Volkswagen works with orthopaedics, physiotherapists and sports scientists to develop ergoActive seats

New generation of VW seats with massage function and – for the first time – they can even activate muscle groups in the spine and pelvic regions; automatic AC function in the seat measures the temperature and moisture levels, automatically adjusts settings, and creates a comfortable climate

Autocar Pro News Desk By Autocar Pro News Desk calendar 28 Sep 2023 Views icon1299 Views Share - Share to Facebook Share to Twitter Share to LinkedIn Share to Whatsapp

Optimum travel comfort was one of the most important goals during the development of the ID.7, Volkswagen’s first electric model for the upper midsize class. The new optional ergoActive premium seats, which have been certified by the German Campaign for Healthier Backs (AGR), make a significant contribution to this outstanding comfort. The new front seats combine comfort with innovative massage programmes, automatic air-conditioning and an advanced activation function for muscle groups in the spine and pelvic regions.

While they were designing the new generation of seats for the ID.7, Volkswagen’s engineers worked with experts from the German Campaign for Healthier Backs (AGR). In collaboration with orthopaedic specialists, physiotherapists and sports scientists from AGR, they have managed to create Volkswagen’s first front seats that activate the pelvis and spine. In addition to 10 air cushions used for pressure point massage in the backrests, this is primarily achieved by two air cushions in the seat. These cushions work alternately and – in combination with the massage function – can relieve tension and help the occupant from sitting in the same position for too long.

Volkswagen engineers, in collaboration with orthopaedic specialists, physiotherapists and sports scientists from AGR, developed Volkswagen’s first front seats that activate the pelvis and spine.

Ulrich Kuhnt, consultant to AGR and Chair of the German Association of Back Schools, explains: “Lifting up the sit bones tilts the pelvis. This then produces a slight rotation of the spine, which is additionally supported by the air cushions in the back. These small movements extend all the way up to the cervical spine. They prevent tension from building up and can even increase concentration.” Vehicle occupants will also benefit from this in the long term, says the expert: “Torsion of the spine stimulates metabolic processes in the spinal discs. In combination with the stochastically controlled massage programmes, this encourages back-friendly, dynamic sitting.

 

PNEUMATIC PRESSURE POINT MASSAGE

In addition to the unique pelvic activation function, the new ergoActive premium seats also offer pneumatic pressure point massage. This helps to relax and activate the back muscles. Two rows of five air cushions are used to achieve this.

Specific programme sequences, lasting between 10 and 30 minutes, enable the massage function to be tailored to the user’s needs. Electric 12-way seat adjustment and manual two-way seat depth adjustment with thigh support help front seat occupants to find their own preferred seat positions. A memory function also means positions can be saved.


Dynamic air-con: The ergoActive premium seats also offer dynamic air-conditioning, which controls the seat cushion and backrest separately from one another. The seat can therefore be heated and ventilated individually. The interaction between these functions means that, for the first time, each user’s ideal seat temperature can also be created independently in automatic mode.

To achieve this, the temperature and moisture levels are measured in the contact zone between the seat and the passenger and compared with other climate-relevant factors and preferred settings. This information is then used to calculate an individual optimum climate. In addition to automatic mode, users can also choose between three smart climates: warm, dry or cool. A heating and cooling function that is located close to the body like this can help to increase occupants’ wellbeing. The energy needed for this process is lower than the energy needed to adjust the temperature of the entire vehicle interior.

Easy-to-control functions: A number of options are available for operating the ergoActive premium seats: the adjustment functions can be controlled directly using buttons on the seat. In addition, the infotainment system display can be used to access the programmes for the ergoActive premium seats. In the second row of seats in the ID.7, there are three settings for heating the seat cushions and backrests. This function is operated using buttons in the centre console.

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