NL1039039C - Improved vehicle floor plate for transporting wheelchair passengers. - Google Patents

Improved vehicle floor plate for transporting wheelchair passengers.

Info

Publication number
NL1039039C
NL1039039C NL1039039A NL1039039A NL1039039C NL 1039039 C NL1039039 C NL 1039039C NL 1039039 A NL1039039 A NL 1039039A NL 1039039 A NL1039039 A NL 1039039A NL 1039039 C NL1039039 C NL 1039039C
Authority
NL
Grant status
Grant
Patent type
Prior art keywords
wheelchair
floor
provided
means
lid
Prior art date
Application number
NL1039039A
Other languages
Dutch (nl)
Inventor
Marcel Johannes Hendrikus Schouten
Sjoerd Hendrik Bijl
Original Assignee
Beheers En Beleggingsmij Verachtert B V
Priority date (The priority date is an assumption and is not a legal conclusion. Google has not performed a legal analysis and makes no representation as to the accuracy of the date listed.)
Filing date
Publication date
Grant date

Links

Classifications

    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A61MEDICAL OR VETERINARY SCIENCE; HYGIENE
    • A61GTRANSPORT OR ACCOMODATION FOR PATIENTS; OPERATING TABLES OR CHAIRS; CHAIRS FOR DENTISTRY; FUNERAL DEVICES
    • A61G3/00Ambulance aspects of vehicles; Vehicles with special provisions for transporting patients or disabled persons, or their personal conveyances, e.g. for facilitating access of, or for loading, wheelchairs
    • A61G3/08Accommodating or securing wheelchairs or stretchers
    • A61G3/0808Accommodating or securing wheelchairs
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A61MEDICAL OR VETERINARY SCIENCE; HYGIENE
    • A61GTRANSPORT OR ACCOMODATION FOR PATIENTS; OPERATING TABLES OR CHAIRS; CHAIRS FOR DENTISTRY; FUNERAL DEVICES
    • A61G2220/00Adaptations of particular transporting means
    • A61G2220/16Buses

Abstract

The current invention concerns a floor plate for a vehicle for transporting able and disabled people, onto which chairs and/or seats and/or wheelchairs are attachable, said floor plate comprising one or more floor sections and/or rail sections, said floor sections comprising essentially flat upper sides defining a floor level, said floor sections comprising one or more storage parts comprising a storage cavity, said storage parts located under and/or at the same level as the floor level, said storage parts comprising wheelchair and/or wheelchair passenger securing means, said storage parts comprising a lid which is capable of sliding in a longitudinal direction along a trajectory between a closed position essentially at the floor level and an open position at a height below the floor level, characterized in that said storage parts comprise lifting means for lifting and lowering said wheelchair and/or wheelchair passenger securing means above the floor level and below the floor level into said storage cavity. The current invention also concerns a system comprising a floor plate and one or more connectors for fixating a load, such as a foldable chair, to a rail of said floor plate.

Description

IMPROVED VEHICLE FLOOR PLATE FOR TRANSPORTING WHEELCHAIR

PASSENGERS

TECHNICAL FIELD

5

The invention pertains to the technical field of vehicles and vehicle accessories intended for transporting people. In particular, the present invention relates to a floor plate intended to be installed in a vehicle for transporting both able people and people in a wheelchair. Thereto, the device may also comprise a connector for 10 attaching a chair to the vehicle floor.

BACKGROUND

When transporting a person in a wheelchair, it is usually necessary to transport both 15 the person and the wheelchair, such that when the destination is reached, the person can use his own wheelchair and does not rely on the presence of another wheelchair at the destination. There are basically two ways in which one can transport a disabled person and his wheelchair. The first one is where the person occupies a seat in the transport vehicle and the wheelchair is transported separately, 20 e.g. in the boot of the vehicle. Hereby, the wheelchair may be folded, but would still occupy a lot of space in the vehicle which cannot be used for transporting other people, luggage or goods. Furthermore, the problem of helping the disabled person out of his wheelchair and into a normal passenger seat may be hard to overcome, especially if an assisting person is not able to lift the disabled person.

25

The second manner in which one can transport both the disabled person and his wheelchair, is by transporting the person in his wheelchair. Hereby, the person in a wheelchair can be assisted to enter the vehicle by means of e.g. a ramp or small elevator. The wheelchair is subsequently secured to the vehicle and the disabled 30 person himself is secured into his wheelchair. It is clear that for this way of transporting disabled people, the problems of the first way are circumvented, i.e. the wheelchair does not occupy as much extra space, and the disabled person does not need to be lifted out of his wheelchair into a passenger seat. The present invention relates to the second manner of transport.

35

However, transporting the disabled person in his wheelchair gives rise to other problems. Firstly, there needs to be enough space in the vehicle to accommodate the person in his wheelchair. This means that at least some space in the vehicle is not 1039039 2 occupied by a normal passenger seat. One solution to this problem is to simply remove one or more passenger seats from the vehicle, thereby creating the necessary space for the wheelchair. However, this means that these passenger seats are lost during the whole trip. If, for instance, the trip involves transporting one or 5 more disabled people to the hospital and transporting one or more able people from the hospital to their homes, the able people may not occupy the space used for transporting the disabled people and multiple trips may be necessary. To overcome this, it is possible to install foldable passenger seats in the vehicle. These seats can accommodate able people for transport, and may be folded up, thereby giving room 10 to disabled people in a wheelchair.

Another problem that arises when a disabled person is transported in his wheelchair, is that both the wheelchair itself and the wheelchair passenger should be properly secured. This means that a double safety system should be installed in the vehicle 15 for securing the wheelchair itself and for securing the wheelchair passenger in his wheelchair.

Furthermore, in the combined transport of able and disabled passengers, it is advisable that the seat for able passengers can be easily repositioned and/or 20 removed or installed. For instance, a person with a broken leg in a cast sitting in a wheelchair, needs a lot of space in the longitudinal direction since he cannot bend his leg. In such and other cases, it is beneficial if the foldable seats for able passengers can be easily rearranged to give more space to the disabled passenger. Therefore, it would be beneficial if the foldable seats comprise connectors for 25 connecting them to the floor, which ensure an easy installation, removal and/or displacement of the seats.

European patent EP 1 701 860 discloses and claims a device constructed as floor plate or floor and which consists of rail section and floor section parts and is fastened 30 on the bottom plate of transport vehicles, such as vehicles with load floors for conversion to mini busses, according to the strict rules applicable for passenger transport up to 8 people, ambulances, trains, busses, trams, airplanes and such, in which on the mentioned floor plate or floor chairs/seats and wheelchairs are attachable, in which the mentioned fastening to the bottom plate can be done in a 35 mechanical as well as a chemical way, in which the rail and floor section parts are applied in a longitudinal direction of the transport vehicle, in which the mentioned chairs/seats can be coupled, mostly without tools in a so called chair track on the mentioned rail section parts, wherein on each chair-track the chairs/seats can be 3 coupled to a single rail section part, in which the mentioned rail section part has a continuous narrow slit on the upper side to internally form a mechanical strong U-shape with beveled flanges, in which the material of the rail- and floor section parts is a rigid and ductile material with a relatively high bending and shear strength, in 5 which the mentioned U-shape of the mentioned rail section part is provided with relatively thick sides to absorb extreme intermittent load, in which rail and floor section parts are mechanically interlockable and the floor can be fastened at the top side of the corrugated section of the bottom plate of the transport vehicle, whereby the beveled flanges are provided with a serration with a short pitch on the inside for 10 form-matching receipt of special T-headed bolts for fastening the base plates of the chairs/seats, in which fastening or locking of the mentioned T-headed bolt in the floor is done with an instrument provided with a lever, in which in the floor section parts special coverable recesses are applied in a suitable pattern for retractors with ratchet construction and common retractors of securing belts for fastening 15 wheelchairs. The floor section part has a rather broad design and can only be mutually glued on the tip surfaces, through which the interconnection is less suitable and strong. The advantage of this kind of floor plate is that it is a relatively flat floor plate onto which in a very efficient way chairs and wheelchairs can be mounted and which has a very professional design as well in appearance as use. Further the floor 20 plate is further developed in such a way, that the mentioned rail section part has a box-shaped rectangular cross-section with raised ridges with bevelled flanges, to form a continuous narrow open slit upwards. The floor plate forms a whole with regard to the transverse force and moment working. Sliding in longitudinal direction and naturally crosswise direction of the chair/seat in relation to the floor is 25 impossible. The base plate of the chair/seat legs can be fastened quickly and safely onto the floor plate.

