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Cabin Awareness Feature – A Solution for Hot Car Deaths

When summer rolls around, it’s still possible to take a vacation and travel around with the whole family despite the hot weather while keeping in mind safety precautions such as choosing a safe car seat for your child. However, it is also the time of year when the number of people killed in car accidents increases, and sadly most of the victims are children. With an average of 38 incidents per year involving children, hot car deaths have been a huge concern for parents. We lose more children to heatstroke than to any other weather event as young bodies can’t regulate their body temperature as well as older ones. An adult being left alone in a hot vehicle on an 80-degree day will suffer from heart failure within 10 minutes, and a 10-minute exposure will kill a child from heatstroke.

Many people ask: Why does ‘hot-car death’ happen?

Two main reasons are Forgotten Baby Syndrome (FBS) and Chronic Stress in adults. FBS occurs when a parent walks away from a car without realizing that their child remains inside, and Chronic Stress is when people have so much on their minds that they forget about children or elderly passengers in the back of their cars. For many, it is hard to accept and believe that a loved one could unintentionally harm their child, but these tragedies occur far too often.

What can we do to prevent it?

In addition to remembering the tips to prevent leaving your child from being left in the backseat, this is where Cabin Awareness comes in: it’s a driver-focused solution developed by Toyota that combines Driver’s Presence Recognition and Rear Seat Reminder to monitor your vehicle while you’re driving, alerting you when something goes wrong with your child or pet in the back seat.

How does it work?

The Cabin Awareness is a solution that relies on millimeter-wave radar to detect micro-movements and thus, it can “see” breathing, heartbeat, and other vital signs. It is also able to understand life in a vehicle. The system then uses these sensors to monitor for driver presence and alerts the driver if it detects that there may be children inside the car.

It could also link up to a driver’s cell phone, other smart devices at home, or other Toyota vehicles in an environment such as a parking lot and contact emergency services when other alerts go unanswered.

The new life-saving technology is not yet available for purchase by the general public, but it is an exciting development that could help prevent accidents and save lives. It has the potential to revolutionize safety, and we can’t wait to see it become more widely available.

Cecilia Pearson
Cecilia Pearson


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