"I am delighted that Brian has yet again agreed to lead the side in this year's championship," said Kidney, who will be entering his first Six Nations as Ireland's head coach.
"He has the leadership qualities which are vital at this level and, along with those of the other team leaders in the squad, will be important for the tournament ahead."
O'Driscoll holds the Irish captaincy record having led his country on 52 occasions since replacing the enigmatic Keith Wood nearly five years ago.
He currently has 88 Ireland caps to his name and will be pushing hard to earn selection for his third successive Lions tour this summer.
O'Driscoll starred as a 21-year-old when the Lions faced the Wallabies in 2001 but suffered a tour-ending injury in the opening moments of the first Test against New Zealand four years ago.