The floor plate disclosed in European patent EP 1 701 860 has a number of characteristics for which an improvement will be disclosed in this document. The 30 prior art floor plate has components which can be lifted above the level of the floor. These components may hinder the movement of wheelchairs on the floor, they may cause tripping of a person walking through the vehicle's aisle, or they may cause other inconveniences. Therefore the present invention provides a floor plate whereby no components are unnecessarily sticking out above the floor level.

35

Furthermore, the rail-with-connector system described in EP 1 701 860 comprises a rail section with a U-shaped cross section and beveled flanges provided with a serration with a short pitch on the inside for form-matching receipt of special T- 4 headed bolts of a connector which may be attached to the bottom of a seat. The presence of the serration on the beveled flanges for form-matching the receipt of the bolts puts several constraints and/or limitations on the rail and connector. One problem is that one can only fix the connector on discrete positions along the rail 5 which are defined by the pitch of the serration. If the pitch is short, this may not pose severe problems; nevertheless, being able to fix the connector, and thus also the seats, at any position along the rail would constitute an improvement. Further, sliding the seats with the connectors along the rail has proven to lead to problems, due to the serration on the beveled flanges. More specifically, the serration hampers 10 the easy displacement of the connector and seat along the rail, especially if the connector with the special T-head bolt as described in EP 1 701 860, is slightly turned in an at least partially locking position. Another problem of or constraint set to the rail-and-connector fixation system described in EP 1 701 860 is that if more than one connector is used to fix one seat, the distance between the connectors 15 need to be accurately tuned, i.e. the longitudinal distance between two T-headed bolts of two connectors of one seat needs to be an integer times the pitch of the serration, in order to have optimal fixation and securement. It has been found that a deviation from an integer times the serration pitch of 10% from the pitch length, may already cause securement difficulties, e.g. if the pitch length is 1cm, a deviation 20 in the distance between two T-headed bolts of two connectors of one seat of 1mm may already pose difficulties. Furthermore, this means that not all types of chair may be used in combination with this floor plate, only the types of chair which can accommodate two or more connectors placed at the correct distance from each other. Therefore, the present invention provides a rail, a connector and a rail-and-25 connector system whereby the seat attached to the connector can be fixed in any position along the rail, i.e. continuously along the rail, whereby the seat can be more easily repositioned along the rail and whereby basically all types of chair may be used, i.e. whereby no severe restrictions or accuracy constraints need to be imposed on the chair or the fixation of the connector to the chair.

30 A somewhat similar floor is known from the patent document EP 1 028 885. The invention concerns transport means, in which the floor consists of a plate, which is adjusted to the bottom plate and on which several chairs/seats or other help means for passenger transport can be fastened, in which the mentioned floor plate is 35 provided with multiple recesses, which are divided over the surface in a suitable way, in which in the mentioned recesses of the mentioned plate fastening means for. chairs and such can be applied. The floor with its many recesses has a very high flexibility for furnishing mini'busses, in which the chairs are fastened to the floor 5 plate, in which the floor plate, which is fastened to the bottom plate of the vehicle can absorb extra collision energy, so that the passengers can be transported more safely in the concerned vehicle.

5 The mentioned floor plate is fastened to the chassis beam and bottom plate by means of brackets with bolts. The plates have floor section parts with an inverted U-shape. Further the invention consists of floor elements, which are made through aluminium extrusion and roughly have a hollow rectangular cross-section internally provided with ridges. The raised side edges are constructed in such a way to lay 10 form-matching onto each other. Further, through extrusion also rail section parts are available which can be inserted in the floor between the floor section parts. The rail section parts have a dovetail shape in vertical sense for inserting a dovetailed section for fastening a chair/seat leg, which is done with bolts.

15 The interconnection between floor section parts and, if necessary, rail section parts is done by means of adhesion, welding and such. Although in principle the above mentioned floor has a good basis, which is more or less known from the state of the art, it still has quite a number of disadvantages being, that fastening the floor sections with bolts onto and through the bottom plate is relatively disadvantageous 20 because of possible rusting, possible dissolution of the guarantee by the dealer and it is also very labour-intensive. Also, at least two rail section parts are necessary for each chair or seat, which produce or create rather many rail section parts with grooves or dovetail sections in the floor. Also, the embodiment of the floor with many divided openings gives an untidy appearance and stands in the way for a good 25 finishing with a floor covering material.

Further, it is a disadvantage, that the upper side of the created floor is not flat (mounting rubbers, etc.), through which a less attractive embodiment of the floor plate is created.

30

The described disadvantages mainly still remain when the floor is glued to the bottom plate of the vehicle.

It remains a disadvantage that the rail section part with a separate insert rail is 35 rather complicated and expensive and for one chair/seat two of these rail section parts with accessories must be attached.

6 A type of chair which may be used in conjunction with the floor plate of the present invention is disclosed in EP 1 680 302. European patent EP 1 680 302 discloses and claims a device constructed as a fold-in, swing aside chair, also called folding chair or fold-up chair, for placement onto a special applied floor in transport vehicles, such 5 as mini busses, city busses, touring cars, ambulances, trains, trams, airplanes and such, wherein in its length the back support of the foldup chair is supplied with a head support, wherein the back support can be folded down hingeably over the seat element to a practically horizontal position, wherein in the normal sitting position the chair shape is maintained by locks, wherein the fold-up chair is foldable over two 10 mutual perpendicular not in the same horizontal plane situated axis of rotation into a suitable vertical position of the whole fold-up chair, wherein the first axis of rotation is situated between the back support and the seat element and the second axis of rotation is situated eccentrically lengthwise beneath the seat element, wherein blocking is done around the mentioned first axis of rotation by means of a first 15 locking mechanism and around the mentioned second axis of rotation by means of a second locking mechanism, wherein in the mentioned extended vertical position the fold-up chair is spring loaded, wherein the foot support of the fold-up chair is constructed as rigid vertical beams hingeably mounted to the seat element, wherein the material of the supporting framework of the dismountable fold-up chair is a 20 strong rigid material, whereby in the vertical position the fold-up chair due to its rotation about the second axis is in a lowered position near the vehicles bottom, so that it is coupled torsionally stiff around the second axis and it is also detachable from the horizontal surface of the floor plate attached to the bottom plate of the transport vehicle. A safety-belt system can be attached to the seat. However, 25 different types of chair may also be used in combination of the floor plate of the present invention.

One more problem which occurs frequently in a prior art floor of vehicles for transporting wheelchair passengers, such as disclosed in EP 1 701 860, is that the 30 retractors of the wheelchair hooks which secure the wheelchair to the floor, tend to tighten the straps of the hooks during transport due to the shocks to which the vehicle is exposed, e.g. bumps in the road, sudden stops/braking, acceleration, turns, etc. This tightening can be so severe that it becomes impossible for a person, e.g. the driver, to unlock the wheelchair hooks. In that case, it was necessary to cut 35 through the straps, resulting in extra replacement costs. The present invention provides a mechanism whereby the retractors of the wheelchair hooks can be locked and unlocked electrically, hereby allowing the loosening of the wheelchair hooks 7 after transport even if the transport was very rough and the hooks and/or hook straps were tightened very severely by the retractors.

