Ford engineers have taken the wraps off a new type of car seat that has been designed to make long journeys more comfortable for drivers and passengers.
To do so, the so-called multi-contour seats contain air cushions that pad the driver and passenger’s entire back, including three for lumbar support, three for lateral support and four for the seat pad.
The bottom cushion of the seats also feature what Ford is calling ‘active-motion’ technology. This provides the driver with a continuous massage by creating a small but continuous movement in the pelvis that can help to relieve fatigue that can occur when muscles become tired from remaining stationary for long periods.
The active-motion technology was developed in conjunction with Ford’s European Research Centre in Aachen, Germany, with input from back-pain and fatigue specialists from the medical community.
‘The seat was tested for comfort on long drives,’ said Jeroen Lem, a research engineer at Ford. ‘After a four-hour non-stop trip, the driver was able to leave the car feeling relaxed and without pain. This product keeps you moving so that you can drive longer.’
In a recent study, four out of five people in a California test group preferred the multi-contour seat over the standard seat, while 20 per cent said they would consider changing their car to drive or own a product with the technology.
The seats will make their debut on the 2010 Taurus and Taurus SHO models.