Detroit-based automotive seating supplier Adient today announced an agreement to work with automotive safety systems designer Autoliv Inc. to address seating challenges presented by the designs of future cars and the incorporation of autonomous driving. As automated vehicles free up drivers and passengers for non-driving activities, both companies anticipate a demand for more flexibility in a vehicle’s interior space design.
Adient and Autoliv, which operates an electronics division in Southfield and a technical center in Auburn Hills, will work on delivering interior vehicle spaces with additional seating positions to relax, work, and socialize. Additionally, new safety and comfort challenges are expected to arise, and both companies will work to create “optimal integrated products” and solutions to address such challenges.
“This is a tremendously exciting time for the automotive industry, with mobility on the cusp of a fundamental disruption. With our world-class technologies and capabilities, we are more than ready to provide the next generation of advanced vehicle seating systems,” says R. Bruce McDonald, Adient’s chairman and CEO. “Working with Autoliv means combining the strengths of two leading companies to improve safety, comfort, and convenience in the interior of future autonomous vehicles.”
Even in automated vehicles, seatbelts, pretensioners, and buckles remain the primary means of restraint in the event of an accident, and Adient and Autoliv will initially be focused on integration of Autoliv’s safety components into the non-traditional seating arrangements of future vehicles. Existing seat-mounted airbags and far-side systems will also be enhanced and the target for offering these solutions is the second half of 2018.
Future plans include the co-development of highly integrated solutions for enhanced safety, comfort, and convenience for future mobility. Both Adient and Autoliv are also interested in investigating the potential value in expanding to non-automotive applications if necessary to keep people safe as they travel or commute.