The Perfect Car Seat


Anyone who braves a long commute or conquered a solo road trip knows that we’ve become inured to uncomfortable seats in our cars. But leg cramps and numb buttocks aren’t the real safety concern. In the ongoing battle to keep drivers from getting sleepy, Nissan has debuted what they call “fatigue-free seats” that are designed to equally distribute the driver’s weight so discomfort and stress are kept to a minimum while seated for extended trips.

The design is based on research identifying a “neutral posture,” similar to the way the body relaxes when let free in a weightless environment. Let the muscles in your hands relax and your fingers naturally curl rather than lay flat – it’s the same basic premise. The seat layout assigns support around the body so each muscle and spinal section supports as little weight as possible. Along with muscle and spinal alleviation, Nissan says the seats will improve circulation and reduce fatigue by 30 percent on long drives compared to a standard seat design.

Nissan created the system with help from Yamazaki Laboratory at Keio University, and supplemented it with research from NASA. Researchers tinkered with a seat simulator and a model of a human driver, with muscles and skeletal structure set to react to the support tweaks. Check the video below for a demonstration of how it works. And expect to see these new seats in Nissan and Infiniti products in the near future.