Safety Technology

Nissan’s Rear Door Alert Tech Now Standard To Prevent Potential Tragedies

Forget something the back seat? Here's a great way to remember.

We too often read in the news about young children and dogs being left in a vehicle’s rear seat simply because the driver forgot about them when they arrived at their destination. The consequences have been tragic, particularly when there’s a scorching summer sun. While simply trying to remind oneself who or what is in the backseat sounds good and all, but people are still sadly forgetting. Fortunately, Nissan came up with a solution appropriately called Rear Door Alert technology, and the automaker has just announced this tech will now come standard on all of its four-door vehicles. It was previously only standard on the 2018 Pathfinder.

Here’s how it works: Rear Door Alert, or RDA, monitors when the rear door is open and closed before and after the vehicle is in motion. Drivers will receive a system notification once the vehicle has been parked and the ignition shut off, but only if at least one of the rear doors was opened prior to the journey. If a rear door was re-opened upon arrival at the destination, then there won’t be an alert. If a rear door was previously opened, the system will first show a notification in the instrument panel. This alert will then progress to “subtle, distinctive chirps of the horn.” RDA can also be shut off if the driver wishes.

How did Nissan come up with this simple yet brilliant idea? Two of its engineers, who are also mothers, started talking about a potential solution to children, pets, and even food being left in the rear seat. Marlene Mendoza and Elsa Foley soon presented their idea to higher-ups and it was quickly put into full development. "The idea was inspired when I accidentally left a pan of lasagna in the back seat of my car overnight," added Mendoza, a mother of three, who was pregnant when the idea struck. "The worst thing was the car smelled for days, but it made me ask myself, 'What if I left something far more important back there?'"

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