“The Car Automatically Adjusts to Personal Preferences”

IAV presented a cloud-based concept at CES for personalized coziness

Feel-good atmosphere the effortless way: instead of having to set the air- conditioning before every trip, vehicle occupants in future will be able to rely entirely on their car in terms of coziness. In the automotion interview, Jan Ackermann, Senior Vice President for Energy and Concepts, explains how vehicles can automatically recognize their occupants and offer them an individual climate zone. On IAV’s show booth at CES (Consumer Electronics Show), there was even a wardrobe that helped visitors to choose their clothing.

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Jan Ackermann, Fachbereichsleiter Energie und Konzepte bei IAV

Coziness is an important aspect of comfort in the vehicle. Which new functions can vehicle occupants look forward to on this front in the future?

Ackermann: I have a clear vision: vehicle occupants won’t need to take any manual action in future to create the optimum feel-good atmosphere. Instead, the car will automatically adjust to their personal preferences while at the same time taking into account current information, such as occupants’ clothing, the weather or sunlight. This not only applies to conditioning passenger compartment air but also functions, such as seat and steering wheel heating, heating of surfaces close to or contacting the body, such as armrests, and seat ventilation. Whereas today everything has to be controlled separately, an integrated control system will take care of this entirely in line with individual preferences.

How can a scenario like this be realized?

Ackermann: For this, we have developed a concept that is based on a personal profile from the cloud, but still provides the basic functions without any internet connection. To begin with, each user makes his or her personal preferences known on a once-only basis – e.g. whether they prefer it cool or warm or whether they tend to get cold hands or feet. When they get into their vehicle or change vehicles, they are automatically recognized via their smart device. Especially at the beginning, there are likely to be discrepancies between personal preferences and the prevailing passenger compartment climate. In this case, the vehicle occupant can make adjustments with our easy-to-operate user interface. The system permanently learns from these corrections and in the end knows precisely what it needs to do under which external boundary conditions.

What happens if there are several passengers sitting in the vehicle?

Ackermann:Our system recognizes which passenger is sitting in which seat. This way it can create a climate zone tailored to each passenger. Incidentally, we have also taken children into consideration. At CES 2018 in Las Vegas, IAV for the first time showed a child seat with integrated heating and ventilation that exchanges energy and information with the vehicle and is fully integrated into our system for optimum coziness.

How did you make it possible to experience these new functionalities at CES?

Ackermann: We integrated our cloud-based concept for personalized coziness into a demo vehicle and were able to demonstrate a typical sequence to our show visitors. In a sitting area, they first created their personal coziness profile using an iPad. Then they had the opportunity to create a route on a tablet. The next step involved going to an interconnected wardrobe which recommended the appropriate clothing for the given route and current weather. In our demo vehicle, they were finally welcomed in person, and the system automatically generated the preferred feel-good atmosphere – also taking into account the chosen item of clothing. At the end of their short tour at our booth, visitors were able to use the iPad to display the energy consumption and the cost of the settings they had selected and interactively run through alternatives.

Thank your for talking to us.

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