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How will the seats in future mobility change?

2022-05-02

Future mobility heralding a more advanced mobile life through the development of electrification and self-driving technology. With the introduction of various seating technologies in advance of the transition to the future mobility era, Hyundai Transys is completely changing our mobility experience.

In the era of self-driving where people are freed from driving, the definition of interior car space is expanded to a moving living space. Hyundai Transys is researching the movement, function, and form of the seats from a complete interior perspective to allow people to spend more valuable time without space constraints. In addition, the development of eco-friendly seating technology using natural and recycled materials is leading the move towards a sustainable future. We have looked into what the future Interior space for mobility by Hyundai Transys would look like.

‘Multi-purpose mobility seat system’ that completes a moving living space

Multi-purpose mobility seat system by Hyundai Transys

Hyundai Transys has developed a ‘multi-purpose mobility seat system,’ a concept model created in consideration of the next-generation mobility environment. This system, which realizes the interior space of future vehicles, sets 10 scenarios customers in the automobile can often experience. Depending on the circumstance, it provides an optimized solution through seating technology developed by Hyundai Transys. We took a closer look at some of the scenarios and key technologies.

(1) Easy Access Mode: For driver’s convenience when getting on and off

‘Easy Access Mode’ is a seating technology that helps drivers get on and off conveniently. Although this technology is already applied to seats in select vehicles, Easy Access Mode applied to the multi-purpose mobility seat system helps the driver get in and out of the vehicle more easily by using a seat mechanism that overcomes movement limitations.

The operation process is as follows. When the driver opens the vehicle door, the seat moves rearward, the seat cushion is raised, and the backrest is adjusted to an angle suitable for the driver. Also, the swivel function rotates the seat approximately 45 degrees, making it very convenient for the driver to get on and off. Hyundai Transys’ technology is incorporated in the frame mechanism that overcomes the seat’s movement limitation, and robust safety design.

(2) Child Care Mode: Environment where you can fully attend to your child

Child care mode that minimizes the distance and angle between guardian and child

‘Child Care Mode’ has been developed for families with young children. The expected scenario is where a couple uses a car-sharing service with a child, and it is based on using mobility with a child car seat. The Child Care Mode focuses on minimizing the distance between the first-row seats where parents are and the second-row seats with fastened child car seats so that parents can keep their eyes on their children. The child car seat moves to the front and the center of the vehicle while the first-row seats move to the back to reduce the distance between the seats. Using the swivel function, the seats can rotate so they can sit face-to-face. In addition, there is a convenience module under the child’s car seat, providing separate storage space and using UV-C sterilization to hygienically manage personal belongings or items for children.

(3) Wellness Support Mode: Healthcare technology that monitors physical condition

The Wellness Support Mode identifies the health condition of passengers through vital sign detection technology.

The ‘Wellness Support Mode’ is a seating technology for the movement of patients or people with disabilities. It incorporates a health care technology that detects the passengers’ physical condition in real time. When a patient gets into the vehicle, the vital sign detection sensor inside the vehicle seat and the armrest identifies the passenger’s heart rate and breathing status. The physical conditions are also recorded while driving and can be shared with a medical facility to facilitate prompt treatment of patients.

Analysis result of the body pressure distribution, heart rate, breathing status, and stress level of passengers

A seating technology that minimizes the passengers’ inconvenience during moving is also provided. In the case of patients with mobility difficulties, the weight is sometimes concentrated on a specific part of the body when seated. The seat detects this and distributes the load to the air pockets in the cushion. It also has a massage function that responds to the stress level of the passengers. The wellness support mode with various functions has been developed through collaboration with ‘Algorigo,’ a domestic startup that studies smart seat posture.

(4) Personalization Mode: Implementation of independent virtual space

Personalization Mode provides independent sound for each seat through a super directional speaker.

‘Personalization Mode’ is a technology that creates an independent sound space through a directional speaker. If the driver and passenger in the front want different environments in a shared space, they can listen to different music without disturbing each other through the personalization mode. The multi-purpose mobility seat system uses a speaker mounted on the headrest for personalization mode, and a super directional speaker is in the dashboard. In addition, the second-row seat space has super directional speakers to create an independent sound space for both the front and rear seats.

(5) VIP Mode: Luxurious mobility experience for VIP customers

VIP Mode is a seating technology that maximizes convenience for rear passengers with a seat reclining function and sound vibration technology.

‘VIP Mode’ is a seating technology focusing on convenience for VIP passengers in the rear seats. The VIP seat can be reclined so that passengers can rest comfortably. The ventilation and massage function targets specific body parts to effectively reduce stress. The multi-purpose mobility seat system has a new seat frame for a relaxed posture, and the massage function also provides a more effective massage by applying a physical tapping module. Advanced entertainment technology is also eye-catching. A personal audio system can be created through the directional speaker. A more dynamic entertainment environment is achieved through the sound vibration seat that vibrates according to the beat.

