The Car Seat of the Future Can Save Babies from Hot Cars

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One of the most tragic things that could happen to someone is to have their child die of heat stroke because they were accidentally left in the car on a hot day. Sometimes, people just get caught up in their busy lives, and their sleeping babies get left in the car, completely unable to yell for help or exit to escape the heat.

In the past, some people that have left their children in hot cars have had to deal with the law. But, come on, is legally punishing people for exhibiting human qualities like forgetfulness going to save babies' lives? Probably not.

{ MORE: Car Seat Safety: Are You Part of the 20%? }

So what can we do to stop babies from dying in hot cars? For starters, maybe you can tie a string to your wrist and the wrist of your baby when you get in the car, so if you do forget, there'll be a little tug on your arm that lets you know baby is still there. But that's obnoxious. And impractical. Any other ideas?

Dennis Aneiros, an automotive designer, came up with the genius idea to create a car seat that works with the car in protecting children from being left in the car and consequently dying from heat stroke. He's creating artificial intelligence that will save children's lives. No, I'm not talking about robots that will bust into a hot car and pull the child from his or her car seat. I'm talking about a car seat that is hardwired into the car's system that will identify when there is an unattended child in a car seat.

Here's how the thing works:

The Aneiros car seat is a car seat that is wired into your car's processor. The seat is connected by tons of sensors in order to detect whether or not the baby is actually alone in a hot car. Not only is the seat connected to the processor, but it is specifically connected to the driver's seat, headlights, door locks, ignition, A/C, and alarm. 

What do the sensors sense? They sense weight. If the sensors pick up that there is a person in the driver's seat and in the car seat, it will process that. So once you get to your destination and you get out of the car, the car is going to recognize that only the car seat is still occupied, setting off a beeping sound that will beep until either the driver gets back in the driver's seat or the driver removes the baby from the car seat.

{ MORE: Choosing a Car Seat }

If the beeping is ignored for more than three minutes, the alarm system goes off, letting everyone know, specifically the driver, that their is still some very valuable cargo in the car.

If the alarm falls on deaf ears, the car's A/C will kick on and the doors will unlock, making it so the baby is cooled down and able to be removed from the car if necessary. Mr. Aneiros is also looking into developing an app that will notify you by phone alert if you have left a child in the car.

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Pretty cool, right? I think this is awesome. Even though the number of babies that die per year from being left in a car is pretty low (39 per year) compared to other risks, every baby is worth it.

Would you look into investing into something like this? Do you think this will eventually become the standard? Let us know what you think!

What do you think?

The Car Seat of the Future Can Save Babies from Hot Cars

Jace Whatcott is a self-diagnosed introvert who loves crossword puzzles, golf, and reading. Despite being a male contributor—one of the few on this particular website—he is not in unfamiliar territory. Because he is an English major, 90% of his classmates are females, so he’s not too worried about being a fish out of water. One of his favorite things to do is to raid local thrift stores for used books. He’s always looking for something to read, or for something to put on his endless to-r ... More

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50 comments

  1. Deryl says:

    As a former Paramedic, Police Officer and Firefighter, now a stay at home Dad I think that this is a good start on an idea to stop accidental deaths of children left in a car. First off, It is easy to be self-righteous about never having forgotten your baby in the car. I have never left my baby in the car, even to walk in and check the mailbox, but does that mean I could never do it, no. As a matter of fact if you read the actual research on babies left in hot cars that die, you will find a number of factors that create a risk for this occurring. Change in routine, exhaustion, other major life events, especially traumatic one all can cause a loving parent to forget their baby in a car. This is not to justify what happens, or to give an easy out to those that intentionally leave their child in a car, I am talking about cases where it is an honest mistake. If you our read the information on the accidental cases, you find that the parents are devastated and wish they could turn back time. With to days technology I think it would be very easy to create a device that is linked to a weight sensor and a key-chain alarm connected by a Bluetooth pairing that works on a distance separation. Whatever comes of the research, the end product has to be reliable, and affordable to be able to implement it for all babies. No more infant deaths ibecause of hot cars is the only acceptable outcome!!

  2. Mikki says:

    Here’s another GREAT IDEA. How about all the people that just leave their kids in vehicles STOP doing it. Why should we have to cater to someone who is doing something so horrible?!?! You come out of the store your child has passed and you freak out because they have passed on, why are you having children?!?! its too hot in the car you DON’T LEAVE CHILDREN IN A CAR SEAT TO DEFEND FOR THEMSELVES. Did you eat a bowl of stupid for breakfast. Come on people get your head out of your butts.

