General Motors has announced a new safety system that helps remind drivers to check for their children who are sitting in rear seats.
The new feature was shown off in the company’s 2017 Acadia SUV. The industry-first feature alerts drivers who had opened the back door at the start of a trip to check the back seat once they get to their destination.
“Too many children are inadvertently left behind in vehicles, often with tragic results. It’s hard to fathom but it does happen, leading to dozens of fatal heat strokes in children under 14 every year,” said GM product planning chief Mark Reuss.
The system “does not detect the presence of a child in the back seat but as a simple extra reminder to look in the rear seat on the way out of the vehicle regardless of what may be there,” Reuss said.
The Acadia is one of the most popular GM vehicles for buyers with children.
Reuss says the company may eventually create a system that actually scans for children and alerts parents if they are about to be left behind.
GM “has some pretty sophisticated anti-theft motion deterrent systems” Reuss admits.
In 2014 GM recalled 30.4 million vehicles over safety concerns, it appears as though the company is now attempting to fix its safety reputation.
The new system could also be useful for remembering to grab refrigerated food and other items you placed in the back seat before beginning your ride.