Efficiency & Comfort

How do electrification, lightweight design or energy management affect the individual comfort perception in the vehicle? To what extent do innovative technologies have influence on a vehicle’s energy consumption? And how can energy efficiency be maximized considering in-vehicle and surrounding comfort aspects? VIRTUAL VEHICLE’s experts in the field of “Efficiency & Comfort” are about to find answers to these and many more questions.

The key aspects for comfortable mobility in passenger cars comprise temperature, air quality, noise, vibration, light, ergonomics as well as usability of assistance systems. However, the need for CO2 reduction forces the automotive industry to focus on electrification, lightweight design, advanced and predictive energy management or thermal control strategies. Some of these topics have a direct impact on the passenger’s comfort.


Market Challenge

Keeping the trends of today’s automotive industry in mind, several challenges arise in the context of Efficiency & Comfort. For example, many new components that have appeared during the past few years have a strong effect on the energy used in the vehicle (such as thermal storages, kinetic storages, active shock absorbers, e-brake systems or methods to condition the cabin). However, reliable comfort models that are able to deal with these new technologies are not available yet.

  • Comprehensive Comfort Models
  • Interactions between different comfort perceptions (thermal, acoustic, haptic, olphactoric etc.)
  • Individualized HMI systems and techniques (head-up displays, augmented reality,…etc.)
  • Nudging and gamification for efficient use of the system
  • Comprehensive Energy Management (fuel efficiency and range, thermal storages, kinetic, storages, e-brake systems, methods to air-condition the cabin,…etc.)

Our Expertise

  • Designing of well-balanced comfort models considering interaction between different comfort perceptions (thermal, acoustic, haptic, olphactoric etc.)
  • Techniques and methods to make subjective parameters objective
  • Comfort perceptions (i.e. Cabin noise, vibration, thermal…) conditioning
  • Applying different human-centric comfort models and individualized HMI systems
  • Comprehensive energy management techniques to increase fuel efficiency and range for conventional and electric vehicles
  • High fidelity models (reproduction of an effect such as noise, vibration, motion sickness that is very faithful to the original) which can be implemented in a full-vehicle digital context

 Main Research Topics

  • New measurement techniques and models to acquire highest comfort and efficiency on board (aerodynamics, energy-efficient, thermal comfort, CO2 concentration,…etc.)
  • New Human-Machine-Interface (HMI) concepts and techniques to meet the passengers comfort requirements (head-up displays, augmented reality, voice control….etc.) and to pass the right Information at the right time to the operator
  • Models for the evaluation of subjective feelings of passengers (well-being, driver behavior, relaxation, …etc.)
  • Lightweight design and new materials with decreased CO 2 footprint
  • Optimal integration of the battery storage system taking into account crash safety and energy density
  • High fidelity models for high voltage battery (SoC and SoH) and efficiency improvement for Hybrid Electric Vehicles (HEV)
  • Increasing battery lifetime and shortening the charging time including novel battery cooling techniques for higher energy density
  • High fidelity models for the high voltage battery (SoC and SoH) and efficiency improvement for Hybrid Electric Vehicles (HEV)
  • Heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) of the cabin


Modern vehicle transmissions are designed to satisfy demands placed on driving dynamics and ride comfort, and they reduce fuel consumption and emissions. VIRTUAL VEHICLE’s experts devise innovative answers to these challenges taking into account the interactions between different comfort perceptions as well as the feeling of relaxation and well-being of the passengers.

  • Best possible solution for particular needs in an early phase of the development process saves development time and cost
  • Reliable high fidelity comfort models that are able to deal with the challenges of new technologies and components arising from the comfort requirements of today’s customers
  • Fully accessible vehicle development platforms and driving simulators
  • Resolution of trade-offs between drivability, consumption and emissions through multi-criteria optimization
  • Consideration of human-centric aspects in vehicle development
  • HMI techniques which embed humans in a natural way

Human Factors Research & Engineering Services

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Efficient collaboration is our key for innovation!

VIRTUAL VEHICLE offers different cooperation models tailored to the specific needs of its leading international industry and research partners to run R&D projects.