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Volvo rethinks safe child seating

Eye to eye: Volvo's baby seat concept allows little travelers to easily make eye contact with other passengers, as well as extra storage for lots of baby things.

Excellence Child Safety Seat Concept pioneers new infant transport tech for Volvo

3 Jul 2015

VOLVO has rejigged its China-only XC90 Excellence luxury large SUV to showcase a child-seat concept that delivers the ultimate in baby and infant transport.

To create the Child Seat Safety Concept, Volvo replaced the front passenger seat of the XC90 limousine with specifically engineered rear-facing baby seat, that allows an adult to face the child from one of the luxurious second row seats.

The rearward-facing position is the safest for children under four-years old, according to the Swedish car-maker, and also allows eye contact with another person for comforting the infant in transit.

When loading and unloading the child, the safety seat swivels to face the door, allowing a more comfortable and ergonomic position for the adult, while its smaller size has freed up space underneath and below the dashboard for all the things associated with childcare.

A heated bottle holder can be used to keep a milk bottle warm and there is enough room for blankets, a bag and nappies, says Volvo.

Volvo's XC90 Excellence is based on the Shanghai motor show Excellence Lounge Console Concept that sacrificed the front passenger seat to boost second row comfort.

The Child Safety Seat Concept was conceived after Volvo Cars owner Li Shufu reviewed the three-seater concept and suggested using the extra space for an alternative purpose.

According to Volvo Cars interior chief designer Tisha Johnson, alternative seating arrangements will be necessary and possible with the advent of autonomous cars.

“Such alternative seating arrangements will become increasingly important as we move towards autonomous vehicles,” she said.

“We have been investigating the nature of progressive luxury for some time and we see a direct connection between luxury and emotional wellbeing.

“So we have taken the next step in redefining how the interior of a car can be used to suit our customers’ needs. We have always placed a great deal of importance on child safety, but this takes things to the next level.”

Volvo has not confirmed a production version of the child seat, and the Excellence variant on which the concept is based will not be coming to Australia at this stage.

The rest of the XC90 is confirmed for the local line-up, however, with the first examples arriving next month with plenty of luxury features for up to seven occupants.

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