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Publication numberUS20020011505 A1
Publication typeApplication
Application numberUS 09/880,564
Publication dateJan 31, 2002
Filing dateJun 13, 2001
Priority dateJul 21, 1998
Also published asEP1097057A1, EP1097060A1, US6527154, US20010054632, WO2000005097A2, WO2000005097A3, WO2000005101A1
Publication number09880564, 880564, US 2002/0011505 A1, US 2002/011505 A1, US 20020011505 A1, US 20020011505A1, US 2002011505 A1, US 2002011505A1, US-A1-20020011505, US-A1-2002011505, US2002/0011505A1, US2002/011505A1, US20020011505 A1, US20020011505A1, US2002011505 A1, US2002011505A1
InventorsJoanne Cole, Lance Larsen, Neil Bush, Mark Caye, Gregary Haupt, Benjamin Judy, David Spykerman, Roger Whitley, Detlef Zimmermann, James Fevre
Original AssigneeCole Joanne H., Larsen Lance E., Bush Neil J., Caye Mark A., Haupt Gregary A., Judy Benjamin R., Spykerman David J., Whitley Roger A., Detlef Zimmermann, Fevre James P. Le
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Cargo retention system
US 20020011505 A1
Abstract
A cargo retention system for a vehicle having a seat is described. The seat has a seat bottom with an upper surface and a seat back with a front surface. The intersection of the upper surface and the front surface defines a bight. The cargo retention system includes a first anchorage adapted to be coupled to the vehicle. A portion of the first anchorage is adapted to be positioned in the bight. A retainer releasably interconnects a vehicle accessory and the first anchorage.
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Claims(16)
What is claimed is:
1. A cargo retention system for a vehicle accessory located in a vehicle having a seat, the seat having a seat bottom with an upper surface and a seat back with a front surface, the intersection of the upper surface and the front surface defining a bight, the cargo retention system comprising:
a first anchorage adapted to be coupled directly to the vehicle;
a portion of the first anchorage adapted to be positioned in the bight;
a retainer releasably interconnecting a vehicle accessory and the first anchorage;
wherein the vehicle accessory is other than a child seat or a child and is selected from the group consisting of a container, a rigid platform, an appliance and a side cushion.
2. The cargo retention system of claim 1, wherein the retainer includes a latch having a hook shaped end for releasable coupling to the anchorage.
3. The cargo retention system of claim 1, further including a second anchorage positioned transverse to the first anchorage and a second retainer interconnecting the vehicle accessory and the second anchorage.
4. The cargo retention system of claim 1, wherein the vehicle accessory is adapted to be positioned on the upper surface of the seat bottom.
5. The cargo retention system of claim 1, wherein the vehicle accessory is adapted to be biasedly loaded against the front surface of the seat back.
6. The cargo retention system of claim 1, wherein the retainer includes a cargo net.
7. The cargo retention system of claim 1, wherein the vehicle accessory includes a strap adapted for coupling to the seat bottom.
8. The cargo retention system of claim 1, wherein the vehicle accessory is adapted for interconnecting the first anchorage from a position behind the seat.
9. The cargo retention system of claim 1, wherein the retainer includes a latch detachably coupled to the first anchorage.
10. The cargo retention system of claim 1, wherein the first anchorage includes a striker portion for engaging the retainer, the striker adapted to be positioned within the bight.
11. A device for detachably interconnecting a vehicle accessory to a child restraint system of a vehicle, the child restraint system including a lower anchorage coupled to the vehicle, the device comprising:
an attachment mechanism adapted to releasably couple the vehicle accessory to the lower anchorage;
wherein the vehicle accessory is other than a child seat or a child and is selected from the group consisting of a container, a rigid platform, an appliance and a side cushion.
12. The device for detachably interconnecting a vehicle accessory to a child restraint system of a vehicle of claim 11, wherein the attachment mechanism includes a latch having a first end and a second end, the first end adapted to be coupled to the vehicle accessory, the second end bifurcated to include a pair of legs adapted for engaging the lower anchorage.
13. The device for detachably interconnecting a vehicle accessory to a child restraint system of a vehicle of claim 11, wherein the attachment mechanism includes a flexible member having a hook adapted for releasably coupling to the lower anchorage.
14. A cargo retention system for a vehicle comprising:
a vehicle accessory;
a seat having a seat bottom with an upper surface and a lower surface, the seat also having a seat back with a front surface and a back surface, the seat back extending generally upwardly from the seat bottom;
a bight at the intersection of the upper surface of the seat bottom and the front surface of the seat back;
an anchorage adapted for attachment to the vehicle, the anchorage having a portion thereof disposed in the bight; and
a retainer interconnecting the vehicle accessory to the anchorage;
wherein the vehicle accessory is other than a child seat or a child and is selected from the group consisting of a container, a rigid platform, an appliance and a side cushion.
15. A cargo retention system for a vehicle having child safety device anchorages within the interior of the vehicle, the cargo retention system comprising:
a vehicle accessory adapted for releasably engaging the anchorages;
an electrification system adapted for supplying electrical power from the anchorages to the vehicle accessory;
wherein the vehicle accessory is other than a child seat or a child and is selected from the group consisting of a container, a rigid platform, an appliance and a side cushion.
16. The cargo retention system of claim 15, wherein said electrification system includes an electrical connector adapted to be mounted in proximity with one of the anchorages and a mating electrical connector coupled to the vehicle accessory.
Description

