Parents of newborns often struggle to get the baby to sleep through the night, typically waking up numerous times to soothe the child. In fact, a study has found that parents often get little more than five hours a sleep each night and lose the equivalent of 44 days of sleep in a child’s first year of life.
Engineers at Ford are aware of this, and a few had the time and inspiration to do something about it. They knew that many parents rely on putting the child in a car seat and taking it for a late-night drive, knowing the sound and motion of the car would soon have it fast asleep. So they developed a cot or crib, known as Max Motor Dreams, that works with a smartphone app to simulate nighttime drives.
To all appearances Max Motor Dreams looks like a regular cot, but it can use the smartphone to record the comforting movement, sounds, and even lights of a particular journey. The crib then reproduces them, creating gentle vibrations and soothing white noise. In addition, LEDs along the edge of the crib emit low-level amber light that switches on and off.
For now, the Max Motor Dreams is a one-off pilot. But following numerous enquiries, Ford is considering putting the unique cot into full‑scale production.