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Ford Hosts Seating Expo for Seat Innovation Because of Course It Does

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Ford SEATS showcase

There’s a conference or exposition for just about any interest or industry these days. See: The Seating Expo Advanced Technology Showcase (or SEATS, naturally), where 30 suppliers representing six countries brought their latest innovations in the field of manufacturing the thing that you put your butt on when you’re driving a vehicle.

Ford’s Dearborn Product Development Center Showroom played host to the event, though only a little more than half of the suppliers on-hand currently provide their products to the automaker. Many of the other representatives sought to forge a future relationship with Ford, who in 2017 topped J.D. Power’s satisfaction study for seat quality.

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“Innovation and supplier development doesn’t happen overnight,” said Jerry Brown, Ford core chief engineer for seats and restraints. “We’re hopeful that we get suppliers in the door, and that working with Ford ultimately moves their products and their business forward.”

A topic of interest at this year’s Seating Expo Advanced Technology Showcase was the advances to seating that will be brought about by the proliferation of autonomous vehicle technology. Dan Ferretti, Ford’s senior technical leader for seat engineering, suggested that innovations could include seats that are catered to provide specific experiences depending on your schedule.

“We’re looking to provide adaptable, flexible seating to suit a customer’s needs,” he said.

Ford SEATS showcase

There is also, of course, the matter of seat placement becoming more flexible due to autonomous vehicles’ presumptive lack of steering column and pedals as well as the fact that vehicle occupants would no longer need to be facing the road.

“The future will allow consumers to move around and sit in positions we haven’t sat in since Henry Ford started producing vehicles,” Brown added.

Here’s to the future of things you put your butt on!

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