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For the second year in a row CLEPA – the European Association of Automotive Suppliers – organised the “CLEPA Innovation Awards”.

For this year edition, we are very pleased to announce that IEE, one of the most innovative Automobility Cluster members won the 2nd place of the “Safety” category with the “VitaSense” product.

In the presence of 150 guests from the European automotive industry, IEE was presented with the second prize in the Safety category for VitaSense. Peter Larsen, IEE Program Manager and Thierry Goniva, Senior Technology Manager accepted the award on the company’s behalf.

“IEE was very proud to have been recognized by CLEPA for our product and technology innovation in the safety area,” says Mr. Goniva. “Like last year, it was a very competitive field, with 56 applications from 31 organizations, so we were pleased that our work on VitaSense was acknowledged in this way.”

IEE’s VitaSense detects children left in vehicles and provides this information to the vehicle’s warning systems. This innovation, which dramatically reduces the risk of children heatstroke fatalities, is greatly contributing to the strong reputation of the Luxembourg automotive industry.

“Statistics show that on average 37 children die of vehicular heat stroke in the U.S. each year,” says Mr. Larsen. “Even more suffer disabilities due to organ or brain damage. And these types of hyperthermia incidents also happen in Europe and other parts of the world.

“Temperatures can rise very quickly in a car and reach critical levels in less than 20 minutes. Because of their body size and relative inability to release heat compared to adults, children are particularly vulnerable to heat stroke,” says Mr. Larsen.

“We developed VitaSense to combat this. Integrated behind the headliner of a car, VitaSense is sensitive enough to detect the small breathing movements of a sleeping baby – even under difficult circumstances, such as through the sunshade of a rearward-facing child seat.”

Operating independently of any child restraint system, VitaSense provides the vehicle with information about whether a child is present.
“As VitaSense is integrated into the vehicle, a number of warning and notification options can automatically be triggered, depending on the car’s capabilities,” says Mr. Goniva. “This has the potential to reduce unnecessary child heat stroke fatalities and injuries.”

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