The History of Human Factors in Seating Comfort at SAE’s World Congress 2019-01-0405
In many fields of technology, examinations of the past can provide insights into the future. This paper reviews the history of automotive seat comfort development and research as chronicled by SAE’s session titled “Human Factors in Seating Comfort”. Records suggest that “Human Factors in Seating Comfort” has existed as a separate session at SAE’s World Congress since the turn of the century. In that time there have been 149 papers published / presented. The history is fascinating because it reflects interests of the time which are driven by technology trends, customer wants and needs, and new theories. The list of contributors, in terms of authors and their affiliations, is also telling. It shows shifts in business models, strategies around collaboration, and career progressions of certain individuals. The paper ends with a discussion of what can be learned from this historical review and the major issues to be addressed. One of the more significant contributions of this paper is the reference list. It contains all 149 of SAE’s “Human Factors in Seating Comfort” papers in a single location. These references represent the foundation of automotive seating comfort, which should be considered core knowledge and should be familiar to those in the profession, both new and old.