According to figures from Beterem – Safe Kids Israel (Hebrew), the media reported 293 cases of children being forgotten in various vehicles in 2009-2014, with 15 cases ending in the child’s death.
Now Waze, a popular navigational app, has taken up the challenge and will soon launch a new feature to prevent the next forgotten child. The feature is still in its beta version but once it is in operation, every time the driver completes a journey, a warning will appear on his smartphone reminding him to check whether a child has been left behind.
The driver has the option to turn the warning on and off, and can even compose the message that will appear. This option will enable drivers to change the message occasionally so that they will not ignore it out of habit.
The new Waze feature is not yet available, but it is expected that the company will launch the feature in one of app’s upcoming updates.
The new feature is part of Waze’s evolution from an app that shortens waiting times, to one that also makes the journey safer.
Until Waze comes out with this alert, the other technological systems available include sensors based on weight and movement in the baby chair, sensors based on the child’s safety belt, a sound sensor that identifies a baby crying, and smartphone apps, such as Baby Reminder.