Fifty years ago, Volvo invented the first rear-facing child car seat in a Volvo PV544. Now, the company has come out with a new concept for an inflatable, lightweight child seat that’s much easier to carry around without sacrificing safety.
Volvo identified portability as a key issue with current child seats, as many of them are bulky, heavy, and difficult to travel with. The inflatable child seat prototype is a rear-facing seat that only weighs 11 lbs. It comes with an integrated pump system that can inflate the seat in 40 seconds and can be controlled by Bluetooth for remote inflation. Volvo says the material it used for the seat—called drop-stitch fabric—is very strong and allows the seat to be inflated to a high internal pressure, making it as safe as a conventional child seat, even though it’s far lighter.
Unlike other child seats, though, this new Volvo child seat prototype can fit into a backpack or a weekend bag when deflated. Volvo says this makes it easier to travel with the child seat, as this seat could easily be installed in a taxi or a rental car. This also makes sense for additional caretakers like grandparents or babysitters, who would be able to have a more mobile child seat when they need it.
At this point the inflatable child seat is still a concept, but stay tuned for more news to come about this innovative Volvo creation.