Back in 2013, after a study revealed that four out of five car seats are installed incorrectly, one company announced a breakthrough invention – a self-installing car seat that guaranteed a safe, correct connection every time. It was just a prototype, but now, nearly three years later, that concept is finally becoming a reality for parents everywhere.
"When installed correctly, car seats save lives . . . yet, most times they're not," parenting company 4moms noted on its site. "And there's no easy way to check. We believed it had to be better."
The 4moms infant seat — which was unveiled at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas earlier this year and is now finally available for purchase — is the first-ever electronic car seat and one that features robotic technology to actually install itself once the base's anchors are hooked into the vehicle, complete with autoleveling and autotension control. Then, it continuously monitors its status during use, giving moms the confidence every single time they put their baby in the car. If that's not enough assistance, the car seat connects to an app that can recommend the best place to install the seat based on the make and model of your car. It can also track your baby's growth to remind you when to adjust harnesses or move to a convertible car seat.
Like other innovative car seats (namely the Doona stroller hybrid), this one comes at a price. It costs $500 — a steep amount considering it's only for a baby's first year of life. But considering that when the idea was first announced in 2013, 86 percent of readers responded to a poll with serious interest in purchasing one, so it's clearly a technological advance that parents deeply value.
Read on for a closer look at the 4moms self-installing car seat's most noteworthy features and decide for yourself if it's a worthy investment.