Lear Corp. in Southfield, a global automotive seating supplier, and Gentherm, a developer of thermal management technologies in Northville Township, have introduced a market-ready, intelligent seating system solution that creates a personal climate environment using ambient cabin conditions.
The new system transcends conventional HVAC (Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning) by targeting the body in five segments: head/neck, torso, thighs, arms, and hands/feet.
Both companies see the new system — INTU Thermal Comfort with ClimateSense technology — being installed in future electrified and autonomous vehicles. By using intelligent software, ambient cabin conditions help maximize passenger comfort.
“Today’s consumers are looking to personalize their in-vehicle experience with smart, predictive options that are highly efficient, and we see the seat as the next frontier,” says John Absmeier, chief technology officer at Lear.
Depending on the setting, the technology can account for in-vehicle and outside environments, along with personal preferences. The system efficiently manages the distribution of heating and cooling to improve interior passenger comfort.
Lear and Gentherm first announced a joint development partnership in January 2019 to drive the future of passenger thermal seating solutions. The INTU Thermal Comfort with ClimateSense technology is the first market-ready solution developed from the collaboration.
“Our collaboration with Lear addresses consumer preferences of today and tomorrow by combining Gentherm’s expertise in human thermophysiology and Lear’s strength as a leader of automotive seating and electronic systems,” says Phil Eyler, president and CEO at Gentherm.
“Our joint efforts have resulted in a smart solution that delivers faster passenger comfort (that) automatically adjusts (conditions) based on occupant temperature preferences and profiles. Gentherm’s ClimateSense technology delivers significant energy savings and is designed for optimal efficiency and thermal comfort.”
In Related News, Lear today announced second-quarter results that included sales of $2.4 billion, compared to $5.0 billion in the second quarter of 2019 along with a net loss of $(294) million and adjusted net loss of $(249) million, compared to net income of $183 million and adjusted net income of $236 million in the prior year
Industry disruptions related to COVID-19 during the second quarter impacted operations in every major market except for China. Global vehicle production declined by 46 percent compared to a year ago, with North America down 69 percent, Europe down 63 percent, and China up 7 percent. Global production declines on a Lear sales-weighted basis were approximately 55 percent.