Automotive Electronics
Monitoring Teen Driving
Bill Fleming

Handing over the keys to the family car is a leap of faith that many parents make with their newly licensed teen drivers. In winter 2015, the 2016 Chevrolet Malibu went on sale with General Motors’ (GM’s) first application of its new Teen Driver feature that should give parents a bit more peace of mind. After all, it is a factory-installed hard-wired feature that cannot be easily disabled (unlike aftermarket devices that plug into onboard diagnostic ports), and it is not an application that teens can turn on and off almost at will.

Teen Driver is an optional feature on the 2016 Chevrolet Malibu mid-level LT model, and it will be a standard feature on the Malibu Premier model. The system needs to be activated after purchase, but once a parent turns it on, it stays on and requires a four-digit personal identification number code to disable it, therein erasing all history and clearing the screen.

The Teen Driver feature allows parents to set speed alerts, limit audio volume, and receive vehicle operating reports. A spokesman for Chevrolet said, “Parents could use it as a teaching tool with their kids, and they can discuss and reinforce safe driving habits”.

Teen Driver will not prevent your child from driving above the speed limit, but it will record the distance traveled, the highest speed reached, and the number of exceptions to speed parameters. It also monitors the triggering of safety features, such as antilock brakes, electronic stability control, forward-collision alert, lane-departure warnings, which often are a telltale sign of distracted driving.

Teen Driver also prevents parent-selected parameters from being disabled. Its speed warnings flash when the driver exceeds a preset limit, adjustable from 40 to 75 mi/h (64–121 km/h). Parents can also set sound-system volume limits. 

Using inputs like those shown in Figure a, parents can create customizable reports that include such things as distance driven, top speed achieved, preset speed warnings exceeded, stability-control events, antilock brake events, forward-collision alerts, and auto braking events. A Teen Driver customized report display, showing events that occurred when a teen was driving, is shown in Figure b.

In addition, parents can dictate what features can or cannot be deactivated. Then, control over the activation status of stability control, parking sensors, blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert, forward collision warning, automatic braking, and traction control can all be set so they cannot be altered by the teen driver.

Read the full article: IEEE Vehicular Technology Magazine, Volume 11, Number 1, March 2016

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IEEE VTS Connected & Autonomous Vehicles Summer School @ WPI
28—29 July 2016
Chapter Profile: Sweden Chapter
Standards Report
Mobile Radio
Distributed MIMO Technology
Automotive Electronics
Monitoring Teen Driving
Land Transportation
Record Catenary-Free Test of New Tram
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Abbas Jamalipour