Automakers promise technology to fight 'hot car' child deaths

Automakers say they will roll out rear seat reminders by 2025 to try to curb deaths of children left behind in parked hot cars.

Continue Reading Below

As Congress debates the issue, the car industry is taking matters into their own hands, promising technology that will remind drivers of the presence of a child in the backseat upon exiting the vehicle. The new technology is being backed by 20 auto giants, including General Motors, Ford, Fiat Chrysler, Volkswagen, Toyota, Hyundai and Honda.

Over 800 children have died from heatstroke in the back seat of a car over the past two decades.

The Senate Commerce Committee had approved in July a bill that would require similar technology. Now that automakers are making the move without a legal requirement, the committee's chairman says the bill is unnecessary.

"This gives us essentially everything we've asked for and it does it sooner," Sen. Roger Wicker (R-Miss.) told Reuters. "It is a huge win."