Some of the best in human ingenuity comes after tragedy. After a fireman told Julian Preston-Powers of UK-based Cool Technologies about a failed attempt to save a baby from a burning vehicle, Preston-Powers came up with the Carkoon, a child car seat that completely envelopes a baby or child in a protective shell.
The Carkoon is made of tough plastics and Kevlar, the material used in bulletproof armor. Preston-Powers points out that, during collisions, loose items go flying around inside the vehicle at the same speed as the vehicle itself. Items like water bottles suddenly become lethal projectiles even at speeds as low as 30 mph. Cool Technologies says the protective airbag that covers the baby has withstood bricks hurled at it.
The Carkoon child car seat is also fireproof, a result from the firefighter’s sad tale. The Carkoon child car seat has its own 20 minute air supply to keep the baby or child breathing if trapped within a vehicle. Also, the Carkoon can also be equipped to automatically send out a signal to alert emergency services where the seat (and, subsequently, the vehicle itself) is located via GPS.
The Carkoon child car seat is tentatively scheduled to go on sale in the UK sometime in 2013, for starting price of around U.S. $800. Check out the video below to see how the Carkoon in action. It is not known at the time of this post if Cool Technology plans to offer the innovative child car seat in the U.S. If so, Carkoon would have to be modified since it’s designed to use the isofix safety seat system which is mandatory in the UK but not used in the states.
Automotive.com’s take: While the “standard” three-point seatbelt has little changed over the, airbag technology has—pardon the pun—exploded in shapes, sizes, and even function. Besides protecting driver and passengers in vehicles, airbags now cushion the blow for pedestrians in vehicle-pedestrian collisions or vehicles involved in a rear end collisions. Airbags are now available on motorcycles or even bicycles as well. And automakers continue to expand their presence in today and tomorrow’s vehicles despite possible injuries including broken bones, hearing loss, burns, and stripped away skin as well as adding to the vehicle’s MSRP. We have several parents on our staff, and the Carkoon child car seat prototype has definitely caught their eye to protect their children.