'Rear Seat Reminder': GMC Adds Warning Chime So You Don't Forget You Have a Kid

Steph Willems
by Steph Willems
8216 rear seat reminder gmc adds warning chime so you dont forget you have a kid

Sometimes, someone invents a device that perfectly sums up the world we live in. Selfie sticks and microwave bacon racks are good examples, but GMC has a strong candidate with its Rear Seat Reminder.

The automaker just announced that the new warning chime, which monitors the rear doors of the 2017 Acadia SUV, will alert drivers to the fact that they’ve procreated, and that their vulnerable offspring is currently sitting in the backseat.

Please check back there and remove the child before leaving the vehicle, the industry-first chime (and associated dash warning light) suggests.

The feature, which comes standard on the next Acadia and will likely become a common sight in other cavernous utilities, was developed in response to real — and all too common — tragedies. Checking the backseat can slip a driver’s mind when, for example, child transport isn’t part of their normal commuting routine.

Here’s how the warning works, according to GMC:

The feature is intended to activate when either 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 running. Under these circumstances, the next time the vehicle is turned off after a door activation, the Acadia is designed to sound five audible chimes and display a message in the driver information center that reads, “Rear Seat Reminder / Look in Rear Seat.”

According to the Associated Press, at least 12 children have died so far this year after being left alone in hot cars. And the year isn’t even half over.

Children’s advocacy groups Kids and Cars and Safe Kids Worldwide have praised the automaker for developing the system and called for wider adoption.

[Image: General Motors]

Join the conversation
10 of 81 comments
  • TMA1 TMA1 on Jun 15, 2016

    Just think, every terrible driver you see on the road had to get a license before they were allowed to do that. But those same people have right to breed as much as they want, with no oversight (and a strong likelihood that they'll be dipping into your pocket to pay for their offspring's upbringing). Sad that this is necessary, glad that it exists.

  • TDIGuy TDIGuy on Jun 15, 2016

    Doesn't sound like a bad idea, but I see a downside. Every day I put my laptop bag on the floor in the back seat when I drive to work. Under this system that would set off the alarm. So I would think nothing of the alarm going off, even in other circumstances. I would rather see the system use a sensor in the seat similar to the front seats.

    • See 1 previous
    • Wtaf Wtaf on Jun 15, 2016

      In my experience seat sensors in most cars go off of weight. Yes? Problem with that is child seat weights vary greatly and infants weigh very little. While a weight sensor could tell you something is in the seat you'll get the the same false alarm with an empty child seat installed or you if the tolerance is too high it might never signal that a child is in the seat. For example some of the safest seats on the market use a steel-alloy frame and easily weight more than an infant and some toddlers.

  • TonyP TonyP on Jun 15, 2016

    We should also have a toilet seat that reminds me to wipe when I'm done. Or a notification on my phone to remember to breathe. I'm constantly walking around with a filthy ass and a blue face. Parent isn't just a noun, it's a verb. Take personal responsibility for the human you made.

    • See 1 previous
    • TonyP TonyP on Jun 16, 2016

      @TDIGuy Understandable. The occasional "did I leave the stove on?" moment happens to us all, but in a day and age where everyone needs to point a finger of blame or rely on someone/something else to take over their inherent responsibility, I draw the line. Weather that is being aware of your kids on the roof/backseat of a car or falling into a gorilla enclosure or eaten by an alligator. At what point do parents say "I fucked up" instead of "we need legislation"?

  • Mark "Bark M." Baruth Mark "Bark M." Baruth on Jun 15, 2016

    To all the people saying "OMG HOW COULD THIS HAPPEN UR KIDS DESERVE TO DIE IF UR A BAD PARENT"--- Shut up. No kid deserves to die a horrific, painful, cruel and unusual death because his/her parent is utterly overwhelmed and fatigued.

    • See 1 previous
    • BuzzDog BuzzDog on Jun 15, 2016

      And while I'll never say I'm always successful at it, I try to be kind and understanding. Maybe, just maybe one of these tots will be saved by this device, and grow up to be the nurse that comforts a 90-something-year-old BuzzDog in the 2040s...or cures cancer...or finds the key to an internal combustion system with near-perfect efficiency...or a solution that satisfies the gun lobby AND reduces mass shootings. Be cynical all you want, but stranger things have happened. Be thankful that you're sitting safely in your climate-controlled environment, posting your beefs on your portable electronic device about some safety feature you don't like. But most importantly, be glad that you have first-world problems to worry about.