We’ve all heard enough horror stories of people leaving their kids or pets in the back seat of a hot car. To help prevent further tragedies, and lesser incidents like forgetting food or your gym bag, Nissan is adding a special alert feature to the 2018 Pathfinder.
Rear Door Alert keeps track of when the rear doors have been opened or closed prior to and after a trip. If it detects the rear doors were opened and closed before the trip but not re-opened after the trip, it displays a warning in the instrument panel. Later, the system uses a series of distinctive horn honks once the driver walks away from the vehicle.
The idea of reminding drivers to check the back seat isn’t new. On a host of GM models, a Rear Seat Reminder sounds a chime and displays a message in the instrument cluster to make sure drivers don’t leave something in the back of the car. But Nissan says the honking makes its feature unique from others.
“The Rear Door Alert uses a similar honking cue that has been proven successful with Nissan’s Easy Fill Tire Alert,” said Elsa Foley, one of the Nissan engineers behind the alert system. “By drawing your attention back to the vehicle, once you’ve walked away, you are more likely to recheck the back seat than with a visual alert alone.”
By scrolling through vehicle settings on the instrument panel, drivers can deactivate the horn portion of the alert or turn off the Rear Door Alert feature altogether if they choose.
Rear Door Alert will arrive as a standard feature on the 2018 Pathfinder when it goes on sale in September. Since the three-row SUV was significantly revised last year, only a few other changes are expected for 2018. Along with the new alert feature, the Pathfinder also receives standard automatic emergency braking, a new Midnight Edition appearance package, and two new exterior colors including Scarlet Ember and Midnight Pine. Intelligent Cruise Control and NissanConnectSM with Navigation and Services, previously only standard on the Platinum grade, are now standard on the lower SL grade.