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's offense once again obliterated Baltimore in Wednesday's finale. Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images

Owners of a nine-game winning streak, the Astros tried to keep the train rolling to make it double digits and complete the three-game sweep of the Orioles in Baltimore. Not only would they get the win, but they also did it by dominating on both sides of the ball again in a one-sided shutout.

Final Score: Astros 13, Orioles 0

Astros' Record: 46-28, first in the AL West

Winning Pitcher: Jose Urquidy (6-3)

Losing Pitcher: Thomas Eshelman (0-1)

Houston keeps mashing

Unlike Tuesday's game which ended 3-1 in a much closer affair, the finale on Wednesday was once again a lopsided affair like Monda's opener, favoring the Astros. Houston once again put up double-digit runs in an offensive explosion. It started right off the bat, with three runs scoring in the top of the first on a two-RBI double by Carlos Correa and an RBI single by Kyle Tucker to grab a 3-0 lead.

Yuli Gurriel extended it to 4-0 with a two-out RBI single in the second, then Jose Altuve made it a six-run game with a two-run blast in the top of the fourth. Michael Brantley joined in with an RBI single in the top of the sixth, then Yordan Alvarez led off a four-run seventh with a solo bomb before a three-run homer by Abraham Toro made it 11-0.

Urquidy cruises through seven scoreless

Jose Urquidy was cruising all the while, allowing just three baserunners over that span, a double to start his night, which he erased, then a one-out walk in the second and leadoff single in the sixth. He returned at the bottom of the seventh with a manageable pitch count, where he'd erase a one-out single to keep Baltimore scoreless. With the insurmountable lead, he'd be given the rest of the night off. His final line: 7.0 IP, 3 H, 0 ER, 1 BB, 6 K, 84 P.

Astros complete the sweep and grab tenth straight win

Chas McCormick, who came off the bench defensively in the bottom of the seventh, made it a twelve-run lead with a one-out solo homer in the top of the eighth, then later Abraham Toro notched his fourth RBI with a run-scoring single to make it 13-0. Brandon Bielak took over for Urquidy in the bottom of the eighth, and after loading the bases with no outs, was able to escape with a strikeout and double play.

Ralph Garza Jr. was Houston's third pitcher, wrapping things up at the bottom of the ninth. He erased a one-out walk and a single with a double play to end the game, giving Houston the three-game sweep and extending their winning streak to ten games as they continue to look like baseball's best team.

Up Next: The next stop on this road trip for Houston is Detroit, where they will kick off a four-game set with the Tigers on Thursday at 6:10 PM Central. The pitching matchup for the opener will be Luis Garcia (5-4, 2.82 ERA) for Houston and Jose Urena (2-7, 5.79 ERA) for Detroit.

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