Centre for Automotive Research


Ergonomic and Safety Laboratory

In the car, driver and passengers are mostly in contact with the seat. Perception of comfort or discomfort can be gathered just after few minutes sitting on the seat. This short duration evaluation is also known as the showroom feel. After long hours ride, seat could introduce discomfort and then fatigue. In the past, many researches have been done regarding vehicle seat comfort or discomfort. However, past researchers usually separate the static part from the dynamic part of the measurement and evaluation.


This research combines the measurements carried out in static condition (in the lab without vibration) as well as in dynamic condition (on real roads). Apart from the objective measurements, subjective evaluations were also gathered so that mathematical relationships can be established from the objective and subjective experiments.

The static measurement comprises of Malaysian anthropometry data acquirement and seat pressure distribution measurement. The dynamic measurement comprises of whole body vibration testing as well as transmissibility experiments. All were carried out in the field using real subjects in Malaysian made cars. Subjective evaluations were carried out using reliable and valid tool which was established and pre-tested before the real experiments took place.

Today, driver’s posture is an important factor that one needs to consider in designing car seat because consumers prefer to choose a seat that is comfortable and safe. The study is be focusing on postural comfort for car driver’s population in Malaysia. The main objectives of the study are twofold: first, to recommend a range of angles for driving posture comfort from measurement of samples; and second is to investigate the relationships between car driver’s anthropometric data and the comfortable postural angles.

Several past literatures had published studies on driving posture measurement but none was done for Malaysian population. The number of participants that participate in the study is 40. During the experiment, each participant is required to sit on the driver’s seat in his/her preferred comfortable driving postures. Angles measurement will be taken after five minutes the participant has been in the sitting position to allow him/her adapt with the seat environment and fabrics. In order to get high level of data accuracy and reliability, body joints will be marked with sticker markers.

Prior to that, 11 anthropometric data:  stature, weight, sitting height, hip height, knee height, shoulder to elbow length, sitting shoulder height, sitting waist height, hip breadth, elbow to grip length, and shoulder breadth will be measured and recorded for every participant. From the experimental results, the researcher is required to propose a range of preferred postural angles for comfortable driving as perceived by the subjects. Besides that, the researcher will also demonstrate the relationships between the eleven anthropometric data and the comfortable postural angles measured. Finally, to determine its reliability the comfortable postural angles obtained during the experiment shall be validated using RULA analysis of the CATIA software.

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