Chevrolet has introduced a new ‘Valet Mode’ security system on the 2015 Corvette.
Designed to deter would-be joyriders, the system features functions designed to limit the car’s capabilities and keep drivers informed of what’s going on behind the wheel when their backs are turned.
Increased security in ‘Valet Mode’
Drivers activate the system with a four-digit code on the car’s touchscreen, which doesn’t tell any other drivers that it’s currently set in the mode.
The system then locks the glovebox as well as the stereo system and captures the car’s GPS co-ordinates, engine data and also records video and audio from discreet on-board cameras.
As a result, drivers can find out exactly where the car has been, how fast it’s been driven and who was behind the wheel at the time.
Data and video from the valet function can then be viewed instantly by the owner on the car’s eight-inch colour screen when the car is parked, or it can be downloaded to a computer.
Chevrolet’s designers claim that the new feature was partly inspired by the famous scene from Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, when a pair of valet workers take the protagonists’ vintage Ferrari for a high-speed joyride.
Corvette product manager Harlan Charles said: “Think of it as a baby monitor for your car. 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.”
Chevrolet claims that this is the most extensive attempt made by any carmaker to thwart would-be joyriders.
Other manufacturers have similar systems, including geofencing which alerts the owner’s smartphone if a vehicle goes beyond a set distance, but none actively record what happens in the cabin.
Valet Mode had its roots as a performance data recorder for drivers who wanted to take their Corvettes on the racetrack, before the carmakers quickly realised that it had wider applications.
It’s not yet known if Valet Mode will be present on the UK version of the Corvette range, but Chevrolet have said that the system could be rolled out further if feedback is good.
For UK Chevy fans, however, the range features Chevrolet’s MyLink infotainment/telematics system.
MyLink can be paired with the driver’s smartphone and access a wide range of applications, including vehicle tracking safety features.
For Corvette fans, the latest Z06 model was unveiled earlier this April.
Powered by a 650bhp 6.2-litre V8 engine, the Z06 coupe is due to go on sale in the UK later this year, while the convertible version is due to go on sale mid-2015.
Pricing has yet to be announced, but it’s expected that the Z06 will be available for under £60,000.