It’s the stuff of science fiction, but Volvo has demonstrated it can create an inflatable car seat that’s as safe, if not safer, than other rear-facing seats. Able to inflate in less forty seconds, and weighing less than five kilos, this amazing seat can even be inflated remotely via Bluetooth.
Volvo has long been at the forefront of child seat technology, and is now on the verge of one of the largest revolutionary leaps in the industry, revealing a concept child seat which would inflate incredibly quickly and be ultra light and portable.
The concept would revolutionise travel with children, which can be difficult when lugging bulky car seats from rental cars, to taxis and on planes.The inflatable car seat is so compact it folds down into a backpack. Have a look at the amazing video below to see how it works.
Volvo Monitoring and Concept Centre Design Manager Lawrence Abele designed the new seat, after frustration when travelling with his two children. He explains,
“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. For many, traveling with young children is a challenge; any assistance to simplify the parents’ life with young children is a great thing.”
Here’s how it would work: the seat has a silent pump system, inflating in less than forty seconds and deflating with an integrated pump. The seat is constantly online via Bluetooth, which would mean it could be inflated remotely.
But how safe is it? Here’s what Maria Hansson, Project Manager at the Volvo Monitoring and Concept Centre in Los Angeles had to say:
“We used a unique material called drop-stitch fabric when creating the prototype of the seat. This fabric is very strong when inflated as it can be brought to a very high internal pressure. It is a quite common technology in the boating industry and was originally developed by the military in an effort to develop inflatable airplanes.”
The Inflatable Child Seat Concept would be a rear facing seat – it’s something Volvo is passionate about. Lawrence Abele 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.”
Volvo’s inflatable car seat is just a concept at this stage, but we’ll let you know if it looks likely to make it to the market.
For our top 10 tips on child car safety click here.