Assessment of Seating Comfort and Sense of Space in Different Vehicles

Below you will find a short summary of the project. For further information please contact the project managers via the contact button on the right side.


In ergonomic vehicle design, the people are placed in the focus of consideration. The aim is to ensure the operation of the vehicle and the ability to move it safely in traffic. For this, the seat and steering wheel position and their adjustment fields play a particularly important role. This also includes the space between the driver’s head, upper body and legs and the vehicle interior. Due to interindividual differences between drivers, different populations must be taken into account when designing a vehicle.

Subjects with different anthropometric measurements were therefore considered in examinations with eight different vehicles on the test site of the TU Darmstadt in Griesheim (August-Euler-Flugplatz). To be able to record extreme values, defined body contour templates were used in addition to test subjects. These contain a small (P5) and a large (P95) person as well as the sitting giant and the sitting dwarf.


The aim of the examination was to find out which vehicle interior dimensions and seat or steering wheel adjustment options must be in place so that even small people (<1.60 m) and tall people (> 1.86 m) can experience a comfortable sitting and sense of space.


The study included anthropometric data from a total of 40 subjects. The subjects then adjusted their seating and steering wheel positions according to ergonomic guidelines. A short test drive verified the seating position, which was subsequently measured. In addition to the objective data, such as body lengths and critical dimensions, the subjective impressions regarding the sense of space and comfort of the subjects were evaluated by questionnaires.


First results show requirements for vehicle interior dimensions ensuring a comfortable seating position for different body dimensions.