To improve how drivers view the road ahead, a team from the automotive Tier 1 supplier Faurecia SA is combining traditional automotive pneumatics with sensors and GPS.
To do this, the team has developed two accompanying apps: the GPSFit and the MicroFit.
The GPSFit takes internal data from the car and uses it to analyze a car’s speed and weather conditions to “dynamically predict the best seating position and adjust the occupant's posture to ensure the best possible driving experience,” explained Frdric Charon, technology strategy manager for Faurecia SA,
“GPSFit then influences the seat fit and posture settings to be more appropriate for the changing nature of the task at hand. If, for example, a driver is moving down a highway in a relaxed posture, then exits to a busy local road, the seat will automatically change to a more alert posture — while the owner is still driving — keeping hands and feet in appropriate contact with pedals and the wheel.”
Meanwhile the MicroFit app injects the seat’s pneumatic system with additional information to accommodate a specific driver.
“While SmartFit initially adjusts cushion height, backrest height, reclining position and tracking, MicroFit uses the pneumatic system to read the pressure levels of the occupant's body on the seat surface,” Charon said. “Based on those pressures — from sensors on five bladders in the backrest and two in the seat cushion — MicroFit automatically balances the pneumatic system, giving a touch more support to areas where too little pressure exists or relief where too much pressure is indicated.”