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Skoda patents illuminated seatbelt buckle, a first in auto industry

  • Skoda says the buckle lights up in red when it detects an occupant and turns green when the seatbelt is securely attached.
  • Apart from serving as a reminder, the illumination makes it easy for the buckle to be found during low-light conditions.

Skoda recently informed that it has patented what is the world's first illuminated seatbelt buckle that seeks to further assist the driver and occupants to attach the belt in dimly-lit or night-time conditions. The car maker informs that the buckle is illuminated in red so that occupants can find it easily and that it turns green when the belt is attached to it.

While it may not seem like a path-breaking move, there is no denying though that this simple technique may not only assist occupants in finding the buckle but also serve as a possible reminder to wear the seat belts.

The illumination may not be on at all times though as Skoda informs there are weight sensors that would detect if someone is on a seat before illuminating the buckle. The basic principle is similar to the seatbelt warning sounds on passenger seats that most cars these days have which issue beep alerts if a passenger is seated but not buckled up. If a seat is vacant, quite obviously, the alert beeps aren't sounded.

Skoda informs that the driving force behind seatbelt buckle illumination is to further improve safety practices of a driver and car occupants. "The smart illuminated seat belt buckle is just one of many features devised, designed and engineered in-house at Skoda," a company statement informed. "Every year, the brand files numerous patent applications for ideas and systems to make life easier, safer and more enjoyable for owners and drivers."

While the simple illumination process is likely to be a practical touch in Skoda cars when put into production cars, some say that the Czech car maker could have opted to not file a patent. After all, Volvo did give up the patent of the three-point seat belt in the 1950s to ensure that this absolutely crucial safety feature makes its way to all cars. Nonetheless, Skoda's attention to safety is also being praised by many and here's hoping car makers continue to prioritize it above all el

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