The ESF 2009 Experimental Safety Vehicle
Rear seat camera: keeping an eye on the kids
 
With the help of a small camera, drivers will in future be able to keep children travelling in the rear under control without taking their eyes off the road.
"Mum, Vanessa keeps pulling my hair!" "John's seat belt isn't properly fastened." - Parents know that when the kids are on board, there is usually no shortage of action on the rear seats. But if the driver looks back to see what is going on, there is a risk of an accident. Accordingly Mercedes safety experts have developed "Rear seat camera", a simple camera system that enables the kids to be observed without taking one's eyes off the road.
A small camera is mounted on the roof lining behind the front seats. If required its images can be transferred to the dashboard display – not in video form, but as sequences of stills to avoid distraction. The camera position provides a slight bird's-eye view, which allows children in rear-facing child seats to be observed more easily.
"Rear seat camera" also shows rear areas that are not easy for the driver to observe, e.g. the seat directly behind. And in the case of an estate car, SUV or van, it is also possible to monitor the luggage compartment. This is very useful if domes-tic pets are on board, for example.
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