For a teenager, driving is a rite of passage. For most parents, however, seeing your child behind the wheel of a car is simply terrifying. Fortunately, there is some technology on the market to help make it a little less scary.
A small device called Truvolo turns your car into a connected auto. It plugs into the diagnostics port -- a feature that became standard in all U.S. cars in 1996. Each time the car is started, the self-diagnostic feature kicks in, allowing teen drivers -- or their parents -- to know if something is wrong even before the check engine light goes on, says Jaideep Jain, the CEO of Truvolo.
Beyond that, it can report details of how the car is being driven. "We have sensors built within our system that tell you how you're driving your car, if you do hard acceleration, brakes, swerving," he told CNET's Sumi Das.
All that data is sent via Bluetooth to an app on your smartphone. Truvolo also provides alerts based on specific locations, so parents can see when their child arrives home, leaves for school or is hanging out at their friend's place. And yes, the app can tell if the device is unplugged.
Another serious concern for parents is distracted driving. The Android app, Agent, is designed to address that.
"It automatically detects when you're driving based off your speed or a Bluetooth connection, and then if you get text messages, it'll read out the text to you and you have the option to send an autoresponse or by voice dictate a response," said Kulveer Taggar, the co-founder of Egomotion, the maker of the app.