Another problem which may occur in prior art wheelchair securing systems in 5 transport systems is that the wheelchair is improperly secured due to accidental negligence from part of the securing person, e.g. typically the driver of the vehicle. This can happen if the securing person is not a professional, has little experience, is confused, has not driven a vehicle with this particular type of wheelchair securing system before, etc. A typical cause of improper securing is that the securing person 10 does not apply the right wheelchair hooks to the right wheelchair. There are many incorrect ways of employing a system of, e.g. four, wheelchair hooks to secure a wheelchair during transport, but one can reduce the possibility of a human error by a proper design of the wheelchair securing system. Also, it may help the securing person to lift the wheelchair hooks and/or seat-belt retractor securing the wheelchair 15 passenger above the floor level for easier handling, e.g. for handling the hooks and retractor without having to kneel down, and/or to indicate which hooks and/or retractor should be used to secure a wheelchair with its passenger at a certain position in the vehicle. Furthermore, when a set of wheelchair hooks remain unused, they can be preferably automatically stored in storage compartments below floor 20 level which may be closed such that they do not hinder anything or anyone when they remain unused, but yet are easily accessible for use if necessary. Therefore, the present invention provides a storage section and a floor plate comprising such a storage section, whereby the storage section comprises a lid which is capable of gliding under the floor level and a lifting device for lifting a wheelchair hook or 25 retractor above floor level for easier access.

For the reasons described above and further in this document, it is clear that there remains a need in the art for an improved floor plate of vehicles for transporting one or more able passengers, one or more wheelchair passengers and/or a combination 30 of both. The present invention aims to resolve at least some of the problems mentioned above. Thereto, the invention aims to provide an improved floor plate, comprising any combination of the following elements: • one or more rails or rail sections, whereby the rails do not need to have serration for the secure fixation of passenger seats, but may have an 35 essentially smooth and/or straight profile in the longitudinal direction; • one or more connectors, capable of fixing and/or securing a load such as a foldable chair in any desired position along a rail of the floor plate, even if the 8 rail has essentially smooth and/or straight edges or sides and/or a smooth and/or straight profile in the longitudinal direction; • one or more storage compartments or sections, capable of storing a wheelchair securing or other component below floor level, and/or capable of 5 lifting said component, e.g. a wheelchair securing hook or seat-belt buckle for securing a wheelchair passenger, above floor level for easy and erroravoiding access. Said storage compartments may also comprise a retractor device to which a wheelchair securing component is attached, e.g. via one or more straps, or any other kind of webbing, said retractors capable of being 10 locked/unlocked electronically, mechanically, electromechanically, electrically, magnetically; • one or more sensors capable of sensing if a wheelchair securing element is in use or is outside or inside its storage compartment or section, said sensors capable of transmitting a warning signal, e.g. if an unused wheelchair 15 securing component is not stored, or if a wheelchair securing element is not applied correctly or not applied at all when a wheelchair and/or wheelchair passenger is present at the location of the securing component, etc.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

20

In a first aspect, the present invention provides a floor plate for a vehicle for transporting able and disabled people, onto which chairs and/or seats and/or wheelchairs are attachable, said floor plate comprising one or more floor sections and/or rail sections.

25

In an embodiment, said floor sections may comprise essentially flat upper sides defining a floor level.

In an embodiment, said floor sections may comprise one or more storage parts 30 comprising a storage cavity, said storage parts located under and/or at the same level as the floor level.

In a preferred embodiment, said storage parts may comprise a lid which is capable of sliding, folding and/or turning in a longitudinal direction along a trajectory 35 between a closed position essentially at the floor level and an open position at a height below the floor level.

9

In a preferred embodiment, said storage parts may comprise wheelchair and/or wheelchair passenger securing means. It should be noted that within this document, these securing means may also be used to secure other loads than a wheelchair and/or wheelchair passenger. These other loads include but are not limited to 5 helping means for the elderly such as crotches or a walking rack, etc., bicycles, mopeds, or other loads.

In a more preferred embodiment, said wheelchair passenger securing means may comprise a buckle, strap and/or retractor capable of receiving a fastening device of a safety-belt system for securing an able and/or disabled passenger.

10

In a more preferred embodiment, said wheelchair securing means may comprise a wheelchair hook, strap and/or retractor capable of securing at least part of a wheelchair to said vehicle floor, preferably in conjunction with other wheelchair securing means.

15

In a more preferred embodiment, said wheelchair and/or wheelchair passenger securing means may comprise a sensor capable of sensing whether or not said wheelchair and/or wheelchair passenger securing means is being used and/or is at least partly outside said storage cavity.

20

In a more preferred embodiment, said wheelchair passenger securing means may comprise electrical, magnetic, electromagnetic and/or electromechanical locking means capable of locking and/or unlocking said retractor in and/or from a tighten-only state, preferably whereby said locking means comprises an electromechanically 25 actuated pin and/or pawl connected to said retractor and connected to securitycontrolling means, preferably comprising a control button or switch for activating and/or deactivating said locking means.

In a preferred embodiment, said storage parts may comprise a support frame 30 comprising a lid-guiding edge and/or surface defining said trajectory of the lid between said closed and said open position.

In a preferred embodiment, said storage parts may comprise a lid actuator and lidopening means for opening and closing said lid.

In a more preferred embodiment, said combination of lid actuator and lid-opening means may comprise a screw drive.

35 10

In a more preferred embodiment, said lid actuator may comprise an electrical motor.

In a more preferred embodiment, said lid actuator comprises an electrical motor, and/or said lid-opening means comprise a screw drive capable of transforming a 5 rotational movement of an axis of the electrical motor into a translational movement of at least one screw drive component, said lid-opening means comprising one or more protrusions and/or recesses attached to the lid and capable of hooking into said at least one screw drive component.

10 In a more preferred embodiment, said lid-opening means may comprise a spindle comprising a helical screw on its outside surface and a protrusion attached to the lid and capable of hooking into said helical screw of said spindle, whereby said lid actuator is capable of rotating said spindle, thereby pulling and/or pushing said lid via said protrusion, preferably along said trajectory.

15

In a preferred embodiment, said storage parts may comprise lifting means for lifting and lowering said wheelchair and/or wheelchair passenger securing means above the floor level and below the floor level into said storage cavity.

20 In a more preferred embodiment, said lifting means may comprise a cantilever and cantilever pivoting means comprising a pivot axis, preferably lying essentially horizontal and transverse, around which said cantilever is capable of rotating, said cantilever at least partly located underneath said wheelchair and/or wheelchair passenger securing means.

25

In an even more preferred embodiment, said support frame may be positioned on top of said cantilever pivoting means for constraining its translational movement, and said cantilever pivoting means may comprise lid-engaging means such as a notch or a protrusion, preferably at a transverse side edge of said cantilever pivoting 30 means, which are capable of engaging with an edge, a protrusion and/or a notch of said lid when said lid is near the open position, hereby rotating said cantilever around said pivot axis upwards when said lid moves towards the open position and/or downwards when said lid moves towards the closed position.

35 In a preferred embodiment, said storage parts may comprise one or more lights such as LEDs, which can be lit and whose light is directed towards the expected position of the wheelchair when the lid is in said open position; preferably one or more of said lights are attached to said lifting means; preferably a switch for turning 11 on and off said lights is connected to said lifting means, said switch being in the on position when said cantilever is in a lifting position and in the off position when said cantilever is in a storing position.

