Huntsville company creates monitoring system to prevent hot car deaths

HUNTSVILLE, Ala. - In 2018, 48 children have died after being left in a hot car. VI Enterprises in Huntsville has launched a vehicle monitoring system to help prevent a parent's biggest fear from becoming a reality.

"We're detecting people not people's actions," said Ben Payment, the lead software designer for "Payton's Charm".

Payton's Charm monitors the air inside a vehicle. It checks for CO2 levels and temperature, so anything breathing -- whether it's a child or pet -- will be detected if the car gets too hot.

When Payton's Charm detects life in the hot car, it'll send a text to the contacts you set up and if the situation isn't resolved, 911 will be called.

"The idea is that if it detects life that's in danger it's gonna reach out, whether that's a child that was forgotten or you didn't realize your significant other put the child with you today or the cat that jumps into the car when you're unloading groceries, it's gonna know that that life's there," Payment said.

Payment says this system is different because it doesn't give you false alarms that you can easily ignore.

"It can be easy just like your headlight dinger to become desensitized, right?" he said. "My daily routine is I put my purse in the backseat or whatever, right? But when I'm in a hurry I reach around and I grab it out of the backseat and go. Well now it's gonna beep at you and 'oh it's fine, it always beeps at me,' and so people get desensitized."

The name comes from one of the many unfortunate hot car deaths our country has seen; Payment heard about the loss of a young girl named Payton and that's when he came up with Charm, which stands for CO2 human alerting and monitoring system.

The idea is that the "charm" might've saved Payton's life.

The $100,000 kickstarter campaign to get Payton's Charm up and running launched December 4 and will run for 45 days. You can find the campaign here.