Local Firms Partner on Improving Human Thermal Comfort in Vehicles

Two metro Detroit companies have joined forces to develop advanced software to improve human thermal comfort predictions in automobiles.
Gentherm vehicle interior
Gentherm and ThermoAnalytics are modeling the human body inside vehicles to predict and enhance passenger comfort. // Photo courtesy of Gentherm

Two metro Detroit companies have joined forces to develop advanced software to improve human thermal comfort predictions in automobiles.

Northville’s Gentherm, a developer of thermal management technologies, and ThermoAnalytics Inc., a thermal modeling software company in Novi, are collaborating to improve on existing abilities to predict passenger comfort by modeling the human body in the cabin of the vehicle to increase the number of body parts measured.

The partnership moved beyond thermal comfort predictions to include the effects of moisture on human comfort. This is the first-time software will have the ability to predict comfort and discomfort caused by sweat from the human body.

The year-long collaboration was inspired by an increased demand from consumers to provide a personalized experience when they enter a vehicle.

These new software capabilities enable Gentherm to improve the personalized thermal comfort experience provided through the company’s Climate Control Seat and future ClimateSense solutions.

ClimateSense is Gentherm’s microclimate thermal comfort system that is comprised of advanced thermal delivery methods, integrated electronics, embedded software, and a thermophysiology based human-centric control algorithm.

ThermoAnalytics has added new functionality to its software based on the partnership with Gentherm, and these new features will be integrated into ThermoAnalytics’ suite of thermal modeling software.

“The need for improved personal comfort is paramount and taking a human-centric approach to understanding and delivering personalized thermal comfort has allowed us to accelerate our continued innovation of industry-leading thermal solutions,” says Phil Eyler, president and CEO of Gentherm. “Our partnership with ThermoAnalytics leverages predictive analytics and allows us to bring future products like our ClimateSense solution to market faster.”

Keith Johnson, president and CEO of ThermoAnalytics, says, “Working with a company like Gentherm which embraces model-based systems engineering is the kind of partnership we seek and can provide the most value to their product design. ThermoAnalytics and Gentherm will be leading the next generation automotive electrification movement to ensure that personal thermal comfort does not take a back seat to vehicle performance and range.”

The improved software will only be available to select customers, according to the companies.

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