Forget government regulation, Hyundai is taking the first step.
Several automakers have introduced a new safety feature to remind drivers when there is a person or object in the back seat. The feature goes by different names depending on the automaker, but no matter what it's called, the rear seat reminder is becoming a heavily debated topic in the United States. Congress is currently considering making the feature mandatory across all cars, much like how backup cameras are now mandatory in the US.
The bill has yet to be approved by Congress but Hyundai is already taking initiative by announcing that it will make its Rear Occupant Alert (ROA) standard across the range by 2022. Hyundai wants to put an end to the death of children and animals in hot cars, and this is the first step towards eliminating the issue.
"Heatstroke in vehicles is preventable and we are doing our part to prevent this," said Mike O'Brien, vice president, Product, Corporate and Digital Planning for Hyundai Motor America. "We have great systems that use both door logic memory and motion sensors to help prevent children and pets from being forgotten in the car, but it also helps in case children accidentally lock themselves in." July 31st was National Heatstroke Prevention day, making it the perfect time for Hyundai to release this initiative. More than 800 children have died in hot cars over the past two decades, and systems like ROA can help eliminate these needless deaths.
ROA is currently found as standard equipment on the 2020 Santa Fe and Palisade and will also be standard on the upcoming 2020 Sonata. The system can sense if a rear door was opened and will alert the driver to check the rear seat when they exit the vehicle. If the ROA system detects movement in the car, it will honk the horn and send a message to the driver's phone using the Hyundai Blue Link connected car system.