5 In an embodiment, said floor sections may comprise ventilation ducts for ventilation, heating, cooling and/or airconditioning said vehicle.

In an embodiment, said floor sections comprise one or more lights and/or reflective strips.

10 In an embodiment, said rail sections may comprise a rail, preferably in an essentially longitudinal direction, said rail comprising a U-shaped lateral cross section and/or overhanging edges, which are preferably essentially straight in the longitudinal direction.

15 In a second aspect, the present invention provides a system of a floor plate such as described above and one or more connectors for fixating a load, such as a foldable chair, to a rail of said floor plate.

In an embodiment, the connector may comprise a sledge, a T-bolt-like profiled 20 clamping member and a clamping actuator.

In a preferred embodiment, the clamping actuator may be placed on the sledge and is capable of lifting the T-bolt-like profiled clamping member such that the connector is clamped with the T-bolt-like profiled clamping member to the vehicle floor, 25 preferably to a rail with U-shaped cross section and/or overhanging edges in said vehicle floor;

In a preferred embodiment, the sledge may comprise a frame and two profiled plates, each of which is capable of rotating around a preferably essentially 30 longitudinal pivot axis which is fixed with respect to the frame.

In a preferred embodiment, the T-bolt-like clamping member may comprise a slablike upper part and a flatiron-like lower part comprising essentially straight side edges and a peak-shaped front and/or back end, whereby the lower part of said T-35 bolt-like clamping member comprises upstanding side faces which are at least partly slanted with respect to the slides of the slab-like upper part of said T-bolt-like clamping member.

12

In a preferred embodiment, the clamping actuator may comprise a spindle, a spindle frame and a lifting frame.

In a more preferred embodiment, the slab-like upper part of the T-bolt-like clamping 5 member may be introduced through an essentially rectangular hole in the bottom of the spindle frame, whereby preferably the T-bolt-like clamping member is restrained from moving in the longitudinal direction by the front/back side of the hole in the bottom of the spindle frame.

10 In a more preferred embodiment, the T-bolt-like clamping member may be attached to the lifting frame, preferably by an essentially cylindrical pivot bar whereby the pivot bar is inserted in a transverse hole through an upper end of the slab-like upper part of the T-bolt-like clamping member and rests in slanted slits along the sides of the lifting frame, whereby the lifting frame is capable of moving along the 15 longitudinal direction with respect to the spindle frame and the spindle is introduced through the spindle frame and the lifting frame in a longitudinal direction such that turning the spindle results in a longitudinal movement of the lifting frame with respect to the spindle frame, thereby moving said pivot bar upwards or downwards since it follows the slanted slits in the lifting frame's sides.

20

In a more preferred embodiment, the rail may comprise an open slit at the top which is wider than the width of the lower part of the T-bolt-like clamping member of the connector, and is also wider than the width between the two profiled plates of the sledge when they hang down freely, but the width of the open slit at the top is 25 smaller than the width of the two profiled plates of the sledge when they are pushed apart sideways by the T-bolt-like clamping member which can be introduced between the two profiled plates of the sledge.

In a further aspect, the present invention provides a method and/or mechanism for 30 releasably connecting a device to a floor plate as described above, whereby said device comprises a connector comprising a spindle actuator as described in this text, comprising the steps of: • positioning said spindle actuator along the frame of the sledge such that the lower part of the T-bolt-like clamping member and the two profiled plates of 35 the sledge are separated, i.e. the lower part of the T-bolt-like clamping member does not push the two profiled plates of the sledge to the sides; • introducing the lower part of the T-bolt-like clamping member and the two profiled plates of the sledge in the rail, preferably through an open slit at the 13 top of the rail, while the bottom of the spindle frame or of the device attached to the spindle frame rests on the overhanging edges of the rail; • sliding the spindle frame and sledge with respect to each other such that the lower part of the T-bolt-like clamping member is introduced in between the 5 two profiled plates of the sledge, thereby pushing these profiled plates outwards such that the total width of the lower part of the T-bolt-like clamping member and the two profiled plates of the sledge is larger than the width of the top opening of the rail. Hereby, due to the at least partly slanted side faces of the lower part of the T-bolt-like clamping member and the 10 profile of the profiled plates, the connector cannot be lifted from the rail completely. However, it can still slide along the rail.

The connector and/or device can be further fixed to the floor and/or floor plate by performing the steps of: • lifting the T-bolt-like clamping member upwards by turning the spindle of the 15 clamping actuator, whereby the lower part of the T-bolt-like clamping member pushes both sideways and upwards on the profiled plates of the sledge, which thereby clamp the overhanging edges against the bottom of the foot support or spindle frame.

20 Therefore, the present invention provides, but is not limited to: 1. A floor plate for a vehicle for transporting able and disabled people, onto which chairs and/or seats and/or wheelchairs are attachable, said floor plate comprising one or more floor sections and/or rail sections, said floor sections 25 comprising essentially flat upper sides defining a floor level, said floor sections comprising one or more storage parts comprising a storage cavity, said storage parts located under and/or at the same level as the floor level, said storage parts comprising wheelchair and/or wheelchair passenger securing means, said storage parts comprising a lid which is capable of sliding 30 in a longitudinal direction along a trajectory between a closed position essentially at the floor level and an open position at a height below the floor level, characterized in that said storage parts comprise lifting means for lifting above the floor level and lowering below the floor level into said storage cavity said wheelchair and/or wheelchair passenger securing means. 35 2. Floor plate according to point 1, whereby said wheelchair passenger securing means comprise a buckle, strap and/or retractor capable of receiving a fastening device of a safety-belt system for securing an able and/or disabled passenger.

14 3. Floor plate according to any of the points 1 or 2, whereby said wheelchair securing means comprise a wheelchair hook, strap and/or retractor capable of securing at least part of a wheelchair to said vehicle floor, preferably in conjunction with other wheelchair securing means.

5 4. Floor plate according to any of the points 1 to 3, whereby said wheelchair and/or wheelchair passenger securing means comprise electrical, magnetic, electromagnetic and/or electromechanical locking means capable of locking and/or unlocking said retractor in and/or from a tighten-only state.

5. Floor plate according to point 4, whereby said locking means comprises an 10 electromechanically actuated pin and/or pawl connected to said retractor and connected to security-controlling means, preferably comprising a control button or switch for activating and/or deactivating said locking means.

6. Floor plate according to any of the points 1 to 5, whereby said wheelchair and/or wheelchair passenger securing means comprises a sensor capable of 15 sensing whether or not said wheelchair and/or wheelchair passenger securing means is being used and/or is at least partly outside said storage cavity.

7. Floor plate according to any of the points 1 to 6, whereby said storage parts comprise a support frame comprising a lid-guiding edge and/or surface defining said trajectory of the lid between said closed and said open position.

20 8. Floor plate according to any of the points 1 to 7, whereby said storage parts comprising a lid actuator and lid-opening means for opening and closing said lid.

9. Floor plate according to point 8, whereby said lid actuator comprises an electrical motor, and/or whereby said lid-opening means comprise a screw 25 drive capable of transforming a rotational movement of an axis of the electrical motor into a translational movement of at least one screw drive component, said lid-opening means comprising one or more protrusions and/or recesses attached to the lid and capable of hooking into said at least one screw drive component.

30 10. Floor plate according to any of the points 1 to 9, whereby said lifting means comprise a cantilever and cantilever pivoting means comprising a pivot axis, preferably lying essentially horizontal and transverse, around which said cantilever is capable of rotating, said cantilever at least partly located underneath said wheelchair and/or wheelchair passenger securing means.

