Heaps of cars nowadays come with heated seats and heated steering wheels, but Mercedes-Benz is going one step further in developing heated seat belts. Yes, seat belts.
Alongside the announcement of its Experimental Safety Vehicle demonstrator, the German automaker said its next target is heated seat belts. We imagine using one could be much like receiving a warm hug, but the German car manufacturer isn’t doing this exclusively for comfort, but safety as well.
Only around 85 per cent of front- and rear-seat occupants in cars across the United States use seat belts, and in countries such as China, that percentage is much lower. Mercedes-Benz believes that heated seat belts could help encourage those who don’t like wearing them to actually strap in before they go on their next drive.
The heated seat belts have numerous tube elements running through them. Car and Driver reports that they aren’t noticeably thicker than a regular seat belt and that they do indeed heat up very effectively.
Mercedes-Benz hasn’t disclosed when this feature might become available on a production model, but we guess it should be sooner than later in one of their top models, like the S-Class.
The ESV concept is outfitted with a handful of other intriguing safety components, including a small robot which emerges from the tailgate and positions itself at the roadside as a warning triangle. It is also fully autonomous and features a retractable steering wheel and pedals.