Vehicle Occupant Detection Warning Device

The Problem:
Due to the need for movement in the location of the device, the current active child safety devices require the child to be present over a sensor that is placed beneath the child and a car safety seat. As such, it has been found that the current technology experiences false positives due to the requirement of movement in the child car seat.

The Solution:
Researchers at The University of Alabama have developed a vehicle occupant detection and warning device that is retrofit technology to save children and pets that become unattended in vehicles by measuring the carbon dioxide levels within the vehicle based on typical expected exhaling quantities for children and small animals. The device simply plugs into existing DC power supplies in the vehicle and utilizes temperature sensors in order the presence of human life. In addition, and in order to detect whether the vehicle is parked, accelerometers and power detection sensors will detect whether the vehicle is parked. Once a parked vehicle is detected, a warning is sent when carbon dioxide levels and temperature reach a certain level.


  • Protects children and pets using passive technology- reduces false positives.
  • Does not rely on active sensors in car seats.
  • Can be retrofit or installed in new vehicles.
  • No vehicle safety devices for pets currently exist.

The University of Alabama Research Office of Innovation and Commercialization (OIC) is a non-profit corpo­ration that is responsible for commercializing University of Alabama technologies and for supporting University research. At OIC, we seek parties that are interested in learning more about our technologies and commercialization opportunities, and we welcome any inquiries you may have.


Contact Information

TTO Home Page:

Name: Lynnette Scales

Title: Administrative Assistant

Department: Office for Innovation & Commercialization


Phone: (205) 348-5433