35 11. Floor plate according to point 10, whereby said support frame is positioned on top of said cantilever pivoting means for constraining its translational movement, and whereby said cantilever pivoting means comprise lid-engaging means such as a notch or a protrusion, preferably at a transverse 15 side edge of said cantilever pivoting means, which are capable of engaging with an edge, a protrusion and/or a notch of said lid when said lid is near the open position, hereby rotating said cantilever around said pivot axis upwards when said lid moves towards the open position and/or downwards when said 5 lid moves towards the closed position.

12. Floor plate according to any of the points 1 to 11, whereby said storage parts comprising one or more lights such as LEDs, which can be lit and whose light is directed towards the expected position of the wheelchair when the lid is in said open position.

10 13. Floor plate according to any of the points 1 to 12, whereby said rail sections comprise a rail, preferably in an essentially longitudinal direction, said rail comprising a U-shaped lateral cross section and/or overhanging edges, which are preferably essentially straight in the longitudinal direction.

14. System comprising a floor plate according to any of the points 1 to 13 15 comprising at least one rail and one or more connectors for fixating a load, such as a foldable chair, to said rail of said floor plate.

15. System according to point 14, whereby the connector comprises a sledge, a T-bolt-like profiled clamping member and a clamping actuator, • whereby the clamping actuator is placed on the sledge and is capable of 20 lifting the T-bolt-like profiled clamping member such that the connector is clamped with the T-bolt-like profiled clamping member to the vehicle floor, preferably to a rail with U-shaped cross section and/or overhanging edges in said vehicle floor; • whereby the sledge comprises a frame and two profiled plates, each of 25 which is capable of rotating around a preferably essentially longitudinal pivot axis which is fixed with respect to the frame; • whereby the T-bolt-like clamping member comprises a slab-like upper part and a flatiron-like lower part comprising essentially straight side edges and a peak-shaped front and/or back end, whereby the lower part 30 of said T-bolt-like clamping member comprises upstanding side faces which are at least partly slanted with respect to the slides of the slab-like upper part of said T-bolt-like clamping member; • whereby the clamping actuator comprises a spindle, a spindle frame and a lifting frame, 35 • whereby the slab-like upper part of the T-bolt-like clamping member is introduced through an essentially rectangular hole in the bottom of the spindle frame, whereby preferably the T-bolt-like clamping member is 16 restrained from moving in the longitudinal direction by the front/back side of the hole in the bottom of the spindle frame; • whereby the T-bolt-like clamping member is attached to the lifting frame, preferably by an essentially cylindrical pivot bar whereby the pivot bar is 5 inserted in a transverse hole through an upper end of the slab-like upper part of the T-bolt-like clamping member and rests in slanted slits along the sides of the lifting frame, whereby the lifting frame is capable of moving along the longitudinal direction with respect to the spindle frame and the spindle is introduced through the spindle frame and the lifting 10 frame in a longitudinal direction such that turning the spindle results in a longitudinal movement of the lifting frame with respect to the spindle frame, thereby moving said pivot bar upwards or downwards since it follows the slanted slits in the lifting frame's sides; • whereby the rail has an open slit at the top which is wider than the width 15 of the lower part of the T-bolt-like clamping member of the connector, and is also wider than the width between the two profiled plates of the sledge when they hang down freely, but the width of the open slit at the top is smaller than the width of the two profiled plates of the sledge when they are pushed apart sideways by the T-bolt-like clamping member 20 which can be introduced between the two profiled plates of the sledge.

DESCRIPTION OF FIGURES

Figures la-lb show in view and in oblique projection a floor plate according to prior 25 art document EP l 701 860, which can be improved to a floor plate according to the present invention.

Figures 2a-2b show the lateral cross sections of the essentially longitudinal floor sections which lay beside the rail sections, as described in EP 1 701 860.

Figure 3 shows an overview of the interior of a transport vehicle where three 30 devices are installed on the vehicle floor with a floor plate via a rail in a rail section of said floor plate.

Figures 4a-llb show a storage part and its components according the present invention.

Figures 12-16b show an embodiment of a connector and its parts according to the 35 present document.

17

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

The present invention concerns a floor plate which can be used in a vehicle transporting one or more able passengers, one or more wheelchair passengers 5 and/or a combination of both. The floor plate is easily installable in a vehicle and it well equipped to ensure the safety of all passengers before, during and after transport.

The present invention relates to a device constructed as floor plate or slab or floor 10 and consists of rail section and floor section parts and is fastened on the bottom plate of transport vehicles, such as vehicles with load floors for conversion to mini busses, according to the strict rules applicable for passenger transport up to 8 people, ambulances, trains, busses, trams, airplanes and such, in which on the mentioned floor plate or floor chairs/seats and wheelchairs are attachable, in which 15 the mentioned fastening to the bottom plate can be done in a mechanical as well as a chemical way, in which the rail- and floor section parts are applied in a longitudinal direction of the transport vehicle, in which the mentioned chairs/seats can be coupled, mostly without tools in a so called chair/seat track on the mentioned rail section parts.

20

Unless otherwise defined, all terms used in disclosing the invention, including technical and scientific terms, have the meaning as commonly understood by one of ordinary skill in the art to which this invention belongs. By means of further guidance, term definitions are included to better appreciate the teaching of the 25 present invention.

As used herein, the following terms have the following meanings: "A", "an", and "the" as used herein refers to both singular and plural referents unless 30 the context clearly dictates otherwise. By way of example, "a compartment" refers to one or more than one compartment.

"About" as used herein referring to a measurable value such as a parameter, an amount, a temporal duration, and the like, is meant to encompass variations of +/-35 20% or less, preferably +/-10% or less, more preferably +/-5% or less, even more preferably +/-1% or less, and still more preferably +/-0.1% or less of and from the specified value, in so far such variations are appropriate to perform in the disclosed 18 invention. However, it is to be understood that the value to which the modifier "about" refers is itself also specifically disclosed.

"Comprise," "comprising," and "comprises" and "comprised of" as used herein are 5 synonymous with "include", "including", "includes" or "contain", "containing", "contains" and are inclusive or open-ended terms that specifies the presence of what follows e.g. component and do not exclude or preclude the presence of additional, non-recited components, features, element, members, steps, known in the art or disclosed therein.

10 The recitation of numerical ranges by endpoints includes all numbers and fractions subsumed within that range, as well as the recited endpoints.

The expression "% by weight" (weight percent), here and throughout the description unless otherwise defined, refers to the relative weight of the respective component based on the overall weight of the formulation.

15

From the nature of present invention, it should be clear that the terms "disabled person/people", "person/people in a wheelchair" and "wheelchair passenger(s)" refer to a person/people which at least during the period of the transport, make use of a wheelchair. These terms can be used interchangeably. In particular, the terms 20 'disabled' or 'disability' in the present context do not refer to other types of disabilities than the use of a wheelchair. The term "able person/people" refers to people who do not need a wheelchair or at least are not being transported in a wheelchair. The term 'able person/people' in present context is thus only meant to provide the distinction with a person/people in a wheelchair. In a similar respect, the 25 term "accompanying person" is used for the person which helps to secure and/or release the wheelchair passenger. In many cases, this may be the driver of the vehicle. It may also be that more than one person helps in securing the wheelchair passenger, in which case the term may refer to all helping people.

30 The term "longitudinal direction" refers in the present context to the front-to-back or back-to-front direction of a person using the device. More in particular, we assume that the device of the present invention is used in a vehicle and that the passenger using such a device faces the front of the vehicle during transport. Hereby, the longitudinal direction is also the longitudinal direction of the vehicle. However, it 35 should be clear that the device may also be installed in a different direction in a vehicle, e.g. sideways whereby the passenger faces the side windows. In such cases, the "longitudinal direction" as used in this document does not coincide with the longitudinal direction of the vehicle.

