FCC permits new in-vehicle sensors to prevent ‘hot car’ deaths

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Child safety seat in the back of the car. (Getty Images)

WASHINGTON, D.C. (WWTI) — New technology has been permitted to help prevent “hot car” deaths in the United States.

On April 15, the Federal Trade Commission permitted hot-car sensors, a new in-care radar-based technology to monitor for children left in car considered dangerously hot. According to the FCC, this technology has the ability to detect movement “as subtle as baby breathing.”

This technology was based on recent statistics on hot car child fatalities, which according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, has increased in recent years. Since 1990 over 990 children have died in hot cars.

“Technology is providing new ways for families to help keep their children safe,” said FCC
Acting Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel. “That’s why I’m proud that the FCC can play a role
in protecting kids from the avoidable danger of deadly heatstroke. With summer fast
approaching, these waivers are a first step toward implementing a more permanent policy
framework for promoting innovations like these life-saving auto safety technologies.”

KidsAndCars.org President Janette Fennell commented on the FCC’s decision.

“The inexpensive technology granted waivers today by the FCC is the detection feature necessary to address both children unknowingly left alone in vehicles as well as those who get into vehicles on their own,” stated Fennell. “Our vehicles are already filled with so many reminders, yet this addition may be the latest, best life-saving feature for our precious young children.”

To advance this technology the FCC’s Office of Engineering and Technology granted six waiver requests from equipment manufactures and automakers to supply and operate the in-car sensors.

Brose North America, IEE Sensing, Infineon Technologies Americas, Tesla, Valeo North America, and Vayyar Imaging were all granted formal waiver requests from the FCC on April 14, 2021.

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