Three years of testing

The many challenges facing car seats

Martorell,  18 October 2018

  • Testers of different builds get in and out of the car 6,000 times to assess the potential wear of fabrics and foams
  • 22,000 friction cycles simulate the rubbing motions on the seats and a fatigue test reproduces driving in extreme conditions
  • These tests are used to analyse the durability and comfort of the seats before they are manufactured

-300,000 km in extreme conditions: A car shakes intensely inside a booth to simulate driving conditions on uneven surfaces. The test lasts 225 hours on end to reproduce the normal use of a vehicle over a distance of up to 300,000 km. The same test is also used to expose the car to temperatures that go from 80 °C to -35 °C. “Our work consists in evaluating the vehicle before, during and after the test to ensure that its characteristics haven’t changed and it hasn’t suffered any breakage or damage”, adds García.

-A 40 °C car seat in freezing weather: Inside a chamber at -20 °C, an engineer analyses the performance of a heated seat on a SEAT Arona. He uses a thermographic camera to verify that it reaches a comfortable temperature in just 3 minutes, going up to 40 °C 15 minutes later. The heat map also shows that the heat is evenly spread over the entire surface, which contributes to the comfort of the future driver.

-Sitting properly, a matter of millimetres: is there an ideal sitting position to drive safely and comfortably? The answer is ‘Yes, there is’. Javier García and his team of engineers measure up to 20 indication points on a car seat to verify the correct placement of the torso, the distance to the headrest or the angle of the driver’s femur: “The most important aspect is the placement of the dummy’s hips, which we measure with a laser, or the positioning of elements such as the headrests, which are essential for the safety of the occupants. With these ergonomic calculations we can guarantee that the driver’s position is comfortable as well as safe”, he explains.

SEAT Communications

Gemma Solà
Content&Platforms Management
T / +34 639 944 087

Vanessa Petit
Content Generation
T / +34 680 153 938