A coalition of 20 automakers has promised to implement rear seat reminder technology no later than 2025 in order to combat child heatstroke deaths.
In 2018, more than 50 children, mostly infants, died from heatstroke deaths after being left unattended in cars, which is the most annually since 1998. Since then, 837 children (roughly 40 per year, including 40 so far in 2019) have died of heatstroke from being left unattended in a hot car, according to noheatstroke.org. Of those, more than 50 percent suffered heatstroke because they were forgotten by a caregiver. This is the segment automakers are targeting with rear seat reminder technology, which has the potential to prevent those deaths.
Pioneered by General Motors in 2016 with the redesign of the GMC Acadia, rear seat reminder tech has been implemented in slightly different ways from automaker to automaker, but generally speaking, it alerts drivers to the possibility that something (or somebody) is in the back seat when the car is shut off after a drive.