Adient has unveiled its updated AI17 concept demonstrator at Auto Shanghai 2017.

Adient, created when Johnson Controls' automotive seating business was spun off as an independent company in 2016, said it had updated the concept since its debut at the Detroit show last January.

The supplier said the interior of autonomous vehicles would play an important role as drivers and passengers spend more time on non-driving activities. Once vehicles have the capability to be computer-driven, occupants will demand far more flexibility from the vehicle's seating and interior space than before.

Bruce McDonald, chairman and CEO of Adient, said: "The concept features innovations that increase interior flexibility; while also providing occupants with higher levels of safety, comfort and convenience."

"Based on extensive market and consumer research, the products in the demonstrator have been carefully designed with a modular approach to accommodate a wide range of vehicles and enable differentiation by segment," said Richard Chung, head of innovation for Adient.

According to Chung, among the technological innovations included in the AI17 are:

  • A rotational base platform that allow seats to 'greet' occupants. Drivers and passengers are greeted with personal presets and assisted when entering or exiting the AI17. This 'greeting mode' is enabled by a rotational base platform that swivels, so occupants can move freely and can position their seat for the best entry and exit positions.
  • The front row seats are designed to comfortably support occupants in reclined seating positions. Patented 'Comfort Shell' seating technology offers a lightweight flexible panel that conforms to the body along the spine and supports the lumbar. 
  • The cantilevered rear seat structure optimises comfort for rear seat passengers regardless of how they spend their ride time. The rear seat system gives occupants more personal space; provides up to 45 degrees of reclining comfort; includes a privacy shield; and offers an integrated leg rest that stows underneath.
  • To carry larger cargo, the rear seat's cushion frame stows to a thin stadium position to create extra space.
  • With legroom being the epitome of luxury in the second row, an integrated leg rest for rear seats is made of spring steel so it flexes with pressure applied by the occupant's calf. 
  • The AI17's 'Cushion Console' concept offers a seamless front console that extends into the rear passenger space. This provides riders with a more comfortable armrest and the ability to store small items. A tray table adds extra useable surface for front-seat passengers.
  • The dual-sided, front-seat armrest provides support for resting, sleeping and socialising and moves with the body throughout the range of full recline and rotational seat positions.
  • The AI17 features both a four-way powered and a manual headrest. The wide front seat's four-way powered headrest supports the occupant's head in full reclined and rotated seat positions. The manual four-way headrest incorporates an easy to see and grab handle that assists in properly adjusting the headrest.