  3. mmkaiser89 says:

    This would drive me crazy! I have twins and live on the third floor of an apartment complex. I know it only takes about a min or two to bring one kid up and run down and grab the other one. Just like when I’m leaving, I have to bring one child down at a time. Also, when we go places I always bring their stroller. So you have to add in the time it takes u to unload…get out each baby. Another point when I get done shopping, the first thing I do is the load the babies. When does this thing start beeping? As soon as you get out or as soon as you lock the door? I’ll emit I’ve ran into a store to grab one thing without bring my children with me, but I’ve never forgotten my child.

  4. Erin says:

    I can see how this technology would be useful in other ways, such as cars having built-in sensors to detect whether a car seat is properly installed. I know I had a lot of anxiety in the beginning about whether or not the seat was secure enough. I can also see how this technology would be useful if you accidentally lock your keys in the car, or maybe an older child locks the doors while you’re pumping gas or brushing snow off the windows, for instance. I nearly locked myself out of the house while my daughter was inside sleeping when I went out to get the mail! Crazy things happen, especially when you’re a tired parent. The idea has some good qualities for general safety and could be incorporated in other ways. As far as being forgetful of your child goes, I have a hard time believing it, but I do know that sometimes people go on autopilot and do dumb things. For many years, my husband and I drove to work together, and he would drop me off on the way to his work. When I stopped working before our daughter was born, he said that a few times he would still end up driving to my work, even though I wasn’t even in the car with him! But forgetting that your child is in the car with you, that’s a bit hard to believe!

  5. Isaac says:

    This is stupid to me. It sounds to me like we are just trying to cater to the people that forget about their children?! what? that is ridiculous. How about you don’t get so “caught up in life” and don’t forget about your kids! That makes alot more sense to me than spending the time, money, and technology on something that makes it ok to be too caught up in life to remember your kids! Just a big waste to me!

  6. Courtney says:

    I have never left my son in his car seat for more than a minute to run in my house if I left something, but my husband and I both agree a child’s seat belt sensor would be nice. There have been two times where we put him in the seat for a tube feeding (this is on long trips usually where we have to stop at a rest area to feed him) and he is not buckled because we are giving him a tube and then after we have rinsed it out we get in the car and get ready to go and forget to strap the arm straps back to the bottom belt. When I got to where I was going we realized and I thanked God that we didn’t have an accident. This I am sure can happen to parents who are busy as well and I would love a sensor that would beep to let me know the seatbelt is not attached properly.

  7. Braden says:

    The level of incompetence that it takes to leave your child in the car is just simply unacceptable. I really hope this hasn’t gone to production and receives no funding. It only gives someone an excuse when they do leave a child in the car weather it be on purpose (we all know those people are out there) or by accident.

  8. Anita says:

    It sounds like a good idea. But not to be made into a carseat. That would not be very affordable. What about a adapter of some kind. that you can sync into your electrical system/phone/computer. Something universal. Yes nowadays people are always busy, rushing doing to many errands at once. Do not blame all parents for being bad and not able to care for their children. Accidents DO happen to parents. Anything to help us all become better alert parents and keep our children safer. I am up for reviewing. Blessing to all!

    • E says:

      No, a car seat simply wouldn’t work because there are so many seats that only fit certain vehicles & kids change seats how many times before going into a booster seat (in a booster they’d be much less likely to be forgotten because they are usually climbing out of their seats as soon as the vehicle is in park, which they can easily do in a booster seat). It would have to be an add-on accessory of some sort so that more people could use it, though again, I do feel like many others who think it could totally be used for on purpose “accidents”. Like anything, there are good & bad aspects. I do believe accidents happen, though I do also believe some who claimed they “forgot” their child do so on purpose. That said, if there is indeed a need for this, I don’t think it should not be made simply because SOME would abuse it. We would never do anything because everything gets abused by some people… even things that were made for a great or very benign intention.

  9. Dany says:

    Wow! I just can’t believe how rude some of you mothers really are. Reading these comments gives me anxiety…

  10. Adriane says:

    I think it’s a wonderful idea to save babies lives. On the other hand, if you forget your baby in the car for more than a minuet you should not have kids. Everyone has their moments. I’ve had mine. I’ve shut the door and started to walk away then turned right around to get the kid. How can you forget your kid for more than a few seconds? I’m a busy Mom of 3 and I know how crazy things can get, but if you forget your kid for that long; I’m sorry, you are a total idiot who does not need to have children.

