GMC Unveils ‘Rear Seat Reminder’ Hoping to Prevent Hot Car Deaths of Children
Approximately three dozen children die each year in the United States after being left in hot cars, but one automaker is hoping to drastically reduce those numbers. GMC announced on Monday that a “Rear Seat Reminder” will be a standard feature in its 2017 Acadia SUV models, Today reported.
“It was designed in response to the tremendous amount of heatstroke deaths that we see every year,” said Tricia Morrow, a GM global safety strategy engineer who worked on the feature, to Today Parents. “We saw this as a problem for the industry.” The feature will monitor the car’s rear doors and activate when they are opened or closed within 10 minutes of the car starting, or while the car is running. When the engine is then turned off – like when the driver arrives at the store – the system makes a chiming noise and a dashboard message appears saying, “Rear Seat Reminder, Look in Rear Seat.” Today noted the feature does not actually detect people or items in the backseat, as the technology is difficult to implement, Morrow added. The morning news program also noted the Acadia was chosen because the spacious vehicle is more family-friendly than other models, but that GM is planning to outfit other models with the feature. The announcement from GM comes just a day after a 6-month-old baby died after being left in a car in Des Moines, Iowa, the 12th death of a child in a hot car so far this year.
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