Virus- and bacteria-free surfaces are increasingly sought by car users.
The covid-19 pandemic has changed mobility, and the car user’s perception of safety and comfort inside the vehicle. Consequently, car user’s around the world are now increasingly willing to pay for solutions that supress pathogens on interior surfaces and in the in-cabin air. These developments are among the key findings of the second Asahi Kasei Automotive Interior Survey, which the company from Düsseldorf, Germany, conducted in December 2020 in collaboration with the market research specialist and compatriot, Cologne-based Skopos.
The company says that other surveys have found that the use of public transport and ride-sharing services has declined severely, while the popularity of private cars is increasing, because they are perceived as having a low risk of infection risk. The surveys suggest that these perceptions will be long-lasting and will effect ideas for transportation, as well as the materials and technologies used inside the automobile. Where once, automotive interiors needed to be comfortable, attractive, and smooth to the touch, now they are also required to remain clean and sterile.
Asahi Kasei says its survey covered 500 vehicle users in the core markets of Germany, the USA, China and Japan, and s confirmed these previous findings. In Germany, 64% of the car users put a great emphasis on easy-to-maintain clean surfaces and protective air-filter systems, valuing them higher than connectivity, the intuitive operation and the personalisation of the car. Similar results were seen in the other geographical regions.
The findings from Ashai Kasei's latest survey concerning users desires for automotive interiors.
Three-quarters (75%) of the car users in Germany wanted surface and seating materials that are easy to wash; , 69% requested advanced filtration for the external aire entering the vehicle; 66% requested water- and dirt-repellent surfaces. Similar features are coveted by car users in the USA and China. In addition, 87% of the Chinese surveyed saw a benefit in an advanced filtration system for the internal air in the cabin; 83% wanted surfaces that eliminate viruses in frequently touched places.
Crucially, those questioned expressed a willingness to pay for these features.
Asahi Kasei’s General Manager Heiko Rother says the company’s “Healthy Car” portfolio includes antimicrobial seat fabrics and plastics, as well as ultraviolet (UV) light-emitting diode (LED) solutions for in-car air filtration.