Air wellness in the car: IAV develops new measuring system for scenting vehicle interiors

20.09.2021  — 

Berlin. Everything in the modern, networked vehicle is designed for comfort – from interior equipment to infotainment to driver assistance systems. In order to further increase the well-being on board, the tech solution provider IAV has developed a method by which the scenting of vehicle cabins can be measured more precisely and brought into series production faster. The tool can be used in almost all means of transport.

“The USPs of modern vehicles are no longer oriented solely on the quality and performance of drive technology, but increasingly and at different levels on comfort and experience features,” says Thomas Einzinger, Head of Department of Thermal Management at IAV. “We want to make a relevant contribution to this.”

In luxury models in particular, manufacturers use room fragrances to create a wellness atmosphere in the interior and, thus, increase the value of the vehicle. IAV has already supported vehicle manufacturers in the development of the necessary scenting systems. The nose of engineers was used for the application and dosing of fragrances – a rather subjective process that does not provide neutral measurements.

For this reason, IAV has developed a new measuring method for the application of fragrance systems. The engineering specialist’s mobile “sniffle laboratory” draws air in the passenger cell at the outlet and delivers its measured values to a connected computer. Inside the device, a sensor with high precision in the ppm range (parts per million) detects the concentration and the proportion of the fragrance molecules in the indoor air.

Measured values reproducible and in real time

“This makes the measurements quantifiable and reproducible,” says Dominik Fellner, Team Leader System Development at IAV. “Our new measuring system delivers all the values in real time, which noticeably accelerates the application.”

«With the help of the tool, it is possible to realize odor experiences in the highest quality, for example, fragrance brands of seasons, sea air, landscapes or natural flowers. This way, the finely tuned interior aromatization can now be intelligently measured.»

Thomas Einzinger — Head of Thermal Management at IAV

The overall concept is optimally designed to meet the requirements of both, technical development and pre-development. Among other things, the experts of IAV use the so-called statistical test planning (“Design of Experiments”) and, thus, significantly reduce the number of necessary measurements without noticeably losing quality in the results.

The device evolved as part of an IAV in-house development and has been available for customer projects since April 2021. IAV intends to make the system more widely used and to develop it further technologically, based on new, collected knowledge.

From the perspective of IAV, scenting systems could in future also be introduced as optional equipment in vehicles below the luxury class. Other fields of application also exist in other means of transport, such as buses, trains, ships or airplanes.

About IAV

With more than 8,000 employees, IAV is one of the world’s leading engineering partners to the automotive industry. The company has been developing innovative concepts and technologies for future vehicles for more than 35 years and generated sales of around EUR 896 million in 2020. Its customers include all major automobile manufacturers and suppliers worldwide. Alongside vehicle and drivetrain development, IAV entered the field of electromobility and autonomous driving at an early stage and is now one of the leading development service providers in these fields. Alongside its development centers in Berlin, Gifhorn and Chemnitz/Stollberg, IAV has further locations in Munich, Sindelfingen and Ingolstadt, among others, as well as in Europe, Asia and North and South America.