Toyota engineers based in Ann Arbor are developing an app to make car seat installation easier and safer
Engineers at Toyota Motor North America’s Ann Arbor Research and Development Facility have created an app to ensure all parents can safely and accurately install a car seat. By Toyota for families, a new digital toolkit for Toyota owners App or websiteUsers can select the make and model of their vehicle for detailed instructions and videos on how to fit their specific car seat into their particular vehicle.
Toyota Chief Engineers Jennifer Pelky and Lindsay Babian came up with the idea for Toyota for Families while making notes on a napkin over lunch in 2019. Their conversation about their own confusion with installing car seats sparked the idea for the digital toolkit, which hit the market earlier this March, the Toyota Sienna.
“If we have trouble installing the right seats, others have problems too,” says Pelky, mother of two sons.
The duo hired Janelle Pharris, Senior Advanced Technology Planner at Toyota and the mother of two sons, whose expertise includes previous work on Graco car seats and strollers. The three mothers saw the project as love work for their children and other parents like them.
Toyota for Family users can select the car seat position they want and then enter the type of car seat they have: front-facing, rear-facing, or booster seat. Depending on the age and weight of the child, a guide can also be chosen to choose from.
“Parents don’t understand how tight the car seat has to be or how to install it properly,” says Pelky. “This app can help.”
More information on Toyota for families is available Here.
Monica Hickson is a freelance writer currently living in Ypsilanti.
Photo courtesy of Jennifer Pelky.