Covestro and partners develop premium concept for car interiors
Covestro announced that it is presenting its vision for interiors of the future with its concept design on display at the K 2019 plastics trade fair in Düsseldorf. The concept was created with the idea that autonomous vehicles, electric cars, and carsharing will soon fully redefine the use of a vehicle, with the car becoming a multifunctional, mobile living and working space.
"The car of the future is fully networked and is seamlessly integrated into everyday life, where it provides the user with new experiences and the greatest possible autonomy," said Jochen Hardt from Global Marketing Mobility at Covestro. At the unveiling of the prototype, the project manager added, "Modern materials and technologies have paved the way for this."
The concept focuses equally on functionality, comfort, and design, but also on efficiency and light weight. The focus is on multi-sensor infotainment systems, new seating concepts, smart surfaces, and personalized lighting. Covestro says that its high-tech materials "open up myriad new possibilities for different components."
An emphasis of the concept is a seamlessly integrated, three-dimensional multifunctional display. This large-format visual experience for the user is enabled by the optical quality of Covestro's Makrolon Ai polycarbonate and Makrofol polycarbonate film. A combination of in mold decoration (IMD) and film insert molding (FIM) provides for the surface design and durability. The latest human-machine interfaces (HMI) support passenger communication with the car and the outside world. Such polycarbonate films may also serve as a moldable carrier for printed electronics, enabling the integration of additional functions.
New seating concepts for future mobility are made using polycarbonate composites of Covestro's Maezio brand to provide an aesthetic appeal and robust structure, while Makrofol films combine design and functionality. The company's vegan and water-based INSQIN technology for textile coating offers the same attractive appearance as leather, but at lower cost and with reduced solvent emissions. Here, the possibility of allowing light to shine through the coated surface and creating a completely new type of ambient lighting is attractive.
An integrated and individually configurable lighting system aims to ensure comfort and safety while enabling car manufacturers to differentiate their brands.
A lightweight table developed by Covestro and partners is tailored to new usage habits in autonomous vehicles and offers extended flexibility. The prototype shown at K 2019 is made of Maezio composite material and features a thin-walled construction, aesthetics, and stability. The table can be designed to be foldable so that it can be stowed between the rear seats to save space.
A new movable privacy dome is designed to protect users' privacy. A sound-absorbing acoustic foam based on the company's Baynat polyurethane system provides each passenger with individual peace and quiet, independent of other passengers and the outside world. In addition, passengers can enjoy relaxing sounds such as the soothing sound of waves on the beach.