Children left behind in cars is one of the worst plagues of the summer. According to figures from Beterem – Safe Kids Israel (Hebrew), the media reported 293 cases of children being forgotten in various vehicles in 2009-2014, with 15 cases ending in the child’s death. We have now learned that Waze, one of the world’s most popular navigational apps, is on the road to launching a new feature that may be able to prevent the next forgotten child.
Have you finished your journey? Waze will show you a reminder to check the back of the car
Screen captures we have obtained from Waze’s recent beta version show that the company has developed a new feature designed to prevent cases of children being left behind in cars. Once the feature is in operation, every time the driver completes a journey, a warning will appear on their smartphone reminding them to check whether a child has been left behind. On the feature’s definition screen, the driver can turn the warning on and off, and compose the message that will appear. This option is important, because it will enable drivers to change the message occasionally so that they will not become too accustomed to it and ignore it.
As of now, the new Waze feature is in its beta version, so it is unknown when it will reach the general public. Nevertheless, since we are in the middle of the summer and this feature is useful mainly during the summer, we believe that the feature will be launched in one of the upcoming updates of the app. In our opinion, this is a very important feature for such a popular app used regularly by tens of millions of users worldwide. Like any new feature, we believe that with time, it will also be updated and upgraded to make it possible to add options for adaptation to times and places, options for warning other people like the other parent, etc. As soon as it is launched, the new feature will become part of a praiseworthy trend in Waze, which in the past year has introduced several features designed to not only shorten waiting times, but also make the journey safer.
Will the solution be a technological one?
Waze’s new and welcome feature is one more technological tool in the worldwide struggle against the problems of children being left behind in cars. Today, there are many technological systems, including some based on weight and movement in the baby chair, sensors based on the child’s safety belt, a sound sensor that identified crying or distress in a child’s voice, a system based on sensors in the driver’s seat and the baby seat, and of course smartphone apps, such as Baby Reminder. NNG has also recently launched a written alert in its iGO app, designed to remind the driver to check whether they have forgotten about a child or animal.