If you’re clueless enough to forget that you’re hauling a kid in the back seat, General Motors has a vehicle for you.
Having made its debut in the 2017 GMC Acadia earlier this year, the technology aims to prevent heatstroke-related deaths and reduce the number of children left unattended in parking lots.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration lists heatstroke as one of the leading causes of non-traffic vehicle-related fatalities for children under fourteen. According to KidsAndCars.org, that works out to an average of 37 fatalities per year. The majority of the time, those children were simply forgotten in the back.
GM’s Rear Seat Reminder works by monitoring the vehicle’s rear doors. The feature activates whenever a rear door is opened and closed within 10 minutes before the vehicle is started, or if they are opened and closed while the vehicle is already running. When the vehicle is turned off after a door activation, the system sounds five audible chimes and a display message reminder drivers to “Look in Rear Seat.”
This system makes certain assumptions: that the kid hasn’t been in there for more than ten minutes, and that the alleged adult at the wheel isn’t whacked out on meth.