Mercedes-Benz is bragging that its new 2014 S-Class features the most comfortable car seat in the world. In fact, a reviewer for WardsAuto describes it as “unparalleled in its ability to create a state of bliss”.
I don’t know about all that, but its air-cushion massaging system sure sounds like a pain in the butt to work around.
Continental and Mercedes are taking pampering to a new level with an electronically controlled air-cushion system that uses 14 separately actuated air bladders instead of electro-mechanical contraptions buried beneath the upholstery.
Of course, this strategy requires even more sophisticated electronics and hardware. Besides air cushions and multiple air lines, more powerful yet ultra-quiet compressors are needed, along with fast-switching valves and an electronic control unit just for the seat pneumatics that must have more computing power than the first space shuttle; maybe even the last shuttle.
But, ooh, la, la, is it worth it. All that hardware and software provides a stronger and more nuanced kneading of the muscles, back and shoulders that’s much closer to the real thing. […]
In the S-Class, six different types of massages are available, including slow and gentle, fast and vigorous and two versions with hot-stone treatment. Plus, the massaging program can be further customized using an iPad or other mobile device. [more]
Of course, the spa seat isn’t a new idea. Automakers have been placing massagers in car seats for years. And last year Faurecia introduced its Oasis car seat to high acclaim. Make no mistake about it, these types of car seats are the future. For now, though, you’ll only find them on ultra-high-end luxury vehicles… which is probably a good thing for us.