It began with a question: What do consumers want in a medium-sized sport utility vehicle? It ended with a completely new concept … car, that is.
Responding to research on the needs and desires of the fast-growing medium-SUV segment, Johnson Controls took a blank slate approach to developing a new vehicle interior, basing its decisions on consumer need for ergonomic comfort and interior flexibility. And, in keeping with Johnson Controls’ overall mission, the concept car played off the ability to leverage global synergies. By tapping into technologies created by Johnson Controls operations worldwide, as well as sustainable solutions, the concept car offers manufacturers more environmentally conscious and efficient solutions.
The concept car offers a number of innovations that are ready to be incorporated into manufacturers’ productions now. Here is just a sampling of some of the features packed into the concept:
The concept employs Johnson Controls’ Slim Seat for front seats, offering more interior cabin room because its thin seatback requires less space. It offers safety and comfort features, like an active head restraint and lumbar support. To top it off, new vibration-dampening seat foam provides for even more comfort.
Research showed the majority of medium-SUV users either travel as a couple or alone, negating the need for rear seating. Still, the option to transport passengers is attractive, so Johnson Controls’ concept showcases a flexible second row of seats. Plus, the rear-seating employs a fold-down concept, making the row “invisible” when unused. When needed, a simple one-button mechanism unlocks and unfolds the seating. Another plus: The seatback is divided so one seat can be folded down at a time.
Invisible seating offers the utmost in seating and storage flexibility, providing more storage and less wear-and-tear on back seats, because passengers no longer need to put heavy items on the rear seat when in transit.
The harmonious overall impression is credited to the range of colors and materials used. The themes of the nature and city life are reflected in the interplay of materials, colors and lighting effects in the interior. Coarse graining and natural materials showcase the nature theme, while the colors and lighting reflect aspects of the city.
Plug-in hybrid battery.
The concept car stands for environmental responsibility, offering a lithium-ion battery that ensures lower emissions and less dependence on fossil fuels.
Touch-screen air conditioning with animated graphics.
This component allows for elimination of more than 20 mechanical buttons or knobs, streamlining the interior’s appearance while providing a more convenient interface.
Passive entry function.
When the driver approaches the vehicle door with the key, the door unlocks automatically and the door can be opened without physically inserting or turning the key. After the driver sits in the driver’s seat, the engine can be started at the touch of the start button.
PP Thin Film and Rim Skin surfaces provide high-quality surfaces that would improve components’ scratch resistance and matte appearance.
Hybrid instrument cluster.
The concept features a display that marries the analog and digital worlds—namely, digital images can be displayed on the analog instrument cluster, increasing the amount of information the driver sees at one time. Best yet, the technology allows for pure analog, combination analog/digital or pure digital readouts, offering the utmost in flexibility to manufacturers.
Furthermore, two smaller segmented displays to the left and right of the instrument cluster allow various types of information to be presented. This information can be changed by pushing the displays up or down. One display shows fuel tank and temperature readings while the other displays provide navigation and engine speed details. The two polygonal-shaped passive displays are not only a luxurious styling element but also an important way of enhancing the human-vehicle interface. The driver does not have to scroll through complex menus, because the desired information is immediately available.