Car Interior Design: Faurecia Showcases New Seating Trends
Designers at Faurecia, a Tier I interior supplier to the world’s largest automakers, firmly believe that cars and trucks soon will become an integral part of a consumer’s individual persona.
Towards the end of 2012 the company showcased a range of new product designs that featured inventive opportunities for vehicle owners:
• Oasis Seat: For the chauffeured traveler, a luxurious customized personal space with separate positions for working, entertainment and relaxation; offering surround-sound speakers in the headrest, HMI touch and gesture controls, and 20 massage cells from neck to calf, all demonstrated on screen.
• Urban Rhythm Seat: A thin seat incorporating responsive thermoplastic surfaces that adjust to the occupant’s body size, shape and posture. Urban Rhythm relies on a compliant plastic seatback, cushion and headrest that work in orchestrated fashion to keep occupants comfortable and protect from whiplash.
• “Trendset Cities” from Collections by Faurecia: Interior styling themes inspired by Paris, Berlin, Los Angeles, Shanghai and Seoul are translated to scores of different materials, colours, patterns and grains that can be assembled in different combinations, including a new sustainable approach using Faurecia’s wood-fibre based Ligneco.
A luxury seat with a combination high-tech office, entertainment center and spa at the occupant’s fingertips. The seat offers four positions: the entry configuration for entering the vehicle, the upright business position for working and communicating, the entertainment position for enjoying video and audio and the nearly reclined relaxation position.
In the business position, the passenger works from a large, adjustable screen mounted on the back of the front seat. Once seated, a “hot key” emerges from a human-machine interface (HMI) at the passenger’s left hand. With the HMI, the passenger controls all the functions of work, entertainment and comfort systems enveloping the seat, with no more need to choose from among the dozens of buttons and switches that complicate other limousines. On-screen menus and gestures carry out the functions instead. Speakers integrated into the headrest generate high-quality surround sound. The voice of each participant on a conference call seems to come from a separate direction — just as voices would around a conference table.
The entertainment position is designed for watching movies and enjoying music. All selections are controlled via the HMI in the center console.
In the reclined position, the passenger is supported by individually adjustable leg rests, and the headrest is released to transform into a neck roll. Once reclined, the occupant can command 20 massagers that are applied to the shoulder, back, seat cushion and calves.
In every position, a very small head-tracking camera mounted in the back of the front seat detects the height of the Oasis occupant and automatically adjusts the headrest to the right position while simultaneously adjusting the cushion length and side bolster for optimum comfort.
The overall seat is fashioned from high-end leather that is perforated to help manage humidity and temperature for the occupant.
Urban Rhythm Seat:
A seat that moves with occupants as they ride, constantly tuning its shape and support for increased comfort and command of the driving experience. Advancing the compliant shell introduced by Faurecia in 2011, Urban Rhythm offers a complete dynamic system that includes a compliant seat cushion and compliant head restraint.
Its responsive thermoplastic surfaces move with the occupant’s body size, shape and posture throughout the journey, as the vehicle accelerates and decelerates, rounds curves and climbs hills, to offer increased support to the lumbar region, pelvis and upper shoulders, all in a synchronized manner. As a result, the biomimetic surfaces dynamically reconfigure their shapes to furnish superior pressure distribution, compared to conventional seats.
The Compliant Cushion contributes to long-term riding and driving comfort. The compliant headrest is connected remotely to, and works in coordination with the compliant backrest shell. If an occupant slouches forward in the seat, the shoulders and head move forward in a coordinated way. The compliant shell and head restraint reflect this movement, maintaining contact to protect the head from whiplash in a rear-end collision.
Urban Rhythm’s thin seatback provides approximately 70 mm (2.8 in.) of additional knee space in the rear-passenger section. Its angled manual seat adjustment tracks accommodate people of any height without any additional height-adjustment device. When a single handle unit is pushed down, the seat is adjusted to move forward and upward at the same time or back and down.
The seat, which fits into conventional metal seat frames, takes on the appearance of draped pleats that seem to have flowed down, across and around the seat. The seat covers are shaped using Faurecia’s proprietary cover carving technology.
With its “Trendset Cities” line, Collections by Faurecia represents five interior styling themes inspired by the cities of Paris, Berlin, Los Angeles, Shanghai and Seoul:
• Atmosphere — Motifs inspired by a rainy day in a city steeped in history.
• Coral Invasion — Street tags and sharp lines that liven up colourless walls, inspired by the underground culture and other avant-garde movements.
• Sunny Shades — A seafront bathed in heat and sunlight, with a collection of surf, wave and sun motifs, inspired by the light of the American southwest.
• Light Tech — The reflection of coloured neon lights on towering glass high-rises for a contemporary, luminescent theme.
• Mineral — A walk through a frost-covered park inspired by the shape and texture of rocks and minerals.
In all, Collections by Faurecia offers up five trends; 30 paint colours with five laser etching patterns; 18 different film patterns; 10 colour combinations of slush skins for doors and instrument panels. With such details as stitching and piping; four grain designs; 17 wood Ligneos products; and 25 different patterns of aluminium, the collection can be arranged into a myriad patterns and surfaces.