Porsche gives an insight into its ergonomics assessment process

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At Porsche’s PFM Workshop in Weissach, Germany, Klaus Bernhard, project team leader PMW, DMU and concept cars is tasked with assessing the future needs of customers in terms of interior ergonomics. Bernhard and his team work in close collaboration with designers and engineers to produce interior packages that will meet the demands of Porsche’s future cars.

PFM stands for Package Functioning Model, and the current subject of Bernhard’s attention is a full-size model of the Taycan Cross Turismo, Porsche’s soon-to-be-released crossover variant of its Taycan EV.

Recreated as closely as possible to the finished product, the PFM’s internal seating box enables Bernhard to enact all the daily interactions a customer might experience when using the vehicle, from physical entry and exit, to seating comfort and visibility while inside. Bernhard and his team specialize in ergonomics, and repeating tasks such as entry and egress enables them to accurately determine what makes a difference in terms of overall passenger comfort.

“Getting into the car, how you feel inside it, getting out again – we evaluate everything,” he explains. “These are things you have to actually experience because just a few millimeters can make the difference between feeling comfortable or not.”

Another consideration for Bernhard in this, more versatile, derivation of the original Taycan concept is luggage space. Specifically, how it will be used and what will be stowed in it. “The customers’ requirements take top priority, so we have to carefully consider the size of the boot [trunk], but we must also take into account access to it and the way it is loaded. This includes what objects the customer wants to put into the boot,” he notes.

For Bernhard and his team, it’s a case of working closely with the designers who desire a particular shape for the internals of the luggage bay, and the technicians whose engineering requirements may be very different. Volume is essential, but so too is the size and shape of the objects likely to be consuming it. Countless variations are tried and tested; every possible permutation considered.

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Lawrence has been covering engineering subjects – with a focus on motorsport technology – since 2007 and has edited and contributed to a variety of international titles. Currently, he is responsible for content across UKI Media & Events' portfolio of websites while also writing for the company's print titles.

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