GM Adds Rear Seat Reminder to 20 Models, Targets Subpar Parents
General Motors’ Rear Seat Reminder technology, designed to alert drivers to check the back seat when exiting their vehicles, will be offered on a multitude of Buick, Cadillac, Chevrolet and GMC vehicles by the 2018 model year.
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.”
Still, you have to wonder if a succession of not incredibly urgent tones is enough to grab someone’s attention. I once spent twenty minutes in an Uber where the driver effectively ignored the seatbelt chime for the trip’s duration. It’s also worth noting that the system doesn’t actually sense items or people in the rear seat. It can only recognize if the rear doors were opened and shut prior to setting off.
While it’s despicable that we exist in a reality where there is a calling for this type of technology, if it saves a single life, it will have been worth implementing.
“This new technology developed by General Motors will give busy parents and caregivers the important reminder to always check the back seat,” said Kate Carr, president and CEO of Safe Kids Worldwide in a statement. “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.”
Since the technology is an industry-first safety feature, don’t be surprised to see similar systems cropping up on other brands — but not before it arrives on slew of updated offerings from General Motors. If you happen to be a self-absorbed or criminally forgetful person with children, these are the cars for you:
2017 Buick Lacrosse
2017 Cadillac Escalade and Escalade ESV
2017 Cadillac CT6
2017 Chevrolet Cruze and Cruze Hatchback
2017 Chevrolet Malibu
2017 Chevrolet Tahoe
2017 Chevrolet Suburban
2017 Chevrolet Silverado
2017 Chevrolet Colorado
2017 GMC Yukon
2017 GMC Yukon XL
2017 GMC Sierra
2017 GMC Canyon
2018 Cadillac XT5
2018 Cadillac CTS and CTS-V
2018 Cadillac ATS
2018 Chevrolet Equinox
[Images: General Motors]
Consumer advocate tracking industry trends, regulation, and the bitter-sweet nature of modern automotive tech. Research focused and gut driven.
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