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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A WEEKLY REVIEW OF CRENNEL'S COACHING

Now my job: Texans feast on Lions

Photo by Getty Images.

Thanksgiving is full of tradition. There's the typical family gathering, large meal, and of course, football. Sometimes, new traditions are added and old ones are retired. I think the Texans did both in their impressive 41-25 win over the Lions in Detroit. Old traditions were carried on (Lions losing on Thanksgiving), some were put to rest (Texans not being able to get turnovers), and new ones were started (multiple passing touchdowns by Deshaun Watson in six straight games).

The fact that this defense got three turnovers in the game was unbelievable! They got all three in the first quarter within the span of eight plays. JJ Watt's pick-six was insane. He went for a batted ball, ended up catching it, and ran it in. They forced Jonathan Williams to fumble on the Lions' very next play from scrimmage and recovered it. On the Lions' next possession, the Texans recovered yet another fumble after the challenge was reversed. Great call by the coaching staff to challenge and win. The defense looked good. Tyrell Adams stood out because he was in on those two fumbles, made 17 total tackles with 14 of them being solo tackles. They also brought pressure that seemed to make Matthew Stafford very inaccurate and resulted in four sacks. I give defensive coordinator Anthony Weaver credit for knowing he needs to blitz to get pressure, but the run defense has to improve.

The offense kept the tempo up in this game as well. The spread and hurry-up were used to keep the Lions already staggered defense off balance. Knowing the Lions were without a couple defensive backs, I thought it would be the perfect marriage of their defense and the Texans' offense. A buddy asked before the game about the line (Texans -3.5) and the over/under (52.5). I told him bet the Texans and the over because neither team can play defense and both have good quarterbacks. Offensive coordinator Tim Kelly put together another good game plan and Watson executed it flawlessly. One route combo I saw later on in the game I particularly enjoyed. Two receivers were tight to the left side. Cooks ran a hook/curl and settled in the middle of the zone while Fuller ran a vertical route. Duke Johnson ran a swing route to that same side. It left Cooks wide open as the attention went to Johnson in the flat, Fuller deep, and the action to the other play side. Route combos are important because it gives the quarterback different reads as he goes through his progressions and lets him pick apart the defense based on what he sees. Combine that with Watson's play and the way Kelly has changed his play calling now that he's liberated from he who shall not be named, we're seeing a beautiful thing.

As good as things were, there's still room for improvement. The defense gives up way too many easy yards, both run and pass. They can't get pressure bringing only four and will often give up big plays if the blitz is picked up. Plus the run defense is still an issue as evidenced by the Lions' first possession of the second half. The Lions ran the ball 10 plays straight for a total of 58 yards on that drive. Utterly ridiculous! Watson was good (17/25 318 yards and four touchdowns), but he missed two more touchdowns with passes slightly off, and continues to hold onto the ball too long at times. The difference between these two issues I've presented here is the fact that Watson has so played well, his "issues" are minor and very correctable, while the defense is terrible and there's no easy fix in sight. But let Romeo Crennel and Anthony Weaver tell it, they're getting the most out of these guys and they're playing disciplined.

The thought that this team may actually creep into the playoff picture may take shape better after next week if they can beat the Colts. I doubt it, but it is getting interesting. Let's see what else happens around them because they need help getting there.

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