It happens quite often when you jump into an unfamiliar car in the night and end up searching everywhere for the seatbelt buckle until you hurt your hand by smashing it against something like a hand rest. While this isn’t something we complain about, it’s always good to see a car manufacturer pay attention to the smaller details. Skoda has filed a patent for the automobile industry’s first-of-its-kind illuminated seat belt buckles.
The carmaker claims that they have developed a light-up LED seatbelt buckle to eliminate the hassle of trying to put on seatbelts in the night or a dark environment. The patented buckle features some multicoloured LED lights under its transparent eject button, which is said to operate in two different modes. The first mode comes into play when the seats are vacant, the lights glow white, to make the buckle clearly visible for the passengers. Once the seat is occupied by the passenger, the second mode comes into play, which makes the buckle glow bright red, to remind the passengers about the seatbelt. As soon as the seatbelts are secure, the buckle turns green.
Skoda claims that the buckles will come with a crystalline pattern on the transparent eject button, which will help it in dispersing light, increasing the button’s glow. Apart from this, customers can also set the buckle to flash, making it even more noticeable at night. This patent seems to be an important step from the safety standpoint, by making it easier to use a seat belt, and at the same time, Skoda has also said that the red light will glow inside the cabin, which will be particularly useful for parents who can immediately see if their children have properly secured the belts.
While the patent is unique and is the industry’s first-of-its-kind initiative, we can see a lot of premium manufacturers use white lighting around the seatbelt buckle. Skoda claims that this initiative will be important from a safety point of view, and will be interesting to see if the carmaker rolls this feature in its upcoming cars in India.
Last year, Skoda had filed close to 94 patent applications, which is more than any other company in the region in 2019. The carmaker is also known for its partnership with a lot of start-ups in the Israel region. Most of these start-ups are known for their innovation in artificial intelligence and cybersecurity space. Following the same path, in 2016, Skoda established its own standalone firm called Skoda Digilab to find start-ups developing technology that could benefit Skoda. While everything is still in the development phase, it will be interesting to see how Skoda integrates these innovative features with their electric plans.