Advancement in mechanical technology is now not the main focus of automobile development as electronics take over in factors involving opening the boot for you or even driving the car for you. So, why leave seats analogue? Well, there have been massaging seats in cars for years but now, Jaguar Land Rover is taking seat tech a step ahead. JLR's seat of the future will be a shape-shifting system designed to simulate the feeling of walking so as to prevent health risks caused by sitting down for too long.
The ‘morphable’ seat, being trialled by Jaguar Land Rover’s Body Interiors Research division, uses a series of actuators in the seat foam to create constant micro-adjustments that make your brain think you’re walking and could be individually tailored to each driver and passenger.
According to WHO, a quarter of people worldwide – 1.4 billion – are living increasingly sedentary lifestyles, which can shorten muscles in the legs, hips, and gluteals causing back pain. The weakened muscles also mean you are more likely to injure yourself from falls or strains.
By simulating the rhythm of walking, a movement known as pelvic oscillation, the technology can help mitigate against the health risks of sitting down for too long.
Dr Steve Iley, Jaguar Land Rover Chief Medical Officer, has also issued advice on how to adjust your seat to ensure the perfect driving position, from removing bulky items in your pocket, to shoulder positioning and from ensuring your spine and pelvis are straight to supporting your thighs to reduce pressure points.
Jaguar's guide to perfect driving position:
“The wellbeing of our customers and employees is at the heart of all our technological research projects. We are using our engineering expertise to develop the seat of the future using innovative technologies not seen before in the automotive industry to help tackle an issue that affects people across the globe,” Dr Iley said.
JLR's ongoing research includes previous projects that worked on reducing the effects of motion sickness and the implementation of ultraviolet light technology to stop the spread of colds and flu.