We’ve all seen and heard the heartbreaking news stories of well-meaning parents accidentally leaving young children in the backseat of a car on a hot day, only to discover a tragedy when they return. According to the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers, 606 child vehicular heatstroke deaths were recorded in the 13-year period from 1998 to 2012, and more than half (51 percent) were “forgotten” by caregiver.
This type of tragedy is preventable given the technology available today. A California company has just announced a working prototype of a child monitoring system called Forget Me Not that automatically alerts parents if a child is left in a car seat. The system can be installed in about five minutes and works with any car seat.
A sensor pad installed in the car seat is activated once a child is seated, and RF and Bluetooth technology is used to transmit a signal between the car seat and a smartphone via a custom app. The system automatically sends an audible “ping” to the parent’s smartphone to confirm operation. If the parent exits the vehicle without removing the child, an audible alert is activated and a graphic on the smartphone screen appears informing the parent of the child still in the vehicle if they are within 15 feet.
This is a very smart idea. Think about how a stressed-out parent with a lot on his or her mind could inadvertently leave a child in a vehicle while running a quick errand. This aftermarket solution is likely to be watched carefully by attentive automakers. Or at least it ought to be.
Source: Forget Me Not