Car seats have been a point of contention for a lot of parents for some time now. There’s been recalls of some of the world’s most popular ones due to manufacturing problems and there’s certainly a lot of people who don’t seem to know how to install them correctly. Enter Volvo, which recently pledged that by the year 2020, no one would be injured or killed in one of its new cars. That’s quite a statement to make, especially when it comes to relying on a third party manufacturers’ child seats. That’s the thing though, Volvo isn’t.
It recently unveiled a new kind of car seat it had developed and it’s almost entirely inflatable. However this isn’t a blow up chair made of plastic, or your cousin’s paddling pool, this is a seat made from the same material that coats airplane wings and is used in rescue boats, called drop stitch fabric. The material is touch and incredibly hard wearing, so the seat is very unlikely to pop. However, by being inflatable if offers quite a high level of impact protection, as well as being supportive and comfortable.
Unfortunately for now, the seat is a pure concept and won’t be available for sale if at all, for another few years. However Volvo has laid claims to revolutionising the industry when it is released, as the seat is not only designed to work with newborn infants but toddlers too, as the seat will scale with your child as they age, meaning you won’t need to keep buying new ones as the years go on.
It will also be fitted with plenty of modern technology, including sensors so if for whatever reason it isn’t secured properly, it will let the parent know. Similarly if the child can move around too much, the parents will receive a warning. The same again will happen if the seat becomes damaged.
Volvo has also listed it as having ISOFIX connectors, the industry standard for fixing the seat in place.
To top it all off though, the inflatable aspect comes into play. By being inflatable, the seat can compress down to a much smaller form factor than traditional car seats, making it much easier to carry and therefore far more portable. That could create a problem for quickly fitting it to a car, but the seat comes with a built in automatic pump, which brings it up to size in just 40 seconds. It deflates as quickly too and when devoid of air, weighs only 5kg.
The question is, will Volvo be able to convince parents that an inflatable baby seat is going to protect their child? As we’ve seen with other baby seats, it may be that cost is the big deciding factor. Any idea about price will be entirely speculative, but you could argue that due to the inflatable nature of the seat, that it may be cheaper than its contemporaries when it does release.
What do you guys think?