Volvo has developed an inflatable child safety seat for cars that can be inflated in only 40 seconds and is fully portable.
News.com.au reports that the seat comes with its own carry bag and weighs just 5 kg. As such, it can easily be transferred from car to car, and can be used by people (such as grandparents or relatives) who don’t often carry children as passengers.
Volvo, the Swedish car maker with a long history of prioritising safety within its vehicles developed the child safety seat to celebrate the 50the anniversary of its first rear-facing child seat. However, it will not be made available to the public for at least another two years.
Lawrence Abele, design manager at the Volvo Monitoring and Concept Centre in Los Angeles, said in a statement that the fact that the seat faces to the rear of the car is significant.
“A child’s neck is under development and not as strong as an adult’s neck. In a frontal impact collision, the head of a forward-facing car occupant is thrown forward inducing great strain on the neck,” he said.
“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.”
According to AFP, the child safety seat is made from a special drop-stitch fabric which is often used in boat construction. This material can be brought to a very high internal pressure and is solid enough to be used in such a safety product.
Referring to his own experience Abele commented, "For me child safety is always the number one priority and when we lived abroad with two toddlers we had to haul bulky child seats through airports and then into taxis."