Claudia Steinhoff

Director, Europe and Africa Communications

+49 2174 65-4481

Claudia Steinhoff

Adient showcases passenger protection for autonomous driving

Keeping passengers safe regardless of the seat position

Frankfurt am Main, Germany, September 13, 2017 – Modern car seats provide an increasing number of individual personalization and comfort features. However, today’s seats also require enhancement of the seats’ safety equipment. Adient (NYSE: ADNT), the world’s leading automotive seating supplier, is working on new safety solutions for the seats of future vehicle generations – including alternative seating layouts in autonomously driven vehicles.

Yesterday, Adient announced a strategic partnership with the Swedish company Autoliv, one of the world’s leading suppliers of automotive safety systems. This partnership allows Adient and Autoliv to work together on the development of solutions that ensure and improve passenger safety in spite of completely new seat positions.

“Our cooperation aims to adapt the concept of integrated seat airbag systems and new safety belt systems to new traffic and vehicle situations. The European NCAP safety program and statutory provisions must be appropriately extended to include new rear-facing airbags,” says Dr. Detlef Juerss, Vice President Engineering & Chief Technical Officer at Adient. In addition, the two companies plan further collaborations focusing on the potential value creation of safety solutions beyond the automotive sector — in order to bring people safely to their destination however they travel.

Seats becoming increasingly relevant for passenger protection

“One of the central approaches on the way to autonomous driving is the change from a pure driver‘s seat to an active safety system,” says Juerss. “Considerably more than at present, the seat will become a passenger protection component which is linked to all of the vehicle’s safety systems. If the seats are flexibly arranged in the interior, both the airbag and the safety belt system as we know them will have to be fundamentally changed.”

At the IAA, Adient is displaying seat structures that have an integrated safety belt, as well as other safety technologies that respond to these challenges to improve passenger safety in new seat positions. The safety belt is integrated into the seat and not mounted on the B or C column as is now the norm. In addition, the safety belt has an improved construction. This is necessary because the new passenger positions can transfer changed loads and patterns of movement to the belt system.

“With the integrated restraint system, we can offer automakers a solution to ensure a high level of passenger safety even with changed seating layouts,” says Juerss. “In current vehicle models the integrated seat belt system is used primarily for free-standing business seats in the premium segment. However, with this technology we are now prepared to meet new safety requirements for autonomous driving. Together with Autoliv, we are working on new efficient safety systems for this evolving environment.”

AI18 Study provides an outlook for safety concepts in autonomous vehicles 

In its AI18 concept for autonomous vehicles, Adient has taken into account improved passenger safety. The front seats of the concept include an integrated seatbelt concept to hold the safety belt in the right position in different usage scenarios. For the interior’s 180-degree-rotatable passenger seat, Adient development engineers have developed an integrated airbag concept that can be triggered both forwards and backwards, depending on the seat position. In the case of an imminent collision, the seats will have an automatic fast-adjustment system that can be coupled to predictive assistance systems. The established ISOFIX restraint system also effectively includes children’s seats in the safety equipment of autonomous vehicles.

Adient will present all of its technical developments to the public at its press conference at 10:30 on 13 September at the 67th International Motor Show (IAA) (Hall 5.1, B24). The leading trade fair will take place from 12 to 24 September 2017 in Frankfurt. It is open to media and industry representatives from Tuesday 12 September to Friday 15 September. The IAA is also open to the public from Saturday 16 September to Sunday 24 September.

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About Adient:
Adient is a global leader in automotive seating. With 75,000 employees operating 230 manufacturing/assembly plants in 33 countries worldwide, we produce and deliver automotive seating for all vehicle classes and all major OEMs. From complete seating systems to individual components, our expertise spans every step of the automotive seat making process. Our integrated, in-house skills allow us to take our products from research and design all the way to engineering and manufacturing – and into more than 25 million vehicles every year. For more information on Adient, please visit