Volvo has invented an inflatable child car seat.
The Swedish car company's latest safety innovation hopes to redefine traveling with young children, making it easier and safer. Calling traditional car seats "bulky, hard to move and tedious to mount", Volvo hails its new rear-facing inflatable as weighing a mere 5kg. This would not only make it half the weight of a conventional model, but as it's deflatable, easy to carry in a backpack or suitcase.
Made of a relatively new "dropstitch" fabric, the seat takes 40 seconds to inflate, due to an inbuilt pump, which also deflates after use. The pump is "silent and efficient", and is supposedly only one of a "wide range" of features, including Bluetooth remote inflation commands.
The "dropstitch" fabric works by withstanding and using the very high internal pressure of the seat to become an apparently safer alternative to the conventional model. The material, currently widely used in the boating industry, was "originally developed by the military" for use with inflatable aeroplanes.
It's called the Volvo Inflatable Child Seat Concept, but then the folks at Volvo have always been better at substance than style - substance especially when it comes to safety. This prototype marks the 50th anniversary of the Volvo Group taking the initiative on child car safety. They invented the first rear-facing car seat prototype in 1964, and have developed three variants of the booster seat since.
Volvo's new car seat seems perfect for taking children abroad. Now if only you could deflate the kids after a long journey...