Parents, check this out. (If you’re not a parent, don’t worry, you’ll relate.)
You know how sometimes if you have a little baby, and she won’t go down, and the only way to calm her and get her to stop crying and fall asleep is to put her in her car seat and take her for a ride?
And then–you know how while you’re out riding around the block, you ask yourself:
“Why doesn’t anyone invent a device that simulates riding in a car without actually having to drive around your neighborhood like a crazy person in the middle of the night?”
Great news! Ford Motor Company has done it! (Bad news! They apparently have no current plans to produce it.)
The struggle is real
My grandparents are gone, but my parents still tell the story of how they were babysitting me one weekend (like, a really long time ago), and had to drive me around the block to get me to fall asleep.
It worked–except that every time they’d pull into the driveway and carry me into the house, I’d wake up again.
Decades later, we went through something similar with my baby daughter. So I totally get the demand for Ford’s new Max Motor Dreams prototype. (The story is universal, apparently, given that Ford’s promo video for the prototype isn’t even in English. Its Spanish division came up with the product, apparently.)
Andrew Krok, writing for CNET’s Road Show, described how it works:
It brings the car to the cot. A phone app records a nighttime drive, and once everybody’s back home, it tries to reproduce the experience of the drive using the cot.
There’s a small speaker underneath the cot that’s meant to provide the muffled sound of an engine. Mechanicals underneath the cot produce gentle movement, simulating a car trip. The whole thing is capped off with a set of LED lights that provide the same warm glow that street lights do. It’s all in the hopes of getting the little one to sleep faster.
“After many years of talking to mums and dads, we know that parents of newborns are often desperate for just one good night’s sleep,” said Alejandro López Bravo, the cot’s designer. “But while a quick drive in the family car can work wonders in getting baby off to sleep, the poor old parents still have to be awake and alert at the wheel.”
It all sounds pretty cool. And honestly, when my daughter was four months old and wasn’t sleeping, we would have paid just about anything for this. There’s nothing you want more as a new parent than for your new baby to get some sleep (so you can too!).
Patents and prototypes
So with all that, when is the Max Motor Dreams coming to the Babies R Us or Buy Buy Baby near you? Well, to paraphrase a favorite New Yorker cartoon: How about never? Is never good for you?
As Ford itself puts it, “[f]or now, the Max Motor Dreams is a one-off pilot. But following numerous enquiries, the company is considering putting the unique cot into full
The opinions expressed here by Inc.com columnists are their own, not those of Inc.com.