- An infinity of types of foam, fabrics and structures to achieve feeling of comfort for persons of different shapes and sizes
- As many as 10,000 fold-downs and extreme tests from -30 to 80º Celsius to guarantee durability
Javier García could talk for hours on end about how a car seat is developed, because behind it lies painstakingly intense work – from the choice of the type of foam, fabric, structure, and even the stitching – embracing a whole raft of tests to guarantee functionality and durability. “What we are looking for is that most people – of different shapes and sizes, different heights and weights – should have a feeling of comfort”, says this engineer, in charge of seat testing at SEAT’s Technical Centre.
Before being put on the market, a seat undergoes hard rigorous ‘pummelling’ in the different tests carried out at the Technical Center. Dressed in what seems to be a blue skiing overall, Javier goes into the room where the weather test is being carried out, in which temperatures can range from 30 degrees Celsius below to 80 above. “We must guarantee that the seats can take such extreme conditions”, he adds. A machine that continuously reproduces the action of a human being entering and exiting the car, and the folding down of a seat up to 10,000 times are another two of the many tests carried out.
A very important part of the work of Javier and his team focuses on the test drives, so to take a first-hand check on the comfort and functionality of the seat. On the road or racetrack and with different kinds of road surfaces, “we want to see how it behaves in real life”, he says.
The development of a seat aims to find a correct driving position. On this, Javier says that “very few people place the headrest correctly”, a crucial part of the seat and which “is not there just for comfort, but also for safety, since it will prevent serious cervical injuries in the event of an accident”.
What will the seat of tomorrow be like? This engineer believes that in the future drivers and passengers will not have to regulate it manually, nor press any button, but that the seat itself will be ‘smart’, and will automatically detect when someone gets in to the car, adapting to the correct position for the driver’s body shape so as to offer the greatest feeling of comfort.