What's the first thing you need to do after getting in a car? If you answered wear a seatbelt, then you are correct. Buckling up right away is single most responsible thing you can do for safety, as it reduces the risk of being injured in an accident.
With the seat belt already proving to be a lifesaver for motorists for decades, Skoda believes they can improve on that with a new seat belt buckle. But unlike your typical buckle, this particular 'smart buckle' made by Skoda actually lights up.
While this may only be a simple upgrade, the LED lights on the system actually indicate the status of the belt buckle at all times. It has a pair of multi-color RGB LEDs that operate in two modes. When nobody is in the seat, the LEDs on the buckle glow white to show the passenger where it is located at night. When a passenger sits in the seat, the lights turn red in order to notify the occupant that they need to put their seat belt on.
According to Skoda, this is particularly useful for parents in order to see if their children have already fastened their seat belts. Once the seat belt is secured, the LED turns to green to signal a successful engagement and then reverts back to white.
Some might see the Skoda smart buckle as an unnecessary upgrade. But if it's designed to actually help people actually see and know exactly if the belt buckle is actually fastened, it could mean a safer ride for everyone.
The only question now is, how much will each buckle cost should Skoda offer it as a product?