Auto Tech

Jaguar-Land Rover wants future car seats to mimic walking

Sitting for long periods isn't great, so JLR wants to trick your body into thinking it's walking.

Jaguar Land Rover

File this technology under "really odd inventions," but perhaps it's something that could change car seats for the better.

Jaguar-Land Rover on Thursday detailed the latest creation from its research and development labs: a car seat that tricks your body into thinking you're actually walking. While that seems sort of counterintuitive on the surface, there are benefits.

The "morphable seat," as JLR called it, features a never-ending loop of microadjustments from actuators in the seat foam. These adjustments make your brain believe that you're actually walking. Staying seated for a long time can weaken important muscles in the body. It also makes it more likely that a fall or strain will lead to a more severe injury. Tricking the brain with some fake pelvic oscillation could keep your muscles stimulated.

The automaker imagines the system could be tailored to each passenger for total comfort while the seat makes its adjustments over a long journey. And that's merely one of the wild ideas JLR has showed off. Its R&D divisions have come up with ways to kill cold and flu viruses in the car, the idea of paying drivers cryptocurrency for reporting road hazards and a "sensory steering wheel" that uses temperature to send drivers messages.

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