Teen Driver Tech

Inserting-telematic-deviceInsurance companies started the driver recording trend a few years ago. By using products like ‘Snapshot’, ‘Drivewise’, and other telematics devices, they can gather some basic information about your driving habits.

Safe drivers avoid driving habits such as hard stops, traveling late at night—which can be more dangerous than daylight driving—and moving at high speeds. Drivers who put fewer miles on their vehicles per day may also qualify for discounts.

In most cases, you plug the device into your vehicle’s onboard diagnostic port (OBD-II port), which is usually located near the steering column, under your dashboard. Vehicles produced since the mid-1990’s typically have this port and can be fitted with a telematics device.

After you’ve hooked up a telematics device, it will start recording information about your driving behavior, which it usually sends to your insurance provider over wireless phone networks. As you drive, the device records the data, which can help lead to savings if you’re a safe driver.

Vehicle manufacturers took it a step further by being able to limit certain features on a vehicle in an effort to promote safer driving habits and offer in car diagnostics.

Ford offers MyKey
The easily programmable system features several options:


– Persistent Ford Belt-Minder® with audio mute sounds chimes and mutes the radio to remind teens to buckle up. A message on the instrument panel is also displayed: “Buckle Up to Unmute Radio”
– Volume control can limit the audio system to 44 percent of maximum output if the radio is too loud
– A speed alert chime at 45, 55 and 65 mph will remind teens to slow down. Parents can also limit top speed to 80 mph
– “Do Not Disturb” helps parents block incoming phone calls and hold text messages on a phone paired with Ford SYNC® when teens are behind the wheel
– In addition to the typical warnings displayed when the fuel level reaches 25 and 50 miles to empty, MyKey provides an extra warning at 75 miles to remind your teen to fill up

Last year, Chevy introduced their 2016 Malibu’s “Teen Driving” system.

teen driver

The technology, which debuted on the 2016 Malibu sedan, mutes the audio system until front-seat occupants buckle their safety belts, warns the driver when exceeding a preset speed and allows parents to set a maximum audio volume. It also prevents disabling active-safety features such as lane-departure warning and gives parents a report card showing how the vehicle was driven.

It will now be included on the 2017 Bolt, Camaro, Colorado, Cruze, Malibu, Silverado, Suburban, Tahoe and Volt. The service is free for the life of the vehicle.

Chevy is the first in the industry with vehicle-generated report cards about teens’ driving habits.

driving reportcard

To use Chevy’s Teen Driver feature, parents register their teen’s key fob in the vehicle’s system settings. Parents then can limit the vehicle’s speed, configure an audio volume limit and receive report cards that track information, including instances of antilock braking, collision alerts and wide-open throttle.

Each of the nameplates with Chevy’s “Teen Driver” also offers Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility to discourage use of handheld phones while driving.