[0001] This application is a continuation of U.S. patent application Ser. No. 09/358,267, filed Jul. 21, 1999, entitled “Cargo Retention System”, which is hereby incorporated by reference therein.

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

[0002] The present invention generally relates to a system for retaining cargo within the passenger compartment of a motor vehicle. More particularly, the present invention pertains to a cargo retention system employing the lower anchorages provided for securing a child safety seat.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

[0003] Safety considerations, and in some geographical areas, legislation, require that small children traveling in a vehicle be restrained by equipment specifically designed for this purpose. It shall be noted, however, that existing restraint systems are generally designed for improving the safety of adults traveling in the vehicle and are generally not suitable for occupants below a certain height or weight. Accordingly, the most commonly used apparatus for restraining small children in motor vehicles is a child safety seat. Today, the child safety seat is generally secured to the vehicle by way of the seat belts within the adult restraint system.

[0004] The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, Department of Transportation has issued a final rule establishing a new Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard under 49 C.F.R. §571 and §596, requiring motor vehicle manufacturers to provide motorists with a new way of installing child restraints. In the future, vehicles will be equipped with child restraint anchorage systems that are standardized and independent of the vehicle seat belts.

[0005] The new independent system will have two lower anchorages and one upper anchorage. Each lower anchorage will include a rigid, round rod or bar unto which a hook or a jaw-like buckle connector may be coupled. The bars will be located at the intersection of the vehicle seat bottom and seat back. The new independent anchorage system will be required to be installed at two rear seating positions. In addition, a tether anchorage will be required at a third position. This final rule also amends the child restraint standards. The new standards require the child restraints to be equipped with means for attaching to the new independent anchorage system.

[0006] The New Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard further defines the geometry of the lower anchorage as including a six millimeter diameter bar having length not less than 25 millimeters but not more than 44 millimeters. In addition, the spacing between the lower anchorages, measured as the distance from the center of the length of one bar to the center of the length of the other bar, must be equal to 280 millimeters. Each of these lower anchorages must be rigidly attached to the vehicle such that they will not deform more than five millimeters when subjected to a 100 Newton force in any direction.

[0007] With the advent of the standardized anchorage system previously described, an excellent opportunity is presented to use the anchorage system for cargo as well. Accordingly, it is an object of the present invention to provide a cargo retention system for securing cargo within the passenger compartment of a vehicle during operation.

