Great news from General Motors. The automaker plans to significantly expand the availability of its rear seat reminder technology. I raved about this system when I had it in the 2017 GMC Acadia. While it is not a “fix all” for the issue of dumb parents, it will surely help.
The company claims more than three-dozen children have died from heatstroke this year after being left in vehicles or gaining access to an unattended vehicle. The total is said to be up by 60 percent compared to 2015.
The rear seat reminder system monitors the vehicle’s rear doors, activating when either rear door is opened and closed up to 10 minutes before the vehicle is started or while the vehicle is running. Once engaged, the system will sound five chimes and display a warning message to “look in rear seat” when the vehicle is turned off.
The implementation appears to be contained in a simple software update. GM warns that it cannot actually detect items in the back seat.
“The safest way to protect a child from heatstroke is to never leave a child unattended in a vehicle, and features like Rear Seat Reminder, coupled with continued public education, can help combat this preventable tragedy,” says Safe Kids Worldwide chief Kate Carr.