The car of the future will be fully networked and will integrate seamlessly into everyday life as trends of electric mobility, connectivity and car sharing start to redefine vehicle utility. Vehicle interiors, especially, will undergo groundbreaking change, becoming multifunctional living and working spaces. In order to meet these demands, Covestro has worked alongside its partners to develop a premium concept with material solutions, presenting them for the first time at the K 2019 plastics trade fair.
“Plastics and technologies will play a key role in designing the automotive cockpit of the future,” said Jochen Hardt, Vice President Global Marketing Mobility and concept coordinator, as he spoke to international media during a live online broadcast. “Our comprehensive concept offers material solutions for functionality, comfort and design, while at the same time responding to the automotive industry’s demands for brand differentiation, improved efficiency, and light-weight design.”
Highlights of the concept include among others multi-sensory infotainment systems, innovative seating concepts and a sound-insulating dome. High-tech materials from Covestro open up a kaleidoscope of new possibilities for many different components. The company is a leading player in this area.
Three-dimensional multifunctional display
Displays and indicating instruments will be particularly important in new automotive interiors. They will become infotainment systems that will connect passengers with the outside world and provide them with information or entertainment, depending on their use.
Working with an industry partner, Covestro has developed a seamlessly integrated, three-dimensional multifunctional display – a large-format visual experience for the user, made possible by the high optical quality of Makrolon® Ai polycarbonate and Makrofol® polycarbonate film. A sophisticated combination of process technologies shapes the surface design and durability.
Vegan seat covers
As the classic function of the driver’s seat will no longer be required, the car interior can be given a new look and design. Not only should the seats be comfortable, they should also offer enough flexibility to expand the interior space. The properties and advantages mentioned assert Covestro as trailblazers in this area.
“Our vegan water-based INSQIN® technology for textile coating offers the same attractive appearance as leather, but at a lower cost and with reduced solvent emissions,” explained Thomas Michaelis, Head of Textile Coating in the Europe, Middle East, Africa, and Latin America region. “What is exciting is the possibility of allowing light to shine through the coated surface, creating an all new kind of ambient lighting.”
Peace and privacy in a small space
The new movable Privacy Dome is designed to protect users’ privacy. A sound-absorbing acoustic foam based on the Baynat® polyurethane system provides each passenger with individual peace and quiet, independent of other passengers and the outside world. In addition, passengers can relax to calming sounds such as the soothing sound of waves on the beach.
With sales of EUR 12.4 billion in 2019, Covestro is among the world’s largest polymer companies. Business activities are focused on the manufacture of high-tech polymer materials and the development of innovative solutions for products used in many areas of daily life. The main industries served are the automotive, construction, wood processing and furniture, and electrical and electronics industries. Other sectors include sports and leisure, cosmetics, health and the chemical industry itself. Covestro has 30 production sites worldwide and employs approximately 17,200 people (calculated as full-time equivalents) as of the end of 2019.