  11. Erin says:

    Who forgets they have a kid?!?! That is a sad excuse the people guilty of this SAY! I think it will encourage people to leave their kids. The ac will kick on; no biggy. But the doors unlock and someone can save or kidnap the child?!? What will the technology do to the price of the seat. Do you really think someone that might forget their kid is going to go the extra mile to prevent forgetting them? The laws should be harder on child abuse and neglect and government assistants needs to be reevaluated. People should be ready to have kids and to care for them properly and not need a car seat to babysit their kids!

  12. Jessica says:

    First off… Even though I don’t quite understand how someone could forget that their child was in the car (if that’s even possible, I think there are probably quite a few people who lied and said they didn’t realize)… I won’t judge that person that genuinely just flat out didn’t realize. But I can’t tell you how many times I have seen mothers or fathers purposely leave their child in the seat sleeping and go into a store. As a mother of three kids under the age of 6 and another on the way, I know what it’s like to have to take the kids out of the car seats every time I get out of the car. Even if it’s for a few seconds… If I can’t see my car, I take my kids out and bring them with me. There is absolutely no way I would leave them in the car to go into a store, nor would I ever “forget” that they are there. Maybe it’s different for mothers who are working and aren’t with their children all the time I don’t know but my kids are always on my mind. Anyway… The only people that will purchase this seat are people who would never leave their child unattended in the first place. The overly cautious mothers and fathers would never even for a second forget. Now what I think would be an excellent idea would be for EVERY car to have a sensor that would do this when there is a car seat in the back. Instead of a person spending who knows how much on a car seat and then have to get it installed some how… Because like I said the only people that will spend the money to buy this thing are going to be the type of people who are OVERLY cautious. This is a great idea though because something needs to change!!!

  13. VVanNess says:

    I think this is awesome! I would hope that this would never happen to me, but it sure wouldn’t after that alarm. And then you would feel safe that no one else would do this to your baby either (relative, friend, babysitter) even accidentally. If it did, your baby would at least live. Very nice.

  14. lourdes says:

    This is a genius idea. Just needs to be put into practice.
    This works especially for parents who are on the go with bigger children
    and then have a baby because it can get difficult to all of a sudden have
    a little one totally depend on you.

    Hopefully its not an expensive car seat.

  15. Nikki says:

    I think this is genius! This would be something I’d buy! I forget stuff now. I would hate myself if I forgot my baby.

  16. Melinda says:

    I really like this idea for its ingenuity, but I think it lacks practicality. I would be much more likely to buy a bracelet set for me and the LO that goes off when we are not within 5 or 10 feet of one another. Then it would go off only once you actually had forgotten the child there. It also would go off if the child was wondering off in the store. I do like how the weight in the baby seat means you can’t lock the car, but maybe not able to lock, and A/C turns on when a thermometer tells it to do so without the alarm would be best? The alarm, like I said, is a great idea, but how many moms and dads would turn it off or tune it out after a while because of it going off the whole time you’re grabbing the this and that which you need when you have a baby with you.

    • Melinda says:

      I just thought of another thing… my husband has a car where the key isn’t even a key, the car can sense when it is close. Maybe the alarm would only sound once that or something like that was no longer close? That way the alarm would sound when you walked away, but not before.

  17. Lisset says:

    This is an incredible idea! I just hope it doesn’t cost an arm and a leg. Because this could be a very valuable piece for anyone with a baby. Thank God for bright ideas like the one this man had. Now lets put it into production!

  18. Sonia says:

    Here are some alarming statistics… Since 1998 605 children have died from heat stroke due to being left in their car seat. In 2013 43 children died alone. For anyone to post that this is a dumb idea is just ignorant to this information. I have two small children and could never fathom leaving them in the car, I cant imagine that 605 parents intended on doing so either. I saw an interview with a parent who did this and she was a well educated, busy woman who got caught up in her busy life and forgot her sleeping baby in the car. No child should die like this and its a wonderful idea!!! I remember hearing of children that had died on the news and wondering why something like this had not been thought of yet. For the woman who forgot her keys in the ignition, and “will never do this again” i’m sure the parents that forgot their children think the same only they have to live with the life of their child being taken by their sheer forgetfulness. One child dead from this is too many! Never judge anyone! Im sure hindsight being 20/20 none of these parents thought it could happen to them. GREAT IDEA AND I PRAY I SEE IT COME TO FRUITION, SHAME ON ANYONE WHO THINKS ITS A BAD IDEA TO TRY AND SAVE A CHILDS LIFE!!!

