Volvo has just unveiled a pretty nifty prototype in its 2016 XC90: a built-in car seat. Considering that 93 percent of us make at least one mistake when installing it, and considering how awesome it would be to actually make eye contact with your babe at a stoplight, the luxe crossover is the stuff of new parents' dreams.
This being Volvo, you can expect more than just a regular old car seat. The seat sits on a raised platform, swivels counter-clockwise to make settling baby in a little easier, then locks in a rear-facing position. There's also plenty of space to stash a diaper bag, toys, or blankets around or underneath the seat, and a heated cup holder to warm bottles.
Related: How safe is your baby's car seat? Check out our Products Recall database to find out.
Shocked to see a prototype that has baby riding shotgun? As strange as the up-front spot may look to a lot of us (myself included), the company insists it's perfectly safe for babies, so long as the airbag is turned off. "From a safety perspective there is no difference between the rear seat or front seat, given that the airbag is disconnected," Volvo reps wrote on their Facebook page. "This concept can ensure that the airbag always will be disconnected when the concept is in the car."
(Still, the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that kids sit in the back seat until they're at least 13 years old.)
It's reassuring to see companies designing wheels that are increasingly more safe and family-friendly. But a ride for baby that spares us parents the hassle of buying and installing a car seat? That's even better! Well done, Volvo.
Bonnie Gibbs Vengrow is a New York City-based writer and editor who traded in her Blackberry and Metro card for playdates and PB&J sandwiches—and the once-in-a-lifetime chance to watch her feisty, funny son grow up. Follow her on Twitter, Pinterest and Google+.
Car Seat Installation Tips
Image of the Volvo 2016 XC90 courtesy of Volvo