19

The terms "upright", "horizontal", "longitudinal", "transverse", "sideward", "forward", "backward", "perpendicular", "flat", etc., i.e. terms denoting a direction are usually preceded by the term "essentially" and if not, may be implicitly understood to be preceded with "essentially". As such, the directions as they can be deduced or are 5 presented theoretically should be considered as the directions which are preferred. However, deviations from this preferred direction may be allowed up to 45°, preferably up to 30°, more preferably up to 20°, even more preferably up to 10°, yet more preferably up to 5°, most preferably up to 1°. When a direction is thus indicated as "upright", "horizontal", "longitudinal", "transverse", "sideward", 10 "forward", "backward", "perpendicular", etc., it may refer to a direction within a cone around said preferred directions with opening angle less than 45°, preferably less than 30°, more preferably less than 20°, even more preferably less than 10°, yet more preferably less than 5°, most preferably less than 1°. The direction of a "flat" surface can be characterized by the direction of the normal to that surface. A "flat" 15 surface in the context of this application may be slightly curved, in that the normal in any point of the surface deviates less than 10° from the average normal to the surface, preferably the deviation is less than 5°, more preferably less than 2°, even more preferably less than 1°, most preferably, less than 0.5°.

20 The terms "straight", "rectangular", "cylindrical" or "circular", "along", etc., i.e. terms denoting a shape or curve are usually preceded by the term "essentially" and if not, may be implicitly understood to be preceded with "essentially". As such, the shapes or curves as they can be deduced or are presented theoretically should be considered as the shapes or curves which are preferred. However, deviations from 25 these preferred shapes or curves may be allowed. A "straight" curve, may thus be slightly curved, whereby the deviation can be characterized by the ratio of the length of the curve to the radius of curvature. A "rectangular" shape may have slightly curved side edges, whereby the deviation can be characterized by the ratio of the radius of curvature to the length of the side edge, or the angles may deviate from 30 90°, whereby the deviation is characterized by the relative deviation ratio, etc. A "cylindrical" or "circular" shape may be slightly eccentric, e.g. oval, whereby the deviation from a cylindrical or circular shape can be characterized by the ratio of the difference between the radius of curvature and radius of the circular base or circle to the radius of the circular base or circle itself. A first trajectory "along" a second 35 trajectory may slightly deviate from the shape of the second trajectory, whereby the deviation can be characterized by the ratio of the deviation which is transverse to the second trajectory to the length of the second trajectory. These ratios are preferably smaller than 100%, more preferably smaller than 30%, even more 20 preferably smaller than 10%, yet more preferably smaller than 3%, still more preferably smaller than 1%, yet even more preferably smaller than 0.3%, most preferably smaller than 0.1%.

5 In a first aspect, the present invention provides a floor plate for a vehicle for transporting able and disabled people, onto which chairs and/or seats and/or wheelchairs are attachable, said floor plate comprising one or more floor sections and/or rail sections. Preferably, the floor and/or rail sections are longitudinal sections, such that they are easily installed on a vehicle floor. Chairs may be easily 10 connected and/or disconnected from such a floor plate due to the presence of one or more rail sections. These rail sections preferably comprise attachment means for attaching a load, such as a foldable chair, onto the floor. Such a floor plate is therefore versatile with respect to the number of seats for able passengers and the amount of space for wheelchair passengers in the vehicle, since one can easily 15 decide how many and where exactly one installs e.g. seats for able passengers.

In an embodiment, said floor sections may comprise essentially flat upper sides defining a floor level. The advantages of an essentially flat floor plate, i.e. a floor plate comprising essentially flat upper sides, defining a floor level for vehicles 20 intended for transporting wheelchair passengers, are multiple. A flat floor will allow easy access on, to and from the floor plate for both able and disabled passengers, it reduces the risk of tripping of a passenger, it reduces the risk of a wheelchair getting stuck when it is rolled over the floor plate, it improves general comfort and increases the feeling of security and equality for both able and disabled passengers, etc. The 25 floor plate is essentially flat insofar it describes a generally flat floor level. It may, however, comprise e.g. an anti-slip layer on its top surface which may comprise small protrusions or recesses.

In an embodiment, said floor sections may comprise one or more storage parts 30 comprising a storage cavity, said storage parts located under and/or at the same level as the floor level. These storage parts may allow easy storage of certain components which may be employed during transport on some trips but are better stored on other trips, such as seatbelts, wheelchair-securing hooks, lighting, etc. Furthermore, since they are located under and/or at the same level as the floor 35 level, there are no parts which unnecessarily stick out of the floor during loading and/or unloading of the vehicle and/or during transport. Moreover, these storage parts can be located on strategically well-chosen position in the floor plate such that they are easily accessible and help the wheelchair passenger or accompanying 21 person/passenger to easily identify a position for a wheelchair during transport whereby the wheelchair and the wheelchair passenger can be easily and correctly secured.

5 In a preferred embodiment, said storage parts may comprise a lid which is capable of sliding in a longitudinal direction along a trajectory between a closed position essentially at the floor level and an open position at a height below the floor level. In such an embodiment, the lid itself does not stick out above the floor level, the lid being either closed or open.

10

In a preferred embodiment, said storage parts may comprise wheelchair and/or wheelchair passenger securing means. Although the storage parts may be more generally used to store extra components, use can be made of these storage parts to store wheelchair and/or wheelchair passenger securing means. Wheelchair securing 15 means typically comprise a component which can be easily attached to and detached from a wheelchair and a locking mechanism. Wheelchair passenger securing means typically comprise a buckle which fits the tongue of a safety-belt system used to secure the passenger, and a locking mechanism.

20 In a more preferred embodiment, said wheelchair securing means may comprise a wheelchair hook, a strap, belt and/or webbing, and/or a retractor capable of securing at least part of a wheelchair to said vehicle floor, preferably in conjunction with other wheelchair securing means. The wheelchair hook can be attached to the wheelchair before transport and it can be detached after transport. The belt, strap and/or 25 webbing may attached to the wheelchair hook and may be introduced in a retractor which allows the belt/strap/webbing to be extended slowly when it is in a loose position, but which allows the belt/strap/webbing only to tighten when it is in a tighten-only position. The retractor may be put in a loose or tighten-only position by loosening or fixing a pin and/or pawl of the retractor. Preferably at least three, more 30 preferably at least four such wheelchair securing means are available for each wheelchair that is to be secured in the vehicle during transport. Preferably, the retractor remains located in the storage cavity of the storage part. As such, when the trip is done and the wheelchair is released from its securing means, the hook and strap/belt/webbing are automatically retracted towards and/or at least partly 35 inside the storage cavity of the storage parts by the retractor.

In a more preferred embodiment, said wheelchair passenger securing means may comprise a buckle, a strap, belt and/or webbing, and/or a retractor capable of 22 receiving a fastening device of a safety-belt system for securing an able and/or disabled passenger. The wheelchair passenger can be secured, preferably during and prior to transport, in his wheelchair using the safety-belt system with a fastening device such as a tongue, which fits into the buckle of the wheelchair passenger 5 securing means. The belt, strap and/or webbing may attached to the buckle and may be introduced in a retractor which allows the belt/strap/webbing to be extended slowly when it is in a loose position, which allows the belt/strap/webbing only to tighten when it is in a tighten-only position, and/or which fixes the length of the belt/strap/webbing when it is in a fixed position. The retractor may be put in a loose, 10 tighten-only and/or fixed position by loosening and/or fixing one or more pins and/or pawls of the retractor. Preferably at least one such wheelchair passenger securing means is available for each wheelchair passenger that is to be secured in his wheelchair in the vehicle during transport. Preferably, the retractor remains located in the storage cavity of the storage part. As such, when the trip is done and the 15 wheelchair passenger securing means, e.g. the safety-belt fastening means, are released, the buckle and strap/belt/webbing are automatically retracted towards and/or at least partly inside the storage cavity of the storage parts by the retractor.

