Magna International Inc. has revealed its vision for flexible vehicle interiors that is aimed at seating re-configurability, especially with the opportunities that new mobility and autonomy will bring to passengers in the future. Seat positioning will play an increasingly important role in creating a flexible space where drivers and passengers can move cargo, work and interact with each other more freely, the company noted. The reconfigurable seating will help increase useable cabin space based on need and vehicle function, with the seats adjusting to the consumer, instead of consumer adjusting to seats.
The new Magna concept seat ecosystem includes three specific configurations – Car Sharing; Long Road Trip; and Autonomous Ride Sharing. The company used digital and in-market consumer research in China, Europe and the US to understand the views of the consumer when it comes to their personal experiences with seats. Magna said it created an innovative seating platform focused on delivering the ideal user experience, after observing consumers in their daily lives. Magna is developing reconfigurable seating solutions and technologies to reshape the vehicle cabin, enabling vehicle users to perform actions from carrying cargo and having conversations on long car rides, to enabling mobile meeting spaces.
In terms of the three specific configurations of the seating, each one boasts of its own set of features and technologies. Car Sharing enables cargo mode, including on power long rails and seats that slide up under the instrument panel for maximum space, as well as flexible hardware and mobile app interface to preconfigure a cargo mode. The Long Road Trip configuration can enable campfire seating with stadium swivel on power long rails, four-way headrest sleep support, pixelated vibratory/haptic massage seat, in-cabin communication and personal sound zones.
The Autonomous Ride Sharing interior configuration can offer occupants conference seating with stadium swivel, which is reversible on power long rails. It can also provide information on Available Seat Signal to indicate which seat is available in a ride sharing vehicle. Other features of autonomous ride sharing include three-wide seating, easy-to-clean trim covers and personal sound zones, the company explained.
Mike Bisson, President, Magna Seating, said the seating innovation is driven by the belief that while vehicle occupants’ experience will be different with future mobility and autonomy, functional basics will remain the same. These basic requirements are that passengers want convenience, flexibility and comfort, he added. Bisson noted that this approach has essentially helped Magna create seats that adjust to the consumer, instead of having the consumer adjust to seats.