Lexus will bring a concept seat, made from synthetic spider silk, to the Paris motor show at the end of the month.
The design’s net-like construction resembles spider webs, and Lexus says it’s designed to simulate the way that the human spine moves, using rotational movement of the cushion and backrest to keep the head stable.
The flexible net fits the occupant's body more closely than a traditional seat, which in theory will give better seat comfort and body support for longer periods.
Lexus says the Kinetic Seat Concept re-evaluates the principles of car seats, and claims that by keeping the head more stable, the occupant’s field of vision will be steadier, making driving easier and more comfortable.
The seat also has a slimmer design, which would help reduce overall vehicle weight.
The spider web patterned net, which sits at the centre of the backrest at shoulder blade height, disperses pressure across the body. The fibres are made from a synthetic spider silk that doesn’t actually involve spiders, but takes inspiration from the super-strong, light and thin material that they produce.
Rather than use petroleum-derived materials, the main component is a protein called Qmonos, made by a company called Spiber. The Japanese firm has been working on its synthetic spider silk since 2007, and has also worked with clothing company North Face. The silk itself is created using microbial fermentation, which is spun and processed to make a material said to be four times stronger than steel but more flexible than nylon.