Preventing heatstroke casualties - VitaSense for enhanced in-vehicle child safety

News / April 16, 2019

Vehicle Heatstroke – Reality Check

In-vehicle heatstroke is a chilling reality that hundreds of parents have had the misfortune of experiencing. The consequences are sometimes irreversible: unattended children have died, trapped in baking hot cars. Others suffer long-term disabilities. In the U.S. alone, there have been 794 documented fatalities since 1998 (2018 being the worst year with 51 recorded deaths). We know of numerous cases in other parts of the world, but the phenomenon is still poorly monitored.

The science behind unknowingly leaving a child in a car

“We cannot train our brains not to forget”

This is a sensitive matter, on which there should be no finger pointing. Testimonials show all too vividly that those who accidentally forgot a child in the car are not negligent, easy-going, absent-minded, ill-intended parents. They are humans. Humans who may not have slept for nights in a row. Humans who are surreally busy. Humans who might have miscommunicated with their spouse on that day. Humans like you and me. Stress, a sudden change of habit, a distraction and our memory can fail. No one is 100% safe from it. Before we know it, we are convinced in the back of our minds that the child was dropped off into day care, whereas he/she is still present in the car, while we carry on with our daily tasks.

This is where technology can and should step in. Educating people on the topic is not enough. As the numbers of victims speak louder and louder every year, vehicle manufacturers and rule makers understand the urgency to implement effective, affordable and available technological solutions that can “bring an end to these predictable and preventable tragedies,” as the organization KidsAndCars explains. Why, then, not equip cars with an alarm system that warns drivers to check the presence of back seat passengers when the car is turned off, in the same way we are reminded to turn off the headlights or attach the seatbelts?

IEE’s VitaSense – A vital sensing solution

At IEE, we do not shy away from finding solutions to even the most niche applications. Our people have a genuine concern for driver and passenger safety. To fight this problem, IEE has developed an essential, life-saving sensor, capable of detecting even sleeping infants left alone in the car and alert drivers in multiple ways. We call it VitaSense

VitaSense is not a complicated product. Integrated above the back seats of a car, it functions as a transmitter sending harmless, low-power radio signals that are reflected by the human body. It then feeds the information into the vehicle warning system which triggers various types of notifications: sounds and lights activation, text a user on the mobile phone, etc. This all depends on the car’s built-in systems. Because VitaSense is independent of the child restraints system (CRS) used, it cannot be flawed by incorrect use or installation of the child seat.

“Parents and child safety advocates all over the world had been calling for years for technological devices that address this human error to be made available. VitaSense was developed precisely for this reason. And today, we are extremely proud to release such a powerful product that reinforces in-vehicle child safety and helps prevent tragic situations. One child lost is one too many,” says Alexander Treis, Business Development Manager.


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