In a more preferred embodiment, said wheelchair passenger securing means may 20 comprise electrical, magnetic, electromagnetic and/or electromechanical locking means capable of locking and/or unlocking said retractor in and/or from a tighten-only state, preferably whereby said locking means comprises an electromechanically actuated pin and/or pawl connected to said retractor and connected to securitycontrolling means, preferably comprising a control button or switch for activating 25 and/or deactivating said locking means. Such locking means allow to release the wheelchair and wheelchair passenger securing means after transport, even when these securing means have become tight, e.g. during transport. In fact, it happens very often that during transport, which can be rough and/or with many and large accelerations and/or decelerations, the securing means become tightened to such a 30 degree, that they cannot be loosened manually anymore after transport, i.e. the straps are tightened by the retractor to such a degree that e.g. the accompanying person is not anymore able to slightly lengthen the strap such that he can release e.g. the wheelchair hooks or buckle. This typically necessitated cutting of the straps/belts/webbings. With the electrical, magnetic, electromagnetic and/or 35 electromechanical locking means, preferably connected to security-controlling means, preferably comprising a control button or switch for activating and/or deactivating said locking means, any accompanying person, whether strong or weak, is able to release the securing means.

23

In a more preferred embodiment, said wheelchair and/or wheelchair passenger securing means may comprise a sensor capable of sensing whether or not said wheelchair and/or wheelchair passenger securing means is being used and/or is at least partly outside said storage cavity, e.g. a sensor which is capable of sensing the 5 tension applied on the wheelchair and/or wheelchair passenger securing means. In particular, the securing means may comprise a sensor which is capable of sensing whether the securing means are located in or near the storage cavity, e.g. by sensing the length of the belt/strap/webbing or the state of the retractor. More in particular, such a sensor may be configured to send a signal to the lid actuation 10 mechanism for closing the lid when the securing means have been sensed to be in or near the storage cavity. Further, the securing means may comprise a sensor capable of sensing whether the securing means are connected to an extern component, such as a wheelchair or a safety-belt system. More in particular, this sensor may be capable of sensing whether a force is actuated by the retractor on the 15 belt/strap/webbing while the latter is still extended for at least a pre-determined minimal length outside the storage cavity, this indicating the securing means are fastened to an exterior component such as a wheelchair or a safety-belt system. This sensor may be configured to send a signal to an alarm unit when it has sensed a configuration of the securing means which is incorrect for ensuring a secure 20 transport, e.g. the length of the strap/belt/webbing is longer than said minimal length, i.e. the securing means are located out of the storage cavity, but the retractor has not been sensed to exert a force on an exterior component, e.g. because it is in a loose position or because it is broken.

25 In a preferred embodiment, said storage parts may comprise a support frame comprising a lid-guiding edge and/or surface defining said trajectory of the lid between said closed and said open position. Such a support frame makes it easier to control the opening and closing trajectory of the lid and can be easily integrated in the floor sections and/or floor plate. Preferably, the support frame may comprise a 30 solid bottom and/or solid walls, such that dust or other dirt does not easily penetrate the storage cavity and the components inside the storage part remain clean and in good working order. Preferably, said storage parts may comprise a covering frame comprising solid walls and/or bottom and/or top, such that dust or other dirt does not easily penetrate the storage cavity and the components inside the storage part 35 remain clean and in good working order.

In a preferred embodiment, said storage parts may comprise a lid actuator and lidopening means for opening and closing said lid. A lid actuator facilitates opening and 24 closing the lid using the lid-opening means. One should not forget that the storage parts are located at or below the floor level and may not easily be reached by every person, e.g. an elderly accompanying person may not easily kneel down and get up again. Therefore, means such as the lid actuator and lid-opening means proposed 5 here and further in this text may constitute a necessary improvement.

In a more preferred embodiment, said combination of lid actuator and lid-opening means may comprise a screw drive. A screw drive transforms a rotational movement into a translational movement and can thus be used to close and open the lid along 10 said trajectory. Furthermore, the actuator can be any rotational actuator which can be mechanical, electrical, magnetic, electromagnetic, electromechanical, etc. Preferably the lid-opening means may comprise one or more protrusions and/or recesses attached to the lid and capable of hooking into one or more translationally moving parts of the screw drive.

15

In a more preferred embodiment, said lid-opening means may comprise a spindle comprising a helical screw on its outside surface and a protrusion attached to the lid and capable of hooking into said helical screw of said spindle, whereby said lid actuator is capable of rotating said spindle, thereby pulling and/or pushing said lid 20 via said protrusion, preferably along said trajectory. This type of embodiment may be seen as a type of screw drive mechanism.

In a more preferred embodiment, said lid actuator may comprise an electrical motor. An electrical motor typically is able to deliver a rotational actuation which can be 25 easily transformed into a translational actuation, e.g. by a screw drive mechanism or the mechanism of a spindle with a helical screw as described above. Furthermore, an electrical motor, and actuator in general, is easily controlled, possibly from a distance, such that an operator does not need to kneel or bend down at all for opening or closing the lid. Also, an electrical actuator such as an electrical motor can 30 be more easily controlled automatically, i.e. by an automatic control system which may get input from a set of sensors sensing the state of the wheelchair and wheelchair passenger securing means and has been programmed with a decision making routine for optimal securement of the passengers of the vehicle.

35 In a preferred embodiment, said storage parts may comprise lifting means for lifting and lowering said wheelchair and/or wheelchair passenger securing means above the floor level and below the floor level into said storage cavity. Even if one does not need to bend or kneel down for opening and/or closing the lid of the storage parts, 25 e.g. by using an electrical lid actuator controlled from a distance as described in this document, it may still be necessary for the accompanying or wheelchair-securing person to kneel down in order to grab the wheelchair or wheelchair-passenger securing means such as a wheelchair hook or a safety-belt buckle. However, the 5 present invention provides for lifting means situated in the storage parts of the floor sections, which can lift the wheelchair and/or wheelchair securing means at least partly above the floor level, such that an accompanying person does not need to kneel or bend down completely. Partly bending is less stressful on the body of the accompanying person than completely bending over or kneeling down. Furthermore, 10 since one may configure the controlling system for the storage parts and the wheelchair and wheelchair passenger securing means in such a way that one can install and/or secure each wheelchair passenger separately, the lifting means of only those securing means intended for securing that wheelchair and wheelchair passenger may be activated, and thus only those securing means are offered to the 15 securing person that are needed to secure a specific wheelchair and wheelchair passenger. This is less confusing than in older systems and devices, where it was not always clear which set of securing means was preferentially used for securing a specific wheelchair with passenger.

20 In a more preferred embodiment, said lifting means may comprise a cantilever and cantilever pivoting means comprising a pivot axis, preferably lying essentially horizontal and transverse, around which said cantilever is capable of rotating, said cantilever at least partly located underneath said wheelchair and/or wheelchair passenger securing means. Preferably the cantilever is positioned lying down, 25 essentially horizontal, underneath the securing means when the lid is closed or not completely open, and/or the cantilever is in a lifting position when the lid is almost completely or completely open, hereby lifting the securing means above the floor level.

30 In an even more preferred embodiment, said support frame and/or another frame may be positioned on top of said cantilever pivoting means for constraining its translational movement, and/or said cantilever pivoting means may comprise lid-engaging means such as a notch or a protrusion, preferably at a transverse side edge of said cantilever pivoting means, which are capable of engaging with an edge, 35 a protrusion and/or a notch of said lid when said lid is near the open position, hereby rotating said cantilever around said pivot axis upwards when said lid moves towards the open position and/or downwards when said lid moves towards the closed position.

