2015 Corvette's valet mode like 'a baby monitor for your car'
This photo provided by General Motors shows the 2015 Corvette. (AP/General Motors)
Mitchell Ward, Autofocus.ca
Published Thursday, August 21, 2014 1:24PM EDT
Last Updated Thursday, August 21, 2014 5:07PM EDT
Valet drivers, be warned - you're being watched. At least you might be if you're ever handed the keys to a 2015 Chevrolet Corvette.
General Motors has announced that the 2015 Corvette will feature a "Valet Mode" in its Performance Data Recorder, that will allow owners to disable the infotainment system, lock the interior storage and record video, audio and vehicle data while the mode is active.
"Think of it as a baby monitor for your car," said Harlan Charles, Corvette product manager in a statement released by GM. “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.”
Valet Mode is activated through the vehicle's settings menu using a unique four-digit code. Once the code is confirmed, the car will automatically lock the storage bin behind the center stack display, the glove box and also disable the radio and infotainment systems.
When the valet returns the vehicle, a video of the its time away from the owner can be watched on the Corvette's 8-inch colour touchscreen or downloaded to a computer.
“Performance Data Recorder was initially designed as a tool for track days, allowing drivers to record their laps and improve their driving skills,” said Charles. “We soon realized the system could have many more applications, such as recording a scenic drive up Highway 101, or recording when the Valet Mode is activated.”
The PDR system includes a dedicated SD-card slot in the glove box for recording and transferring video and vehicle data. An 8-gigabyte SD card will record approximately 200 minutes of driving time. The system also features a 720p, high-definition camera mounted within the windshield header trim, which records the driver’s point-of-view through the window, while audio is recorded via a dedicated microphone in the cabin.
The system was developed with Cosworth, the British motorsports-engineering company that supplies the Corvette Racing team’s data acquisition and telemetry systems.
GM says the system is the first of its kind. Other GM cars, such as the Chevrolet Impala and Silverado pickup truck, have valet mode programs that lock interior compartments and disable radio, but they don’t have the data recording capabilities of the Corvette system.
Valet Mode with the Performance Data Recorder will be available on all 2015 Corvette models.