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In The Spotlight: Innovation From Faurecia Makes Cars Smarter, Lighter, More Comfortable

In your next car, you may be replacing buttons and levers with a simple gesture, gauges with retractable touch screens, and conventional plastic with natural fibers that completely eliminate oil-based materials. All this is part of the technology that Faurecia is demonstrating at this year’s LA Auto Show.

Faurecia, known for its clever innovations in automotive seating, interior systems, emissions control technologies and automotive exteriors, has focused for many years on systems that make vehicles lighter, smarter and more comfortable. In LA, the company showcases a number of advancements in these areas that are expected to be available on cars over the next few years.

With a demonstrator called Performance 2.0, Faurecia Interior Systems shows off a cabin-full of wireless, touchless, natural-fiber and convenience innovations designed for midmarket vehicles that average consumers can afford.

Retractable Screens

Performance 2.0’s instrument panel supports two retractable screens, a small, automated heads-up display (HUD) module above the steering wheel and a centrally located retractable 8-inch touchscreen. The HUD shows information the driver needs, replacing conventional clusters of gauges, while the larger touchscreen serves as a display for navigation and entertainment systems.

With only a simple gesture, the radial-sliding glove box rotates out and opens. The center console is equally remarkable, incorporating an armrest that opens with just a single touch. Inside the console is a charging area for smartphones. It is equipped with near-field communication technology that connects the device inside to the vehicle’s antenna. Mirror Link technology wirelessly transmits anything from an iPhone in the console to the center retractable screen and streams it wirelessly to a tablet mounted on the back of the driver’s seat. Like the glove box, the tablet is controlled with gestures.

The demonstrator’s door panel is composed of a natural-fiber carrier and pocket and offers the industry’s first heated armrest. The armrest is covered with a textile that is backlit at night and that displays patterns in the daytime. The forward portion is covered with an anodized aluminum containing engraved graphics, the first use of this material in this manner for vehicles.

All-Natural Injection Molding

Another Faurecia Interior Systems exhibit demonstrates three evolutionary levels of natural-fiber materials developed with the goal of replacing oil-based plastics with fibers made from such materials as flax and hemp in the injection molding process. That goal is attained in Faurecia’s BioMat Project, which is ready to roll out an injection material composed 100 percent of natural fibers plus a bio-based matrix. Working with Mitsubishi Chemicals, Faurecia has finalized development of a poly-butylene succinate (PBS) ingredient that is combined with fibers from hemp plants.

Faurecia further demonstrates the application of large areas of natural fibers — its Ligneos wood-based decoration — along with aluminum, in an exhibit that showcases the company’s “one-tool-x-surfaces” technology. This system enables Faurecia to produce a variety of wood and aluminum finishes using a single tool.

Ligneos overcomes several inherent challenges in using wood, including its rigidity and the difficulty of working the wood. Ligneos allows for larger sheets of wood to be processed in three dimensions, making them lighter and more flexible. It also adjusts to the shape of the components, so it is perfect for larger surfaces, like instrument panels, door panels and seatbacks.

3D Seat Covers

Another advancement in design comes in the form of sculpted seat covers from Faurecia Automotive Seating. A Faurecia cover-carving process transforms the conventional seat cover with a brilliant array of selections. The seat features creative covers, with embedded 3D effects and customized markings. Moreover, the covers can sport any of thousands of personalized trim options for seams, foils and other decoration available from Faurecia. These approaches contribute to Faurecia’s success in “mass customization” of seating for future vehicles.

Many of these innovations are available now, and others will be found on midmarket cars in the next cycle of vehicle designs. But Faurecia has a vision for even smarter vehicle systems in the not-too-distant future and is showing those off in its interactive Vision Wall display. Demonstrated on an HD touchscreen are seating comfort concepts designed to help drivers feel better on arrival after a long trip than they felt when they started. The concepts combine a number of sensing and advanced adjustment technologies under development by Faurecia to enable seats to recognize, perfectly fit, re-energize and relax drivers.