Hyundai Transys’ seating technology available in the near future

The seats in the IONIQ 5 based on the spacious interior space unique to electric vehicles

The ‘multi-purpose mobility seating system’ discussed above is a seating technology that takes into account the interior environment of future mobility. It is the result of incorporating Hyundai Transys’ creative ideas and innovative seat technology beyond the space limitation of a vehicle meant simply for transportation. Hyundai Transys’ technology, which will be introduced below, consists of seating technologies that can be experienced in vehicles to be released soon. From eco-friendly technologies applied to the seat manufacturing process to convenient features that provide a comfortable interior environment, let’s take a look at Hyundai Transys’ seating technology that will make our transportation process more enjoyable.

(1) Optimal spine posture solution

The optimal spine posture solution adjusts the cushion height according to the measured body pressure so the passenger can be seated in a correct posture.

‘Optimal spine posture solution’ is a technology that implements an optimal posture in real time by using a pneumatic system in the seat. The body pressure is measured in real time through the pressure sensor when a passenger takes a seat. The left and right heights of the cushion are individually adjusted in real time using the pneumatic system (air pocket) in the seat cushion.

The weights and heights of the right side and the left side of the human body are slightly different for each person, but the correct posture can be realized with the seat cushion height optimized for the passengers by using the optimal spine posture solution. Hyundai Transys collaborated with ‘Spine Lab,’ a startup established by former orthopedic medical staff, to develop the technology. The technology is medically verified to improve the spinal tilt and muscle fatigue.

(2) Covering material technology to prevent seat contamination

Artificial leather seats with eco-friendly covering material technology

Hyundai Transys is also concentrating on developing eco-friendly seat materials that are free from environmental issues. The covering material technology that prevents seat contamination is one of the main eco-friendly material technologies. ‘Covering material technology’ consists of silicone artificial leather that replaces leather seats and silicone fabric with antifouling properties that replaces fabric seats. Both technologies provide excellent durability and antifouling performance while minimizing environmental pollution.

Silicone artificial leather has excellent antifouling performance and durability.

In particular, silicone artificial leather uses quartz, a natural resource, instead of traditional petroleum-based raw materials. It has excellent antifouling performance against color transfer or other contamination that occurs from contact with denim fabric, without using organic solvents and flame retardants. Susceptibility to denim staining has been reduced by 1.7 times compared to traditional materials, and the wear level has been improved by 2.3 times.

(3) Eco-friendly VOCs reduction foam using natural materials

The emission of volatile organic compounds has been reduced compared to the existing seat foam (petroleum-based polyols) through the seat foam technology using natural materials.

Hyundai Transys is also rapidly developing eco-friendly material technology for seat foam production. The existing seat foam is produced through chemical synthesis of petroleum-based raw materials which produce volatile organic compounds such as toluene and benzene. To resolve this, Hyundai Transys has developed an eco-friendly VOCs (volatile organic compounds) reduction foam technology that is human-friendly and reduces environmental pollution.

The eco-friendly VOCs reduction foam technology reduces the use of petroleum-based raw materials and uses castor oil and starch extracted from grains to replace them. It is meaningful in that it is an eco-friendly technology that uses natural materials to replace petroleum-based materials. The emission of volatile organic compounds (tVOC) harmful to the human body is also reduced by 20 to 70%.

(4) Individual ventilation system

Individual ventilation system with air conditioning for each seat

‘Individual ventilation system’ is a seating technology that provides consistent air-conditioning regardless of the vehicle seat arrangement. The system is equipped with an independent ventilation function for each seat and provides more efficient heat comfort by working with the vehicle’s air-conditioning system. The biggest advantage of the individual ventilation system is the comfortable indoor environment thanks to the independent ventilation function. On a hot summer day or a cold winter day, there is a temperature difference centered on the air conditioner outlet, but the individual ventilation system allows cooling and heating for each seat to create a comfortable temperature in no time. Moreover, the indirect ventilation function that reduces irritation to the skin is also an advantage of the individual ventilation system.

Hyundai Transys is researching all these seating technologies to provide passengers with a more convenient and smooth moving experience. The important thing is that Hyundai Transys’ technologies are closely connected with the mobility life we will have in the near future.

Hyundai Transys presents infinite possibilities for future mobility through the seats that are closest to the human body–the idea that anyone can easily utilize mobility, eco-friendly technology for a sustainable future, and seat systems that allow an innovative moving experience in a self-driving environment.






Image. Jin-ho Choi