With the 2016 Chevrolet Malibu ready to tackle the midsized sedan market, the American carmaker hopes to hit on another side of consumers — concerned parents.
The Malibu, introduced Wednesday morning at the 2015 New York International Auto Show, features the latest safety and technology additions, such as 4G LTE Wi-Fi, lane assist and blind-spot warnings.
It also has one feature that Chevrolet officials were proud to tout called Teen Driver, which can help parents monitor and control teenage drivers.
“Teens have a higher propensity to be involved in an accident that is fatal, so our customers were asking us to bring something to market that can teach safe driving habits,” said Chevrolet communications manager Chad Lyons. “It started with the statistics that teens are three times more likely to die in a fatal crash than adults according to the [Insurance Institute for Highway Safety].”
To combat the fatalities, Chevrolet is offering specific features for times when a teen is behind the wheel. The features are on a specific set of keys paired with the teen driving mode, which can be turned on, and off, with a private pin
According to Lyons, another major issue is distracted driving, which for parents means audio systems volume and seat belt control.
“When teens are in the car with their friends listening to loud music, it causes distracted driving,” Lyons said. “If the front occupants aren’t wearing their seat belts, the radio won’t turn on. Parents can also set audio limits to a max setting.”
If a teen driver goes beyond a certain speed, the car can audibly notify the driver of his speed.
The moment a teen pulls into the driveway, a parent can get a full report, including how many miles the teen drove and the top speed.
“It’s not more to control, but to teach them safe driving habits and encourage them to drive safe,” Lyons said. “It’s a way for their parents to feel safe while they’re not in the car with their teen.”
The feature will debut with the 2016 Chevrolet Malibu and is expected to be on other GM models in the future, according to Lyons.