Stories / Automotive

Two industry leaders, one shared vision


At Gentherm, we are committed to delivering products that make meaningful differences in everyday lives. As part of this ongoing quest, we strive to partner with respected institutions from around the globe that share this vision.

In 2019, we forged one such relationship with the Fraunhofer Institute for Building Physics (IBP), the world’s leading applied research organization with 76 institutes and research units throughout Germany and over 30,000 employees.

Our partnership with Fraunhofer IBP allowed us to develop an objective measurement methodology that determines the impact of microclimate heating/cooling and the central HVAC on occupant comfort using their DressMAN system. With Fraunhofer’s working prototype and expertise in aircraft comfort, our teams worked together to create a robust system that could be used in real-world vehicle testing.

The DressMAN system which Gentherm is currently using features 12 strategically located sensors that measure the contact surface temperatures of areas such as the seat and steering wheel. The system also contains 22 Equivalent Homogeneous Temperature (EHT) sensors that measure air temperatures, air velocities and radiation for all areas of the body. This allows us to isolate, evaluate, and optimize the effectiveness of individual comfort solutions such as heated and cooled seats, heated steering wheels, and neck warmers.

Our partnership with the Fraunhofer IBP has changed the way vehicle occupant comfort is measured and will undoubtedly fuel the development of more innovative Gentherm solutions in the future.

For more information regarding our DressMAN wearable comfort measurement system, check out the video above.

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