Temperature-controlled driver seat from Dhama Seating
Volvo Eicher has revolutionised the commercial vehicle driver seating system. In the pilot launch of its 15-tonne Conder 3015 has temperaturecontrolled smart seating, ClimaCon, developed by the Hyderabad-based Dhama Seating Technologies, a subsidiary of Dhama Innovations. Volvo Eicher’s effort to reduce the driver fatigue cost effectively is also extremely fuel efficient. ClimaCon is a patented technology of Dhama which runs on power and allows regulating seat temperatures from 32° F to 140° F.
Kranti Vistakula, Founder, Dhama Innovations, said, “The margin in the truck business is as low as 4-5%. In such a scenario, installing air conditioners for the thermal comfort of the driver can be expensive. Hence, smart seating is the best way forward as air-conditioned trucks would cost more and the fuel efficiency of the vehicle will drop.”
On the development of the product, Bhushan V Gajaria, Strategy and Commercial Advisor, Dhama Innovations said, “There are 2 stages to this. First, assembling and manufacturing temperature-controlled points. Second, the manufactured points are integrated with the seats of a vehicle by our technicians. Our primary target is to cater to the drivers of medium commercial vehicles as mostly the light commercial vehicles are selfdriven by the owners.”
One of the biggest challenges of the transport sector is the shortage of drivers, owing to the insufficient facilities which discourage people, especially the new generation, to take up this profession. It cannot be ignored that disruption in the seating industry has been insignificant.
Dhama Innovations claims that the point-cooling technology in a seat will work for around 100,000 hours. Adding such a facility to the commercial vehicle increases the cost by 0.2% of its existing price. Vistakula said, “A driver usually drives for 300 km a day. With our technology in place, a driver can stretch it for another 30-40 km or can have 10% more efficiency.”
Apart from Volvo Eicher, other commercial vehicle majors are conducting trials and it is expected to hit the road in a big way by April 2019.
In the two-wheeler segment, 3-point cooling is expected to pick up fast in the market in another 6 months. In the aftermarket, this technology is available for Royal Enfield motor cycles.
The current capacity is to produce 2500-3000 seats of 8-10 points each. The company is planning to expand and open a new facility in Hyderabad itself.
Addressing the safety aspect, in case of fire, the system automatically shuts off as soon as the temperature goes beyond a certain limit. Since no flammable material is used in the making, there will not be any explosion. The product is tested through vibration, design, life expectancy, pressure mapping, ARAI, electrical, performance, water and dust tests.
Dhama Innovations is a technology development company founded in January 2008. Its innovative, proprietary and patented cooling/ heating technology called ClimaCon is the only wearable technology that allows users to precisely control temperature at the touch of a button. ClimaCon has been fashioned into a futuristic product portfolio to cater to consumer lifestyle, healthcare, sports, packaging, and defence market.