[0008] It is another object of the present invention to provide an electrification system in cooperation with the cargo attachment system.

[0009] The present invention is intended to provide an attachment system for various cargo and cargo retention devices incorporating the lower anchorages previously described. Because the lower anchorages are specifically designed to restrain a child and a child's safety seat in a collision, the lower anchorages are excellent locations for securing cargo within the passenger compartment of a motor vehicle.

BRIEF SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

[0010] A cargo retention system for a vehicle having a seat is described. The seat has a seat bottom with an upper surface and a seat back with a front surface. The intersection of the upper surface and the front surface defines a bight. The cargo retention system includes a first anchorage adapted to be coupled to the vehicle. A portion of the first anchorage is adapted to be positioned in the bight. A retainer releasably interconnects a vehicle accessory and the first anchorage.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

[0011] The various advantages of the present invention will become apparent to one skilled in the art upon reading the following specification and by reference to the drawings which include:

[0012]FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a vehicle seat assembly depicting a portion of the cargo retention system of the present invention;

[0013]FIG. 2 is a perspective view of an exemplary lower anchorage device;

[0014]FIG. 3 is a perspective view of a first embodiment of the cargo retention system constructed in accordance with the teachings of the present invention;

[0015]FIG. 4 is a perspective view of a first embodiment of a latch system constructed in accordance with the present invention;

[0016]FIG. 5 is a side view of a front anchorage constructed in accordance with the present invention;

[0017]FIG. 6 is a perspective view of a second embodiment of a latch system constructed in accordance with the present invention;

[0018]FIG. 7 is a perspective view of a third embodiment of a latch system constructed in accordance with the present invention;

[0019]FIG. 8 is a perspective view of second embodiment of the cargo retention system constructed in accordance with the teachings of the present invention;

[0020]FIG. 9 is a perspective view of a third embodiment of the cargo 5 retention system;

[0021]FIG. 10 is a perspective view of a fourth embodiment of the cargo retention system of the present invention;

[0022]FIG. 11 is a perspective view of a fifth embodiment of the cargo retention system of the present invention;

[0023]FIG. 12 is a perspective view of an electrification system constructed in accordance with the present invention; and

[0024]FIG. 13 is a perspective view of a passenger side support arrangement in accordance with the teachings of the present invention.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS

[0025] The following description of the preferred embodiments is merely exemplary in nature and is no way intended to limit the invention, or its application, or uses.

[0026] With reference to the drawings, a cargo retention system is generally identified at reference numeral 10 constructed in accordance with the teachings of an embodiment of the present invention. A vehicle 12 is shown having a seat 14 intended to provide one or more seating positions for occupants of the vehicle 12. In the preferred embodiment, a portion of the cargo retention system 10 is shown as being fixed to the vehicle floor. One skilled in the art will appreciate that it is within the scope of the present invention to incorporate the cargo retention system 10 as part of a vehicle seat or vehicle seat frame located at any one of the seating positions within the vehicle. In addition, any type of vehicle including, but not limited to, planes, trains and automobiles incorporating a child safety seat restraint system may also incorporate the cargo retention system 10 of the present invention.

[0027] Referring specifically to FIG. 1, the seat 14 includes a generally horizontal seat bottom 16 and a seat back 18 extending generally upwardly at the rear of the seat bottom 16. The intersection of the seat bottom 16 and the seat back 18 is generally referred to as a bight or bight line 20. The cargo retention system 10 includes a plurality of lower anchorages 22 positioned within or projecting from the bight line 20 as shown in FIG. 1.

[0028] Referring to FIG. 2, the lower anchorage 22 includes a straight, horizontal and transversely extending striker portion 24. One skilled in the art will appreciate that the existing legislation regarding uniform child restraint anchorages defines the geometry of the striker portion 24 alone and not the complete lower anchorage 22. Accordingly, the lower anchorage 22 shown in the drawings is merely exemplary and other designs may be suitable for use in conjunction with the cargo retention system 10 of the present invention.

