Child restraint systems (CRS) are highly regulated, which defines much of the design and functionality of this child car seat product. Similar products that exist in the market do not communicate their true engineering and safety purpose. Furthermore, they do not have synergy with the automotive interiors where they are used. As a new solution, SMART CRS provides optimum safety and enhanced usability. The design sought to create a child restraint system that drew upon styling trends from emerging automotive styles. The design represents an emotional response to these styling trends, in addition to interactive features that enhance the user experience of the product.
Automotive materials such as carbon fibre reinforced polymers (CFRP), aluminium, translucent plastics and smart fabrics are all commonly used and feature profoundly in this concept. Strong aesthetic features, automotive elements, sleek sculptured surfaces and technical materials combine to create appeal. Its refined form and attention to detail deliver a design that has complete synergy and compatibility with the cars of today and tomorrow.
The concept is engineered to meet the latest European regulatory requirements, which calls for stronger structures. The CFRP (lightweight, high strength material) side panel provides additional strength to reduce the seat bending forward and warping the structure during impact. This absorbs energy to decelerate the child’s mass during a crash. The car seat also comes with a Smart Seat Tech smart phone application, which gathers information about the seat and the child based on technological advances built into the seat.
Vehicle interiors can heat up by 10°C within ten minutes. The application provides parents with feedback should they unintentionally leave their child inside the vehicle for any length of time. The fabric insert is manufactured from a Thermo-chromic fabric, which temporarily reacts to heat exposure and recognises the situation if a child is suffering from heat exposure. Thermo-sensors built into the seat communicate with the mobile phone to warn the carer.
SMART CRS ensures the car seat is correctly installed and that the child is secure, which is vital to the overall safety standard of the system. The ISOFIX connectors anchor the seat to the vehicle. Sensors built into the car seat identify that a child is being installed and cause the illuminating indicators adjacent to the ISOFIX connectors to flash. “Green” indicates that the ISOFIX system is connected and “Red” indicates it is not engaged. In addition, the sensors identify the weight and stature of the child during the installation to guide to user to utilise the correct configuration.
JMDA Design, United Kingdom
Andrew Peters, Rob Jones, Helena Lewis, Jason Song