The Swedish automaker, creator of the three-point seatbelt and early adopter of the rear-facing child car seat, has stripped out the front passenger seat of its XC90 SUV and literally created a pedestal on which to place a baby. This way, parents can place the child in the seat and easily swivel it around so it faces the rear of the car—the recommended position for a kids under age four because of the disproportionate size of their head in relation to their body.
The car’s configuration allows the baby to maintain eye contact with the driver or someone sitting in the backseat. Diapers and other baby items can be stored underneath the seat, and bottles can be kept warm in heated cup holders. Volvo’s chief designer for interiors said the company wanted to “make life easier for parents and safer for their children.”
In the US, child deaths in traffic accidents have been declining over the past decade as more parents are strapping their kids into car seats. But research from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration shows that 46% of people are misusing car and booster seats.
Volvo’s new SUV is just a concept car for now—but one that’s bound to be appreciated by anyone who knows how difficult it can be to take baby out for a spin.