DETROIT — The redesigned 2016 Chevrolet Malibu midsize sedan will offer helicopter parents a feature that lets them track the habits of their teen driver. The Malibu will debut in April at the 2015 New York Auto Show and arrive at Chevrolet dealerships at the end of the year.
The new feature is called "Teen Driver."
"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," GM said in a statement on Friday.
This includes maximum speed reached, distance driven and the number of times active safety features were engaged.
It will be standard on the high-end Premier model and optional on LT models if equipped with the Convenience package and up-level radio. Pricing on the 2016 Malibu and its options has not been announced.
The Ford system allows parents to program the key to a restricted driving mode that "promotes good habits," the automaker says. This includes limiting vehicle top speeds and decreasing audio volume.
Chevrolet's Teen Driver uses a similar approach.
It mutes the audio of the radio or any device paired with the vehicle when the front-seat occupants aren't wearing their seatbelts. It also gives audible and visual warnings when the vehicle is traveling faster than preset speeds.
Motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death for U.S. teens, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
"In 2011, about 2,650 teens in the United States aged 16?19 were killed and almost 292,000 were treated in emergency departments for injuries suffered in motor-vehicle crashes," according to the most recent CDC teen-fatality report. "That means that seven teens ages 16 to 19 died every day from motor vehicle injuries."
It added: "Of the teens (aged 13-19) who died in passenger-vehicle crashes in 2012, approximately 55 percent were not wearing a seatbelt at the time of the crash."
GM previously said the 2016 Malibu will offer styling and cabin improvements.
Edmunds says: The 2016 Malibu hasn't been completely unveiled yet, but it's clear all of these upgrades will make it a compelling choice for car shoppers, especially those worried about instilling good habits in teen drivers.