Parents Buy In-Car Spy

Glenn Swanson
by Glenn Swanson
parents buy in car spy

According to Tecnoride, Safeco Insurance is prototyping a black box which will rat out young drivers who run afoul of their parents driving rules. Safeco's "Safety Beacon" contains a GPS unit to clock speed and location, and a phone system to alert concerned parents. If the driver operates the car outside of several preset boundaries, the gadget can trigger an email notification to parents, along with a text message to the offending party. An Instant Locate feature allows parents to find a Beacon-equipped car (via phone or the ‘net), but it’s “not a breadcrumb-tracking device”. Safeco spokesperson Jim Havens says Beta tests indicate that teens become "better drivers" and transgressions "quickly fall off.” So, can parents expect lower insurance rates as an incentive to sign-up for a $15 a month subscription? “Lower rates, like raising rates, is typically the province of state insurance departments” says Havens. As 007 would say, you must be joking.

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4 of 14 comments
  • Luther Luther on Aug 15, 2007

    Actually, having a daughter, I would prefer a back-seat heat detector alarm.

  • Kansei Kansei on Aug 15, 2007

    How about we just ban bad parents from having children.. teach your kids to be responsible and resist peer pressure and you won't have to use this BS device.

  • Nopanegain Nopanegain on Aug 15, 2007

    A similar device has been available at aftermarket car audio dealers under the Viper/Clifford/Hornet brands of Directed Electronics. I would not be surprised if Safeco sources the unit from Directed. But, in reality, all you can do is hope you did a good job raising your children. My father installed a similar system in me by stating "Son, I know about cars. And I'll know if you have been beating on yours. And I'll take the damn keys away." I still drive like an egg is under the accelerator on a daily basis...

  • The Ninjalectual The Ninjalectual on Aug 16, 2007

    I wonder if she's 18. She'd be cute once you get underneath that mane. I'd get in the backseat of that Hyundai anywhere (under the speed limit).