You're going to want to sit down for this… apparently we don't walk enough.
The automotive world is evolving at a rapid rate. From rapidly evolving EVs to potentially new ways of piloting your next Ferrari via a joystick, manufacturers are researching and developing every little detail to try and get the edge over their rivals. But more often than not, the patents we see are nothing more than gimmicks to generate web traffic or bolster sales, and the developments really don't have any real-world benefit. However, that's not the case with Jaguar Land Rover's latest creation, which places the wellbeing of the customer at the fore.
In a not too distant future, your next road trip in a Land Rover Discovery or perhaps a Jaguar F-Pace could see you walking all the way to your destination - for health benefits of course. No, Jaguar Land Rover's next generation of cars won't be breaking down sporadically, making you walk to the nearest town for help, but could be equipped with the company's new shape-shifting seats that simulate walking while you drive.
Sounds strange, right? But it's a rather innovative solution to a major problem for most people. Most of us that hold nine-to-five office jobs sit all day long, and then we spend a couple of hours on either side of those jobs sitting in our cars on the commute to and from the office wishing our cars could navigate traffic lights and stop signs on their own. It's not healthy, and according to JLR and the World Health Organisation, more than a quarter of the world's population - 1.4 billion people - are at risk of shortened and weakened leg muscles from spending too many hours seated, which has numerous knock-on health effects.
According to Dr. Steve Iley, Chief Medical Officer at Jaguar Land Rover, "The wellbeing of our customers and employees is at the heart of all our technological research projects. We are using our engineering expertise to develop the seat of the future using innovative technologies not seen before in the automotive industry to help tackle an issue that affects people across the globe."
The new morphable seating technology from Jaguar Land Rover uses a series of actuators and electric motors within the seats that will create continual micro-adjustments in your seating position. According to JLR's Body Interiors Research Division, these adjustments will make your brain think that you're walking, simulating pelvic oscillation - the rhythm of walking. If the technology is successful, JLR are hoping to reduce chronic back pain, and other negative side-effects of a sedentary lifestyle, substantially.