Jaguar Land Rover says it is developing the seat of the future – a pioneering shape-shifting system designed to improve customer wellbeing by tackling the health risks of sitting down for too long.
The ‘morphable’ seat, being trialled by the UK’s largest automotive manufacturer’s Body Interiors Research division, uses a series of actuators in the seat foam to create constant micro-adjustments that make your brain think you’re walking, and could be individually tailored to each driver and passenger.
More than a quarter of people worldwide – some 1.4 billion – are living increasingly sedentary lifestyles, which can shorten muscles in the legs, hips and gluteals causing back pain. The weakened muscles also mean you are more likely to injure yourself from falls or strains.
By simulating the rhythm of walking, a movement known as pelvic oscillation, the technology can help mitigate against the health risks of sitting down for too long on extended journeys: in the UK drivers cover an average of 146 miles every week.
Dr Steve Iley, Jaguar Land Rover Chief Medical Officer, says: “The wellbeing of our customers and employees is at the heart of all our technological research projects. We are using our engineering expertise to develop the seat of the future using innovative technologies not seen before in the automotive industry to help tackle an issue that affects people across the globe.”
Jaguar and Land Rover vehicles already feature the latest in ergonomic seat design, with multi-directional adjustments, massage functions and climate control fitted across the range. Dr Iley has also issued advice on how to adjust your seat to ensure the perfect driving position, from removing bulky items in your pocket to shoulder positioning, and from ensuring your spine and pelvis are straight to supporting your thighs to reduce pressure points. The necessary measures are outlined clearly in a short video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XGfmPkMtlWY.
The research is part of Jaguar Land Rover’s commitment to continually improve customer wellbeing through technological innovation. Previous projects have included research to reduce the effects of motion sickness and the implementation of ultraviolet light technology to stop the spread of colds and flu.
Together, these efforts are driving towards what the company calls ‘Destination Zero’ – Jaguar Land Rover’s ambition to make societies safer and healthier, and the environment cleaner. Says a spokesman: “through relentless innovation, Jaguar Land Rover is adapting product and services to meet the rapidly-changing world”.
From 2020 all new Jaguar and Land Rover vehicles will offer the option of electrification.