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Mercedes Benz is the current leader in heated-car-surface technology with its top models offering heated armrests, door panels, heated seats and heated steering wheel. Now the German auto giant is developing heating tech for a new interior component - the seat belts.
The first thing we think of with heated seat belts, is a warm chest and tummy, however, Mercedes has another, more altruistic motive than that.
Mercedes wants to encourage seat belt use, which although high in Europe is almost redundant in the Indian sub-continent. By adding features to the belts, Mercedes Benz figures, it can motivate more people into using them.
Some international automotive journalists were given the opportunity to try these heated seat belts in their prototype from. They say the belt is as thick as a regular belt and does get warm, thanks to heated tube elements running through the belt. The principal by which they operate is the same with the heated seats.
We are unsure if Mercedes plans to introduce this feature on it's future line up in India, and unsure if any of the current models will feature heated seat belts. As is, the seat belts are still being tested and they are expected to go in to production soon.
Thoughts About The Heated Seat Belts Mercedes Is Developing
We think seat belts are a must and every one should wear them, irrespective of drivers or rear passengers, but India seems to me more 'comfort' oriented than safety. We do not think the effort Mercedes is putting in will be appreciated in a no-safety oriented country like ours.
The problem with traffic rules in India is that they can be broken for a petty fine, and a pettier bribe. So even if we had heated seat belts, the only regions we know they will be truly used is in the North, and the North East - in States that have severe winters and almost all-year-round cold weather conditions.
Outside of that, the only thing that will motivate an Indian to wear a seat belt (in India) is the moolah!