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Technical Paper

Statistical Modeling of Automotive Seat Shapes

Automotive seats are commonly described by one-dimensional measurements, including those documented in SAE J2732. However, 1-D measurements provide minimal information on seat shape. The goal of this work was to develop a statistical framework to analyze and model the surface shapes of seats by using techniques similar to those that have been used for modeling human body shapes. The 3-D contour of twelve driver seats of a pickup truck and sedans were scanned and aligned, and 408 landmarks were identified using a semi-automatic process. A template mesh of 18,306 vertices was morphed to match the scan at the landmark positions, and the remaining nodes were automatically adjusted to match the scanned surface. A principal component (PC) analysis was performed on the resulting homologous meshes. Each seat was uniquely represented by a set of PC scores; 10 PC scores explained 95% of the total variance. This new shape description has many applications.