    • Phillip says:

      Thank God for people who think like you!! Anything to help a child I’m all for. I’ve never left my child. I pray for all parents whos lives are so busy or even the sleep deprived parents that they would never forget about their blessing from God!!

  19. Cassandra says:

    I think that is the best idea around. 39 babies have died that is 39 to many. and mostly caused by forgetfulness. the sooner it gets on the market the better. The babies thank you for coming up with this idea and all the wonderful sensors that are on the baby seat and the drivers seat.

  20. cherieanna says:

    I often put groceries in the child car seat when the kids are not with me (especially eggs and bread type food) and wander if the A.I. would think it was a baby and set off a False Alarm…. I would hate to go through all of that mess when there was no baby in the car.

  21. E says:

    I also agree that it is crazy to forget your child, but apparently I’ve never been tired enough?! I just don’t see it happening.

    Anyway, what part about IT UNLOCKS YOUR DOORS sounds smart?! I mean so there will be an alarm going off & THEN the doors are unlocked for anybody to steal the child?! Or what about a mischievous toddler who could then get out of the vehicle & get hit by a car?!

    I think IF there is a need for this at all, it should not included unlocking the doors… that is just stupidity at its finest, IMO.

    I will say, & believe me it was a STUPID moment on my part, the one thing I could see the unlocking useful for would be if someone accidentally locked their child in their car… we had a new to us van, I got out to pump gas, & the van locked w/my 2 kids inside (keys in the ignition… I know, I know I had just left the car dealer parking lot & was just out of sorts driving a van, which I had never driven a van before, so I had the door partially open while I shut the pump off, the door got bumped closed, & the doors LOCKED… I was in utter shock & horror!)… the police came w/in 5 minutes but I sure got grilled about was it my car, my kids, etc… not like I had my ID & wallet on my OUTSIDE of the van with me.

    Unlocking doors would have been great then! My one child was almost 5 & she should have been able to unlock the door but she claimed she couldn’t get out of her seat harness. She later confessed to me that she didn’t want to set her ice cream cone down she was eating to open the door (though I begged & pleaded through the windows w/her) because she was afraid it would melt all over our new van.

    While I don’t ever foresee my forgetting my child, I can see some vigilante citizen thinking it is then THEIR right to remove the child from the car. Now I am sure some of you would say something like, “Good, they should…” but what if they are actually a pedophile… or a kidnapper… or fill in the blank w/any other scary thing they could be. What if they just want to “teach the parent a lesson” & they steal the child… thinking in their own mind THEY are right?!

    We’ve all seen enough movies where a mentally imbalanced person does something very wrong, yet they gain the sympathy of others because, “Well THEY thought they were doing the right thing…” Sure it could seem far fetched for someone w/malicious intent to take the child, but to me it is far more likely than forgetting my child to begin with.

    If I am that tired that I forget my child, I am not only a danger to my child but myself & anybody else on the road. I need to stay home, not endanger the lives of everyone around me.

    I think what we could do to be part of the solution rather than the problem is to offer to watch a baby (with mom right there or at least in the home) for a mom to take a nap & get some rest so things like forgetting a child doesn’t happen or so at least the likelihood if it goes down. I would be ever so grateful for someone to offer to sit w/my child/ren in my home when I have a new baby (or am just extra tired for whatever reason) so I could rest. That would be wonderful! Unfortunately I have never had help from anyone, not even family (aside from DH for a few days while he is off of work), after having a child but it would be so great for someone to offer.

    • Faye says:

      and what if your child was in the car having a heat stroke about to die and a perfectly honest citizen was trying to save their life but they couldn’t get your car unlocked so ooopps your kid is dead now all because your doors were locked but hey at least a sicko didn’t pull your child from a situation that was just as dangerous in a different way. I would never leave my daughter in the car either I don’t ever see my self forgetting her she is the most important thing in my life and no I wouldn’t want the sicko near her but if I did forget her I wouldn’t care who pulled her to safety as long as she was alive. It is unlikely that with all those bells and whistles going off that anyone would make off with the child anyway before the cops got there. but a better idea would be to have it connected to on star so they could notify the police of a child left alone in a vehicle

      • E says:

        Hmmm, your response to me & someone else was snippy… you told someone they sound ridiculous.

        So what if I wrote a longer response?! You seem to only see one side to an issue, & if someone feels otherwise, they are fools, apparently.

        Nobody said a baby doesn’t deserve a chance to be rescued, but there are also other issues to consider. I’d much rather take the risk of someone having to break a window to save my child than having open door locks where anybody could grab them. If I forgot my child & someone had to break a window, then that is my problem to deal with.

