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Automated driving provides large potentials in view of customer comfort, safe transportation and optimized traffic management. Whereas partially automated driving functions are understood as driver assistance technologies, fully automated functionalities are increasingly developed preparing the way towards self-driving cars. With rising level of automation, the degrees of freedom for driver and passengers increase, too, which enables the establishment of new vehicle interior concepts. In self-driving mode, cars do not require interaction of the driver - in this way, riding time can be used for working, relaxing, recreation or interacting with the other passengers. These new possibilities require a re-design or even completely new development of the traditional passenger cabin architectures. In this context, new interior concepts continuously are introduced by car manufacturer, supplier and styling- as well as engineering institutions, but they often lack in their feasibility for an implementation into real cars. Exemplary, people are sitting in cars on rotatable seats face to face, but there is not sufficient space for legs and feet. Other concepts show passengers lying on some kind of lounges and watching TV during the ride, but there are no safety measures applied for protection in case of accidents. Many of these new concepts have in common, that they do not consider sufficiently different boundary conditions regarding human ergonomics, comfort and vehicle interior safety. The submitted work introduces a combined approach of interior concept development under consideration of the enhanced possibilities provided by automated driving cars. The approach combines virtual investigations based on computational styling- and design models with ergonomic testing by use of an automated physical seating buck. The integrated approach enables consideration of different influencing parameters, e.g. vehicle packaging, seating position, ergonomics evaluation, passenger view- and safety-relevant aspects, even during early conception and layout phases of development. An integration of human models enables effective implementation of test results delivered by the physical system, which facilitates a smart connection between the working fields of project engineers, component designers, ergonomic specialists, safety and crash departments, designers and all of the other involved parties to support conceptual ergonomic layout processes of new passenger cabin concepts. Especially if complemented with modern visualization techniques, such as augmented- and virtual reality, the introduced fully parametric layout procedure has the potential to improve the precision of design decisions supporting successful conceptual interior development for future cars.
Prof. Dr. Mario Hirz, Graz University of Technology, AUSTRIA Dr. Alexander Kreis, Graz University of Technology, AUSTRIA Alexander Fragner, Graz University of Technology, AUSTRIA Dipl.-Ing. Severin Stadler, MAGNA Steyr Fahrzeugtechnik, AUSTRIA