[0029] Referring to FIGS. 1 and 2, the lower anchorage 22 further includes a pair of downwardly extending and axially spaced apart legs 26. Each of the legs 26 includes a longitudinally extending portion 28, an arcuate portion 30 and a vertical portion 32 terminating at a base plate 34. As mentioned earlier, the base plate 34 is merely an exemplary structure coupled to a floor pan 36 of the vehicle 12. Accordingly, the striker portion 24 may be coupled to the seat 14 via a mounting bracket or seat frame not shown.

[0030] Referring to FIG. 3, a cargo box 38 is shown in an operable position coupled to the vehicle 12 via the cargo retention system 10 of the present invention. In general, the cargo box 38 may be any number of shapes and sizes and may include solid or mesh sides. In addition, inside dividers 37 may be added to further assist the vehicle operator in organizing cargo. One skilled in the art will appreciate that the cargo box 38 may also include a pivotable top or a removable lid (not shown) for enclosing at least a portion of the cargo box 38. In the preferred embodiment, the striker portions 24 are approximately six millimeters in diameter and at least 25 millimeters long. Each pair of lower anchorages 22 are preferably spaced apart 280 millimeters as measured from the center of each striker portion 24. One skilled in the art will appreciate that the geometry of the downwardly extending legs 26 may vary based on the geometry of the specific vehicle equipped with the lower anchorages 22 without departing from the scope of the present invention.

[0031] The cargo box 38 includes two longitudinally extending latches 40 spaced apart a predetermined distance 42. Referring to FIGS. 3 and 4, each of the latches 40 includes a generally planar body 44 having a first end 46 coupled to the cargo box 38. In addition, each of the latches 40 includes a hook 48 positioned at a second end 50. The hook 48 includes an inner surface 49 adapted to engage the striker portion 24 of the lower anchorage 22. A spring clasp 51 is included as an optional feature for further retaining the striker portion 24. The spring clasp 51 is normally biased to contact the inner surface 49 thereby requiring an externally applied force to the clasp 51 if decoupling is desired.

[0032] The preferred embodiment of the present invention shows the striker portion 24 and a portion of the longitudinally extending portions 28 extending forwardly beyond the bight line 20. However, it may be beneficial to provide a lower anchorage 22 having shortened longitudinally extending portions 28 such that the striker portion 24 is positioned within the bight line 20 in contact with the seat bottom 16 and the seat back 18. Positioning the striker portion 24 within the bight line 20 offers improved comfort when an adult occupant is seated in the seating position incorporating the cargo retention system 10 of the present invention. If the striker portion 24 is positioned within the bight 20, the seat back 18 may be marked to indicate the location of each of the lower anchorages 22 in order to assist the user.

[0033] One variation of the present invention includes sizing the body 44 of the latches 40 to preload the cargo box 38 against the seat 14. Specifically, when the cargo box 38 is in the operable position as shown in FIG. 3, an outside wall 52 of the cargo box 38 contacts a front surface 54 of the seat back 18 prior to engagement of the hook 48 with the striker portion 24. Accordingly, the cargo box 38 is biasedly loaded against both the seat bottom 16 and the seat back 18.

[0034] An additional, extendable retention system 56 constructed in accordance with the teachings of the present invention is shown in FIG. 5. The extendable retention system 56 includes a flexible strap 58 having a first end coupled to the lower anchorage 22. An opposite distal end of the flexible strap 58 includes a hook 60 configured to engage a lower edge 62 of the seat bottom 16. After engaging the latches 40 with the lower anchorages 22, the flexible strap 58 may be adjusted to impart a load on the seat bottom 16 thereby retaining the cargo box 38 as desired. An alternate embodiment of the extendable retention system 56 includes attaching the cargo box 38 to the lower anchorages 22 via the latches 40 as shown in FIG. 3. In addition, the first end of the flexible strap 58 is coupled to the cargo box 38 while the distal end having the hook 60 engages the lower edge 62 of the seat bottom 16.

