Watch out valets the Corvette Stingray is a connected car with telematics recording

valetmodecorvetteMany people with expensive sports cars or luxury sedans worry about what happens to their cars when they turn over the keys to the valet parker.  We saw a brand new Maserati parked in the red zone with valet in it playing with the head unit controls, Saturday evening.  GM’s sophisticated camera, audio and GPS  in the Corvette Stingray offer an excellent way to snoop on valets called “Valet Mode with Performance Data Recorder.”

The Corvette Valet Mode debuted in 2014 and is  activated by entering a unique four-digit code. When the code is entered and confirmed, the storage bin and the glove box are locked while the radio and infotainment system are disabled.

A video shows the ways that valets behave badly:

  • Play radio way too loud.
  • Steal or wear personal items.
  • Drive the car wrong.
  • Speed in the car.

Now with the new Performance Data Recorder for 2015, Corvette drivers can also record HD video, in-car audio, and vehicle data  (speed, engine RPM, gear position and g-force) when Valet Mode is active. Then the video can seen on the Corvette touchscreen or downloaded to a computer.

The announcer says it lets drivers know “exactly what happened to their baby, while they are away.”  The News release is titled “A Baby Monitor for Your Baby” Mmmm, we hope no one ever uses the function to watch a real human baby in car left with a valet.  There are other technology solutions for that kind of baby.

The PDR system was originally designed for race cars and includes a camera mounted on the windshield recording the drivers view with a cabin mic, telemetry recorder with GPS and an SD card slot in the glove compartment for transferring the video and data. It is only system of its kind on a performance vehicle.

We reported when the PDR was first released that it also comes with computer software, Cosworth Toolbox to analyze track data, like a race car driver.

Usually GM releases high-end features like these on luxury or performance models and it they prove popular they are later offered on other GM model cars. In fact the basic Valet Mode is available on the Chevy Impala and GM trucks. This feature may prove popular on Cadillac, Buick or GM trucks.  The next feature that would be fun is to have the video stream to your phone while you are in the restaurant or event.