How can someone leave their child or pet behind in a car and forget you might ask? Unfortunately it happens, however, thirty seconds is enough for a CO2 sensor to detect and alarm.
Fresh air normally contains around 400ppm CO2 and that is what we inhale if we are outdoors. When we exhale CO2 indoors, 40 000ppm is measured just outside our mouth and nose. If a pet or a child is left in a closed car the CO2 level rises very quickly. How fast? One minute is enough for a CO2 sensor to show the difference. An eight month old baby increases the CO2 level in a car cabin with a rate of 20 ppm/minute. This means that we can detect a child within a minute just from the elevated CO2 level.
CO2 sensors are small, low cost and reliable and the technology is mature. It is available in automotive quality and can be integrated with the ventilation system to also control the indoor air quality inside the car.
In 2014, Senseair conducted its first experiment and used sensors to detect an infant, a young child and a dog trapped inside a car. After about 20 seconds it became clear that the sensor could detect children and pets. We continued to investigate the topic and in 2019 we conducted more tests. The result clearly show that the technology is stable and reliable.