Hyundai Aims To Reduce Heat Related Deaths By Making Its Rear Door Alert System Standard

Hyundai is marking National Heatstroke Prevention Day by announcing plans to make its rear occupant alert system standard on most new vehicles in the United States by 2022.

Designed to prevent the tragic deaths of children accidentally left in vehicles during the summer, Hyundai’s rear occupant alert system comes in two different forms.

The most basic is a door-logic system which detects if a rear door was opened or closed before the vehicle was started. Should this occur, the system will remind the driver to check the rear seats when they exit the vehicle. The technology is relatively simple and it will be installed on most new vehicles by 2022. The first to have the system will be the 2020 Sonata which arrives at dealerships later this year.

The ultrasonic rear occupant alert system is more advanced as it combines the aforementioned door-logic technology with an ultrasonic sensor that detects motion from children and pets left in the second row. If motion is detected after a driver exits the vehicle and locks the doors, the vehicle will honk its horn and send an alert to the owner’s smartphone.

The ultrasonic rear occupant alert system debuted as an option on the 2019 Santa Fe and is standard equipment on the 2020 Santa Fe and Palisade.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) says more than 20 children have already been killed this year because they were left unattended or became trapped inside a hot vehicle. Last year, 52 children died inside a hot vehicle and that topped the previous record of 49 deaths in 2010.

The NHTSA notes children are particularly susceptible to heat as their body temperatures can rise three to five times faster than that of an adult. The agency also said the temperature inside a vehicle can climb by 19° F in as little as ten minutes.

As a result, the government says parents should “never leave a child in a vehicle when running errands, not even for a minute.” They also encourage people who see a child alone in a vehicle to call 911 and get help immediately.

Also Read: Man Breaks Car Window To Save Dogs From Heat, Gets Ticket For Not Waiting A Bit Longer

Of course, children aren’t the only ones susceptible to dying in a hot car. PETA is reminding pet owners not to leave dogs in their vehicle as they can rapidly succumb to heatstroke. It happens far too often and the group says at least 21 dogs have already died this summer.

As the group noted, even on a mild day with temperatures of 78° F (25.6° C) the temperature inside a vehicle can soar to 100° F (37.8° C) in a matter of minutes. On a 90° F (32.2° C) day, inside temperatures can hit 109° F (42.8° C) in less than 10 minutes.


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  • Bo Hanan

    Still not a fan of “chrome on the fenders”, but this is a nice looking car.

    • SteersUright

      nice in photo, rather beautiful actually. Then I saw it in person and it was just ok. Strange, like it was designed just to photograph well…

  • 85ZingoGTR

    Remember when it was a big deal with dogs? Why is it only now this has become a pandemic with human children?

  • SnakePlant

    You know that sensor that warns you of not wearing your seatbelt, or the passenger? Well, I can’t say I’d hate it completely since I have a trunk and that’s where anything other than a human goes, but listen to this. Why don’t they install those weight sensors under every seat? If it senses weight and you try to lock the car, it will make a noise much like your car’s alarm would when trying to lock a car with one door open… Or it should just start making the seatbelt noise again when you turn off the ignition and remove the key. If everyone exits, it will stop. If one person is a PI and has to stay, and the temp is above a certain ambient outside, they’ll have to turn the car on in order to stop the sound. And then they’ll have to put a seatbelt on. I know it’s crazy, but people are leaving their children in their cars…
    I’m just saying.

    • baofe

      Weight sensors can be tripped by luggage or heavy items leaning against the bench. Motion is more ideal since it will detect even the lightest of things like a pet or small child. Also consider costs. Installing complex sensors with temperature readings, seat belt detection, etc. can get expensive to put into every car.

      • SnakePlant

        I get it I get it, but like I said, if your child is sleeping, that’s a terrible scenario. Honestly, the whole situation is bad and yes the investment to save lives would cost a lot (and we have to think about how to prevent it in cars made before such improvements), but parents are literally forgetting about their kids in their cars!

  • Alduin

    Put the blame on dumb people,who don’t know there’s people in the backseat when they leave their car. It’s like some people who don’t know how to park,so now theres nannies to help people park their car. The problem is,dumb people. Dumb people should be banned from driving for life. Then we wouldn’t have to worry about all these stupid reminders and nannies. Legalize euthanasia for stupid people.

    • pcurve

      I know you’re kidding. Normal people do dumb things all the time. All it takes is one lucky event or lapse in judgement for something terrible to happen.

      • SteersUright

        well said.

    • Dark Rebel

      I agree with the first part of your comment until you went off the rails about your proposal! Yes I agree that all these nannies are dumb and cater to the lowest common denominator. It will only get worse because our society( the west) is cotton soft. It does not believe in responsibility and accountability. However it is all about the feelz though so lets add more overhead! I’m just waiting on pagers or some app that parents carry that will remind them to check on their kids.

  • SteersUright

    How about a system that checks for weight on any of the seats and then monitors inside temperatures and cracks windows open accordingly? Seems like it’d be more effective than simply notifying the parent that already plans to leave the kids back there for just a sec…

  • Dark Rebel

    Not downplaying those innocent young people’s deaths but those amount of deaths are statistically irrelevant in the grand scheme of things. The incompetent parents are truly to blame. This is yet another cost that will be passed on to everyone else. Similar to how the US mandates that all new cars have backup cameras because a few stupid parents were running over their kids in the driveway. We used to live in a society that believed in personal responsibility now that is obviously not the case because it is always someone’s fault. I had a rental Tahoe once and I laughed when I turned it off because it reminded me to check the back seat for my kids since my coworkers were in the back. Laughable at best!

    • HaltestelleLuitpolthafen

      This happened in the past as well, but it just wasn’t reported on.

      Humans aren’t infallible, even the most intelligent person on earth is going to make a mistake. It is super unfortunate that it happens, but it happens.

  • Dark Rebel

    Just make an example out of these people and throw them in jail for a bit.

  • Stephen G

    Just another right wing agenda to spread paranoia and generate profits.

    • Six_Tymes

      and yet another sad thing left wingers do, leave their kids in the car while they go shopping. stupidity at the highest level.

    • Mr. EP9

      I’m sorry, what? How is this…..N-no, you’ve got to be trolling or something. That makes no sense.

      • Stephen G

        Sure it does…it’s another thing you are tricked or forced into purchasing that nobody really needs.

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