Mercedes-Benz has unveiled the first of its kind child safety seat with integrated belt pre-tensioner and body sensors in its ESF 2019 experimental safety vehicle concept.
Called the ‘Pre-Safe Child’ (seat) in Mercedes speak, the seat belts of this child seat are preventively tensioned before a crash – as in most Mercedes passenger car models - and side impact protection elements are extended. Monitoring of seat installation and the child's vital signs are other functions integrated into the seat.
The networked child seat (connected with the vehicle via a wireless link) also reduces the risk of incorrect installation because it is equipped with its own installation monitoring system: eight symbols directly on the seat guide the user through the individual installation steps in a self-explanatory manner and indicate when the seat has been fitted correctly.
The link with the vehicle means that installation of the seat can also be checked and monitored on the media display from the driver's seat and the front passenger seat. The child seat can be used from birth to four years of age (0-18 kg / 40 - 105 cm) and must be rearward facing until the child is 15 months old.
The protective functions of the child seat are also activated by a wireless connection. When the vehicle's sensors detect a Pre-Safe relevant driving situation, the child seat's five-point belt system is tensioned within milliseconds and a side impact protection element is extended.
The advantage of this system is that the tensioned belt allows the child is more firmly and accurately fixed in the seat and belt slack is reduced. The loads acting on the child during an impact can be reduced substantially in this way. The side impact protection elements also follow this approach.
The Pre-Safe child seat has an integrated camera and special sensors to monitor the child's temperature, pulse, and breathing and to establish whether the child is asleep. These additional features are useful to ensure the child is correctly transported in a rearward-facing position on the rear seat. Animations (e.g. "Everything OK" or "Child waking up") will also be beamed on the car's media display to provide information about the state of the child during travel.
The display is intuitive and requires no additional mirrors in the interior. When the vehicle is stationary, at traffic lights, it is additionally possible to switch briefly to a live video image on the media display. If required, and with the help of the Mercedes me App, all the vital signs can also be transferred to a smartphone.
Mercedes-Benz has not yet been decided whether such a seat will go into series production but add that it is highly likely that many of the presented innovations will be implemented at some point in the future.
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