Derive VQ keeps your teen from Snapchatting behind the wheel

At CES 2018 we got a look at the Derive VQ, a device that parents will love but teenagers are sure to hate.

Emme Hall Former editor for CNET Cars
I love two-seater, RWD convertibles and own a 2004 Mazdaspeed Miata for pavement fun and a lifted 2001 Miata for pre-running. I race air-cooled Volkswagens in desert races like the Mint 400 and the Baja 1000. I have won the Rebelle Rally, seven-day navigational challenge, twice and I am the only driver to compete in an EV, the Rivian R1T.
Emme Hall
2 min read

There are plenty of fancy-pants gadgets here at CES. We've seen everything from smart refrigerators to robot dogs, but it's rare that something comes up that can actually save lives. That's where the Derive VQ comes in.

With all the fancy smartphones and in-car tech that's available to drivers today, it's easy to lose focus while behind the wheel. The CDC estimates that distracted driving causes nine deaths and over 1,000 injuries each day. That's a sobering statistic for folks who have plenty of driving experience, but it's compounded for new drivers, who may not have the practice or patience to keep distractions at bay.

Watch this: Teenagers beware: Derive keeps distractions at bay for new drivers

The Derive VQ is simple. It's a mobile app that syncs with a car's computer via an OBDII dongle. Through the app parents can set limits that can actively help their teen driver become a safe driver.

And it starts from the moment the new driver slides behind the wheel. The car won't even start until the seat belt is locked into place. Once the car starts and is in drive, the driver's phone is locked and cannot make or receive calls or access any of those pesky social media apps. The technology even provides real-time speed limiting that cuts power when a driver goes beyond the posted limit.

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Parents have some control over parameters. For example, they can allow incoming calls from certain phone numbers and can give kids a leeway with speed. After all, if you're actually driving 55 miles per hour on a highway, the possibilities for road rage and a one-fingered salute from other drivers go up, and nobody deserves that kind of stress. Parents can also lock the dongle in place.

We've seen similar technology from GM in its Teen Driver program, which reports bad driving behavior like speeding, tailgating and instances of wide-open throttle. However, the Derive VQ actively prevents bad habits, rather than just reporting on them. 

The Derive VQ is currently available to fleet customers, but based on the reaction it's gotten here at CES, the company hopes to offer the technology to the public in the near future.

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