There were many situations when children were forgotten in cars in the US. and not every time this story had a happy ending. With summer heat on the rise, potential issues posed by interior car temperatures are even more real.

Nissan hopes its new Rear Door Alert may help reduce concerns. Elsa Foley, an industrial engineer and mother of two young children, and Marlene Mendoza, a mechanical engineer and mother of three, decided to work on an idea to help remind drivers to check their back seats before walking away.

The new Rear Door Alert system can help remind Nissan owners to check the rear seat by using a series of distinctive honks as the driver is walking away from the vehicle. The audio alerts distinguish the Nissan RDA from other systems in the marketplace.

RDA monitors the rear door switches to detect their open/closed status prior to and after a trip. If the system detects that a rear door was opened/closed prior to a trip, but then was not re-opened again after the trip was completed, given the vehicle was put in park and the ignition cycled off, the system responds with a series of notifications, starting with a display in the instrument panel and progressing to subtle but distinctive chirps of the horn.


"The Rear Door Alert uses a similar honking cue that has been proven successful with Nissan’s Easy Fill Tire Alert," added Foley. "By drawing your attention back to the vehicle, once you’ve walked away, you are more likely to recheck the back seat than with a visual alert alone."