Car Seats: Volvo Invents Inflatable, Lightweight Seat

Thursday, 17 Apr 2014 12:32 PM

By Clyde Hughes

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Volvo has designed a concept car seat that is inflatable and lightweight, portable for on-the-go parents.

Child car seats are known for being heavy and bulky and can be a hassle for parents who have to install and remove them regularly in different vehicles. 

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Lawrence Abele, the design manager at Volvo Monitoring and Concept Center in Los Angeles, said that Volvo hopes to make life easier for new parents with the car seats.

"For me child safety is always the No. 1 priority and when we lived abroad with two toddlers we had to haul bulky child seats through airports and then into taxis," Abele said in a statement. "For many, traveling with young children is a challenge. Any assistance to simplify the parents' life with young children is a great thing." 

The seat weighs less than 11 pounds and takes less than 40 seconds to inflate with an integrated silent pump, according to Volvo. Parents can inflate the seat, which is rear-facing, through Bluetooth technology.

Maria Hansson, project manager at Volvo Monitoring and Concept Center, said that the seat's fabric is based on a military design that is reliable and safe.

"We used a unique material called drop-stitch fabric when creating the prototype of the seat," Hansson said in a statement on Volvo's website. "This fabric is very strong when inflated as it can be brought to a very high internal pressure. It is a quite common technology in the boating industry and was originally developed by the military in an effort to develop inflatable airplanes."

Chris Bruce of praised the design of the seat.

"The design is quite ingenious," Bruce wrote. "The seat is covered in drop-stitched fabric, which fills with air to create the form of the seat. It even has a Bluetooth connection, so parents can begin expanding it remotely." 

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