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One Child Seat To Go, Please

Posted by: Mark Bilek

Volvo-Car-Seat-301Finally a car company that gets modern families. Swedish automaker Volvo has introduced a concept for an inflatable child seat.

As any parent of a newborn knows, children's car seats are bulky, hard to transport and sometimes difficult to install. According to Volvo, its engineers have designed a lightweight and inflatable rearward-faced child seat concept using groundbreaking technology to make life easier for today's parents. The seat is said to be safe, easy to pack and carry and will enable parents to use it in many situations not practical with the seats on the market today.

Lawrence Abele, Design Manager at the Volvo Monitoring and Concept Center in Los Angeles and the designer behind the new seat, had his two children in mind while designing the concept seat: "For me child safety is always the number one priority and when we lived abroad with two toddlers we had to haul bulky child seats through airports and then into taxis. For many, traveling with young children is a challenge; any assistance to simplify the parents' life with young children is a great thing."

Volvo-Car-Seat-700

Volvo Inflatable Child Seat Concept: three stages
The concept presents new opportunities, for example grandparents and friends who take care of your kids and need an ultra-mobile child seat. It is also very convenient when travelling by taxi, rental car or bus, situations where you historically had to rely on the safety measures available.

Inflates in 40 seconds
The seat has an innovative pump system that is silent and efficient in its construction. The seat inflates with its integrated pump in less than 40 seconds. The total weight of the seat is about 11 pounds, half the weight of a contemporary seat, and it is constantly online via Bluetooth enabling a wide range of features, including remote controlled inflation. It fits into a weekend bag together with other necessities for your child.

Unique drop-stitch fabrics
Volvo engineers used a unique material called drop-stitch fabric when creating the prototype of the seat. This fabric is very strong when inflated as it can be brought to a very high internal pressure. "It is a quite common technology in the boating industry and was originally developed by the military in an effort to develop inflatable airplanes", says Maria Hansson, Project Manager at Volvo Monitoring and Concept Center in Los Angeles.

Rear-faced safest
The Inflatable Child Seat Concept faces the rear of the car, which has been proven to be the safest way for children to travel. A child's neck is under development and not as strong as an adult's neck. In a frontal impact collision, the head of a forward-facing car occupant is thrown forward inducing great strain on the neck. Children therefore need special restraints and to face the rear of the vehicle until at least 3-4 years of age.

No word if or when this "duh" innovation will make it to the market, but the sooner the better IMO. What do you think?

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