Researchers find solution to help prevent leaving babies in cars

According to the safety organization Kids and Cars, an average of 37 American children die each year in hot cars.

July 2, 2019 18:21
2 minute read.
Technion child safety system installed in the vehicle.

Technion child safety system installed in the vehicle.. (photo credit: TECHNION SPOKESPERSON'S OFFICE)


Dear Reader,
As you can imagine, more people are reading The Jerusalem Post than ever before. Nevertheless, traditional business models are no longer sustainable and high-quality publications, like ours, are being forced to look for new ways to keep going. Unlike many other news organizations, we have not put up a paywall. We want to keep our journalism open and accessible and be able to keep providing you with news and analysis from the frontlines of Israel, the Middle East and the Jewish World.

As one of our loyal readers, we ask you to be our partner.

For $5 a month you will receive access to the following:

  • A user experience almost completely free of ads
  • Access to our Premium Section
  • Content from the award-winning Jerusalem Report and our monthly magazine to learn Hebrew - Ivrit
  • A brand new ePaper featuring the daily newspaper as it appears in print in Israel

Help us grow and continue telling Israel’s story to the world.

Thank you,

Ronit Hasin-Hochman, CEO, Jerusalem Post Group
Yaakov Katz, Editor-in-Chief


A team of Israeli scientists has developed a new, machine learning-based thermal sensor that could help prevent parents from forgetting their babies and toddlers in cars, which can lead to vehicular heatstroke,  hyperthermia and even death. 

According to the safety organization Kids and Cars, an average of 37 American children die each year in hot cars. These include instances where a child has been forgotten in a car, accidentally locks themselves in a car or trunk, or, in a small number of cases, when a child has been intentionally left in a car.

There have been instances in Israel, as well. Last April, for example, a two-year-old boy died after he was left alone in a car in the northern town of Rechasim, police said. The boy was found after five hours.Temperatures in the town reached a high of 26°C (79℉) on the day of his death.

In July 2013, three Israeli children died in the first two weeks of the month from being left in hot cars. Those deaths included an 18-month-old girl who was left inside a car for five hours in the West Bank settlement of Dolev; a 5-month-old baby who was left in a car for seven hours in Shiloh, also in the West Bank; and a 9-month-old girl who died after she was left in a parked car in the Tel Aviv suburb of Ramat Gan.

Between June and early September, Israel temperatures are usually quite high, averaging between 27°C (80℉) and 32°C (90℉). 

The new system was created by Technion undergraduate students Adam Barhak and Assaf Yitzhak under the guidance of doctoral student Ayal Taitler and master’s degree student Dotan Shambi. It is based on a relatively simple and inexpensive thermal sensor installed opposite the baby seat in the back of the vehicle. The sensor produces an image of the child and transfers the data to a tiny computer, which processes the information and issues an alert. 

According to a release shared by the Technion, the system activates a sequence of alarms in a closed loop that expands according to time passed and the temperature of the vehicle. First a warning light is turned on, followed by a warning beep, and if necessary, notification by text messages to an expanding loop of people who could remotely open the car doors and windows.

“We asked ourselves how it was possible that no effective technological solution has been devised for this problem,” said Barhak, noting that the various solutions offered to date, such as continuous monitoring of the weight placed on the car seat, are unsatisfactory. “We decided that we needed to change direction and embark on a new concept – an advanced and cheap thermal sensor that transfers the data to a system that is able to learn, analyze and rapidly make correct decisions.”

The solution comes at the right time of year. According to, 809 children have died due to Pediatric Vehicular Heatstroke (PVH) since 1998. At least 90% of reported childhood hot-car deaths in the US occurred between April and September.

Join Jerusalem Post Premium Plus now for just $5 and upgrade your experience with an ads-free website and exclusive content. Click here>>

Related Content

COW’S MILK can be replaced with almond or coconut milk
July 13, 2019
Alternatively Speaking: Head, shoulders, knees and toes


Cookie Settings