Vehicle: Airplane: Seat
Autosensing Seatbelts   (+1, -1)  [vote for, against]

This weekend was my 30th flight of the year. On everyone of these flights, noteable time has been spent by cabin crew checking that me and my fellow travellers seatbelts were correctly fastened and certain times of the flight.

I propose the Autosensing Seatbelt to remove this need for manual checking. Each lapstrap of the belt has a small wire running through it. When the belt is fastened, the circuit is closed. By adding a NAND gate to the circuitry, a visible or audible alarm could be activated when the circuit is not closed. No more manual checks.

In addition, on a purely personal preference note, the same circuitry could be used to ID those passengers who insist on getting out of their seats when expressively told not too.
-- jonthegeologist, Aug 26 2003

Having the setbelt fastened doesn't necessarily mean the passenger is in it. Maybe instead of a simple closed circuit switch you could add a tensiometer to see whether it's tight enough.
-- Gordon Comstock, Aug 26 2003

[gordon] true... maybe combine it with a sensor to check if the seat is being sat in...
-- jonthegeologist, Aug 26 2003

A complete solution is going to have to detect whether the belt is buckled over the lap and snugged sufficiently to do some good. And this is going raise your ticket price.

I used to think that enforcing seatbelt rules on airliners was largely a waste of time, but then the 200+ pound bozo behind me collapsed my seatback when he jumped up during taxi but before the "complete and final stop at the gate." Inertia is a wonderful thing, unless you happen to be in the way. He offered no apology, and afterward was quite rude to the flight attendants and pilots.

So... a bun for the suggestion, if not the actual solution. Personally, I'd prefer 4-point harnesses with inertial reels.
-- Don Quixote, Aug 26 2003

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