The 6 Best Auto-Tech Features to Keep Your Dog Safe

Whether it’s a quick errand or a cross-country trek, you know how nerve-wracking it can be to worry about safety when traveling with your dog. From sudden stops to dog theft, the threats are real.


Here are six safety technologies to consider before taking your next trip with your dog.


1. Backseat Memories

Every summer we hear horror stories from children who have been left in cars on muggy days. Manufacturers try to stop these tragedies with backseat reminders. Though originally designed for humans, backseat reminders can save canine lives too.

Motor vehicle reminder technologies vary by manufacturer, but most rely on door order. For example, if the driver’s door is opened and one of the rear doors is opened, the vehicle assumes that someone is in the back seat.

As soon as the driver arrives at his destination and switches off the ignition, the vehicle waits for him to open the rear doors again. If they don’t, it concludes they left valuable cargo behind and alerts them via a series of tones, lights, and sometimes phone notifications.

Other rear seat memories are more advanced. For example, Hyundai’s rear occupant warning system uses ultrasonic sensors to detect movement inside the vehicle. The only downside to this type of technology is that it can be triggered by something you have no interest in saving, such as: B. a fly.

2. Smart Glass

Smart Glass is a new technology that allows you to customize and change the tint of your windows. Do you want an inspection sticker? Dial it down. Leaving the dog in the car for a few minutes while you run an errand? Flip it all the way up to be opaque.

While smart glass won’t stop your dog from barking at other dogs passing by, it does have benefits beyond making the inside of your car invisible.

Smart glass helps cars stay cooler in direct sunlight, offers fast defrosting, and may one day contain photovoltaic cells that can charge your electrical system. It’s easy to imagine a world where this is the new standard for automotive glass. The new $300,000 Cadillac Celistiq EV features smart glass that allows each passenger to customize overhead transparency levels.

3. Tesla & Rivian: Dog Mode

It’s one thing to leave the air conditioner on for your dog; it’s another to let the world know you made it. Dog mode lets passers-by know your dog is enjoying a room temperature booth.

In some places it is legal to smash windows when a dog is in a running car. So it’s important to spread the word that your dog is fine. The tech isn’t free from critics, like those pointing out that the air conditioning or the battery could fail. As with all new technologies, it is possible. For example, in 2019, a Tesla owner tweeted:

Elon Musk responded within a minute that Tesla was working on the issue.

4. Window and child lock

While these features aren’t new, it’s easy to forget to use them to keep dogs safe.

Window locks can prevent your dog from accidentally opening or closing the window. Although windows should automatically retract to prevent them from squeezing their heads or paws, Tesla’s recent window issue reminds us that technology doesn’t always work as intended.

Parental controls are another technology for children that can also complement dog safety. Although your dog is unlikely to open a car door, it’s a simple precaution that can prevent a cruel situation.

5. Live Dog Cams

As you wait in line at the store, the fear sets in: What if your dog ate those chocolate cupcakes in the back seat? You think how nice it would be to see your furry friend in real time.

Although Tesla’s Sentry Mode activates alarms when it detects someone trying to break into your vehicle, it doesn’t tell you if your dog is about to ingest something toxic.

While factory-installed dashcams are becoming more common in luxury vehicles, indoor cameras remain mostly in the aftermarket manufacturers realm.

In the future, Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) could catch up and turn the camera eye inward to enable cabin surveillance. This technology would be popular with dog owners and parents who install rear seat cameras like Itomoro’s Mirror Crystal so they can watch their kids without having to turn around.

Until then, you can choose from many dog ​​wearables that will allow you to keep an eye on your dog and track their health. Coupled with apps that make dog training easier, do what’s best for your pet.

6. Harnesses and restraints

Newton’s Laws: A 60-lb. Dog transforms into 2,700-pound force in 35-mph collision

Advances in harnesses and restraint systems can help ensure both dogs and humans are safer in accidents, but it all depends on your vehicle and where your dog likes to be.

For example, if you have an SUV or station wagon and your dog is sitting in the cargo area, installing a mesh partition like the Bushwhacker Deluxe Dog Barrier makes sense. Not only does it ensure your dog doesn’t run around the vehicle and distract you, but it could also protect them from flying forward into the vehicle in the event of a rear-end collision.

While there is a plethora of products out there to restrain dogs, some fall short. It goes without saying that a Yorkie and a German Shepherd will need different restraints, so researching and figuring out the best harness or restraint for your dog is imperative.

The Center for Pet Safety tests dog restraint systems with crash test dogs and shares the results to help consumers make informed decisions.

The future of canine technology

There are numerous opportunities for entrepreneurs interested in developing new safety technology for dogs. Statista reports that 470 million dogs were kept as pets worldwide in 2018, and the number is likely higher post-COVID.

Argo AI, a company with investors like Ford and Volkswagen, has created its own puppy rover. This little robot runs around under test conditions to help self-driving cars learn to recognize and avoid dogs. While we don’t know when autonomous vehicles will become commonplace, it’s reassuring that researchers are looking at ways to keep the streets safe for our four-legged friends.

protect puppies

Whether you are transporting people or dogs, safety is a primary concern. While it’s best not to leave your dog unattended, sometimes it’s unavoidable. The good news is that automotive technologies can help make them safer.

In addition to features designed specifically for kids like window/door security locks and rear seat reminders, new features like smart glass, dog modes, live cameras and innovative restraint systems offer a new level of protection.

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