        If the drunk woman who killed her baby had THIS system the AC would have kicked on & she wouldn’t have died. Just having open door locks alone isn’t going to save a baby. It would have taken someone to see her roasting in the vehicle, in which case they could have broken a window to save her. But apparently nobody was there to see her, so how would open locks have changed the situation w/out anybody there to help?!

        Nobody said the alarm would be blaring… it would beep. How loud?? Don’t know, but you go off on tangents telling people how stupid they are.

      • E says:

        And who would be calling the police?! The system itself wouldn’t… so you’re assuming some honest citizen would call before some sicko could grab the child.

      • E says:

        Furthermore, let’s not blame the kid’s death on my not wanting doors to unlock but rather forgetting the child to BEGIN WITH!! Had I not done that, it wouldn’t have ever been an issue, remember?! Nothing like attacking someone because they don’t see YOUR POV… eeeks, I said the doors unlocking was BAD based upon the premise the AC would go on like the product description states! Did you not read that part?!

        An FYI, not everyone has, wants, and/or can afford Onstar.

        • Misty says:

          You wrote a novel about what a bad idea it is for the doors to unlock. You weren’t attacked, it was just being pointed out that after all the alarms with no parent response, it is not a bad idea for the doors to unlock. Better than having to break into the car to save the child. Did you not hear about the lady who went to the bar, got drunk all while her baby died in her hot car? You don’t think someone should be able to save said baby? Do you honestly think that someone with ill intentions would be caught dead near a car with a blaring alarm? No, bad people tend to not want to draw attention to themselves.

      • E says:

        Uh, the AC would go on, remember?!

    • E says:

      And I NEVER left the keys in the ignition again!!

  22. Jami says:

    I agree with Michelle. I really don’t see how anyone could end up leaving their kids by accident for more than a few minutes. I have had 2 kids now, and still have one in a car seat and I just don’t see how it would be possible to forget. If someone does it, it is NOT an accident. And if they are they type to do that knowing they could overheat or someone could possibly break in and take them or something, then they will not be the type to buy the seat. The only way they would get it is if it becomes mandatory and with the small amount who actually die from this, I don’t see it becoming mandatory. With how worried you are every minute of your baby and how fragile babies can be, no good mother would be able to forget their baby. It is impossible. It’s like a motherly ingrained instinct thing where you can’t stop thinking about them and making sure they are ok and have all they need. If they were missing more than a few minutes by your side, you’d know.

  23. Michelle says:

    I feel like the people who care enough to have it would be the ones who wouldn’t forget and need it. The ones who need it won’t be the ones who actually have it. If it has to be installed into your car that will limit even more from using it. It would be a good idea if it was being used 100%.

  24. Monica says:

    I too think I could never leave my child in the car but have read stories about good parents that have when they are so tired and sick and schedules have changed for that day and it just happened. Gives me some much anxiety that it really could happen to anyone. I know how tired I have been as a parent and how if something as simple as driving to work or the store can be difficult when so tired. Anyways I could love to have this and would hope that it would be affordable enough for every parent, come standard in new cars as well as be a someone easy/affordable upgrade to all other vehicles. Yes the number of deaths by some standard is low but any deaths because of this is really unacceptable.

  25. Jennifer says:

    While I don’t think I could ever forget my son is in my car, accidents happen. That’s why they are called accidents. I’m not talking about the various stories of ‘You can’t break my window, it’s a new car!’ parents who have kids locked in cars, or a parent who leaves their kid in the car to go drinking, or partying or whatever. But accidents happen.

    There are a variety of things available to alert you to your child being in the car. Some of which are habits (such as putting your purse/wallet in the backseat, the toy in the carseat/front seat when child in car), and some which is technology (some sort of seat sensor that hooks to your phone, so if a weight stays in the carseat, your phone starts to text you, etc).

    This is just one more weapon in the arsenal to prevent accidents. I think it’s an awesome weapon in the arsenal, and yes, while I can see that it could be annoying, so is buckling your kid in and out of a five point harness whenever you have to go somewhere, as are a number of other things that we do to decrease accidents with our children.

    Cost is a question, some people may not be able to afford it if it is much more costly than a regular car seat, but if you’re looking at buying a carseat for 150-200, and it boosts the price to 200-250 (for example), then that’s not bad. If it jumps the cost from 150-200 to 300-400, that’s a different story perhaps.

    The A/C bit is awesome, since that can immediately save a child’s life, even if the beeping and alarm don’t get any immediate results.

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