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Could Tesla design the car to prevent heat related deaths?

Discussion in 'Future Cars' started by mwoz, Jan 23, 2016.

  1. mwoz

    mwoz Member

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    Every summer, I hear horrific stories of young children dying in cars because they were forgotten. Could tesla design a system that senses if a child is in the car and automatically activates the AC if the inside temperature reaches a certain threshold? It could also notify the owner by text. On average, 38 children die every year due to heat related neglect. Wouldn't it be great if the safest car on the road also protected the youngest passengers (and pets) when parked?
     
    • Like x 2
  2. ohmman

    ohmman Maximum Plaid Member

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    I think this is a good idea, and certainly seems like a realistic software-based update. Specifically for the MX, which I believe has occupancy sensors for each of the seats.
     
  3. GoTslaGo

    GoTslaGo Learning Member

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    #3 GoTslaGo, Jan 23, 2016
    Last edited: Jan 23, 2016
    That would be great. Maybe the driver/owner could re-zero the seat to the car seat weight. Then if the child/baby is forgotten, the car will be able to tell that the weight is above the new zeroed weight. It could automatically engage AC/heat to a preset temp (75 or something) and send the driver a notification via the app that the climate control was engaged due to non-zero weight on one of the seats. If the driver left something behind on the seat (not a child), then he/she could click a "ignore" button or whatever to disengage climate control. Pretty great idea.

    Then again, most young families probably cannot afford a MX. Hopefully Tesla does something like this with 3...
     
  4. deonb

    deonb Active Member

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    Tesla ownership informed me they were going to release a 'Keep the doggies alive mode' (their words) in an upgrade soon, to enable exactly this scenario.

    That was back in March 2013. So any day now...
     
  5. nwdiver

    nwdiver Active Member

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    WOW... that is a great idea... and it could likely be done with software... at least an option.... if the temp in the car gets >90F and there is weight in the seats you get a text... >100F and the doors unlock and the car alarm goes off.



    LOL... yeah... right after we get scheduled HVAC
    :cursing:

    [FONT=Verdana, Arial, Tahoma, Calibri, Geneva, sans-serif]Pre-conditioning doesn't work if you do shifts.... really getting tired of climbing to the roof of my office building for a cell phone signal in 20F weather so I can defrost my car before leaving work...
    [/FONT]
     
  6. GoTslaGo

    GoTslaGo Learning Member

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    Oh well, guess not...:crying:
     
  7. Mike Strauss

    Mike Strauss Member

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    Good idea, the technology exists already
     
  8. Ulmo

    Ulmo Active Member

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    This seems eminently doable. I'm really surprised Tesla isn't bullish on these types of very inexpensive big improvements.
     
  9. ohmman

    ohmman Maximum Plaid Member

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    While I very much like the idea, I will say that the approximate statistics (for the US) are:

    • 38 child deaths per year due to heat stroke in vehicles
    • 255 million registered vehicles
    • 80k Tesla vehicles

    Which (using totally insufficient and incorrect math) results in 38/255MM * 80000 = 0.0119 deaths per year in Teslas. So given the current fleet, about one death per hundred years.

    I'm not saying it's not important, but comparing it to your chances of death in a traditional vehicle accident, it's a minuscule chance. I'd be thrilled to see the feature (and I think it would get good press and set a nice precedent for the market), but I don't know if I'm "really surprised" they're not doing it.
     
  10. CTemp222

    CTemp222 Member

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    Does the Model X have ventilated seats for the second and back row too? Depending on the temp the car could turn on either on the seat that an object is on. The only downside would be if u leave a heavy object on a seat overnight and woke up to a half charged Tesla.
     
  11. CHG-ON

    CHG-ON Still in love after all these miles

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    I would think that they could do this very easily. Not sure if they could on existing cars unless the child were in the front seats, which should not be the case. But all we would need is a seat sensor in the rear (or center) and a temp sensor, which it already has. And I love the idea of a phone notification that lets the driver know that the kid is in the car! I bet this will become a standard feature on all cars in the not too distant future. At least I hope so. And I don't even have kids.
     
  12. mwoz

    mwoz Member

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    I see that the chance of it saving a life for a tesla owner may be minuscule now, but in a few years they should be producing 500,000 cars/year. But even for the current situation, it's another nice differentiator that no other car has, nor could any ICE implement. Imagine if the ICE turned on and it was parked in a garage?

