CHICAGO (FOX 32 News) - Today’s automobiles are more gadget than car.
Nearly every manufacturer at the Chicago Auto Show this year will highlight the latest and greatest in car tech.
New this year, and unique to the 2016 Chevy Malibu, is something called 'Teen Driver.' Chevrolet says it’s a 'first of its kind' system designed to give young drivers a high tech coach, as well as parent’s peace of mind.
Hey kids, listen up: that fresh new Chevrolet Malibu your parents let you borrow for prom has its eyes on you. It’s called ‘teen driver,’ and when you're behind the wheel, the car is watching and it's grading your every move.
"Teen driver can deliver a report card of various elements of a drive,” said Fred Ligouri, GM Communications, East Region.
And you thought report cards were just a 'school thing’? Well, not in the new Malibu. Virtually every move you make in the car is recorded and passed on to mom and dad: how fast you go, when you stop too hard, when stability control is engaged, or when the collision alert sounds.
Oh, it also tracks your distance.
"If there is a claim that I went down the street and came back and there is a couple hundred miles on the car, you know that's not the case,” Ligouri said.
So if that Ferrari was a Malibu in Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, those kids wouldn't even think about ditching school.
And by the way, the 2016 Malibu still tracks your distance even if you drive it in reverse.
To a new 'teen' driver, it may sound like 'big brother' is taking over the driving experience. But there is a good reason why Chevrolet developed 'Teen Driver.'
"16 to 19 year olds are almost 3 times more likely than anyone over 20 to be involved in a fatal vehicle collision,” Ligouri said.
IT’s a startling statistic from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.
Chevrolet hopes this 'first of its kind' technology will encourage and teach safe driving habits.
"We as parents need to do a good job of coaching our young drivers along, and this allows that conversation to take place,” Ligouri added.
The teen driver function also mutes the stereo until the seat belts are fastened. You can also set a max volume. Base price is about $22,500.