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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Let him cook! Photo by Tim Warner/Getty Images

The Houston Rockets are in the midst of a rebuild. Jalen Green and Kevin Porter Jr are studs. KPJ just signed a four-year extension with the team. Other guys like Jabari Smith Jr, Kenyon Martin Jr, Alperen Sengun, Josh Christopher, Tari Eason, and Jae'Sean Tate are really good pieces to surround Green and KPJ with. The only issue with this group: they're REALLY young! Tate is the elder statesman at 27 of the young nucleus. Most are barely old enough to buy a drink. Some still aren't old enough! They're a bunch of green bananas waiting to turn yellow to slightly brown and be ripe enough for consumption.

We need to give it time. Just like bananas, they take time to ripen. Coach Stephen Silas is known for developing young players. His most prized student is the star player for that team in South Oklahoma up 45. Number 77 for that team credited Silas with helping him realize his All-Pro potential while Silas was a part of the coaching staff there. To a man, all his former players credit him with being a positive influence on their careers. So why are fans in a rush to get rid of him?

When you look at the Rockets' record over the last few years, it's gross. Sure, they've been a lottery team the last couple of seasons, but that was by design. As part of the Chris Paul and Russell Westbrook trades, they gave away pick swap rights. Had they not been that bad, they wouldn't have been able to draft Green or Smith Jr. Those two guys are building blocks for the future, along with KPJ. Giving those picks away would've put this team further down the totem pole of developing themselves into a contender. Losing pays off when you can hit on high lottery picks.

If you give a chef dirt, bread, ham, molded cheese, and spoiled mayo, can you expect anything else but a nasty ham sandwich? How about if the chef was given a steak that is almost rotten, potatoes with root growth, and spoiled butter? Could you expect a better meal than the sandwich? Yes! However, that meal may still cause a stomachache. Now, give said chef a full complement of gourmet groceries and guess what you'll get?

This is why I say let Silas cook. He's the perfect coach for this group of kids. He can teach them all the fundamentals of the game at this level and help them grow into their full potential. If there's a change to be made on the sidelines, move Silas into a front office role, but DO NOT get rid of him! Guys like him are too valuable. Why do you think Mark Cuban hated losing him, but knew he couldn't retain him because he had a head coach already? Cuban knew what he had in Silas and what Silas did for Luka Doncic. He can do something similar for the Rockets if given the time to work his magic.

Should Tilman Fertita find the need to move on, I'd look for a more experienced coach who can guide them from bottom of the playoff ladder into top four in the West and real contenders. For now, Silas is the head chef. Continue giving him the groceries he needs, and he'll continue giving these kids the lessons they need to develop. Changing the coach now could stunt their growth. Let him cook!

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