Smart seating concept from Johnson Controls offers 3-in-1 seat tracks for small and compact vehicles

Seat easily adjusts in one kinematic movement

Frankfurt, Germany – September 2013. Johnson Controls, a global leader in automotive seating systems and components, is striking out in a new direction when it comes to weight reduction in vehicle interiors with a seating concept that will debut at the International Motor Show (IAA) 2013 in Frankfurt. The company is focusing on simplifying adjustment of the length, height, and tilt of the seat. All of these can be altered to occupant requirements in just one movement thanks to innovative kinematics.

“The ever-present need to develop new solutions to reduce weight in vehicles has given us the incentive to consider innovative ways of downsizing car seats as well,” said Heinz Voss, vice president Engineering, Product Group Metals & Mechanisms for Johnson Controls Automotive Seating. The company will debut its simple yet clever approach at the IAA in the form of a new seating concept. Innovative kinematics in the base of the seat combines the three basic adjustment options of length, height, and tilt. This combined movement is made possible through the use of a newly developed curved seat track.

“The development is based on a combination of statistical and empirical data. While tall people adjust their seat far back from the steering wheel to a low position and increase the tilt, shorter vehicle occupants tend to do exactly the opposite,” explained Voss.

This led to the design team developing kinematics to bring the seat from a maximum seat height and minimum tilt on the foremost track position into the opposite position in a curved movement.

Thanks to the curved, high-grade-steel seat track, the three adjustment options can be combined, making this new seat structure up to 2.5 kilograms lighter per seat than similar standard structures. Johnson Controls will present a seat with curved tracks for trade show visitors to test at the IAA.

“We see these curved seat tracks being used in small and compact cars. As a weight-optimized solution for the front-seat passenger, it is also perfect for use in medium-segment vehicles with electric or hybrid drives,” said Voss.

Further customization options are possible, such as the electrification of manual adjustment options or additional simplification by omitting functions.

Recaro Automotive Seating – a business unit of Johnson Controls – is presenting its Pure Seating concept at the IAA, an application designed for sports vehicles with identical kinematics and a corresponding design.

Johnson Controls will present its innovations from Sept. 12–22, 2013, at the International Motor Show (IAA) in Frankfurt, Germany, in Hall 5.1, Booth B28.

Digital images are available online.

For more information, please contact:

Johnson Controls GmbH Automotive Seating Industriestrasse 20–30
51399 Burscheid

Ulrich Andree
Tel.: +49 2174 65-4343

Oliver Herkert
Tel.: +49 2174 65-4348