General Motors' Chevrolet will be releasing an upgraded Valet Mode beginning with its Corvette Stingray 2015, which will allow car owners to monitor how their car is handled once it is turned over to a valet driver.
The feature is especially useful for car owners that do not want their precious vehicles to go through the same thing that a Ferrari did in Ferris Bueller's Day Off, a cult movie from the 1980s.
After the Corvette Stingray 2015, the upgraded feature will be made as a standard feature on all 2015 models of the Corvette. While the Corvette Stingray 2014, along with several luxury and sports car models from other car makers, had a Valet Mode, the upgraded system for the Corvette Stingray 2015 provides extra assurance to the car owner.
"Think of it as a baby monitor for your car," said Harlan Charles, the product manager for the Corvette line, 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."
When Valet Mode is activated, the system locks interior storage compartments, prevents the usage of infotainment components, and monitors the valet driver's actions with the owner's vehicle as video, audio and car data are all recorded.
Car owners can activate Valet Mode through inputting a four-digit password in the settings menu of the car's system, which prevents the valet driver or anyone else from de-activating it. The valet driver is also unaware if the system has been activated.
The system of the Valet Mode uses the same tools as the vehicle's Performance Data Recorder. When the driver turns on the PDR, the system records the same video, audio and car data that will be used by Valet Mode to watch out for reckless and dishonest valet drivers. In addition, the PR will also record high-definition video and vehicle data such as speed, gearing, RPM and g-force levels.
Videos recorded using the system can be watched instantly from the onboard monitor of the Corvette, or downloaded and saved to a computer. The data recorded by the system can be transferred to an SD card, to be accessed by any computer or system that reads that kind of card.
Chevrolet worked with Cosworth to develop the Performance Data Recorder that the Valet Mode utilizes. Cosworth is a partner of Corvette's racing team that serves as the team's data telemetries supplier.