We’ve probably seen at least one of the hundreds of thousands Russian dashcam videos that have gone viral on YouTube of just HOW crazy Russian drivers are. I’ve seen a fair share of them. Chevrolet’s software designers must be Russian because of what was just introduced on the 2015 C7 Corvette Stingray.
While there are some great valets out there, there are others that like to “circle the city for parking.” This can make sports car owners quite reluctant to hand the keys over. A good number of sports cars offer a performance-reduction setting for just this situation, but Chevrolet is going the whole 9 yards, and including the 2015 Corvette’s Performance Data Recorder as a Valet Malfeasance Recorder. Valets of the world, beware.
Do YOU really want a valet to go 147 mph in YOUR brand-new Corvette? I didn’t think so either. Most valets won’t ever get a car going that fast, especially in a crowded parking lot or city street. But, never say never.
Should you turn on the unimaginatively named Corvette Valet Mode, and some good things happen to your baby. Every interior storage area is locked, the infotainment system is disabled (that way you won’t sit down and get an earful of Snoop Dogg), and a 720p camera in the headliner (right in front of the rear view mirror) turns on. That high-definition camera is paired with a microphone to record audio. The car’s GPS receiver is turned on to provide vehicle telemetry and location, and 8 gigabytes of SD card storage can capture up to 200 minutes of driving – plenty of time for even the slowest of valets to “find a parking spot.”
That link is a YouTube video of the Corvette Valet Mode.
Should you want to see what happened after you handed the keys over to the valet, you can immediately review the “parking adventure” on the infotainment screen, or download it to your computer later. An overlay shows speed, RPM, current gear, and g-force. That’s pretty much the same thing you’ll get when you turn on the Performance Data Recorder. What Corvette Valet Mode can’t do right now, however, is let you know if the car is being abused (i.e. burnouts, drifts, general hoonage) or let you stream the video remotely to your phone or tablet. However, I think that the streaming part will come soon, as GM has a perfectly good OnStar system, and now has introduced 4G LTE connections.
What I think that the point really should be is this: Corvette Valet Mode doesn’t reduce engine power – an odd oversight, AND a feature that would certainly alleviate more concerns about abuse than watching a video of your Corvette hitting a telephone pole at 40 mph.
Is Corvette Valet Mode useful? Maybe. Chevrolet is pitching this as a baby monitor for a cherished toy that you spent your hard-earned money on. But it doesn’t alert you when your baby is crying, unlike an ACTUAL baby monitor. It may give you some insights when you step outside of the hotel/casino/restaurant and find your Corvette smashed-up against a brick wall.
Who did this?