Recent IIHS research shows rear passengers are not as safely protected as front-seat riders. That’s not new; U.S. regulations failed to require shoulder belts for rear passengers until 1991(!), or head restraints for rear passengers until 2011(!!). Over years and car generations, much of the development attention has been put on the driver. That’s also true for safety, where car manufacturers have gone to huge lengths to improve the safety of drivers and front-seat passengers, most notably by the introduction of new airbag technology. Clearly, more efforts should be put on rear passenger passive safety (like in-cabin radar, or occupant positioning).
Safety, in any and all positions, must take precedence over all the new fancy features such as dynamic lighting; HUDs; rear seat entertainment; massage seats, and all else what creates a unique user experience—we are going to talk about all of it at the next DVN-Interior event in San Francisco on 29-30 August. If you’re up for participating in the interior deep dive session, please let us know. The event will focus on how interior lighting contributes and interacts for user experience; safety, and comfort in the car. We’re looking forward to seeing you there!