A great idea that is now standard feature on the 2018 Nissan Pathfinder. Wayne Gerdes – CleanMPG – Aug. 7, 2017 What a great feature! With summer heat here, potential deaths posed by interior car temperatures are even more real, but Nissan hopes its new Rear Door Alert (RDA) may help reduce concerns. Elsa Foley, an industrial engineer and mother of two young children, and Marlene Mendoza, a mechanical engineer and mother of three, decided to work on an idea to help remind drivers to check their back seats before walking away. After presenting their idea - with Mendoza eight months pregnant at the time - the project moved into full development. The new RDA feature will debut as standard equipment on the 2018 Nissan Pathfinder SUV this coming September, and will be available on other Nissan models in the coming years. Nissan and the rest of the world is thankful that they can use their own mom engineers to orchestrate an idea that is now in production. The new Rear Door Alert system can help remind Nissan owners to check the rear seat by using a series of distinctive honks as the driver is walking away from the vehicle. The audio alerts distinguish the Nissan RDA from other systems in the marketplace. How Rear Door Alert works 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 re-opened again after the trip was completed, given the vehicle was put in park and the ignition cycled off, the system responds with a series of notifications, starting with a display in the instrument panel and progressing to subtle but distinctive chirps of the horn. Because there are so 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. If you open a rear door, whether to put a child or a package in the rear seat, the vehicle will alert you when you get to your destination that you may want to check the rear seat. If you do not open the rear door again when you get out of the vehicle, the beeps will make think for a moment about what you may have put in the back seat.