The company notes in a whitepaper that when it comes to buying a new car, first impressions always count. Now, as we enter a new mobility age, smell, touch, robustness, visual appeal and feeling we’re being responsible are set to become central in defining our mobility experiences and preferences.

The experience of mobility is changing
When every car is reliable, you need other ways to stand out from your competitors. Leveraging our senses is an important way and ties in with other mobility trends, such as the move from selling vehicles to selling mobility, the rise of autonomous vehicles, the reinvention of the car as a home or office on wheels, ride sharing in place of car ownership, and sustainability.

All these trends will have an impact on vehicle interiors. As cars become mobile spaces for living and working, possibly shared with strangers, the already growing demand for premium surface finishes and lighter interiors is likely to grow further. Sustainability will likewise increase in importance, as will smart connectivity, personalization and in-vehicle air quality, hygiene and cleanliness.

The shift to trend-based and sensory driven R&D
Stahl says that, as an expert in surface materials, it aims to help shape and enable these mobility trends by exploring the car interior through five ‘senses’:

1. Sense of Sight: keeping interiors beautiful – especially when they will be used more intensively
2. Sense of Smell: using ‘calibrated noses,’ because one scent doesn’t suit all
3. Sense of Touch: love at first contact, to make you want to relax
4. Sense of Sound: no creaks, no squeaks, no rattles to disturb your peace
5. Sense of Responsibility: feel good about doing good

These concepts will drive the development of solutions that keep seats looking attractive for longer, that enhance air quality, in literally feel-good solutions for seating, instrument panels, steering wheels and other interior surfaces, solutions that prevent squeaks and rattles and solutions that make us feel better about our choices because they are environmentally responsible.

Read Stahl’s whitepaper
Interested in how to explore the car interior thought the senses and where they add value? Download the whitepaper here.