A Holistic Comfort Model for Virtual Cabin Designs at the ICC 2019 in Delft, the Netherlands

Intermediate result from partners VIF and TME.
Result has been achieved on 29 August, 2019 in month 22 of the project.

Holistic comfort models are becoming increasingly important for the design and virtual evaluation of advanced automotive cabin and occupant experiences. Whereas for manual driving the main driver tasks have been relatively fixed, with the advent of automated driving the possible occupant activities dramatically increase which should influence the experience of comfort. The question is how trade-offs between comfort, efficiency, and costs can be balanced to create optimal cabin designs: How much do entertaining or time-saving activities like watching movies or reading reports influence the overall experience of comfort? Compared to this, how important is physiological comfort toward the overall experience of comfort? Such questions are investigated in the European research project DOMUS that is addressing the challenge of increasing the range of electric vehicles by 25% in different ambient conditions while maintaining or improving the experience of comfort of driver and passengers.
As part of this project we are postulating a holistic comfort model that is based on existing comfort models and extend them to include the experience of satisfaction as a main second factor beside physiological comfort. We then report the results of the first study to investigate the connection between the vehicle occupants’ activities and their experiences of acoustic comfort.
Participants performed a motoric tracking task at three levels of difficulty while hearing the sound recordings of either one of two electric vehicles. The results indicate that at increased activity levels participants also reported greater acoustic discomfort for bother types of vehicle sounds. The results are consistent with the postulated holistic comfort model and we discuss the implications and planned next steps to test and expand the model.