Just a couple of weeks ago, I came across the news article of a father who forgot his 15 month old son in the back of the car. The infant died due to hyperthermia. On hindsight, incidents like these are not few and far between. As per Washington Post, this year alone saw the death of 17 children under similar circumstances. As per the fact sheet of this Department of Meteorology and Climate Science website the number is somewhere around 30. Now to consider whether the death is a case of parental negligence or not is a matter for the judiciary to decide.
But can we address the problem with technology. In the past year, in-built black-box has come into discussion while talking about vehicle safety. The black-box architected for such a use case would act as a telemetry system that collects vital data at frequent intervals about the environment and the car. The PIR Sensor can detect the presence of abandoned children or pets in the vehicle. An inbuilt SD card can offer seamless digital recording. In addition, the Carbon Monoxide sensors will be an integral part monitoring CO levels at regular intervals. If a child or pet is found on board and CO level exceeds specified thresholds, a car alarm will be activated, and alerts are sent to an emergency list including the car owner, family and 911. The in-built GPS notifies the precise location of the vehicle.
Such a system can no doubt reduce similar cases and would be able to offer safe environments for parents with children or pets. Meanwhile, the black-box would continue to track actual events like braking, acceleration that would a normal event based car recorder would do, and it can be reviewed in accidents for litigation.
At eInfochips, we along with Freescale have been working on the above detailed black-box solution. We have built a System on Module (SOM) over Freescale i.MX6 processor that is built on ARM Cortex-A9 platform.
Freescale i.MX6 can also be utilized to build IoT Gateways that can be used for Industrial Automation or Home Security and Automation Systems to control centralized lighting and HVAC appliances. For more application of Freescale i.MX6 check out https://www.einfochips.com/index.php/partnerships/freescale/i-mx6.html.