The powertrains of electric vehicles (EVs) have undergone a complete transformation but the interior has not changed substantially. Interiors of EVs have largely resembled their gas-powered counterparts, until now.
At this week’s CES 2024, Yanfeng is debuting its EVI (Electric Vehicle Interior) concept. This is a vision for future vehicle architecture that eliminates the conventional instrument panel and incorporates all key features and interior functions into a Smart Cabin Seat — including an active headrest with integrated audio, safety systems, smart surfaces, and storage and charging integrated into the seat.
Through the development of EVI and the Smart Cabin Seat, Yanfeng’s experts challenged themselves to simplify the vehicle interior while keeping the functionality that users expect. The Yanfeng solution builds them back in a unique way, in an all-new module that incorporates both front seats, an integrated floor console, a steer-by-wire input system, HMI, displays, seatbelts, airbags, and an HVAC microclimate system for thermal comfort.
Three areas of EV interest
Over the years, Yanfeng has conducted multiple studies on EV interiors. Yanfeng’s research has consistently shown three areas where EV owners (and those interested in EVs) want more.
- Access to more technology. Vehicle owners expect EVs to have more and unique technology compared to an ICE vehicle.
- Smooth and seamless technology. EV tech must work as well, or better, than what’s available in conventional vehicles and should provide feedback and information to the user that builds trust in the vehicle — especially important to first time EV users.
- An enjoyable experience, and something different than in an ICE. Technology is something that can help deliver this. Yanfeng’s User Experience Research team also conducted research, bringing in research participants and allowing them to experience the reimagined vehicle interior firsthand. Findings from this research showed end users appreciated the dramatically different layout and interior spaciousness of the EVI concept.
Not only does EVI offer a new interior space for occupants, it also has the potential to simplify the vehicle assembly process for automotive manufacturers. With all key cockpit components integrated into the Smart Cabin Seat, installation into the vehicle is easier, faster, and less costly than conventional assembly.
This is enabled by Yanfeng’s cross-business capabilities, combining knowledge and experience across all its product categories: electronics, safety systems, seating, and interiors.
With key vehicle control and interface elements integrated into the Smart Cabin Seat, the need for a traditional Instrument Panel is eliminated. This enables reduced overall vehicle weight and CO2 emissions, as well as increased efficiency, and promotes extended EV range.
The ease of installation of the Smart Cabin Seat bodes well for an End-of-Life Vehicle (ELV) strategy as well, making it just as easy for disassembly to boost vehicle circularity efforts. Furthermore, the EVI exemplifies Yanfeng’s commitment to sustainability through careful consideration of chosen materials and manufacturing processes. This includes the use of sustainable, high performing cover stock materials that are combined with Yanfeng’s CHyM substrate panels, which use renewable fibers to create a lightweight and circular solution.
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Filed Under: Technology News