Automakers and their key suppliers plan to offer self-adjusting seats in luxury vehicles by 2015.

The seats will use cameras and pressure sensors to automatically fit the driver’s contours, according to Automotive News.

Johnson Controls Inc. and Faurecia SA are developing the seats, which are likely to show up first in luxury vehicles – probably chauffeured cars.

However, much of the new technology offered initially in high-end vehicles ultimately trickles down to mainstream cars and trucks.

Olivier Boinais, a senior industrial design manager at Faurecia, told Automotive News that his company is working to deliver a self-adjusting seat for an unnamed North American vehicle next year.

“For the past 10 years, we’ve been trying to simplify the [seat] adjustments while providing comfort,” Boinais said.

Andreas Eppinger, vice president of technology management at Johnson Controls, said the high-tech seats would adjust in two stages.

First, the driver or passenger would indicate his or her height using a smartphone or button on the console, Automotive News said.

Then, the computer would use pressure sensors to evaluate the passenger’s posture, possibly recommending a different position.

If the motorist agreed, the computer would set the seat automatically.

“If you have ever tried to adjust a seat with 18 controls, it keeps you pretty busy,” Eppinger told Automotive News. “You can sit however you want, but if you are not sitting in the perfect position, you might regret it after an hour.”

By Terry Box 1:32 pm on February 17, 2014

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