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What's Driving the Future of Seating? Top 5 Ways Autonomous Technology and Mobility are Transforming Seating

What's Driving the Future of Seating? Top 5 Ways Autonomous Technology and Mobility are Transforming Seating

Autonomous vehicles (AVs), ride hailing/sharing apps (i.e. Lyft and uber), shared vehicle ownership, electric vehicles, and other emerging transportation-related innovations are expected to not only transform the way we drive but how we live as well. But how will these changes affect searing? 

Though automotive seating has traditionally been thought of as merely a safety apparatus by both manufacturers and consumers, as the role of the “driver” shifts from that of an ‘active driver’ to that of a ‘supervisor,’ seats are evolving into multi-talented interior components capable of providing safety, comfort and entertainment. Although we're still years away from autonomous cars becoming the norm, OEMs have already started reimagining car interiors now that drivers have been taken out of the equation. Furthermore, factors such as the evolving nature of mobility towards new ownership models, ride-sharing services, etc. as well as increased focus on global markets such as China where backseats are very much the priority, are also pushing manufacturers to rethink the traditional passenger experience. With that in mind, below are the top 5 ways industry leaders forecast autonomous and mobility could impact seating. 



A conversation with David E. Cole,  Chairman, Emeritus of the Center for Automotive Research, on:

  • Separating the hype from reality of autonomous tech and mobility when it comes to seating
  • The evolution of seating from a static, utilitarian automotive component into a comfort system
  • Understanding the complex legal, technological and human roadblocks that stand in the way 
Systems Thinking for Seating Design

Systems Thinking for Seating Design

Auto seating design is undergoing an evolution, one which requires a new approach. Safety, the ergonomic relationship with vehicle systems and comfort have always been the key design drivers in auto seating. They still are critical factors, but with the development of autonomous vehicles and other mobility technologies, what defines those factors is changing, with more being possible and being asked for in terms of functionality. Original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) and Tier 1 designers are looking toward a future that is rapidly approaching, one that will require the broader perspective of systems thinking for seating design.

This in-depth articles explores how OEMs, disrupters and other seating visionaries are applying systems thinking to:

  • Build lighter, more luxurious seating systems at lower costs and without sacrificing safety
  • Pave the way for autonomous and mobility 
  • Drive the development of seating innovations such as flexible seating, occupant monitoring and connected seating 

The New Age of Automotive Seating:  Improving Driver Wellbeing, Safety and Comfort

The New Age of Automotive Seating: Improving Driver Wellbeing, Safety and Comfort

We explore the newest technology and smart seat positioning aimed at improving driver wellbeing, safety and comfort.

Here is what you can expect to discover:

  • Lear’s ProActive Posture and MySeat technology
  • Recaro’s Intelligent Driving Seat
  • Faurecia’s Active Wellness 2.0 Seat
  • Adient’s AI17 Automated Driving Seating Demonstrator

2017 Industry Innovator Viewpoints

2017 Industry Innovator Viewpoints

The viewpoints come from David E. Cole, Chairman Emeritus at Center for Automotive Research, Dr. Mac Reynolds, Biomechanics + Ergonomics Lab at Michigan State University, and Mike Kolich, Supervisor of Global Seat Comfort at Ford Motor Company. Take a look into this brand new book to discover their viewpoints on: 

  • The main challenges in the next 3-5 years regarding safety, systems and comfort
  • How to tackle the shortage of technically sophisticated talent for future vehicle systems
  • What has been done to improve seat shape design in the past few years
  • The differences between pressure vs. load distribution in order to set a new standard for seat positioning  

Rethinking Car Seat Designs

Rethinking Car Seat Designs

In the suburbs of Vancouver, Canada, a high-tech firm is quietly working on visualization and predictive modeling using virtual and augmented reality technology. Its methods and products are being integrated into Microsoft's HoloLens, which is, in turn, being used to redesign Ford trucks and passenger vehicles . Ford has started equipping its design engineers with Microsoft HoloLens. Outfitted with the holographic goggles, these Detroit denizens can stand in front of clay models of cars and see 3D vehicle elements digitally overlaid onto them, so they can quickly evaluate and alter new car designs. Download to read more!
The Automotive Seating Industry Riding Into the Future

The Automotive Seating Industry Riding Into the Future

Improved comfort, new materials and autonomous technologies will drive innovations in automotive seating. Seating suppliers have had to face cost-down pressures and the commoditization of their product in recent years. And like suppliers in other areas of the vehicle, they’ve responded with cost-saving innovations. Faurecia, for example, which claims to be the world’s number-one supplier of seat frames and mechanisms, developed a new generation of standardized seat frames that are now used in more than 50 different models by Nissan, GM, Volkswagen, and PSA Group. Download to read more!