Forgetting something in the backseat of your car can sometimes be equivalent to creating a future problem. It might not be so bad if what you left behind was a lasagna pan like what Nissan engineer Marlene Mendoza did, whose car “smelled like lasagna” the next day. But what if what you leave behind was a very important thing you have to carry, or even a kid? It could be a disaster.
In case you don’t know, 772 children have dead in the past 20 years after being left in cars that were heating up under the scorching sun, said the observatory website for tragic deaths in the US, NoHeatStroke.org. In 2017 alone, 43 children died the same way; while in 2018, car heat has killed so far 28 children. Isn’t it terrible? The temperature in your car can actually be deadly. And it takes only 10 minutes for a closed cabin to become a potential child killer.
Nissan wants its customers to be safe from problems like “lasagna” or even the more terrible ones like leaving pets or kids. For that reason, the Japanese automaker through its engineers Elsa Foley and Marlene Mendoza (who got the idea) developed a back-seat alert system that will remind the driver if he left something important in his Nissan car after it is parked.
Once the system is activated, it will track rear door usage before and after a trip, whether it’s opened and closed or not. If the door is used only at the beginning of the trip but not reopened when the car gets to the destination, the system will start displaying a notification on the digital dash that reminds the driver to check the rear seat. Further alert will use the subtle and distinctive chirps of the car’s horn.
The system will come standard with all four-door Nissan cars include SUVs, crossovers, sedans, and pickups. It will begin to be added to eight 2019 models and continue to spread until all models are covered by 2022.