    Could Tesla add a motion detector for the interior of the car so if the seat sensed a child and motion was detected, then it would turn on cooling mode (knowing Tesla, they would come up with a really cool name for the feature!). On the other hand, if the child was sleeping then maybe the motion sensor wouldn't work.
     
  13. Lloyd

    Lloyd Active Member

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    Then who is responsible if the system fails? Tesla, or the parent for leaving the child in the car?? Brings up an old saying...... "Cain't Fix Stupid!"
     
  14. malcolm

    malcolm Active Member

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    Whilst it is a miniscule statistic, Tesla's profile is such that every accident becomes internet click-bait and the blame will always be laid at their door.

    They cannot prevent every tragedy, but being proactive in attempting to do so is extremely worthwhile.

    This is an excellent idea. It, together with others like it need to be encouraged.

    Do we/should we have a suggestion box?
     
  15. Ludus

    Ludus Member

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    I don't know what the data from the seat sensors looks like but if it more than an on/off trigger it seems reasonable that the system would be able to effectively distinguish between a living child or pet and an object left on a seat just because living things are constantly moving and shifting weight even when sleeping. The data should look different.

    I'd think this sort of software update would generate positive buzz for Tesla and eventually spread to other vehicles so it would ultimately save lives even if chances are low it would in the current Model X.
     
  16. redruMKO

    redruMKO Member

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    I get your point Ohmman. There are bigger fish to fry (first).

    Any collision avoidance feature is IMO 1000x more important, and subsequent 'niche' features are probably higher priority too. For example with near full autonomy (or slight increase of Summon), parked Teslas could move out of the way of a fire/flood spreading towards them!
     
  17. NeverFollow

    NeverFollow Member

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    Few years ago, Volvo included in the S80 a "heartbeat sensor" to detect if an untruder was inside the car.

    This feature then allowed drivers to use their key fob to remotely check for anyone lurking in the rear seat.
    CHIC MOMMY: The New Volvo S80 has a Psycho Killer Detector in the Keychain

    Note: I never understood the logic of such feature, since an intruder would have first triggered the car alarm when breaking into the car?
    The car alarm could have sent then an alert to the key fob, which is simpler that adding a "heartbeat sensor" to do the same thing.

    I suspect that Volvo originaly designed this feature to detect if a baby was left inside a car, but decide not to advertised it?

    May be Volvo didn't wanted to be sued in case of a liability issue. How such device should behave infact if a baby was left inside?
    - Should the device unlocked the doors, open the windows and make the alarm going nuts. But if it was an intruder, you would
    prefer keeping the intruder locked inside the car, without any alarm running, until the police arrive?
    - If the door get unlocked while a baby was inside, may be a bad citizen would then kidnap the baby, making Volvo liable?

    Sadly this remind me about the recent story of a "Man dies after getting locked in Corvette after car battery dies."
    Man dies after getting locked in Corvette after car battery dies
     
  18. NikeWings

    NikeWings Member

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    Or if mobile service or app fails such as it did last week.........

    But my biggest concern is it might encourage people to intentionally leave their children in cars which is just not a good idea under any situation. The current ability to use the internal temp control via the app (which may have been designed as the precursor to the OP idea) has caused substantial break ins by police who see pets in a locked car and hear no engine running. Tesla already suggests owners leave signs in the windows stating the pets are safe in a temp controlled EV but doing this for children is still very much of a safety hazard. An unsupervised child is just asking for trouble. I'd personally smash a window out of instinct, if I ever saw one,

    Maybe a text and "no exception immediate 911 call" to deter it being abused as a convenience feature with all costs borne by the owner. But sadly I think the legal liability is prohibitive especially after witnessing the debates around other tech features where stunning variances of opinions have surfaced.
     
  19. Saghost

    Saghost Active Member

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    The car has microphones for voice commands and Bluetooth. With everything else shut off, it can probably hear you breathing, which is likely more reliable than the seat sensors, especially for pets that might not be in seats and babies that are in car seats.
     
  20. RamgeRover

    RamgeRover Member

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    Tesla will not do this, at least not with a splashy marketing campaign. Because all it takes is one failure for Tesla to become "the child-killing car."

    What will more likely happen is a government mandate for all manufacturers to implement it. That way no one company carries the bag for a failure.
     

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