Preventing hyperthermia

Preventing hyperthermia among children and dogs left in cars - Development of a system to be implemented in future cars


Every year several children and dogs around the world are suffering from hyperthermia and heat illness after being left or forgotten inside of cars that get hot. In this thesis the possibility of implementing a system in cars in the future that eliminates serious hyperthermia cases among children and dogs that are left in cars that get hot is investigated.

The project research has shown that people are aware of the problem and its consequences but do not understand how fast cars can heat up, and how insufficient solutions such as lowering the windows of the car are. There is a need of a system solving the problem that is integrated in the car, and does not rely on user behaviour. A conceptual system that solves this problem has been developed.

The development process consisted of several phases, with each phase being iterated before moving on to the next. As the development moved from phase to phase the level of detail increased. With the results from each design phase new needs and requirements were set for the development during the next phase. To gather information and data related to the problem literature studies, questionnaires and interviews have been used. The development work was carried out using engineering methods such as the Pugh and Kesselring matrices and brainstorming techniques.

The developed conceptual system resulted in an integrated solution “HeatSafe”, consisting of infrared cameras to detect any child and/or dog left in the car, utilising the AC system to cool the interior of the vehicle, the built in thermometer in the car to trigger the cameras, an mobile application to deliver information to the user and the car software to run the system.

To conclude, the system is feasible for implementation in the future, and a suggestion is to start implementing it in hybrid vehicles where running the AC does not cause emissions. In the current situation the infrared cameras are not economically feasible, but with future development and full scale quantities the concept is possible to integrate in future vehicles. Keywords: hyperthermia, heat, dog, child, car, infrared, camera, concept, cooling, safety.

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