Browse Publications Technical Papers 2000-01-0644

Driver Selected Seat Position: Practical Applications 2000-01-0644

Automobile seats are now available with many and varied adjustments (particularly in the more expensive vehicles). Due to the lack of emphasis on the educational side of automobile seat usage, the comfort-enhancing benefits of these features are perhaps not being fully realized. That is, the impact from a comfort perspective has not been as large as intended. The purpose of the present paper is to present preliminary information on recommended starting positions, in terms of segmentspecific seat adjustability, for different occupants. As part of the protocol, 12 subjects were asked to sit comfortably in three different compact car seats. To achieve a comfortable position, subjects could, if necessary, adjust the seatback angle and the track position. In the selected vehicle segment there were no other seat features to adjust. With this information, a model was developed and validated to predict driver selected track position from subject level characteristics. Basic ergonomic principles were also used to derive guidelines for how to adjust the track position and seatback angle to optimize comfort. Future research should be focused on seats from higherend vehicle segments, with the purpose of providing recommended starting positions for all types of seat adjustment. In the end, in order to improve seat satisfaction and, as a consequence, the driving experience, this type of information must be presented to the end-consumer in an easy to understand format. The owner’s manual may be an appropriate medium.


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