Parents know that coaching a teenager on how to learn safe driving skills is vital. According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, in the United States, the fatal crash rate per mile driven for 16- to 19-year-olds is nearly three times the rate for drivers ages 20 and over.

2016 Chevrolet Malibu To Feature Teen Driver System
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The all-new 2016 Chevrolet Malibu will debut Teen Driver, a system that provides parents with a tool to help encourage safe driving habits for their kids, even when they are not in the car with them. Teen Driver supports safe driving habits by muting the audio of the radio or any device paired with the vehicle when front seat occupants aren’t wearing their safety belts, and it gives audible and visual warnings when the vehicle is traveling faster than preset speeds.

This feature is the first in the industry with a built-in system that lets parents view on a display how their teenager drove the vehicle. Maximum speed reached, distance driven and number of times active safety features were engaged all can be confirmed.

“We developed this system so parents could use it as a teaching tool with their kids – they can discuss and reinforce safe driving habits,” said General Motors safety engineer MaryAnn Beebe. “As a mother of two, I know anything that has the potential of keeping one’s family safer is of great value to parents.”

Malibu can keep track of the following:

Distance driven
Maximum speed traveled
Over-speed warnings issued
Stability control events
Antilock brake events
Forward Collision Alerts, if equipped
Forward Collision Braking events, if equipped

To use Teen Driver, a parent needs to enable the feature by creating a PIN in the Settings menu of their available MyLink system, which then allows them to register their teen’s key fob. The system’s settings are turned on only to registered key fobs.

When active, Teen Driver automatically mutes the radio until front safety belts are fastened. Additionally, the radio system’s maximum volume can also be set to a lower level. If the vehicle is equipped with active safety features like Forward Collision Alert, they are automatically turned On. Parents can select a maximum speed (between 40-75 mph), which, if exceeded, activates a visual warning and audible chime.

If equipped, these are the safety features that are automatically turned On and incapable of being manually turned off when Teen Driver is activated:

Stability Control
Front and Rear Park Assist
Side Blind Zone Alert
Rear Cross Traffic Alert
Forward Collision Alert
Daytime Running Lamps / Automatic Light Control
Forward Collision Braking
Traction Control
Front Pedestrian Braking

2016 Chevrolet Malibu To Feature Teen Driver System
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“The first step with this technology is to make sure that all drivers and passengers within the car are safe,” said Steve Majoros, Chevrolet car marketing director. “In addition to innovative safety technologies like this, you will see efficiency, advanced connectivity and stunning design in the 2016 Malibu.”

Teen Driver is not a subscription-based service, so it remains with the vehicle permanently and will be standard on the Premier trim and optional on LT models if equipped with the Convenience Package and up-level radio. The 2016 Malibu debuts at the New York Auto Show in early April and is expected to go on sale at the end of 2015.

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