Volvo, a company renowned for its pioneering research and development on vehicle safety, has unveiled a fully inflatable, rear-facing child seat.
The Inflatable Child Seat has a built-in pump that can inflate and deflate the seat in less than 40 seconds. The pump also has Bluetooth connectivity so that it could be inflated remotely.
It is made of what the company calls a “drop-stitch fabric,” which allows the seat to weigh less than 5 kg and makes it compact enough to fit in a weekend bag.
“It is a quite common technology in the boating industry and was originally developed by the military in an effort to develop inflatable airplanes,” Maria Hansson, Project Manager at the Volvo Monitoring and Concept Center(VMCC) in Los Angeles, said in a press release.
Lawrence Abele, the seat’s designer and the Design Manager at VMCC, said that a rear-facing seat is best for children until three to four years old, as their developing neck bones are not yet strong enough to handle the immense forces of frontal collisions.
“Actually, it would be better for all of us to travel facing the rear but given how cars are designed nowadays it's not feasible. Young children, however, can and should travel facing the rear of the car as long as possible.”
Abele said the seat was designed as a convenient alternative to typically bulky child seats, especially when traveling abroad.
“For many, travelling with young children is a challenge; any assistance to simplify the parents’ life with young children is a great thing.”
Watch the video below to see how the Inflatable Child Seat works.