The Manufacturability of Advanced Passenger Seats (MAPS) Project is a research based collaboration between technology companies Gordon Murray Design Limited and Formaplex Limited. The programme is a part funded 12 month study through the Innovate UK framework that aims to further develop light weight automotive seat structures and production methods.

The major deliverables from the MAPS project will be a new seat offering significant weight savings over conventional metallic seat structures, proven production methods including reduced manufacturing time when compared to current composite seat manufacturing methods, and to achieve European homologation standards whilst being affordable for both low and high volume vehicles.

The participation of Gordon Murray Design within the MAPS project will focus on the opportunity to significantly reduce structure weight by utilising advanced composite panels based on recycled carbon fibre, whilst maintaining the high volume, low cost benefits of the original iStream® technology. The objective is to develop a seat frame that is 30% lighter than the incumbent steel frame.

Professor Gordon Murray, Chairman of Gordon Murray Design said: “Gordon Murray Design 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 recognised 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”.


Editor’s Notes:

  • Innovate UK is the UK’s innovation agency. We are business focused and drive disruptive innovation right across the UK economy, funding and connecting pioneering businesses so they can create the products, processes and industries of the future. It is our mission to boost productivity, increase exports and help the UK economy grow head and shoulders above other nations. For further information and to stay updated on our latest news visit, follow us on Twitter at @innovateuk or subscribe to our YouTube channel at
  • Gordon Murray Design Limited is a British company operating from Shalford in Surrey. The Company is recognised as a world leader in automotive design and reverses the current industry trend for sub-contracting by having a complete in-house capability for design, prototyping and development. The Company is compact and focused and undertakes automotive and other engineering programmes in an efficient and innovative way. For more information please visit
  • The iStream® assembly process is a complete rethink and redesign of the traditional automotive manufacturing process and could potentially be the biggest revolution in high volume manufacture since the Model T. Development of the process began over 15 years ago and it has already won the prestigious ‘Idea of the Year’ award from Autocar who were given privileged access in order to make their assessment. The simplified assembly process means that the manufacturing plant can be designed to be 20% of the size of a conventional factory. This could reduce capital investment in the assembly plant by approximately 80%. Yet the flexibility of this assembly process means that the same factory could be used to manufacture different variants. The iStream® design process is a complete re-think on high volume materials, as well as the manufacturing process and will lead to a significant reduction in full lifecycle CO2. For more information please visit www.iStreamtechnology.
  • Formaplex Limited is a leading manufacturer for tooling and lightweight component solutions within the automotive, autosport and aerospace industries. With a reputation for excellence built on decades of engineering experience and a dedication to dynamic working practices, we supply our clients with an innovative and industry-leading service. We work with clients who operate at the very top of their fields, in an environment where exceptional performance is standard. Our high speed machining technology, unparalleled tooling expertise and can do attitude sets us apart.For more information please visit


For further information please contact Sarah Smith, Communications Officer at Gordon Murray Design Limited +44 (0)1483 484700.


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