Creating a Human-Centric Vehicle Interior Experience
The automotive industry is constantly looking for innovative ways to develop the cars of the future. Electric Vehicles (EVs) and Autonomous Vehicles (AVs) are revolutionizing the space and are on pace to be major parts of OEM vehicle lineups in the next ten years.
With both EVs and AVs, the cockpit of a vehicle will evolve from the current vehicle interiors customers experience today. In the case of AVs, in the future both the driver and passenger may have seats configured to allow them to relax, swivel and talk to others or serve as workstations while the car drives itself. Right now, this may seem like a scene from a Sci-Fi movie, but it is a future that is not too far away.
During WardsAuto’s 2021 Automotive Tech Week, Gentherm’s Senior Vice President of Global Sales, Marketing and Corporate Communications, Jaymi Wilson, sat down with WardsAuto’s senior content director, Drew Winter, to discuss this cockpit of the future and how Gentherm is developing technology that uses thermophysiology, the science of human’s response to thermal inputs, to create personalized passenger comfort.
Drew Winter: You’re well-known in the industry for supplying heated seats and armrests. With the big trends of electrification and autonomy coming down road, this human centric approach that you have, are you looking to change the traditional climate control?
Jaymi Wilson: “We like to say that we are trying to solve the new challenges our customers are facing with electrification. Because of this, range becomes a critical trade off point. With HVAC being responsible for the second most power consumption, we look at how our technologies today can help solve vehicle range issues…Looking at it using a human centric approach is key to breaking through the current range challenges and usher in electrification as fast as the market is asking.”
Drew Winter: How important are AI and algorithms in what you are doing to develop passenger comfort?
Jaymi Wilson: “When we talk about the ClimateSense® algorithm we are developing, it is complex but also simple enough because it is rooted around thermophysiology. When developing this, not only are we working through the vehicle architecture, but also what will provide the most precise and impactful experience on the human body. Understanding the human body is precisely the way we can be very smart and efficient in delivering the most personalized comfort. This is also combined with sensors to gather the right passenger thermal inputs and machine learning to understand individual’s unique characteristics.”
Drew Winter: Can you describe what you would like to see from the company in 2030?
Jaymi Wilson: “One, we will continue to drive our solutions to help with vehicle electrification and ensure it is moving forward as fast as the market demands. Secondly, the focus and emphasis on AVs is coming quickly. Vehicles will look a lot different in 2030, vehicles will be more focused on the experience and how people are spending time in their car. We are looking at how we best serve the new needs of the occupant in the future to make sure they enjoy a full personalized comfort experience.”