Human Perception of Seat Vibration Quality Pilot Study

Document Type

Conference Proceeding

Publication Date


Publication Title

SAE Technical Papers

Conference Name

Noise and Vibration Conference & Exhibition


Driving comfort and automotive product quality are strongly associated with the vibration that is transmitted to the occupants of a vehicle at the points of contact to the human body, including the seat, steering wheel, and pedals. Of these three contact locations, the seats have the most general importance, as all occupants of a vehicle experience seat vibration. Particularly relevant to driving comfort is the way in which vehicle occupants perceive seat vibration, which may be different than expected considering sensor measured vibration levels. Much of the interest in seat vibration has been focused on internal combustion engine powertrain vibration, especially idle vibration. However, electrification of vehicles changes the focus from low frequency idle vibration to higher frequency vibration sources. In this pilot study, the equal comfort curves for seat vibration were physically measured, which quantified perceived vibration amplitude as a function of amplitude and frequency with emphasis on higher frequency vibration. A human jury of six people was employed in a laboratory environment along with a paired comparison test methodology to establish an equivalency of perceived seat vibration for a wide range of vibration amplitudes over a wide range of frequencies. The results include preliminary equal comfort curves for seat vibration. Recommendations for how the study can be expanded beyond the pilot stage, including improving the statistical significance of the results, are also presented.


DOI: 10.4271/2021-01-1068

ISSN: 0148-7191 e-ISSN: 2688-3627

SAE Technical Paper 2021-01-1068

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