For some people handing over the keys of their car to the valet might be like leaving their child in the care of someone else (some consumers really love their cars). And since those parents can keep tabs on their childcare provider with conspicuously hidden cameras, why shouldn’t a car owner be able to do the same? Well, if you happen to be the owner of a new Corvette you can do just that.
According to a report from Newsday, the 2015 Chevrolet Corvette comes with an option that lets overprotective car parents keep tabs on the valet through what sounds like a valet nanny cam.
The optional feature records where the car goes via a camera mounted in the windshield trim, while also capturing cabin audio, speed, engine revolutions per minute, gear position and G-force of the vehicle – all without the valet’s knowledge (unless the valet happens to read and remember this story).
Corvette owners activate Valet Mode by tapping in a four-digit code on the car’s touch screen, which also locks the glovebox and storage compartment in the dashboard and shuts down the infotainment system.
Data recorded while in Valet Mode can be replayed when the vehicle is parked or can be downloaded to an outside computer.
While GM says Valet Mode is the “most extensive attempt by an automaker to thwart valet joyriders,” it’s unclear how, or if, the system actually prevents any Ferris Bueller-like excursions from happening.
From the sounds of things, Valet Mode just records what happens inside for later viewing. There doesn’t appear to be a magic button that shuts the car down if things start to look a little unprofessional on the valet’s part. Unless, of course, the point is that valets shouldn’t do bad things because someone might be recording them – in that case we should all be on our best behavior.
This isn’t the first time car manufacturers have attempted to take the joy out of any possible joyriding. Newsday reports that Hyundai and Mercedes have a program that sets a perimeter for how far a vehicle can travel and notifies owners if that area is breached. Additionally, Audi and Chrysler have valet mode options that cap speeds and engine limits.