Car Technology: Advanced Seats

The seats a car is the most important element to ensure by the comfort the driver and occupants. Of course the smoothness of the suspension, and the level of sound insulation of the cockpit are also important, but by very good they may be, if they fail the seats, the experience of driving or trip can be everything less pleasant.

The seat must have a design with a good lumbar support, and padding and balanced fill that absorbs shocks that occur on uneven floors. An inappropriate seat will cause a greater fatigue and back pain.

But in addition to the comfort seat helps the task of driving the car, holding properly the body laterally, for example in a curve, and also holding it when it stops, for example avoiding that hips from slipping forward.

And there is a last function that also meet the seats, the Security. A good seat will avoid causing the effect of underwater (body strain below the belt slipping forward) before a sudden deceleration, will protect the sides of the abdomen before a side impact, and will properly collect head, when there is a range from behind, preventing cervical lesions.

Electronics also in the seats

The car seat is a seat, has evolved from something like a wooden bench, up to the current individual and ergonomic seats, passing through designs that looked more like a sofa, a seat of a machine that moves, accelerates and slows down.

The more or less contemporary additions are based on integrated, one way or another, systems (electrical and electronic) in the seats. The first two were probably the electrical adjustment of some of the positions of the seat, and the same heating.

And although this is not something new, has not become too widespread and remains something present only in middle and high range models, either an optional equipment, many people do not often join.

The Electric adjustment It may be manual or Automatic. The less advanced systems tend to have few adjustments (in length, height and inclination), but the most modern and complete Lexus GS can have up to 16 different electrical adjustments, as the hybrid car 450 h.

The newest is no longer one that seats have two or three memories to remember a set of settings preset for each user (for example when a car drives it the father, the mother and the son), but that those memories are associated with a personalized key for each driver.

This mode when one of the drivers open the door, the car detects your key, identify the user and automatically performs all settings for the seat. Normal is that to enter, the seat has gone back to allow more space to sit, and once inside, put completely at ease of driver (and if there are 16 settings, adjust the 16).

The heating It is not something new. Very brief consists of an electrical circuit with a resistance that runs along the back of the seat (and sometimes the sidewalk), just below the cover, and that heats up to a certain temperature, usually adjustable to suit the occupant.

The evolution of today is the total seat heating, including heating, ventilation and air conditioning, not only for heating, but also for cooling. The seat is hollow and is equipped with fans. Climate-controlled main car is made circular cold air by these gaps, and even is driven out by small holes, to keep cool the surface of the seat.

New profile of heating and air conditioning of the seat can be saved in the memory associated with each personalised key and adjusted automatically. Heated seats of this type tend to be very rare, and are present in premium models and luxury.

Dynamic seats and seats with massage

There are armchairs with massage to home function, and not also there for cars. They are still less common than electric seats. A seat with a module of massage It has a series of electrical elements that generate some movement.

On the one hand a vibration may be generated, and on the other hand a set of rollers or wheels moving, up and down, inside or out, to massage the lumbar area by pressure. It is normal that there are several programs of massage and intensities and the occupier to choose the one you prefer. For example hybrid such as the Citroen DS5 Hybrid4 and the Audi A8 Hybrid cars mounted seats with massage option. In rather high generalist brands models begin to see seats with massage, albeit as an option.

And the last of the last, are the dynamic multicontorno seats. This type of seats are characterized not only by power electrically regulate the degree of lateral fastening of the seat, leaving more or less, or adjusting to the body more or less, the lateral ridges of the seat, but to do it in real time.

In dynamic mode electric motors integrated in the seat adjust the left side boss or the right side shoulder as needed, depending on the lateral G Force experienced by the car. The adjustment is made by moving the solid plate that is under the padding.

The elements of the control system stability of the car (accelerometer, gyroscope, turning angle of the steering wheel) are used to measure the lateral force. I had opportunity to test this system in operation in various models of Mercedes-Benz in the Circuito del Jarama not long ago and it is quite curious (mostly for who drives a car quite normal).

If driving slowly, gently, and the curves are taken at a moderate speed, there is little outside lateral G, and the system reinforces subtly the side fastening of the seat. On the other hand when driving faster and take a very closed curve at high speed, and therefore there is a force very high lateral G, the system adjusts much more the lateral ridges to hold more body.

In addition it makes it independently. If the curve is to the right, by inertia and lateral force body will tend to move to the left (to throw you curve), and the system reinforces the lateral support of the left side of the seat. And vice versa when the curve is left.

The system does it all automatically quickly. What note one is that parts of the seat move, and that you tightens more on all sides, changing according to the situation. As it is obvious, in affordable utilitarian cars this option does not exist, again is to expensive models, premium and luxury. You can for example take the E-class Mercedes-Benz (among others).

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