In Wheel Time

Nissan Rear Door Alert technology reminds drivers to check the rear seats

Nissan's new technology keeps drivers informed. In Wheel Time

Every summer we are reminded that summer heat can be deadly for children and family pets when they get left in the family vehicle — even for a very short time. In response to concern about their customer family well-being (including pets), Nissan has announced the development and deployment of a new Rear Door Alert (RDA) technology that they hope will reduce these incidents.

How it works

The new system utilizes door sequence logic, center instrument panel message display, and industry-first multiple horn honks to help remind drivers to check the rear seat after the vehicle is parked. The system can help remind customers of anything that may have been forgotten in the rear seat beyond children and pets. Think ice cream, bagged ice, chocolate bars, groceries, and other heat-sensitive perishables.

RDA monitors the rear door switches to detect their open/closed status prior to and after a trip. If the system detects that a rear door was opened/closed prior to a trip, but then was not reopened after the trip was completed and the vehicle is put in park with ignition turned off, the system alerts with a series of notifications, starting with a display in the instrument panel and progressing to subtle but distinctive chirps of the horn.

If the driver does not respond to the visual and audible signals from the instrument cluster alert, the system continues the alert with louder, distinctive honking of the horn to the get the attention of the driver as they walk away.

Because there can be many scenarios in which a driver might open a rear door — everything from throwing in a gym bag to cleaning the car — the RDA system is easily configurable and can be turned off temporarily or permanently through prompts in the cluster display.

The first application of the RDA system as a standard feature will be on their family-friendly, three-row 2018 Pathfinder SUV. Other vehicles in the Nissan lineup will follow.

What about coupes, you ask?

With the exception of some configurations of the Nissan Frontier and Titan pickup trucks — without a rear door/rear seat configuration — the only two-door vehicle is their GT-R super sports coupe which is not likely a vehicle that will have persons or pets in the rear seat. But, a driver may have put some ice cream or other perishable back there that would make a huge mess if left in the car. Nissan tells me their engineers will be working on an RDA for that next.

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Houston dropped two of three

Astros drop series finale to Oakland, A's win series

Jose Urquidy couldn't hold Oakland back on Saturday. Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images

With Oakland finally ending their drought against the Astros on Friday night to split the first two games of the series, and with the Angels staying in step with them as both teams started the day 6-2, the Astros needed a win to keep momentum in their favor on Saturday.

Instead, Oakland would outslug Houston once again to take the series finale and take the series win. The loss moves Houston to 6-3 and down to second place, at least for now, until the 6-2 Angels complete their game on Saturday evening.

Final Score: A's 7, Astros 3

Astros' Record: 6-3, second in AL West

Winning Pitcher: Frankie Montas (1-1)

Losing Pitcher: Jose Urquidy (0-1)

Urquidy gives up four over six

Much like the night before, Oakland was able to bring in runs against Houston's starter, this time Jose Urquidy, Saturday afternoon in their second time through the order. Their first time through, Urquidy was cruising, allowing just one baserunner in the first three innings on a single in the top of the third.

Things shifted in the top of the fourth, with the A's getting back-to-back singles to set the stage for a two-run frame with dual RBI-singles to take a 2-0 lead. Oakland doubled that in the fifth, getting a two-out single to set up a two-run homer by Ramon Laureano to make it 4-0. Urquidy would go on to finish six innings, but with no run support to that point, would leave in line for the loss. His final line: 6.0 IP, 7 H, 4 R, 4 ER, 0 BB, 7 K, 93 P.

A's pad their lead before Houston gets on the board

Meanwhile, although getting five hits, the Astros could not get anything on the board against Frankie Montas through six innings. Brandon Bielak took over out of the bullpen for Urquidy in the top of the seventh, but after loading the bases, he would allow a dagger two-RBI single to make it a 6-0 deficit for Houston.

With Montas starting the seventh looking to face a batter or two before Oakland moved to their bullpen, Kyle Tucker would finally get Houston on the board with a leadoff solo home run, cutting the lead to 6-1 and ending Montas' day. Houston would get a two-out rally going, with an RBI-double by Jose Altuve followed by an RBI-triple by Michael Brantley to make it a three-run game at 6-3.

Oakland takes the series win

Ryne Stanek tried to keep it a three-run game and give the Astros a chance to stay in it in the top of the eighth but instead would give up a two-out solo home run to push Oakland's lead back to four. That 7-3 score would go final as Houston would go scoreless in the eighth and ninth.

Up Next: Houston will have a day off on Sunday before continuing this homestand Monday night by welcoming in Detroit and former manager A.J. Hinch for three games. In the series opener, the Tigers will send young star Casey Mize (0-0, 2.25 ERA) to the mound, while the Astros will get another start by Zack Greinke (1-0, 1.38 ERA).

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