Lexus is claiming a technological innovation with a ‘kinetic seat’ that it will show at the upcoming Paris Motor Show.
In humans, the spine acts to stabilise the head. It allows the pelvis and chest to rotate in opposite directions, stabilising the movement of the head even while walking or jogging. In order to recreate this movement in car seats, the seat cushion and back rest have been designed by Lexus to move kinetically with occupant weight and external forces. Thus, simply sitting in the seat helps stabilise head movement caused by vehicle motion, keeping the field of vision steady. This reduces the burden on occupants, improving ease of driving and comfort.
The seat frame ‘upholstery’ comprises a spider web-pattern net with threads that spread out radially from the centre of the back rest. The net is sufficiently flexible to closely fit body shape, dispersing the load to make it possible to sit comfortably for prolonged periods.
The centre of the back rest is at shoulder blade height, which induces rotational movement of the chest around the seat’s pivotal axis. This helps to stabilise the head and ensure a high level of support. The seat has also been made slimmer, making the overall car lighter in weight.
The threads at the back rest of the spider web-pattern construction are made from environmentally-friendly, synthetic spider silk materials instead of petroleum-derived materials. The main component of this material is protein, which is created through microbial fermentation, then spun and processed into a new material offering superior shock absorbance (toughness) properties.
The Kinetic Seat Concept will be shown on a stand-alone display for the first time at the 2016 Paris Motor Show.