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Additional car equipment – car seat options

19 March 2023

Electric seat adjustment, seat memory and ventilated or heated car seats are just a few examples of the most desirable car accessories. How do they work and what is their impact on driving comfort and safety? 

Top 10 car seat accessories 

Proper adjustment of the driver's seat allows you to assume the right position behind the wheel, which in turn affects the comfort and safety of driving. That is why modern seats are imbued with additional sensors and systems. Drivers often opt to pay extra for some of these features, while others are considered unnecessary. Which solutions are most popular? Answers to these questions are revealed, among other things, by a survey conducted by the American consulting agency AutoPacific based on the responses of 90,000 drivers.

Electric seat adjustment 

This type of car accessory was chosen by as many as 52% of drivers, but only if it was also applied to the passenger seat. This is because if the car is not used by many drivers, such a feature will be useful only once. On the other hand, there could potentially be more passengers. In such situations, electric seat adjustment will save time on readjusting the headrest, backrest and seat manually. 

Seat setting memory 

Another popular solution, indicated by 49% of respondents, is a memory function for several front seat and mirror settings. All the driver has to do is set them to the desired positions and then press a memory button located, for example, on the driver's door. Depending on which setting the driver wants to select, they press the button with a specific number. Such a solution is helpful when the car is regularly used by several drivers. 

See also:  How to properly adjust the driver's seat? Take care of your driving position 

Heated seats 

As many as 66% of drivers indicated heated seats as the most desirable car accessory. They not only provide thermal comfort in winter, but also reduce muscle aches and regulate a comfortable microclimate in the car cabin. Along with steering wheel heating, this feature is a key component of the heating system in electric cars. 

Ventilated seats 

This type of accessory was chosen by as many as 50% of drivers, but should be seen more as a complement to the air conditioning system. Ventilated car seats provide greater comfort on hot days, as they not only eliminate the problem of hot seat upholstery, but also give a quick feeling of cooling the skin thanks to direct air flow over the driver's body. Today, there are solutions that avoid the feeling of draft through subtle action. 

Massage function 

Although the muscle-relaxing massage function seems to be an attractive option especially for drivers who travel long distances, many point out that such additional car equipment may turn out to be just an expensive gadget. After all, the massage provided by the air cushions built into the seat should not be so strong as to distract the driver, so in many cases it may not prove very effective. 

Adjustable lumbar support 

In some higher-end cars, the lumbar support can be adjusted, which may be the most effective solution for drivers complaining of back pain. The four-stage lumbar adjustment, as well as other health-promoting features, are provided in orthopedic seats offered by many manufacturers and certified by the German Association for a Healthy Back (AGR). 

Active seat kinetics 

One of the latest options, which can be found recently in luxury cars from one of the prestigious brands, is a feature that gently changes the seat settings depending on driving conditions. For example, the sides of the backrest can stiffen on curves and relax on straight stretches of road. 

See also: Active and passive car headrest – what are the differences? 

Two-axis headrest adjustment 

A perfectly positioned headrest allows you to take a more comfortable position behind the wheel, which is why the feature of its adjustment in two axes is very popular among drivers. Thanks to it, you can adjust not only the height, but also the distance of the headrest from the head. Properly, it should measure 3-4 cm. 

Screens in the headrests 

So-called multimedia headrests are considered by most drivers today as an unnecessary type of car accessory. This solution is quite expensive and can only be useful for long trips with children. A much cheaper and more modern alternative is to use mobile devices, such as a tablet or smartphone. 

Leather upholstery 

This type of furnishing is still considered a demonstration of luxury, but due to today's environmental trends, natural leather is being replaced by slightly less durable eco-leather. Unfortunately, this type of upholstery easily takes temperatures – it heats up strongly in summer and cools down in winter. So it's a good idea for such seats to be equipped with a cooling or heating system. 

Electric car seats as an accessory – how does it work? 

One could say that electric seat control in a car is an extension of the mechanical adjustment function. Electric adjustment does not require any physical force and provides access to settings that are not available in a manual mode, such as lumbar support or changing the position of certain parts of the backrest or seat. The position of the various components is adjusted using buttons. If an obstacle is encountered, a built-in overload switch is activated to prevent possible damage to the mechanism. 

Not only additional equipment is important in car seats 

It is worth remembering that accessories are designed to enhance comfort and safety, but never play a decisive role in this regard. Of greatest importance is the design of the car seat, properly contoured shape and carefully selected filling materials in the form of modern foams. Foamed polypropylene EPP finds excellent use in the production of car seats: seat bases, backrests or headrest cores, as it has exceptionally high mechanical resistance, perfectly dampens impacts and does not undergo permanent deformation under the influence of forces acting on it. At the same time, it provides optimal stabilization of the body and does not lose its resilience over time. Its insulating properties, on the other hand, effectively protect sensitive electronic components from damage. All this makes OEMs and Tier 1 suppliers eager to use components made of foamed polypropylene EPP in their own production processes

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