Technology to Prevent Hot Car Deaths is Right Around the Corner

Source: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

This past summer brought with it terrible headlines: a rash of deaths involving young children — many of them babies — left or forgotten in the car by parents or caregivers. These stories are heartbreaking, and can be hard to dislodge from your mind. And the scary truth is, it could really happen to anyone. How many times have you left something in the car, or even in your house, and had to go back to get it? Sure, it would be difficult to forget a child — an actual living, breathing human being — but it can happen. The results can be disastrous, as we’ve seen several times over this past summer alone.

The death of a child, especially through negligence or accidents at the hands of their parents, always draws the ire of the general public. In the case of hot car deaths, it provides an incredibly tricky situation. While the parents are certainly liable for what happens when they leave or forget their children in the car, it truly is something that anyone could do, whether they mean to or not. People make mistakes, and unless there is some sort of ulterior motive found (in which case we’re looking at murder or homicide charges), no one can really make these people feel any worse than they probably already do.

Now, we live in a world in which vehicle technology is progressing at an extremely rapid rate. On-board computers can tell us where to go, tailor entertainment choices to our personal tastes, and even play movies or television shows for passengers. There are devices that can help you parallel park, cameras for backing up, and even 3D top-down camera views to assist drivers in navigating even the trickiest of tight spaces.