Passenger comfort is clearly a major factor in user acceptance of transportation systems. An individual's reaction to a vehicle environment depends not only on the physical inputs but also on the characteristics of the individual. The findings of a number of passenger surveys and other research indicate that there is not a universal optimal setting for comfort related parameters in a plane. Hence individual passengers are always likely to have certain conflicting requirements as perception of comfort is affected by a variety of factors - sex, gender and ethnicity among the most important ones.
SEAT set out to promote a radically new concept where passenger comfort is taken to a new level. The SEAT system aimed to develop smart responsive seats and interior environment with the capability of detecting physiological and psychological changes of passenger's condition in real time. This in turn will be analysed and appropriate adjustments such as temperature control, air ventilation, seat parameters, etc. put in place. Furthermore each passenger will be able to put their own personal entertainment and office characteristics in place.
The SEAT project was focused on:
- Creation of a 'smart seat' that adapts the climatic characteristic to the passenger physiological status;
- integrated physiological monitoring system with health alert options;
- development of a system for active/passive vibration dampening incorporating smart textiles;
- development of interactive entertainment; and
- development of fully integrated cabin passenger services.
The main SEAT objectives were defined as follows:
- To develop a system that suppresses noise overall, as well as for each passenger.
- To develop a novel approach to active/passive vibration reduction incorporating smart technologies and textiles in particular.
- To develop technology allowing healthier cabin environment including temperature, pressure, airflow and humidity.
- To develop on-board systems that will enable office-like and home-like services.
- To develop a functional prototype of the 'SEAT' system that will be an important stage of a development of e-cabin.
SEAT promoted a radically new concept where passenger comfort is taken to a new level. The SEAT system developed smart seats and interior environment with the capability of detecting physiological changes of passenger's condition in real time. This in turn iss analysed and appropriate adjustments such as temperature control, air ventilation, seat parameters are put in place. The entire approach has been to create an environment that responds to individual requirements and desires and is not centrally controlled or manually adjusted. The system is based on advanced technologies and systems developed by the partners as breakthrough research developments or other advanced technologies. A prototype of this new system was demonstrated to the public at the end of the project.
The work plan devised to ensure that all the key objectives of the project were included in 5 technical work packages, i.e.
- Physiological monitoring of passengers' systems
- Smart seat
- Noise and vibration attenuation
- Interactive and integrated entertainment
- Development of integrated adaptable system
The basic objective of the proposed project was to contribute to the creation of an integrated cabin system - SEAT that addresses different aspects of travel comfort and on-board services. Through the use of smart technology SEAT developed a system to address passengers' needs and requirements in a none-intrusive manner. The system is expected to improve customers' satisfaction level by tackling factors that are of prime significance in customers' perception of quality of air travel.
One of the major innovations of the SEAT project is the development of a novel integrated cabin environment that incorporates:
- physiological monitoring with health alert option that is not in existence in aircraft;
- 'smart seat' that actively addresses potential health hazards and is an integral part of the on-board entertainment;
- 'smart textiles' and other smart technologies in vibration dampening and noise reduction
- innovative active/passive noise control based on advanced computational models;
- integrated approach to comfort, entertainment and creation of flexible home/office environment.
More research is required before the technologies developed within SEAT could be effectively incorporated into the aircraft Cabin.
Major innovations within the SEAT project were:
- Innovative wearable technologies for physiological modelling.
- Use of intelligent textiles with built-in sensors and active dampening facilities.
- Development of advanced modelling tools that allow simulating and assessing the effect of different 'smart solutions' for noise control.
- Use of technologies developed by the partners in the area of avionics, on-board entertainment, noise control and smart textiles.
The main SEAT achievements of SEAT include:
- Development of a system that suppresses noise overall, as well as for each passenger.
- Development of active/passive vibration reduction.
- Development technology allowing healthier cabin environment including temperature, pressure, airflow and humidity.
- Development of a functional prototype of the 'SEAT' system.