The sensing devices in most car seats today cannot distinguish the difference between say a restless child and a bag of groceries if both are similar in weight. To address this, BeBop Sensors has developed fabric sensors designed to make car seats safer and smarter.
The company says that the average car seat is dumb. It is fitted with an occupant classification system (OCS) that comprises a series of hoses, bladders and pressure sensors to determine the weight of the car seat’s occupant, but when an item is placed on the car seat, the seatbelt indicator light go on indicating that there is someone there who has to buckle up.
BeBop has developed a smart OCS system that can offer a greater level of detail by being able to distinguish the weight, size, and movement of a car seat occupant in real time. It includes sensing when someone is leaning right or left, forward or backward, and crossing their legs. What’s more, it can also spot something static like a baby seat.
A car seat featuring BeBop’s system would be able to know more accurately when and how to use an airbag based on the person’s weight, size and position at the moment of impact. A waterproof, automotive-grade fabric about 1 mm thick with built-in sensors is the key to this smarter approach. According to the company, the fabric can be easily custom-fitted and placed under the upholstery of seats of any shape or size, including the front or back row. The revolutionary technology, which is built to automotive grade in terms of durability and environmental specifications, does not have moving parts, giving it high reliability.
According to BeBop, it is beginning to work with automakers looking for more intelligent and dependable solutions to address the escalating failure rates and product recalls attributed to modern OCS systems.
Hamid Moaref has always been fascinated by cars and the automotive industry. His family has a longstanding association with the industry and has been in the tire business for the past 35 years. Raised in Dubai, Hamid attended Capilano University in Vancouver where he graduated with a BBA in marketing before attending an intensive course in magazine publishing in 2005. He has been the publisher and chief editor of Tires & Parts magazine for the past ten years.
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