TO THE EDITOR:
Regarding "Automakers to equip most U.S. vehicles with rear-seat occupant warnings" (autonews.com, Sept. 4): Since the mid-2000s, the U.S. alone has seen approximately 40 heatstroke deaths annually resulting from kids left unattended in vehicles. Much of the growth in global automotive sales is coming from markets within hotter climates.
Automakers should move immediately to provide low-cost, radar-based solutions that can detect heartbeat and respiration — without line of sight — anywhere in the car. These systems utilize proven automotive components and are available to all automakers and Tier 1s today. They can also be easily retrofitted into used vehicles.
Our industry has a poor history of "voluntary compliance," and therefore, Congress should move quickly to mandate child-detection technology to eliminate the senseless and needless loss of life of these precious children.
With the realization that overpowered airbag inflation was causing children's deaths, a combination of engineering solution, regulation and laws virtually eliminated airbag-caused child deaths. We need that same combination of solutions today to make loss of life from hot cars a thing of the past.
Bruce Coventry, Managing partner, Motormindz, Troy, Mich. Motormindz is a global automotive consultancy.