Not all drivers/passengers can easily find the seatbelt buckle, especially at night and in a car they’re not familiar with, and Skoda is looking to eliminate this hassle by releasing illuminated seatbelt buckles.
The Czech automaker has been granted a worldwide patent for the new system, which features a clear transparent button in lieu of the traditional red ejector.
Multi-color LEDs are integrated into the seatbelt buckle, operating in three different modes. The white light changes to red when the passenger sits in the seat, and once they buckle up, the light then turns green.
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Skoda noted that this feature is particularly useful for parents, who can immediately see whether the little ones have forgotten to fasten their belt or have not engaged it correctly. The illuminated seatbelt buckles can be programed to display a welcome sequence, making them more visible in dark environments, and can also be integrated into the ambient lights.
“The smart illuminated seatbelt buckle is just one of many features devised, designed and engineered in-house at Skoda”, the automaker said. “Every year, the brand files numerous patent applications for ideas and systems to make life easier, safer and more enjoyable for owners and drivers.”
Some of Skoda’s protected innovations include the flexible cargo snake that secures boxes, crates and other objects in the boot, and the hollow-fiber fabric floor mats, on which dirt is barely visible and are easy to clean. They have also patented a production line camera system that aligns the parts of the vehicle’s body with high precision before welding.