2015 Corvette can spy on valets behaving badly
Feature of car’s Performance Data Recorder locks storage compartments, disables the radio and videos joy rides.
It’s a typical question in the minds of many car owners -- and especially those with high-performance cars -- when they hand the keys to a parking valet: What will they do with my car that I won’t know or see?
You have some clues if you get back in your car and the radio station has been changed and the stereo is cranked or there’s extra miles on the odometer. But you don't always know if they’ve pilfered items from storage compartments or took your car for a joy ride.
Now owners of 2015 Chevrolet Corvettes can keep their cars safe and also capture most of what happens with the Valet Mode that’s part of the optional Performance Data Recorder. It not only locks the car’s storage compartments and disables the radio, but also records video, audio and vehicle data even while the owner is away from the vehicle.
“Think of it as a baby monitor for your car,” Harlan Charles, Corvette product manager, said in a statement. “Anyone who has felt apprehension about handing over their keys will appreciate the peace of mind of knowing exactly what happened while their baby was out of sight.”
The Valet Mode is activated via the car's settings menu and initiated by entering a user-set four-digit code. It then locks the storage bin behind the center console display and the glove box and also disables the car’s infotainment system.
While Corvette owners can’t also keep a lead-footed valet from having some unauthorized fun with the car, they can record the activities with the Performance Data Recorder (PDR). As we reported earlier with a hands-on demo, the PDR feature can record HD video, in-car audio and vehicle data such as speed, engine RPM, gear position and G-force so that owners can capture their on-track performance.
They can also capture the info when they’re away from the car via Valet Mode and choose to immediately watch video of an incident on the Corvette’s 8-inch color touch screen while the car is parked or choose to later download it to a computer for evidence.
“Performance Data Recorder was initially designed as a tool for track days,” Charles added. “We soon realized the system could have many more applications, such as recording a scenic drive ... or recording when the Valet Mode is activated.”
Chevrolet put together a funny video characterizing badly behaving parking valets in four categories: the Music Blaster, the Cat Burglar, the Rookie and the Lead Foot. This is a cool and useful feature, but we would like to see one more item added: Disabling power-seat controls so that valets and also car wash attendants also can’t change those settings while in the car.[Source: NextCar, Chevrolet]
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