Johnson Controls unveils new SD15 seating vehicle concept that meets consumer demands at the 2015 North American International Auto Show

Demonstrator addresses urban mobility, comfort and autonomous driving trends

DETROIT, Jan. 12, 2015 /PRNewswire/ — Johnson Controls, a global multi-industrial company, today unveiled its seating demonstrator vehicle, called SD15, to customers and media at the 2015 North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) at Detroit’s Cobo Center. With a focus on first- and second-row seating in a simulated vehicle environment, the concept addresses global industry trends of urban mobility, comfort and autonomous driving.

“SD15 is based on extensive proprietary research conducted by Johnson Controls that explored what consumers want in their vehicles in 2020 and beyond,” said Beda Bolzenius, president of Johnson Controls Automotive Experience and vice chairman Johnson Controls Asia Pacific. “Based on our research,  the driver side demonstrates superior comfort and the passenger side showcases features that maximize cargo capacity and interior flexibility.”        

The SD15’s front row features a power driver seat mounted to a curved track, eliminating the need for separate and complex mechanisms found in conventional seat arrangements. The seat offers a console mounted directly to the seat structure that moves conveniently with the occupant, instead of being fixed between the seats.

In addition, the SD15 showcases the company’s new slim tilting head restraint. This newest generation of slim head restraints can be combined with a tilting mechanism. The thin design is ideal for seat applications where space is limited.

The SD15’s passenger seat is situated on the company’s Gemini long tracks, which enable the seat to stow against the instrument panel or slide rearward to maximize curbside cargo capacity. 

The second row utilizes the Gemini track system as well, allowing it to transition from a four-passenger to a five-passenger configuration in one smooth movement. The structure, developed in conjunction with the company’s metals and mechanisms team, can expand to create a center seating position when moved forward and contracts when slid back to fit between the wheel wells. This unique function maximizes leg room and curbside storage capacity.

Both the front and rear seats showcase new ink jet printing fabric technology, which allows for a wide variety of customer customization of colors and patterns to help automakers distinguish their brands. In addition, Johnson Controls “SuperGroove” trim attachment technology is applied across both rows of seats. SuperGroove provides a slim appearance and improves craftsmanship.

The SD15 design allows for the packaging of a 48-volt battery under the seat, highlighting the latest battery technology from Johnson Controls’ Power Solutions business. The SD15 concept was developed by a global collaboration of Johnson Controls design and engineering teams in North America and Europe.

An event sponsor and exhibitor, Johnson Controls has been involved in NAIAS for 21 years. Its 10,000-square-foot exhibit in room 310B will be open to media and invited guests.

NAIAS – one of the world’s premier automotive exhibitions – opens to the media and industry officials today. It will open to the public from Saturday, Jan. 17 through Sunday, Jan. 25. For more information, please visit:

About Johnson Controls:

Johnson Controls is a global diversified technology and industrial leader serving customers in more than 150 countries. Our 170,000 employees create quality products, services and solutions to optimize energy and operational efficiencies of buildings; lead-acid automotive batteries and advanced batteries for hybrid and electric vehicles; and interior systems for automobiles. Our commitment to sustainability dates back to our roots in 1885, with the invention of the first electric room thermostat. Through our growth strategies and by increasing market share we are committed to delivering value to shareholders and making our customers successful. In 2014, Corporate Responsibility Magazine recognized Johnson Controls as the #12 company in its annual “100 Best Corporate Citizens” list. For additional information, please visit or follow @johnsoncontrols on Twitter.

About Johnson Controls Automotive Seating:

Johnson Controls is a global leader in automotive seating, overhead systems, floor consoles, door panels and instrument panels. We support all major automakers in the differentiation of their vehicles through our products, technologies and advanced manufacturing capabilities. With more than 220 plants worldwide, we are where our customers need us to be. Consumers have enjoyed the comfort and style of our products, from single components to complete interiors. With our global capability, we supply approximately 50 million cars per year.

Editor’s Note: 

Images are available on Johnson Controls’ NAIAS website  and on the website.

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SOURCE Johnson Controls