A new concept child seat has been revealed by Mercedes-Benz at the Experimental Safety Vehicle 2019. Through the brand’s PRE-SAFE, it has shown that child safety can be further improved by developing a Child Seat with PRE-SAFE functions which can automatically bring preventive tension to the child’s seat as well as it automatically extends an impact protective element before a crash. The seat also provides various vital sign monitoring functions built within the child seat.
According to statistics, from the Federal Statistical Office in 2017, in Germany almost 11,000 children incurred injuries during an accident in a passenger car. With the new PRE-SAFE technology the sensors in the Mercedes-Benz car can detect an imminent crash, for example, a skid to the side, activating the system in the child seat within milliseconds which automatically tightens the seat belts as well as raises a side impact protection element via the use of a battery powered solenoid switch, integrated in to the child seat.
The advantage of the seat belt system is that it reduces slack within the belt and the little one can be firmly and accurately tucked in the safety of the ergonomically designed seat, because of which the loads’ acting on the child’s body are reduced considerably. The seat uses a five-point seat belt system with mechanical pre-tensioners and the seat can be rotated through 90-degrees, meaning the seat can face the door, so that the child can be lifted in or out with ease.
According to a study by an insurance company, almost half of the child seats were incorrectly installed in the cars which leads to the risk of injury or death. The new Child Seat comes with installation monitoring which reduces the risk of incorrect installation. The child seat has 8 symbols on it which correspond to three-dimensional animation on the Mercedes-Benz User Experience (MBUX) display, that guides through a step by step explanation to ensure all necessary installation steps have been taken and the seat is installed correctly.
The latest improved child seats, for example the i-Size, that is an ECE R129 approved Child Seat can be attached to the ISOFIX child seat anchorage system, in a rearward facing position. Children up to the age of 15-months can be carried in this type of rearward facing seats which adds to the safety of the child and in case of a frontal impact, the child’s head and neck are subjected to lower impact loads as compared to the forward facing child seat. However, this position has a disadvantage as the parent in the driver’s seat cannot observe the child and hence a system that can monitor the child’s vital signs, including the child’s temperature, pulse, breathing and the state of wakefulness and further relay this information on the car’s MBUX infotainment in an easy to understand animation (for example – “All Okay”, “Child Waking”) so that the driver is not distracted.
In addition to this, the child seat also features a camera which can feed a live video in the infotainment system and can be viewed when the car is stationary. If required all the vital signs of the child from the journey can also be transferred to a smartphone using the Mercedes ME App.
The new Child Seat in in the concept phase and we hope that Mercedes-Benz will soon come with a production version of the same, making the necessary improvements in the preventive protection for the little ones.