Tesla seeks FCC approval for using sensor that could detect kids left in a car crash

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Elon Musk’s Tesla has sought FCC approval for a sensor that could be used to detect small children in cars that have met with an accident

Elon Musk’s Tesla Inc. has filed an approval request with the Ajit Pai led Federal Communications Commission (FCC) for using a sensor that can help detect small tots involved in a car crash and/or deploy airbags correctly.

Tesla has sought approval to market a short-range interactive motion-sensing device that could help prevent children from being left behind in stranded cars or cars involved in a crash. Tesla has sought permission to millimeter-wave sensors that would operate at higher power levels than allowed under existing rules.

According to the filing, Tesla’s device would utilize four transmit and three receive antennas driven by a radar front-end unit. Tesla says millimeter-wave radar technology has advantages over other sensing systems like camera-based or in-seat occupant detection systems. The radar-based system could ‘see-through’ materials such as blankets to find out if the child is using a child restraint. Tesla says that this could help the first responders quickly assuage the situation and take the child to safety.

Tesla says that the sensor “can differentiate between a child and an object left on the seat, reducing the likelihood of false alarms” and can detect “micromovements like breathing patterns and heart rates, neither of which can be captured by cameras or in-seat sensors alone.” Tesla says that the sensor can assess child’s body size to optimize airbag deployment in a car crash. The sensor and the radar could take quick second decisions based on the input.

Tesla says that the millimeter-wave sensors would be more effective than existing weight-based, in-seat sensor systems.

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