Tachi-S Co Ltd developed an auto seat incorporating speakers, vibrators, etc.
Tachi-S expects that the seat will work in conjunction with a driving assistance system and make it easier to give a warning to the driver. The company co-developed the seat with Clarion Co Ltd, and a prototype was exhibited at Tokyo Motor Show 2017, which was open to the public from Oct 28 to Nov 5, 2017.
The speakers were embedded in the head rest. Because they emit warning sounds and give voice guidance (for a car navigation system) near the ears, the driver can easily hear them while the person sitting on the front passenger seat cannot hear them. If the warning sounds of a driving assistance system resonate in the interior of a car, they can make passengers uneasy, Tachi-S said. The company considers that it is possible to transmit information exclusively to the driver by "whispering."
Vibrators are embedded under the seat surface, and they vibrate to notify the driver of a danger. For example, when a following vehicle on the right adjacent lane is approaching, the right side of the seat surface vibrates to notify the driver of it.
A driving circuit called "exciter," which consists of a voice coil and magnet, is used to generate vibration. The structure of the exciter is similar to that of a speaker, showing the expertise of Clarion, which has acoustic technologies.