Apps to Provide Peace of Mind With a Teenager Behind the Wheel

Q. I have a new teenage driver in the family. What’s the best way to keep tabs on his whereabouts when he is out with the car? Will regular location-tracking phone apps work?

A. As long as you and the teenage driver agree to use a location-tracking app on your phones, the software should give you an idea of where he is at any given moment. Several apps and services for monitoring location through a smartphone can be found online. But keep in mind that you may not get the latest updates if the teenager loses his phone, its battery runs out or a network signal is unavailable.

Some location-tracking services include features specifically for keeping tabs on young drivers. For example, Life 360’s Driver Protect for Android and iOS is one option in this category and includes roadside assistance, a “Safe Drive Review” report for parents to see where the driver went (and how fast), arrival alerts, crash detection and emergency response tools. A Driver Protect subscription is $7.99 a monthbut comes with a free seven-day trial.


The Life360 Driver Protect app, one of several subscription services that track drivers, guides a new user through setting up a “circle” for family members to see one another on a map. Once configured, the app collects GPS and other data from the driver’s phone to show location, route and other information. Credit The New York Times

For parents who do not want to rely solely on information collected from the phone, a number of companies make vehicle-monitoring kits that use a small gadget that plugs into the car’s onboard diagnostics (OBD-II) port, usually found under the dashboard. Through its companion smartphone app, the device reports the car’s location, speed, braking information, driving history and more. You need to buy the OBD-II adapter (typically less than $80) and pay a monthly subscription fee. Prices vary based on the company, but Bouncie, Hum and MotoSafety are three car-tracking products to consider.

Newer vehicles may have optional tracking tools and custom apps available, so check your car’s user manual if you think these may be available. If the car already has the OnStar vehicle-safety service, you can add its FamilyLink monitoring feature for $3.99 a month.

Welcoming a new motorist into the family these days involves more than just driver’s education classes and adding the teenager to the insurance policy. Distracted driving incidents from texting or fiddling with other technology in the car are dangers that most older generations of drivers did not experience. The National Safety Council has information and app suggestions online for reducing distracted driving. Additionally, the council’s site hosts a series of detailed guides for parents of new driver

Even for parents who opt for less electronic surveillance of their teenage drivers, there is software to suggest for the new driver. Apps for the family’s insurance company, navigational aids and roadside-assistance tools can provide help when needed and minimize that invasive feeling.

India should focus on peace instead of deploying BrahMos missiles in Arunachal Pradesh, says China

The Chinese government on Thursday said India should prioritise peace-building along the Sino-Indian border in Arunachal Pradesh instead of deploying BrahMos cruise missiles in the region, reportedReuters. Chinese Defence Ministry Spokesperson Wu Qian said, “We hope that the Indian side can do more to benefit from peace and stability along the border and in the region.”

Last month, the Cabinet committee on security cleared the raising of a new regiment, which will be equipped with an advanced version of the BrahMos missile. The Indian Army had shot down China’s warning of counter-measures as retaliation to the development. Stating that the government aimed at improving India’s civil and military facilities in the region, an Indian official said, “Our threat perceptions and security concerns are our own, and how we address these by deploying assets on our territory should be no one else’s concern.”

The Sino-Indian border has been a matter of dispute as China lays claim on parts of Arunachal Pradesh, and both countries have varying versions of the Line of Actual Control that separates the countries.


The big news: China says India should focus on border peace and not BrahMos, and 9 other top stories

A look at the headlines right now:

  1. India should focus on peace instead of deploying BrahMos missiles in Arunachal Pradesh, says China: A Chinese defence spokesperson said India can do more to ensure stability along the border in the region.
  2. Documents on Scorpene submarines do not compromise security, says Indian Navy: Within a day of the investigation ordered by Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar, it was also found that the data was not leaked from India.
  3. WhatsApp to share users’ phone numbers, device information with Facebook: While the app itself will not have ads, the move will allow the social media giant, which acquired the messaging service in 2014, to boost targeted advertising.
  4. World’s first self-driving taxi service hits Singapore streets: The operator, nuTonomy, said select members of the public can book free rides through their smartphones.
  5. Home Ministry panel suggests chilli-based PAVA shells as an alternative to pellet guns: The new ‘less lethal’ ammunition contain Pelargonic Acid Vanillyl Amide, which causes irritation and temporarily paralyses the target.
  6. Kerala will be declared an open defecation-free state on November 1: The Left Democratic Front government plans to invite Prime Minister Narendra Modi for the event that will take place in Thiruvananthapuram.
  7. Turkey amps up fight against Islamic State group, sends more tanks and warplanes into Syria: With Operation Euphrates Shield, the government aims to free the city of Jarablus of the terror outfit and restrict the spread of the Kurdish militia.
  8. Will never stop fight against ‘hateful and divisive agenda’ of the RSS, Rahul Gandhi says on Twitter: The Congress vice president shared a video of his election rally in Maharashtra’s Bhiwandi city, where he said the group was behind Mahatma Gandhi’s killing.
  9. MNS leader Raj Thackeray’s Janmashtami celebrations floutSupreme Court orders: State party Shiv Sena had also said the government should have come out with an Ordinance to reverse the order on the Dahi Handi festival.
  10. Amid acute shortage, Karnataka cannot release water to Tamil Nadu for irrigation, says Siddaramaiah: The chief minister met a delegation of farmers from the neighbouring state, who were seeking release of water to irrigate their samba (variety of rice) crop.