Tesla is testing out a ‘parent mode’ for its cars

Teslas are fully electric and offer a number of remote settings (Picture: Getty)

For parents, increasing technology comes with ever more worry – from too much time spent gaming to cyberbullying or worse online.

In response, many companies now offer parental controls, such as time limits or apps to block certain content online.

Now, electric car maker Tesla is getting on board, and will soon offer parents a range of safety features to help keep young drivers safe.

The company, co-founded by Elon Musk, is currently testing software that restricts the car’s acceleration and maximum speed, as well as a ‘night curfew’.

Teslas, which were first launched in 2008, accelerate quicker than many cars on the market. This can already be toned down with ‘chill mode’, which limits the power – and under the new parental controls, teenagers will not be able to switch it off.

Parents will also be able to lock the car’s maximum speed limit, and prevent younger drivers turning off speed limit warnings, automatic emergency braking and collision warnings.

Elon Musk became Tesla CEO in 2008 (Picture: Getty)

If speeding or collision alerts are ignored, the vehicle automatically brakes.

All features will be set behind a PIN, allowing them to change the restrictions as needed.

In addition, ‘night curfew’ will set times during which the car cannot be driven. If it is, the owner will be alerted through the app.

Many of the features are similar to the existing ‘valet mode’, which includes locking the glove box and hiding the owner’s home address.

However, the new features will likely be welcomed by many parents.

Teslas include a self-driving mode that is not permitted for use in the UK (Picture: Brandon Bell/Getty)

Hundreds of thousands of young drivers, between 17 and 24, pass their test every year. However, that group is also involved in a high proportion of crashes. In 2022, more than one in five of all fatal or serious crashes involved drivers under 25, while young male drivers are four times more likely to be killed or seriously injured on the road than those aged 25 or over.

In 2018, teenager Barrett Riley asked a Tesla garage to turn off the speed limiter feature installed by his father. The 18-year-old and his friend Edgar Monserratt Martinez were later killed while driving at 116mph around a bend signposted at 25mph in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. The pair survived the initial crash, but died after the Model S sedan caught fire.

Barrett’s father sued Tesla and won $100,000 in compensation after a judge found the company to be 1% at fault for disabling the speed limiter, which was set at 85mph.

Afterwards, the company released its own speed limit feature ‘in memory of Barrett Riley’.

Teslas also offer a full self-driving mode, which is not legal for use in the UK.

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