CAR TECH

New shape-shifting car seat makes you think you’re walking

Jaguar Land Rover’s pioneering technology could help reduce health risks caused by sitting down for too long

16 January 2020 - 12:30 By Motoring Reporter
The ‘morphable’ Jaguar Land Rover seat system continually adjusts actuators in seat foam to simulate the rhythm of walking.
The ‘morphable’ Jaguar Land Rover seat system continually adjusts actuators in seat foam to simulate the rhythm of walking.
Image: Supplied

Jaguar Land Rover is developing the seat of the future — a shape-shifting system designed to tackle the health risks of 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 the World Health Organisation (WHO), more than 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 on extended journeys, with some drivers doing hundreds of kilometres a week.

Dr Steve Iley, Jaguar Land Rover chief medical officer, said: “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.”

It’s part of Jaguar Land Rover’s methods to improve customer wellbeing through technological innovation. Previous projects have included research to reduce the effects of motion sickness and the implementation of ultraviolet light technology to stop the spread of colds and flu.


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