Warehouse worker from Zwevezele invents life-saving car option.

Thursday, January 9, 2014 — Kenny Devlieger is the inventor of “Gabriel”: a car option that prevents heat stroke amongst children in parked cars. Submitted as part of the Opel Smart Options project, Opel later perfected the option together with LDV United and Achilles Design.

‘Baby dies in the backseat of a red-hot car.’

This spine-chilling headline can be read or heard in the media every summer. And each and every time, we are left wondering how such a thing could happen. The fact is, however, that it could happen to anybody. In fact, an average of 20 far-too-young victims die in Europe every year as a result of heat stroke in cars.


A Guardian Angel from Zwevezele

In July 2013, Opel and advertising agency LDV United challenged drivers to come up with their own ideal options as part of the Smart Options project. Kenny Devlieger, a father of two from Zwevezele, submitted an idea for an option that watches over your child in the car, to prevent heat stroke. A kind of guardian angel.

He called it: Gabriel.

As an automobile manufacturer, Opel continuously strives to develop technological innovations that improve safety and driver comfort. Opel’s Smart Options project enabled drivers themselves to get involved in the process.  Gabriel was selected by a professional jury from a shortlist of 70 ideas out of 1347 submissions in all. The prototype was perfected and produced by a team of product developers and engineers and installed in Kenny’s Opel Astra.

But the story of Gabriel does not end there.


Just the Beginning

Gabriel is a small key ring that is connected wirelessly to a pressure-sensitive mat made to fit every kind of child seat. Whenever the driver leaves the car with the child seat still occupied, an initial warning will sound. From that point on, the mat constantly measures the temperature inside the car. If it rises above 28 degrees Celsius, the heat alarm on the key ring will go off, signalling the driver to return immediately to the car.

Gabriel is an option that could benefit everyone. That’s why it was conceived in a way that it’s compatible with any vehicle, of any make or model.

Visit opelgabriel.com for the full story behind this life-saving option. 

How a regular guy invented a lifesaving car option

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