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Application software - The nervous system of modern car seats

  • An interview with Michael Kaiser, Software Project Manager at Brose
Coburg, 05-16-2022

Greater safety, flexibility and comfort - requirements that vehicle seats have to meet today more than ever.

Michael Kaiser is a software specialist in the electronics department at Brose in Coburg and is working on just that. He and his colleagues from the Interior business unit work on software-based solutions for safe and comfortable car seats. In an interview, he told us more about his exciting field of work.

Mr. Kaiser, you work in electronics and develop solutions for our Interior business unit. What tasks do you work on?
We develop electronics that are, so to speak, the intelligence of modern seats with their many adjustment options. As a software project manager, I clarify technical solutions with our customers and contribute to their implementation. I am the interface between internal departments as well as suppliers and customers. So, my workday consists of internal and external coordination rounds, clarifying technical issues and working out concepts or strategies for implementing the functions.

What makes your job so varied?
My job is strongly characterized by technical exchanges with colleagues as well as customers and business partners. The focus is always on the best product - in both technical and commercial terms. It is particularly challenging to quickly implement customer change requests in an ongoing project. I deal with state-of-the-art electronic products and can help shape the future of mobility. A truly diverse and exciting field of work.

Keyword mobility: Safe driving and comfort are important aspects here. What makes a good and safe car seat?
Various comfort functions play an important role in a good car seat. These include, for example, seat heating or a memory function. The latter makes it possible to save several seat settings. At the touch of a button, the seat then moves to the correspondingly stored position. In the future, reclining combinations of front and rear seats or a cinema mode in the rear will also be sought-after functions. However, to ensure that a car seat is safe and that the functions mentioned can be used without danger, we use virtual seat models to safeguard them. We also check that there is no unintentional adjustment of the driver's seat while driving. A self-developed, force-based emergency stop function in the front seat, for example, prevents imminent leg injuries to rear-seat passengers.

A much-discussed topic is autonomous driving and its special requirements for vehicle interiors. What does this mean for the development of seats?
From my point of view, the focus of development is clearly on accident protection. During automated driving, other activities for passengers come into focus. For example, if the driver is in a reclining position, current seat belt systems do not help in a crash. The person could slip under the seat belt. We are currently discussing challenges like these with our customers in order to develop the best possible technical solutions. In general, it can be assumed that the interior will be more flexible and versatile in the future. This also applies to car sharing. Due to the frequent change of drivers and passengers, seats must always be adaptable to individual needs. However, a vehicle's interior space is limited. This is also a challenge for our work on further functions for more safety and comfort. You see, things will remain exciting in the future.

Thank you for the interview.