A new Tesla patent application imagines liquid heated and cooled seats. It appears that the electric vehicle giant is preparing to reinvent the most common car luxury. With the increasing number of car makers gradually introducing electric vehicles, Tesla imagines providing comfort to its users on a different level.
First reported by Car & Driver, the patent application made by tesla was recently published by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). The patent aims to produce a seat with an integrated temperature control system. Additionally, it outlines a seat with several layers where under the layer, the driver or passenger would sit on an intermediary layer made of either mesh or foam that has been developed to enable liquid to flow through it.
The Tesla patent also describes a pump that secures even distribution of fluid all through the layer, with the coolant either aqueous or water-based. Additionally, the patent describes the use of conduits and supports that would restrict any leakage from the layer. This is quite a different approach from how ventilated, cooled, and heater seats work at the moment.
Nowadays, heated seats utilize heating elements, which is a long strip of metal integrated into the seat and becomes heated when the electricity passes through it. The patent that Tesla filed also involves the use of a heating element to raise the temperature of the fluid in the car seat. The terms cooled and ventilated are common terms used interchangeably, but each has a significant distinction.
A ventilated seat utilizes fans that produce air from the cabin and route it to the passenger's body. Cooled seats, on the other hand, utilize an extra cooling element that refrigerates or cools the air. A good rule of thumb for those not sure which car seat they have is that ventilated car seats stop your back and rear from sweating while the cooled car seats offer the feeling that you have sat on a wet or cold surface.
At present, Tesla uses ventilated seats on its vehicles, and cooled seats are less common compared to the ventilated type. This type of car seat technology is usually found in cars like the Ford Mustang. While this is just a rumor, Tesla may have patented the new car seat design because it could be more efficient in terms of energy consumption.
Tesla patents a new way to heat and cool car seats: https://t.co/zHlssGSIht pic.twitter.com/2tNCs1f6R9 — Car and Driver (@CARandDRIVER) October 5, 2019
Theoretically, the fluid-based cooling and heating system could be less noisy compared to some of the ventilated car seats we have nowadays. Interestingly, the Tesla patent application describes a distribution element that serves as the cooling and heating element. But, in regards to the fact that the electric vehicle maker is using some kind of piping to enable hot or cold liquid to move well, that we do not know yet.
So far, neither the text nor the images in the Tesla patent application are clear about this. Also, there is no word yet on when this new car seat technology will be in production or if it will ever be manufactured. It would be interesting to see this reach production to see how they fare with today's car seats.