In 2016, GMC introduced an innovative new safety feature in its Acadia SUV that caught the attention of many consumers and industry watchers. A simple alert notified the driver leaving their vehicle of the possible presence of a rear-row occupant, whether a person or an animal.
The system works in simple, straightforward fashion: if a rear door is opened before the vehicle sets off, the system notes that a person might be seated in back. When the driver parks the vehicle and opens their door to depart, or even just turns off the engine, an alert tells them there might be someone in back.
While not perfect, the function will inevitably save lives; it might already have done so. Of course it’s impossible to know how many.
Gradually other manufacturers have followed GMC’s lead. One of the most aggressive in developing this technology is Hyundai, which has said that by 2022 most of its new models will be equipped with the system. In 2016, GM announced its intent to introduce it in over 20 of its models.