Valet Mode (c) GM
For those lucky enough to be able to afford a new Chevrolet Corvette, they'll feel much better when they hand their keys over to valets, car dealership workers, or anyone else who will drive their car.
Why? Because Chevrolet is throwing a ton of sweet valet features into the new 2015 Corvette's Valet Mode with Performance Data Recorder. The industry-first system allows drivers to lock the interior storage, disable infotainment options, and also allows for video and audio to be recorded, as well as vehicle data when Valet Mode is active.
“Think of it as a baby monitor for your car,” said Harlan Charles, Corvette product manager. “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.”
Introduced in 2014, the Corvette Valet Mode is turned on through the settings menu and activated by entering a unique four-digit code. A confirmation entry of the code simultaneously locks the storage bin behind the center stack display, the glove box and disables the radio and infotainment system.
With the introduction of the industry-first Performance Data Recorder for 2015, Corvette drivers can also record HD video, in-car audio, and vehicle data – including speed, engine RPM, gear position and g-force – when Valet Mode is active.
The video can be viewed instantly on the Corvette’s eight-inch color touchscreen when the car is parked, or downloaded to a computer.
“Performance Data Recorder was initially designed as a tool for track days, allowing drivers to record their laps and improve their driving skills,” said Charles. “We soon realized the system could have many more applications, such as recording a scenic drive up Highway 101, or recording when the Valet Mode is activated.”
The Performance Data Recorder – or PDR – system was developed with Cosworth, the British motorsports-engineering company that supplies the Corvette Racing team’s data acquisition and telemetry electronics systems.
The system includes three major components. First is a 720p, high-definition camera mounted within the windshield header trim, which records the driver’s point-of-view through the window. Audio is recorded via a dedicated microphone in the cabin.
Second is a self-contained telemetry recorder. The system utilizes a dedicated GPS receiver and is hardwired into the Stingray’s Controller Area Network to access vehicle information.
Finally, the system features a dedicated SD-card slot in the glove box for recording and transferring video and vehicle data. An 8-gigabyte card can record approximately 200 minutes of driving time.
The PDR system can record video with three data overlay options including Track Mode, Sport Mode, Touring Mode and Performance Mode. Also included with the system is the “Cosworth Toolbox” software, which combines Cosworth’s professional-level motorsport data analysis with an easy-to-use graphic interface for users who want a more in-depth understanding of their performance.
Valet Mode with the Performance Data Recorder will be available on all 2015 Corvette models.