Revolutionary car seat cover saves lives on our roads

Industry partnership: RMIT University and Who-Rae Australia Ltd

Researchers from RMIT University have collaborated with Who-Rae Australia to potentially reduce the number of deaths and injuries seen on our roads through the development of new seat cover technology.

LaserDeploy removable seat covers replace the company’s traditional seat covers with a much safer option for drivers who own vehicles equipped with side air bags.

Current car seat covers use stitched tear-seam technology which conceals the side torso airbag, and can result in the failure of the airbag’s deployment. It was vital that the new seat covers allowed for reliable and predictable deployment of side airbags.

Through a revolutionary new process using laser ablation technology, RMIT researchers were able to create a seat cover gusset that facilitates deployment of the side-torso airbag in the event of a collision, allowing the side panel of the seat cover to separate on impact, allowing the airbag to deploy safely and easily.

During the manufacturing process, every batch is subjected to extreme temperature conditions and burst tested in accordance to an industry-accepted standard, ensuring customers are purchasing a product they can trust.

RMIT researchers were actively involved in the entire commercialisation process from the procurement of machines, establishing production process, quality assurance protocols and training of the factory workers in China.

Since the official launch in 2015, the company has since patent protected the IP and has opened a new manufacturing facility that is dedicated to laser ablation. LaserDeploy has expanded internationally and is now selling to major retailers in the USA, Canada and Australia.

RMIT’s partnership with Who-Rae is an example of powerful research that makes a significant difference to our community by reducing the death toll and keeping people safer on our roads. The relationship is a good example of ATN’s IP Principles 1, 2, 3, 4 and 7.