Finalist 2023

Maxi-Cosi® Pria Convertible Car Seat

Dorel Australia / Tricycle Developments

The Maxi-Cosi® Pria Convertible Car Seat transforms car seats, delivering superior safety and comfort in a compact form.

The Maxi-Cosi® Pria Convertible Car Seat is an all Australian-designed product that transforms car seats, addressing consumer misuse and delivering superior safety and comfort in a compact form. Pria features a world-first SMART Guide® system that improves access to the seat, making it easier and safer to use every day.

Design Brief:

Over 40% of car seats are installed incorrectly. The project aimed to create a from birth car seat that would enhance the safety for children, make the seat easy to use and install and was comfortable for the child and other occupants in the car while aiming to lower the average rate of misused car seats. All these features should be achieved in a compact design that allows for the seat to be fitted in a diverse range of cars. The design challenge was intensified by the highly competitive market, necessitating cost-effective choices to ensure competitive pricing and customer value.

This project was developed by:

Dorel Australia / Tricycle Developments

Design Process

The design process for the Maxi-Cosi® Pria Car Seat was a professional, detailed approach aimed at enhancing child safety and ease of use. Given the context of a high misuse rate of car seats, the design brief was centred around delivering an intuitive product that greatly minimised the ability for a user to incorrectly install and use the seat. The design team utilized insights and learnings from consumer research to meet the challenges faced by caregivers.

In addressing the challenge of misuse, the design process led to the development of two new features: the SMART Guide® and SMART Lock® systems. SMART Guide®, a world first system, re-routes the top tether, making access to a child easy when the seat is rearward facing. This significantly improves the ergonomics for caregivers and reduces the risk of misuse. SMART Lock® simplifies bottom tether installation through use of visual indicators and ensure that the tether remains firm in place.

Inspired by premium car interiors, the team designed the Pria seat with clean lines and engineered forms that not only exhibited strength but also conveyed an impression of a soft, comfortable cocoon for the child. The use of high-quality engineering polymers, injection moulding, and key metal components ensured the seat's durability and reliability.

The compact design does not compromise on comfort, with Pria showcasing the largest internal measurements and highest height markers, enabling it to grow with the child from infant to the age of four.

Further, the design facilitated size adjustment, integrated patented impact technologies, and ensured premium child comfort in a compact form. The success of this design allows Maxi-Cosi® to tap into new market segments, increase market share, and bolster their reputation globally.

Design Excellence

Maxi-Cosi® Pria has a visually clean and layered form that takes inspiration from premium car interiors. Its external design features clean lines, engineered scallops and running chamfers that convey strength. While internally, the Pria Car Seat’s soft, overlapping surfaces and enveloping form represents a soft, comfortable and ergonomic cocoon for the child. The plush newborn insert reflects the comfort and security a newborn craves while providing lumber and hip support.

The SMART Guide® featured in Pria reduces daily misuse by providing an engineering and intuitive solution for all parents and carers. The SMART Lock® ensures a correct and firmer installation. The compact nature of this seat does not compromise on the child’s comfort, with Pria showcasing the largest internal measurements and highest height markers.

Pria is built for safety, meeting all relevant Australia and New Zealand safety standards, including AS/NZS 1754:2013. It features new SMART Guide® and SMART Lock® with trusted AirProtect® and G-Cell® technologies. These innovations are working towards better child safety, every day.

Pria is made from engineering polymers and injection moulding for structure and durability, while key metal components provide strength. The breathable, durable internal fabrics can withstand daily use by children for years, providing a high-quality product.

This project represents a significant investment by Maxi-Cosi® in a flagship product for the Australian market. Premium levels of safety and comfort in a compact design will allow Maxi-Cosi® to be highly competitive in this category. The Pria design delivers a next generation product for Maxi-Cosi®.

Maxi-Cosi® Pria raises the bar of new design excellence in Victoria. It highlights the value of investing in professional design through the product’s ability to blend safety, comfort and style in a compact format that enhances a user’s experience.

Design Innovation

The Pria Car Seat project offered the development team a real opportunity to integrate key learnings and innovations into the architecture of the new seat. These came from consumer research that sought to understand how people use their car seats and their challenges. Maxi-Cosi® and the design team worked together to combine insights and learnings to create a product with purpose.

A great example is the development of the SMART Guide®, a system designed to re-route the top tether, making access to a child easy when the seat is rearward facing. This significantly improves ergonomics for the caregiver with delicate newborns and allows parents to continue using the seat in a rear-facing position as the child grows. SMART Guide® also reduces the risk of misuse as parents often do not re-engage their top tether or do not adjust correctly. This significantly improves child safety. Delivering this innovation required significant structural design and rigorous testing that ultimately led to intuitive usability.

Installing a child restraint can be challenging. Introducing a simple system that facilitated a firm fitment was imperative. This led to the development of SMART Lock®. With SMART Lock®, the seat belt passes through a common path that is locked in position to prevent loosening. Correct tension is confirmed with coloured visual indicators.

The greatest success of this design is the ability to deliver size adjustment, patented impact technologies and premium child comfort in a class-leading compact form.

Compact size = more customers can access premium safety for their children.

Design Impact

Development of the Pria Car seat delivers Maxi-Cosi® with the next generation of premium convertible car seat architecture. This provides Maxi-Cosi® with a highly competitive offering and allows the brand to leverage its success within the from birth segment. The new product will allow Maxi-Cosi® to increase market share and provide better market segmentation.

For customers/caregivers, Pria’s compact design allows them to fit a premium car seat into their choice of vehicle, be it a dual cab Ute or small European car. Safe installation is intuitive and easy, SMART Guide® makes it much easier for them to lift their new-born in-and-out of the car, and their investment lasts as the seat adapts to their child’s growth.

While not appreciating the improved safety of Pria, this seat’s real customer will appreciate the comfort provided by the new design. Adapting to their size, Pria offers more room, premium softness, and breathability. A comfortable child makes for a happy child, ensuring for less parental distractions on the road.

The seat features a V-harness design that widens to accommodate a growing child, meaning that parents can use this seat for longer, reducing the need to purchase additional seats for younger children.

Promotion in this segment is driven by review and recommendation - improving experience for customers has a real marketing impact. Success in reviews will drive growth for Maxi-Cosi®.

Not only does Pria elevate the stature of the Australian team within Dorel's parent company, but its impact extends beyond, enriching Victoria's design culture. The project demonstrates the ability to produce innovative, customer-centric, and safety-focused products, helping to build a reputation in Victoria for outstanding design and engineering. This project underscores the significance of professional design in boosting product usability that meets real user needs and bolstering market competitiveness at both local and global scales.

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