How Your Next Ford Will Remind You There's a Kid or Pet in the Car

Ford’s ongoing efforts toward improving safety and security are continuing with this new system. Vehicles left in the sun can reach scorching temperatures for the human body. There were cases in which a kid left behind and locked inside a car resulted in a tragedy. Here’s how it can be avoided.
Baby in the Car 6 photos
Photo: Sharon McCutcheon on Unsplash
Back Seat of a CarKid Sleeping During RidePerson in the Back SeatKid in the Back SeatMan Leaving a Car
The American carmaker is trying to avoid problems, especially during summer. Drivers can easily distract themselves from thinking about other things and might forget someone’s in the back of their car. In the last couple of years, there have been cases in which children or pets lost their lives in the scorching heat.

That’s one of the reasons why Dog Mode is popular. It helped Tesla owners take care of their pets when they’re left in the car for longer periods, besides letting others know the A/C is on. Ford’s Pet Mode will do the same while providing some more useful features. But reminding someone or something is sitting in your car while you’re getting ready to leave is another system entirely.

Ford’s idea to avoid the tragedies mentioned above comprises cameras and/or sensors that check the back seat for occupancy. If it detects something, the driver will be alerted with an image prompting on the infotainment screen, a sound that can’t be ignored, and a warning light on the dashboard. It’s also possible to get a push notification on your phone in some well-equipped Ford cars or trucks.

One version of the patented system works with the help of pressure sensors. They detect weight, even if it’s not that of a normal adult. If the car is a more expensive model, then it’ll also have cameras for further confirmation. Ford’s also thinking about using motion sensors, but that might not happen because of extra production costs, which, to be entirely honest, aren’t needed here.

The system will always turn on in new Ford cars and trucks just before the driver is getting ready to exit the vehicle. Switching off the engine, putting the vehicle in Park mode, and opening the door to leave without looking in the back will prompt the checks and, if needed, the alerts.

It’s not yet clear which new cars will get this system and if it will be available as an over-the-air software update, but you can find out specifics about it in the USPTO filing attached down below. All in all, it’s a great move from the Michigan-based manufacturer. You just have to remember that a patent isn’t a guarantee of production. It most likely will happen, but nobody knows exactly when or on what vehicle.
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 Download: Ford's New System for a Back Seat Alert (PDF)

About the author: Florin Amariei
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Car shows on TV and his father's Fiat Tempra may have been Florin's early influences, but nowadays he favors different things, like the power of an F-150 Raptor. He'll never be able to ignore the shape of a Ferrari though, especially a yellow one.
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