Seating in Autonomous Trucks : Design of Driver Seating for Autonomous Long Haulage Trucks
Abstract: The biggest shift in the automotive industry lies ahead. Autonomous vehicles create both curiosity and skepticism among drivers and people around. Autonomous vehicles, more specifically trucks, will not be utterly self-driving overnight. The whole transformation will take place in different phases. When a vehicle does not need a driver behind the wheel, new needs will arise. This is where this project comes into play. On behalf of Scania, a new driver’s seat shall be developed for new needs from the drivers for autonomous trucks of type 4. The project was carried out at Scania’s design department for cabin interiors. The project aimed to develop new needs for the future autonomous level 4 trucks in order to develop a driver’s seat that meets these needs. The project began with a planning phase in which the goals and the time frame for the project were set up. The project was then implemented in four different phases inspired by CDIO (n.d.). The work began with a benchmarking on existing trucks and passenger cars, but also on the future visions of different competitors regarding autonomous vehicles. Much work was put into understanding theories and interpreting relevant information. The users were used early in the project in the form of interviews, observations, and a survey that reached 299 truck drivers. The work then continued with various forms of brainstorming both within the project group and together with engineers from the group at Scania. The final work contained a CAD model of both prototype, CAID models of the final design, and a prototype scale of 1:1. The final result of the project is a new driver’s seat with the possibility of pushing the seat almost three times further back than the current seat. It can now be done when the driver’s seat is part of the bed. During the user study and the brainstorming, new needs were taken from the perspective of the sun being able to adapt to three different positions; rest, drive, work. The new driver’s seat now gives the drivers this opportunity. The result of this project may be more effective in driving the driver, which benefits both Scania and the customers in the form of the drivers being able to drive longer than previously allowed.
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