Comfort Motion Global, which has its sales and marketing office in Troy, is working with commercial vehicle suppliers and fleet owners to bring its motion seating technology to the commercial motor vehicle market. The company’s technology micro-adjusts automotive seat back and bottom cushions to help reduce driver fatigue and improve overall health.
“With the heightened government awareness on drowsy driving and driver fatigue, truckers are at the front line of attention based on their extended time on the road,” says Richard Ferguson, chief marketing officer. “Our scientifically proven motion seat technology is a powerful, proactive solution to back fatigue, discomfort, and other negative impacts of prolonged sitting, and fits perfectly with the trucking industry’s increased emphasis on driver safety.”
The technology was recently adopted by Mercedes-Benz under its branding as Energizing Seat Kinetics on its memory-seat equipped GLE, GLS, A- and B-Class vehicles.
Launched after a decade of biomechanical testing and medical research, Comfort Motion’s customizable algorithm can be programmed into any memory seat and can actuate any other system in the seat such as lumbar support, bolsters, heating and cooling, and massage functions.
Dr. Paul Phipps, an Indianapolis-based chiropractor specializing in human performance biomechanics, developed motion seating after treating longtime patients for chronic back pain associated with sitting, especially driving frequently or for long distances.
“Working closely with professional athletes, helping them to create structural balance, increased flexibility and greater stability, I realized these same principles could be applied to helping improve driver wellness for those spending extended periods of time sitting in a vehicle,” says Phipps, who is also chief medical officer and director of research and development. “Once we successfully launched in the automotive industry, we immediately turned our attention to the trucking industry for all the obvious reasons.”
The National Transportation Safety Board has placed reducing fatigue-related accidents on its 2019-2020 Most Wanted List, which highlights safety issues identified in accident investigations. An estimated 13 percent of commercial motor vehicle drivers are considered to have been fatigued at the time of their crashes. The board has suggested that fatigue risk management programs, science-based regulations, and individual responsibility are possible solutions to mitigate driver fatigue.
Automated motion seat adjustments redistribute the occupant’s weight in the seat, continuously transferring compressive and shear stresses to new and different tissues. Each small motion transfers the workload in the spine and supporting muscles to a new area, allowing the natural tissue recover cycles to occur, improving circulation, and decreasing tissue fatigue and discomfort.
Comfort Motion Global is based in Indianapolis.