Chevrolet invents 'baby monitor for your car'

A set of features designed for the racetrack could lead to increased accountability behind the wheel.

Chevrolet has developed a new valet mode for its new Corvette that closely monitors how the car has been used. Not content to simply limit power outputs from the engine, the newly updated 2015 model records video and audio while in valet mode, allowing owners to replay footage on the car’s eight-inch infotainment screen, or pop out a memory card and dissect data in forensic detail on a computer.

It also locks the glovebox and other storage areas, disables the stereo and tracks the car’s location using a GPS module. The system goes further than other valet modes or in-car “black box recorder” in new vehicles.

Corvette product manager Harlan Charles says the feature will comfort drivers who take pride in their machine.

"Think of it as a baby monitor for your car," he says.

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"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 system is comprised of three components, a high-definition video camera and microphone, a telemetry recorder and an SD memory card slot in the glovebox.

Drivers set the car in valet mode using a personal numbered code that is also used to disable the system.

It was originally intended to be a tool to help people replay racetrack laps but developed secondary functions throughout its development.

''We soon realised the system could have many more applications, such as recording a scenic drive up Highway 101, or recording when the Valet Mode is activated,'' Charles says.

The system can be used on racetracks or on the road to help drivers relive special moments.

Sydney Morning Herald