While most people may never do so, the fact is that some drivers sometimes do forget that they have babies or pets in their cars and leave them in parked vehicles, which can, in the worst case, cause heat or suffocation, foreign media New Atlas reported. However, newly developed radar sensors can prevent this from happening.
Developed by scientists at the University of Waterloo in Canada, the disc-shaped device is only 3 cm (1.2 inches) in diameter and is designed to be mounted on the roof of a car or on a rear-view mirror. It is powered by the vehicle’s battery, but operates wirelessly.
Whenever the driver leaves the car, the sensor automatically sends out a radar signal that reaches all areas of the carrier. If these signals are then reflected back to the sensor by a living baby or animal, an artificial intelligence-based algorithm running on the device’s microprocessor automatically recognizes breathing-related motion. The sensor then issues an alarm to warn the driver and prevent the door from locking. The system is said to be 100% accurate in detecting organisms in cars.
In addition, since the device is able to determine how many such organisms exist, it can be used to make the vehicle eligible for a carpooling lane, etc. Once further developed, the technology may also be used to monitor drivers’ vital signs and detect whether they are drunk or too tired.
The study was partly funded by a large auto parts maker, which plans to bring “affordable” equipment to market next year.