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Auto blogFri, 26 Sep 2014 13:28:00 EST
The Performance Data Recorder with Valet Mode available on the 2015 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray seems like a fantastic tool for many owners. Whether they are taking 720p video while lapping the track in their new 'Vette, or just want to protect their purchase from inconsiderate joyriders, the system offers a lot of functionality in one package. However, one of the PDR's features might get buyers in trouble with the law, and it has nothing to do with recording some illicit high-speed driving on a favorite back road. The problem hinges on the various state laws concerning a person's right to privacy.
According to a letter posted by Jalopnik, Chevy dealers are asking 2015 Corvette owners not to use the Valet Mode portion of the PDR because it records audio in the cabin, in addition to performance specs. That's a problem because privacy laws vary from state to state with some requiring just one side's consent to tape sound and others requiring all parties to agree. According Jalopnik, 15 states mandate everyone's permission beforehand, but it's not clear whether these numbers are up to date. (Actually, the report varies, saying 13 states in some places and 15 in a list.)
According to the letter, Chevy is already working on a software update for the near future to rectify the issue. It's possible that simply adding a warning to drivers and the ability to turn off the audio recording function in Valet Mode might solve the problem. Obviously, this doesn't preclude Corvette drivers from using the performance aspect of the PDR, and owners are free tape lap after lap at the track.
Just looking at the new 2014 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray, it's not hard to see that the car's design was created with aerodynamics at the forefront, but Chevrolet designers point out exactly what went into designing the iconic coupe in a pair of recently released videos. The videos show the Corvette going through early design phases, including clay models and wind tunnel tests, as well as talking to the car's chief engineer, Tadge Juechter.
Both videos help explain various aspects of the C7 Corvette, but it's the aero tuning of the car that is most interesting. This includes extra attention paid to the lower air dam and vented hood to help reduce drag and lift, while the rear quarter inlets are for differential and transmission cooling. Juechter said that some of these aero-tuned elements were inspired from GM's involvement in racing.
If you have about five minutes and you can't get enough information about the new 'Vette, then check out the videos posted below.
The Cadillac Escalade has been at or near the top of most-stolen and insurance-loss lists for more than seven years, until it dropped to number six earlier this year. In 2011 it was fitted with a host of new security features to address its easy-to-override features and that has brought the number of thefts down, but when eight of the ten most stolen rides are large SUVs from General Motors, no one will argue that something else needs to be done.
Thus, GM has fitted this same theft-deterring tech to the 2015 Suburban, Tahoe and Yukon. The Suburban and Tahoe will get the steering lock that the Escalade and Yukon already get, plus bolted-down third-row seats to deter thefts like this, stronger door lock cylinders and shields, and side-cut keys to inhibit picking.
Additional security measures in a Theft Protection Package can be purchased for $395, consisting of sensors on the greenhouse glass and interior, an incline/tilt sensor and added "key control systems" to make it more difficult for the men in black balaclavas to steal what you bought.