LONDON – A U.K.-based Formula 1 race car designer joins a program to shave weight from traditional automotive seats by one-third.

The Manufacturability of Advanced Passenger Seats (MAPS) Project is a research-based collaboration between technology companies Gordon Murray Design and automotive tooling and lightweighting specialist Formaplex.

The 12-month MAPS project hopes to design and manufacture a new auto seat offering significant weight savings over conventional metallic seat structures while developing robust production methods including less process time than current composite-seat fabrication methods.

It also expects to meet all European homologation standards while being affordable for both low- and high-volume vehicles.

Gordon Murray Design will focus on using advanced composite panels based on recycled carbon fiber while maintaining the high-volume, low-cost benefits of its original iStream lightweighting production technology.

The objective is to develop a seat frame that is 30% lighter than the incumbent steel frame.

Gordon Murray, chairman of Gordon Murray Design, says his company “is pleased to be an active participant in this important UK research initiative, aimed at an important further development of the revolutionary iStream manufacturing technology.

“The MAPS partnership brings together recognized industry professionals in order to address the exciting challenges associated with the development of new materials and processes necessary to ensure that new innovations can be implemented in a cost-effective and robust manner, appropriate for mass production.”