[0035] Referring to FIG. 6, a second embodiment of a latch 64 may be used to detachably interconnect a variety of storage devices or cargo retention systems to the lower anchorages 22. The latch 64 includes a generally rectangular body 66 having a width 67 terminating at a jaw-like bifurcated end 68. The bifurcated end 68 includes a bull nose 70 and ajaw 72 spaced apart a predetermined distance 74 defining a slot 75. One skilled in the art will appreciate that the width 67 and the predetermined distance 74 are sized to closely cooperate with the striker portion 24 of the lower anchorage 22. Specially, the width 67 may be maximized to provide an engagement length of approximately 25 millimeters to resist a torsional moment in the direction of arrow 76. The predetermined distance 74 may be minimized while allowing slidable engagement with the striker portion 24 of the lower anchorage 22 in an attempt to further limit rotation in the direction of the arrow 76. Furthermore, the predetermined distance 74 may be reduced such that a mild interference fit is present upon inserting the latch 64 over the striker portion 24. Accordingly, the ends 70 and 72 will further space apart upon insertion of the striker portion 24 into the slot 75.

[0036] Based on the aforementioned geometry of latch 64, it will be appreciated that the latch 64 may be utilized with or without a retractable pin or clip 78. Notwithstanding the fact that the latch 64 will function properly without additional hardware, many manufacturers may wish to include the retractable pin or clip 78 to further resist withdrawal of the latch 64 from the lower anchorage 22 during vehicle operation.

[0037] Referring to FIG. 7, a third embodiment of the latch system constructed in accordance with the teachings of the present invention is depicted at reference numeral 80. The latch system 80 includes a generally “C” shaped body 82 having a first wall 84 and a second wall 86 interconnected by an end wall 88. The latch system 80 further includes a slidable pin 90 operable in a deployed position and a retracted position. The latch system 80 also includes a spring means (not shown) for biasing the slidable pin 90 into the deployed position thereby interconnecting the first wall 84 with the second wall 86. The third embodiment of the latch system 80 also includes a button 92 interconnected to the slidable pin 90 whereupon axial movement of the button 92 forces the slidable pin 90 from its normally deployed position to the retracted position. One skilled in the art will appreciate that the latch embodiments previously described are merely exemplary and that a variety of clips and retainers may be utilized to interconnect the cargo retention system 10 to the lower anchorage 22.

[0038] In FIG. 8, a second embodiment of the present invention is depicted at reference numeral 93. In this embodiment it is shown that the cargo retention system 10 may be utilized to secure cargo behind the vehicle seat 14. Specifically, a tie-down strap 94, having two hooks 96 interconnected by an elastic center section 98, may be utilized to secure cargo located, behind the vehicle seat 14. As shown in the figure, the tie-down strap 94 may be interconnected to the lower anchorage 22 at any convenient location including the vertical portion 32 or the transversely disposed striker portion 24.

[0039] Referring to FIG. 9, a third embodiment of the cargo retention system is identified at 99. The system 99 provides an opportunity for securing cargo behind the passenger seat 14. For example, a beverage cooler 100 is shown resting on the floor pan 36 behind the vehicle seat 14. The beverage cooler 100 includes at least one latch 101 interconnected to at least one lower anchorage 22. One skilled in the art will appreciate that any of the latch embodiments previously described may be implemented to prevent the beverage cooler 100 from translating along the floor pan 36 while operating the vehicle 12. In the preferred embodiment, the latch 101 extends into the bight 20 to engage the striker portion 24.

[0040] With specific reference to FIG. 10, a fourth embodiment of the cargo retention system 102 includes a cargo net 106 for securing loose items inside of the vehicle 12. The system 102 includes a plurality of attachment mechanisms 104 releasably interconnecting the cargo net 106 and the lower anchorages 22. The cargo net 106 is preferably constructed from an elastic material capable of conforming to a variety of exterior configurations. One skilled in the art will appreciate that the attachment mechanisms 104 may include rigid body latches as shown or flexible straps as earlier described.

