Driver distractions occur for many reasons, and the result can be lethal. And with reoccupation so prevalent of city streets, country roads and freeways, when a parent finally stops and leaves a car, truck or RV, they can forget that their child or children remain in the vehicle.
If the vehicle gets too hot, a child’s life can be at risk quickly. The Infalurt Child Safety System is designed to prevent a catastrophe.
Manufactured by Australian startup Infalurt, the setup consists of three parts: a capacitive sensor (placed beneath a third-party infant car seat), a control unit located on the center console (or somewhere else that’s accessible to the driver), and a key fob.
Should the driver reach a minimum distance of 33 feet from the control unit while carrying the fob, the system will check in with the seat sensor to see if the baby is still in the vehicle.
If the child still is seated, the control unit will send an ISM-band radio signal to the fob, causing it to alert the driver by vibrating.
If the driver is carrying the child and the fob, the seat sensor alert will not engage.
The Infalurt Child Safety System is battery-powered. It uses two AA batteries in both the seat sensor and the control unit as well as a CR123 coin cell battery in the fob. If any of the batteries run low, an LED on the respective unit will alert the user by flashing red and beeping.
And potential buyers with more than one baby should take note, up to four seat sensors (each one assigned to an individual infant seat) can be paired to a single control unit.
The Infalurt Child Safety System is available now via the company website. It’s priced at about $275.
Also available is the SaferChild system. It uses the buyer’s choice of either a weight-sensitive seat sensor pad or an electronic seatbelt clip on the infant seat.
Scientists at the University of Waterloo are also working on a system that detects forgotten children in cars via radar signals emitted within the cabin.
James Raia, a syndicated columnist in Sacramento, California, publishes a free weekly automotive podcast and electronic newsletter. Sign-ups are available on his website, www.theweeklydriver.com. He can be reached via email: firstname.lastname@example.org.