FAURECIA AUTOMOTIVE SEATING
Sculpted Seat Covers
In order to enable traditional car seats to have a personalized and more modern look, Faurecia is revisiting the weight function trade-off for foam and trim. Sculpted covers represent one of the new technologies developed by Faurecia Automotive Seating to respond to this ambition. Traditionally, the shape of the cover is obtained by attaching a loose cover at several points to a foam pad. Faurecia sculpted covers, however, embed 3D shapes and all marking lines on the trim cover itself.
The seat covers are shaped using Faurecia’s proprietary Cover Carving Technology, which enables designers to break all the rules of traditional automotive trimming processes. In terms of concavity, the cover face is shaped on a mold; the fabric is held in 3D by a foam layer, creating unconventional surfaces and smooth surface transitions. Secondly, marking lines are completely independent from tie downs and can have a progressive depth and very small radius. Finally, in terms of embossing, 3D surface effects can be created and positioned precisely on the surface of the cover.
This sculpting technology also has the advantage of being extremely repeatable and provides an unmatched craftsmanship that would be totally impossible to reach with conventional trimming techniques. Using the same foam pad, sculpted covers can multiply the style variations, opening the path to real seat cover personalization.
Sculpted Light Seatback Panel
Automakers often overlook the back of a front seat. Faurecia introduces a brand new solution with the Sculpted Light Panel, a high-perceived-quality lightweight back panel using Faurecia’s cover-carving technology, a unique technology which gives life to the back of front seats.
Sharp marking lines, graphical elements and deep 3D shapes enable the designing of a back panel with as much attractiveness as a front seat surface. Using the same material as the front side of the seat procures a very homogeneous style to the seat overall. The curved shape of the Sculpted Light Panel and its attachment to the trim cover offers a very slim seat design, allowing increased knee room for rear passengers.
Sculpted Light Panels are fixed to the trim cover and not to the metal frame; the fit and finish and the quality of the integration into the complete seat is far better, thus avoiding gaps and styling limitations. Since the technology uses compression molds, the tooling cost in comparison to plastic wrapped back panels is only one tenth as much.
In another departure from conventional vehicle design, Faurecia has transformed the relationship between seats and seating covers. Rather than the cover taking the shape of the seat, the seat accommodates creative covers, with embedded 3D effects and customized markings.
The perspective of designers on the possibilities for seating trim can be appreciably broadened by stepping up to Faurecia’s trim display at the LA Auto Show. A wall that tears down conventional boundaries, the Faurecia exhibit erupts with style options in stitching and other seating trim elements. It provides a large range of decorative opportunities, including special seams and hot-foil applications, all developed to add value to seating trim. With Faurecia selections, designers can offer thousands of different combinations of colors and styles for both textile and leather surfaces.
The seat cover is a principal element in shaping the perception of an interior’s design as well as the vehicle’s brand identity. Trim Wall goes far beyond the traditional product catalogue to foster conversation with designers by presenting seating trim in a format that can be both viewed and touched, with products displayed on actual foam fill. By handling and testing the customization possibilities in context, designers can see how trim selections can be adapted to any vehicle segment.
With the Trim Wall, Faurecia responds directly to the challenge of mass customization, with a touch of technology and design inspirations.
Faurecia is on a mission to enable occupants to feel better on arrival at their destination than they did at the start. The Vision Wall touchscreen presentation highlights the concepts for attaining this mission through emerging technologies that have their foundation in Faurecia’s current capabilities and insights, with such functions as automated and gesture-controlled massage. Through work with osteopaths and other experts in human sensory reactions and relaxation methodologies, Faurecia has assembled a roadmap that leads beyond simple comfort to a driving experience that actually can make occupants feel re-energized and reinvigorated at the end of their trip.
The Vision Wall – a digital representation of seating concepts for the near future – shows the impact of these technologies from the driver’s point of view, illustrating how Faurecia will “know me, fit me, reenergize me and relax me.”
In these concepts, as you prepare to enter the car, a camera would sense your approach to the vehicle and automatically adjust your seat to its most comfortable position for your own body size and shape. Ingress and egress would be eased by movements of the seat cushion; and once you are inside, the seatback conforms to your body for the most support and comfort. The seat cushion supports each leg independently, adapting to the way you sit and drive.
From the time you sit in the car until the time you leave, intelligent Faurecia future technologies could fit a seat to your changing needs. For example, the seat would recognize that you are wearing a coat and need more space or that you are wearing high heels, which will affect your foot position in relation to the pedals. A new type of heating and cooling technology would make it possible not only to dynamically heat or cool the seat at various points in your trip, but different portions of the seat will adjust their temperatures separately to keep you comfortable.
Your vehicle would reenergize you by monitoring your body through sensors that gauge your heart rate and breathing. If the seat detects you are becoming drowsy, it would vibrate and launch a reenergizing shiatsu-style massage in the seat back and cushion, directed at the points that medical research has demonstrated are the critical areas for a reenergizing effect.
When you need to relax from the tension of driving, a Faurecia seat automatically would detect your stress and deploy massage to restore you to a relaxed state of body and mind. If you prefer, you also would control the massage yourself with simple hand gestures.
These types of near-future technologies have emerged from Faurecia’s focus on caring for occupants and its comprehension of the links between the body and the vehicle seat.