[0041] A fifth embodiment of the cargo retention system 108 is shown at FIG. 11 to include a play table 110 operatively associated with the seat 14 to provide a substantially level playing surface 112 for a child or other occupant. The play table 110 includes a pair of longitudinally extending attachment mechanisms 114 releasably coupled to the striker portion 24 of the lower anchorages 22. As mentioned earlier, it is within the scope of the present invention for the attachment mechanisms 114 to include spring clips, hooks, and other devices capable of releasably grasping the striker portion 24 of the lower anchorage 22.

[0042] Referring to FIG. 12, an electrification system 116 may be incorporated for use with the cargo retention system 10. In general, the electrification system 116 functions by providing remote access to vehicle power through points adjacent to or located at the lower anchorages 22. In the embodiment depicted at FIG. 12, a male power connector 118 extends from the body of a latch previously described. A female power connector 120 is located adjacent the striker portion 24 to facilitate the supply of power to an electrical appliance such as a radio, a child's toy, a television or other entertainment device. One skilled in the art will appreciate that the interconnection of the male power connector 118 with the female power connector 120 is simply and efficiently accomplished at the same time that the latch engages the striker portion 24 of the lower anchorage 22.

[0043] Another embodiment of the electrification system 116 includes supplying positive potential electrical energy to one of the lower anchorages 1522 within the cargo retention system 10. A separate lower anchorage 22 is electrically connected to ground. Accordingly, once a device such as an electronic child safety seat (not shown) is coupled to the electrified lower anchorages, the circuit will be complete without requiring any additional cords or connections.

[0044] A passenger side support arrangement 122 is illustrated at FIG. 13 including a compressible pillow 124 releasably coupled to the lower anchorages 22 via an attachment mechanism 126. The attachment mechanism 126 includes a plurality of elastic bands 130 each having one end fixed to the pillow 124 and an opposite end terminating at a hook 128. One skilled in the art will appreciate that the pillow 124 may be located in a variety of positions and the center location shown is merely exemplary.

[0045] The foregoing discussion discloses and describes merely exemplary embodiments of the present invention. One skilled in the art will readily recognize from such discussion, and from the accompanying drawings and claims, that various changes, modifications and variations may be made therein without departing from the spirit and scope of the invention as defined in the following claims.

Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US6736438 *May 28, 2003May 18, 2004Lear CorporationSemi-passive latch system for a vehicle component
US6983526Jun 24, 2003Jan 10, 2006M & C CorporationCold formed latch wire
US7131693May 16, 2003Nov 7, 2006M & C CorporationRestraint anchorage for a child restraint system
US7309102May 24, 2006Dec 18, 2007Davis Gailynn BSeat net
US7484800Mar 31, 2005Feb 3, 2009M & C CorporationCold formed latch wire
US7766422 *Apr 13, 2007Aug 3, 2010Gm Global Technology Operations, Inc.Cargo retention device and method
US8297667Jun 8, 2009Oct 30, 2012Ford Global Technologies, LlcLockable latch
US20090008420 *Jul 2, 2008Jan 8, 2009Zat Automobiltechnik GmbhContainer, Especially Case, Box, Crate, Basket, Bag or the Like
US20130175792 *Sep 14, 2010Jul 11, 2013Toyota Jidosha Kabushiki KaishaVehicle rear side airbag device fixing structure
EP1852313A1 *May 3, 2007Nov 7, 2007Waeco International GmbHAdapter for attaching a portable coolbox to an anchoring device on a seat of a motor vehicle and coolbox
Classifications
U.S. Classification224/275, 224/534
International ClassificationB60R5/00, B60R7/04
Cooperative ClassificationB60R5/00, B60R7/043
European ClassificationB60R5/00, B60R7/04B