Within just a few years, we’ll be driving with these increasingly intelligent and comfortable systems that Faurecia is moving from concept to production.

More about what Faurecia is demonstrating at the LA Auto Show at http://www.FaureciaLAAutoShow.com.
Editor’s Note: This Spotlight article was sponsored by Faurecia. For information on how you can sponsor content in the Spotlight, contact Van Rohr at (248) 327 2757 or vrohr@cbs.com.

WWJ Newsradio 950–11/20/2013

Faurecia exhaust

In The Spotlight: Faurecia Says, When It Comes To A Vehicle’s Image, What You See — And Hear — Is What You Get

With so many new-generation models rolling out of auto plants around the globe, consumers are finding it a bit tougher to make their own vehicles stand out in a highly diverse crowd of nameplates. While traditional thinking suggests that a car’s image relies on its overall look, feel and operation, Faurecia has recognized that the sound a vehicle makes and the materials it sports often are just as important.

WWJ Newsradio 950–09/11/2013

Faurecia Performance 2.0 demonstrator

In The Spotlight: A Wave, a Touch, a Snap — Faurecia Demonstrates New Ways to Drive

Imagine opening a glove box with a mere wave of your hand or watching the driver’s seat slide to the perfect angles and dimensions for your body automatically, without fussing over any switches or knobs. Technology from Faurecia that is on display at the Frankfurt Motor Show demonstrates how far the industry has come from the days of control buttons and switches. Faurecia vehicle interiors respond in entirely new ways not just to the actions that drivers take but also to the actions they are about to take.

WWJ Newsradio 950–09/10/2013

FAURECIA

Faurecia Rises To No. 5 Among North American Auto Suppliers

Faurecia vaulted to fifth place among all North American automotive suppliers in 2012, according to the Automotive News list of the top 100 suppliers in the region.

CBS Detroit–06/23/2013

The Spark Central incubator and meeting space in downtown Ann Arbor.

Ann Arbor Spark In 2012: 628 Jobs Created, 1135 Jobs Retained, $148M Invested

At its annual meeting Friday, Ann Arbor Spark detailed 2012 successes and its strategic plan for the coming year.

WWJ Newsradio 950–06/09/2013

A rendering of Faurecia's new headquarters. Faurecia photo.

Faurecia North America Growing Into New HQ In Auburn Hills

Three years into a major surge in growth, Faurecia North America announced more details of its plans for a new headquarters building in Auburn Hills.

WWJ Newsradio 950–04/02/2013

FAURECIA

Faurecia North America Launches Vehicle Interior Design Contest on Pinterest

If you could design your ideal premium vehicle interior, what would it look like? Faurecia, the world’s sixth-largest automotive supplier, is asking the Pinterest community to submit their ideas for a chance to win an iPad in the “Faurecia Pin-spiration” contest announced Wednesday.

WWJ Newsradio 950–07/18/2012

FAURECIA

Faurecia Opens Saline Interior Plant, Plans Southfield Customer Center

Faurecia, the world’s sixth-largest auto supplier, last week began operations in Saline after its acquisition of the interior trim components business from Automotive Components Holdings LLC. Also, Faurecia’s new Interior Systems customer center will be located in the Travelers Tower I, 26555 Evergreen Road near I-696 in Southfield.

WWJ Newsradio 950–06/03/2012

FAURECIA

Faurecia North America Aims to Drive out Hunger

AUBURN HILLS — The North American operations of the auto supplier Faurecia Monday announced the launch of its 2011 food-drive challenge, FUELS — Faurecia Unites with Employees for Local Service. During September, Faurecia employees will […]

WWJ Newsradio 950–08/22/2011

Faurecia To Tout Clean Diesels At Detroit Event

With emissions around the world continuing to increase, pressure is rising for automotive suppliers to provide more environmentally friendly and efficient products. At the 2010 Directions in Engine-Efficiency and Emissions Research  Conference Sept. 27-30 at […]

09/27/2010