Volvo says it will be the first automaker to equip vehicles with in-car ceiling-mounted radars that can detect the breathing of children or pets and sound the alarm if they are locked inside.
And car safety body ANCAP is introducing new standards that will push manufacturers to fit cars with “child presence detection” features.
Technology could include the ability to notify drivers of a child left in a car by automatically sounding the horn or sending alerts with a smartphone app and possibly taking other action by turning on the air conditioning and calling emergency services. ’emergency.
Volvo spokeswoman Lotta Jakobsson, senior technical specialist for injury prevention, said the Swedish brand will include some of these features in the new Volvo “EX90” which will be unveiled in the coming weeks.
“We know you would never deliberately endanger your children or pets in a hot car, and yet we see heat-related deaths with occupants left in cars,” she said.
“We want to be a second pair of eyes to help you when you’re not at your best.
“We plan to be the first automaker to introduce an interior radar system that covers the entire cabin to help prevent children or pets from being left behind.”
The system is specially designed to detect the movement of a breathing person or animal. If the driver opens their door, gets out and locks the car, the Volvo will keep the doors unlocked and display an alert on the central infotainment screen.
The car’s air conditioning will remain on whenever people or pets are in the car and will optionally be linked to Volvo’s smartphone app.
The automaker says more than 900 American children have died locked in cars since 1998. Kidsafe Australia reports that 5,000 children are locked in cars each year. At least 10 Australian children have died locked in cars in the past five years or so.