Comfort & Entertainment

The working field of Comfort & Entertainment focuses on the human being in the vehicle.

Comfort is not just about the classic environmental factors of acoustics and chassis (NVH) and microclimate. It also includes the other comfort features of the interior and the driver-vehicle interface as well as the innovative assistance, information and communication functions. Often, comfort and safety issues are linked.

  • Vehicle climate, thermal comfort
  • Air quality improvement
  • Flow simulation
  • Vehicle acoustics, psychoacoustics and sound design
  • Development, testing and application of acoustic components
  • Human Factors and Usability Engineering in Vehicles
  • Entertainment

1. Vehicle Climate

Sensorpuppe des Fraunhofer IBP während des Einsatzes im AutoAuto
© Fraunhofer IBP
DressMAN in a vehicle

A major focus in the development of vehicles, besides driving performance, is the well-being of people inside the vehicle. This includes a pleasant and performance-enhancing climate in the vehicle interior, which is expressed in satisfaction with the thermal comfort. The significantly more inhomogeneous and transient conditions during the driving phase as well as the heating and cooling processes required as quickly as possible after the parking phase are taken into account. The provision of a comfortable climate also plays an important role in electric vehicles, as the energy required for this is at the expense of the range. Energy-saving and at the same time individual air conditioning solutions are in demand. Special climate measuring devices such as the »DressMAN« are available for climatic investigations in interiors, with which the local thermal comfort sensation can be measured at numerous parts of the body by means of numerous attached climate sensors.


  • Measurement of thermal boundary conditions in vehicles
  • Surveys of test persons to determine thermal comfort
  • Analysis and optimization of climate and comfort in vehicles
  • Development of comfort models
  • Development of new heating and cooling concepts
  • New materials for interiors


Project examples

2. Car Interior Air Quality

© Fraunhofer IBP
Vehicle with artificial sun in the IndoorAirTestCenter IATC

The air quality in a vehicle's interior depends to a large extent on two different sources - on the one hand on emissions from interior components and on the other hand on the supply air and thus on the air quality surrounding the car.

Interior components made of polymer materials lead to emissions of volatile organic compounds (VOCs). The level of the emissions and the presence of certain substances can lead to a more or less strong odor nuisance or even to a health hazard for the occupants. For important export markets, there are already legal regulations or recommendations on limiting VOC emissions from motor vehicles or on vehicle interior air quality (USA, China, Korea, ISO 12219).

Emissions from outside entering the vehicle interior via the supply air depend on the ambient air quality. These can be influenced by the use of suitable cabin air filters or active air purification systems.


  • Emission measurement of components and vehicles according to national (VDA), international (CARB, DIN ISO 12219 series, JAMA, MOLIT) and internal standards of OEMs
  • Emission tests in SHED chambers (volume 0.1 to 7.5 m³)
  • Monitored ageing tests (real or short-term)
  • Odor evaluation according to given standards and self-developed methods
  • Odor analysis, odor substance identification
  • Development of methods for odor minimization
  • Effectiveness measurements on filters and catalytic converters (filter test bench and real installation situation in the vehicle)
  • Investigation of the resistance of materials against microbial infestation
  • Consulting on complaints, damage analysis
  • Material and component optimization


Project examples

3. Vehicle Acoustics

© Fraunhofer IBP
Acoustic roller test bench with simulated drive-by

Acoustic comfort and acoustic system quality are now top design criteria for vehicles. The aim is to achieve low noise levels in the interior and an acoustic environment that also allows the trouble-free use of new man-machine interfaces through voice control. At the same time, sound design and sound quality convey the image of a vehicle type and a model to a comparable degree as the visual appearance. With stricter limit values in the future, noise emissions from vehicles to the exterior will be another focal point.


  • Development and testing of acoustic absorbers and components
  • Experimental and numerical simulation of acoustic components
  • Conception, design and manufacture of acoustic test rooms for the automotive industry
  • Analysis and optimization of vehicle interior and exterior noise on the institute's own test benches

Project examples

4. Human Factors & Usability Engineering

© metamorworks -

The Human-Machine Interface (HMI) determines the product experience of the customer. Its design not only differentiates the product appearance from the competition, but also influences both safety and convenience. New equipment features, e.g. in communication and entertainment, innovations in the electronics sector and new interactive driver assistance and driver information functions bring new freedoms but also requirements for the design of the HMI.


  • Virtual and Rapid Prototyping of Functional Patterns and Human-Machine-Interface
  • Usability Testing in the Driving Context
  • Solutions and Tools for Usability and Software Engineering
  • Tools for analytical evaluation of the human-machine interface
  • Assessment of cognitive stress through measurement and simulation
  • Driving simulation and investigations of driver behavior
  • Mobile Digital Mock-ups and Virtual Testing
  • Solutions for Driver Condition Recognition and Vigilance Management
  • Device control using speech recognition solutions
  • Alternative and innovative operating concepts
  • Adaptive operating concepts

Project examples

5. Entertainment

Person drückt Knöpfe auf einem Autoradio
© Tomasz Zajda /
Person drückt Knöpfe auf einem Autoradio

What makes a good sound? How can speech intelligibility be evaluated? The technical transmission of acoustic signals such as speech is often superimposed by background noises and reverberation, for example at station announcements, mobile phones or in the car. Individual pre-sets and simple intelligent setting options are particularly important because everyone hears differently and well. We offer an improvement in speech intelligibility and sound comfort, taking into account the individual preferences and needs of the user.

© Fraunhofer IDMT


  • Development and testing of algorithms to improve speech quality and intelligibility for telephony and entertainment
  • Automatic adaptation of voice and media reproduction to driving situations and ambient noises
  • Testing and optimization of single and multi-channel microphone solutions for recording interior noise
  • Acoustic localization in the interior
  • Voice recognition and voice control in and around the car
  • Acoustic event detection in and around the car