Wants to use more powerful radar than currently allowed
Could detect a person in hot car even through blankets
While Tesla normally looks at making its cars safer through driver assistance and vehicle construction, they’ve also got a history of adding cool new tech ideas that have real-world safety benefits that you can use every day. According to a new report, they’re looking at adding a motion sensor to make sure children aren’t left behind in hot cars that would also have anti-theft benefits.
Reuters reports that Tesla recently asked the Federal Communications Commission for permission to market an interactive motion-sensing device in its cars. FCC approval is needed because the system would use unlicensed millimetre-wave sensors in the car that would need more power than the rules currently allow.
The millimetre-wave radar adds depth perception to the sensing system over a camera-based system. It can also see through soft materials, like the blanket you’ve draped over your child buckled in the back for a commuter nap.
According to the report, Tesla said the system can also tell the difference between a child and an object left on your seat (like a laptop) reducing false alarms. It can also judge body sizing for optimal airbag deployment, improve seatbelt reminder accuracy, and detect breathing and heart rates.
No word on when it could be added to vehicles, but the request is open to public comment with the FCC until September 21. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration data shows that more than 50 children died in each of the last two years as the result of being left behind in a hot vehicle.