Details on GM’s Extended Rear Seat Cushion Idea for Pickups
Perhaps one of the most innovative vehicle safety ideas to surface this year was GM’s extended rear cushion, which allows drivers to remove the headrest of the rear passenger-side seat in a mid-size pickup and fit it into the seat cushion, extending it just enough that a child restraint can properly be installed. The headrest-to-seat-cushion technology was designed for both the 2015 GMC Canyon and the 2015 Chevy Colorado, which are projected to sell so well that Chevy just announced a third shift at the Wentzville plant to keep up with demand.
GM’s official blog, FastLane, got a chance to sit down with Eduardo Bugelli, the Safety Performance Integration Lead Engineer for the Colorado and Canyon, to discuss GM’s extended rear seat cushion innovation in more detail. Reportedly, the idea came about while Bugelli worked on his Capstone Project at the University of Michigan.
Bugelli told FastLane, “Typical rear seats in mid-size extended cab pickup trucks are not long enough to meet the child restraint manufacturer recommendations for proper support to child restraints.” (That recommendation, of course, is that around 80% of the base of the safety seat should be supported by the cushion.) Bugelli continued, “Extending the rear seat cushion provides this extra length and allows child restraints to be installed properly in the Colorado and Canyon.”
Pretty simple, but absolutely genius, right?
Bugelli added, “In my opinion, this concept is unique because it is simple. It does not require additional components or complex mechanisms to achieve the end goal of extending the seat cushion. Besides the simplicity, plugging in the head rest also provides a place to store it when it is removed to facilitate child restraint installation.”
The 2015 Chevy Colorado and 2015 GMC Canyon will be arriving in dealerships as early as next month.
News Source: FastLane