Passenger Comfort

The Key to Well-Being and Safety

We think of passenger comfort as a product, from the first idea to the personalized customer experience. Passenger comfort is the key to well-being and safety. New mobility requires resource-efficient, personalized solutions – and this is AVL’s specialty.

Thermal Management Passenger Comfort

We think of passenger comfort as a product, from the first idea to the personalized customer experience. Which is why we specify cabin layouts virtually in the early phase of requirement engineering. We make use of empirical, single-zone, multi-zone, and 3D-coupled simulation methods. Within the concept phase, we consider window surfaces, insulation values, thermal inertias, surface temperatures, heating surfaces, or simplified comfort models. Where there is a virtual vehicle – our digital twin – we not only evaluate global comfort, we also consider local comfort. To do this, we place “virtual humans” or manikin models inside the virtual cabin for thorough analysis of thermo-physiological parameters.

Electrification poses a particular challenge for passenger comfort as the battery is the major source of energy. Heating, ventilation and air conditioning, the HVAC module, and the cabin must become resource efficient and must be synchronized with the energy management of the entire vehicle. At the same time, battery electric vehicles are silent, making us more receptive to the sounds of air outlets, air circulation, climatization, demisting, or defogging. With ADAS/AD on an upward trajectory, there is greater focus on comfort than ever before. Furthermore, harmful particles, such as airborne viruses, make air quality a vital concern.

Thermal Management and HVAC for Passenger Cars and Commercial Vehicles

Resource-Efficient HVAC Modules

Modern mobility requires compact, weight-reduced, modular packaging, which is optimized for different platforms.

Alternative Refrigerant

Regulations and markets demand refrigerants with low global warming potential (GWP) that meet the highest safety and efficiency standards.

Virus-Free Cabin Concept

Recent years have again taught us the importance of clean air. The cabin must be a place of well-being and safety.

Personalized Comfort 

Intelligent solutions are becoming more and more personalized, placing the individual experience first, while also lowering energy consumption.

Adapting to Ambient Condition

Comfort is not static. Smart cabin conditioning uses live data on topology, weather, and infrastructure, and adapts to boundary conditions

Subsystem Interplay 

Efficient energy management enables thermal comfort through interacting systems that balance resources and thermal sensation, e.g. consideration of battery cooling / battery conditioning.

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From market and requirement analysis to SOP, we are reinventing passenger comfort for new mobility solutions:

  • Unique, requirement-driven comfort experience
  • Personalized comfort, e.g. zone climatization, radiant heating surfaces, live tuning
  • Resource-efficient HVAC modules
  • Modern cabin layouts
  • Market analysis
  • Research and development, e.g. alternative refrigerants
  • R290 Micro AC, R744 heat pump solutions
  • 1D and 3D simulation methods for global and local comfort development
  • Smart device and smart interface integration
  • Climate control software with prediction control
  • Climate application and calibration
  • Self-tuning algorithms, smart calibration
  • Building, maturing, and objectifying physiological models

With our perspective on passenger comfort as a product, our partners and customers benefit from our holistic approach. We have tried and tested this approach in many successful SOP turnkey projects. Our main projects revolve around the premium and luxury segment of major OEMs. Our aim is highly modularized, segment-specific products that we tailor to the needs of our customers’ individual requirements. Derived from our premium expertise, our products range from best-in-class solutions to standardized cost-effective performers.

Single Source

We will work with you to develop the ideal solution based on your comfort requirements.

AVL Synergies

When it comes to electrification in particular, the cabin is in complex interplay with other systems. We consider this interplay from the start and do not focus solely on passengers, we also consider range and battery life.

Smart Calibration

Self-learning and self-tuning algorithms reduce calibration times. By integrating smart devices, we eliminate the need for manual input. We gather live data and the system takes it from there.

Virtual Methodology

Building the digital twin allows us to use all the models seamlessly to validate the HVAC system with reference to vehicle targets, e.g. direct range prediction. Rapid virtual prototyping of passenger comfort experience and efficient layouts allows portfolio of choices, from best-in-class to cost-performer or eco-benchmark.

Software Solution

We offer thermal control software based on advanced research and development activities, e.g. predictive passenger comfort solutions.

Global Comfort

To ensure target values within the cabin, we look at air temperature, surface and component temperature, air velocity, and humidity. With coupled 1D and 3D cabin simulation, we reach target values highly efficiently.


There are many different ways to reach target values. We engineer intelligent, resource-efficient, data-driven comfort.

Localized Comfort

We focus on localized passenger well-being in the most efficient ways wherever we detect occupied seats, instead of considering mean cabin temperatures.


Comfort is subjective – that is why we aim to create solutions that adapt to the driver, passengers, and the personal experience: with zone climatization, radiant heating surfaces, smart-device integration, smart interfaces, fine-tuning to thermo-physiological factors, and other innovations.

Related Topics

We are constantly working on new solutions. The following might be interesting for you:

Thermal Management and HVAC for Passenger Cars and Commercial Vehicles
Thermal Management and HVAC

It is not just passengers who have a “comfort zone”, the components do as well. At AVL we develop components and systems, and integrate them into the vehicle. We provide the optimal control strategy for efficient thermal management – from the initial concept to the SOP.

Next Generation Vehicle Engineering
Vehicle Engineering

Whether passenger cars or commercial vehicles – we factor in existing and new technologies as we bring your individual requirements in line with end user expectations. Our focus is on virtual and functional vehicle development, as well as integration of the vehicle systems into the vehicle. 

Thermal Testing Solutions

A vehicle thermal management system has a significant effect on the energy efficiency of the entire vehicle and the durability of all components in the propulsion system, such as the battery and inverter. Highly efficient systems require extensive calibration and testing time at vehicle level, which has a huge impact on development costs and timing.

Moving steadily into the future: Find out what’s brand new in the field of passenger comfort. 


Recording available - English

Tackle xEV Thermal Management Challenges with System Simulation

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