Emmaljunga eStroller NXT90e – © Koelnmesse
Mobility trends: Are self-driving baby strollers coming our way?
In 2015, Volkswagen made people sit up and take notice with a revolutionary concept: Engineers integrated the technology of adaptive cruise control into a stroller, thereby making it possible for it to drive itself. What turned out to be a successful advertising joke at the time has become a partial reality three years later at this year’s Kind + Jugend: The Swedish company Emmaljunga presented the first eStroller NXT90e developed in cooperation with Bosch. The built-in brake and drive technology increases the safety of the child as well as the comfort of the parents – even pushing the stroller without technical assistance is not that different from “normal” strollers because the weight of the motors is hardly noticeable.
The degree to which digitalisation and smart tools dominate the baby and children’s outfitting sector was already evident at Kind + Jugend 2017: The British company Heetee Baby Company catapulted itself to the highlight of the trade fair with its power-generating pram and was pleased to receive the Innovation Award in the “World of Moving Kids” category. The intelligent stroller of today has two convenient features: The self-generated energy can be used to keep the child’s seat warm, heat up a milk bottle or charge a smartphone. The stroller also has a built-in brake and drive technology that makes going up and down easier. And of course, the strollers can be individually controlled via smartphone apps.
Maxi-Cosi Jade – © Maxi-Cosi
How much further can this already rapid development go in the future?
In any event, American startup Smartbe believes in a fully autonomous stroller and is trying to make this a reality through a crowdfunding campaign: The smartphone-controlled distance monitoring and motion sensors allow the stroller to self-propel in front of or behind the parent and adapt its speed for a completely new mobility experience with children.
We also talked to Michael Neumann, Managing Director Northern Europe Dorel Juvenile, about current and future trends in the pram segment. He estimates the situation for 2019/2020 as follows:
“Modern parents enjoy life to the fullest, are flexible and look for products that offer high convenience for them and their child and adapt to their life situation. The right stroller should meet or even exceed these requirements. Whether in the car, shopping or strolling through the woods – a stroller must be able to adapt flexibly to every situation and offer real added value to parents and children alike. That’s why multifunctional strollers with a modular assembly system – either for a sibling stroller or a spacious shopping basket – are very popular. Not only is the comfort of the child a key factor but also easy handling for the parents, such as an intuitive folding mechanism and maneuverability of the stroller, is important.”
We also asked him about the Maxi-Cosi Jade, which won the Kind + Jugend Innovation Award (category: “World of Travelling Kids”). It is the world’s first stroller attachment for newborns approved according to ECE regulation R129 for use in cars. This system facilitates mobility with children in a completely different but helpful way:
“When we developed the Maxi-Cosi Jade , it was mainly with the wishes of consumers in mind. Three aspects were particularly important to us: The comfort, safety and easy handling of the stroller attachment. The lying surface of the Jade is completely flat, which allows the child to sleep in the best ergonomic position even during long car journeys. For parents, the safety aspect is the primary concern: Maxi-Cosi Jade is the first stroller attachment approved for car seats in accordance with the R129 safety regulation. It therefore meets the highest safety standards as a car seat, while also providing maximum sleeping comfort for the baby. The Slide & Go function makes it easy to move the stroller attachment from the stroller to the 3wayFix car seat base without waking up the child. This makes the Jade the perfect solution for both sleeping and long journeys.”
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