26

In a preferred embodiment, said storage parts may comprise one or more lights such as LEDs, which can be lit and whose light is directed towards the expected position of the wheelchair when the lid is in said open position. This facilitates an easy and error-poor or even error-free application of the securing means since the 5 lighting may indicate a spot on or near the wheelchair where the securing means may be applied. Preferably one or more of said lights are attached to said lifting means; preferably a switch for turning on and off said lights is connected to said lifting means, said switch being in the on position when said cantilever is in a lifting position and in the off position when said cantilever is in a storing position. In a 10 preferred embodiment, said storage parts may comprise one or more lights such as LEDs, which can be lit and which enlighten the storage part and components contained therein. This can be very helpful for the accompanying person or driver to identify the correct securing means during evening and night hours. In a more preferred embodiment, said storage parts comprise electrical wiring for attachment 15 to the electrical lighting and/or protrusions, notches and/or recesses for guiding said electrical wiring.

In an embodiment, said floor sections may comprise ventilation ducts for ventilation, heating, cooling and/or airconditioning said vehicle. In an embodiment, said floor 20 sections comprise one or more lights and/or reflective strips. As such, the floor plate may serve other purposes than being a device which is easily installable in a vehicle and allows the efficient securement of both able and disabled passengers.

In an embodiment, the floor plate comprises at least one, preferably at least two, 25 more preferably at least three, most preferably at least four storage parts comprising wheelchair securing means and/or at least one storage part comprising wheelchair passenger securing means per wheelchair and/or wheelchair passenger which can be and/or is expected to be accommodated in the vehicle. Furthermore, the set of wheelchair and wheelchair passenger securing means for securing one 30 wheelchair and/or wheelchair passenger may be strategically located in the floor plate.

In an embodiment, said rail sections may comprise a rail, preferably in an essentially longitudinal direction, said rail comprising a U-shaped lateral cross section and/or 35 overhanging edges, which are preferably essentially straight in the longitudinal direction. The rail can be used to attach and detach a load such as a foldable chair, in a fast, efficient and secure manner. The rail may preferably lie in the longitudinal direction such that the longitudinal position of the load is easily adaptable and can 27 be chosen as desired. Furthermore, since a vehicle is usually longer than wide, one needs less rails to furnish the complete passenger cabin of a vehicle, than if the rails were lying in the horizontal direction. Nevertheless, in some cases it may be beneficial if some or all rails lie in the transverse and/or skewed direction. The rail 5 may comprise a U-shaped lateral cross section, meaning that the rail has a longitudinal slit at the top for receiving a connector to which a load is attached. The connector may be easily fixated and/or loosened from the rail, and when fixated, may securely attach the load to the vehicle floor. The rail may comprise overhanging edges which may serve multiple purposes. Firstly, the overhanging edges narrow the 10 slit and thus reduce risks, e.g. of the tripping of a passenger or of a wheelchair getting stuck when it is rolled over the floor plate. Secondly, the overhanging edges provide a support surface for any load placed on top of them. Thirdly, the overhanging edges may provide a better grip for the connector, etc. If the rail comprises essentially straight edges in the longitudinal directions, and not e.g. edges 15 with serrations as in prior art systems, one is able to fix the connector, and thus also the load, e.g. a seat, at any position along the rail. Further, sliding the seats with the connectors along the rail has proven to be easier if the rail comprises essentially smooth edges. Another improvement of using a rail with essentially smooth edges in the longitudinal direction is that one can attach more than one connector to a load 20 for attaching it to the vehicle floor, without much accuracy with respect to the distance between the different connectors, something which was needed in a prior art system where the edges of the rail were provided with serrations with a certain pitch and where the longitudinal distance between different connectors attached to a single load had to be accurately tuned to be an integer times the pitch of the 25 serration.

In a second aspect, the present invention provides a system of a floor plate such as described above and one or more connectors for fixating a load, such as a foldable chair, to a rail of said floor plate. Preferably, said connectors are capable of securely 30 attaching the load to the floor plate via a rail in a rail section of said floor plate.

In an embodiment, the system comprises a connector for attaching the load to a vehicle floor, preferably this connector is releasable such that the load can be removed from the vehicle. In a preferred embodiment, the connector comprises a 35 sledge, a T-bolt-like profiled clamping member and a clamping actuator, whereby the clamping actuator is placed on the sledge and is capable of lifting the T-bolt-like profiled clamping member such that the connector is clamped with the T-bolt-like 28 profiled clamping member to the vehicle floor, preferably to a rail comprising a ll-shaped cross section and/or overhanging edges in said vehicle floor.

In a more preferred embodiment, the sledge comprises a frame and two profiled 5 plates, each of which is capable of rotating around a preferably essentially longitudinal pivot axis which is fixed with respect to the frame. In a more preferred embodiment, the T-bolt-like profiled clamping member comprises a slab-like upper part and a, preferably flatiron-like, lower part, preferably comprising essentially straight side edges and/or a peak-shaped front and/or back end. In an even more 10 preferred embodiment, the lower part of said T-bolt-like profiled clamping member comprises upstanding side faces which are at least partly slanted with respect to the sides of the slab-like upper part of said T-bolt-like profiled clamping member. In a more preferred embodiment, the clamping actuator comprises a spindle, a spindle frame and a lifting frame, 15 • whereby the slab-like upper part of the T-bolt-like profiled clamping member is introduced through an essentially rectangular hole in the bottom of the spindle frame, whereby preferably the T-bolt-like profiled clamping member is restrained from moving in the longitudinal direction by the front/back side of the hole in the bottom of the spindle frame; 20 • whereby the T-bolt-like profiled clamping member is attached to the lifting frame, preferably by an essentially cylindrical pivot bar whereby the pivot bar is inserted in a transverse hole through an upper end of the slab-like upper part of the T-bolt-like profiled clamping member and rests in slanted slits along the sides of the lifting frame, whereby the lifting frame is capable of 25 moving along the longitudinal direction with respect to the spindle frame and the spindle is introduced through the spindle frame and the lifting frame in a longitudinal direction such that turning the spindle results in a longitudinal movement of the lifting frame with respect to the spindle frame, thereby moving said pivot bar upwards or downwards since it follows the slanted slits 30 in the lifting frame's sides.

In a preferred embodiment, the spindle frame fits into the frame of the sledge and may slide forwards/backwards, but essentially not sideward, whereby the peakshaped front or back end of the lower part of the T-bolt-like profiled clamping member fits between the two profiled plates of the sledge and helps to push the two 35 profiled plates of the sledge outwards when the T-bolt-like profiled clamping member is guided in between the profiled plates.

29

In a preferred embodiment, the spindle frame can be attached to the bottom of the load, such as a foot support for a foldable chair or a rigid arm for a safety-belt system. In a more preferred embodiment, the outer shape of the spindle frame is such that it fits a hole in the bottom of the load whereby the spindle frame can be 5 fixed in said hole and/or the spindle frame can be attached with a bolting system to the load and/or the spindle frame can be welded to said load and/or the spindle frame can be attached to the load in any way known in the art.

In a further aspect, the present invention provides a system as described above, 10 whereby the connector is capable of connecting the load to said floor and/or floor plate along a rail. In a preferred embodiment, said rail has a U-shaped lateral cross section and/or overhanging edges, which are preferably essentially straight in the longitudinal direction. Preferably, the rail has an open slit at the top which is wider than the width of the lower part of the T-bolt-like profiled clamping member of the 15 connector, and is also wider than the width between the two profiled plates of the sledge when they hang down freely, but the width of the open slit at the top is smaller than the width of the two profiled plates of the sledge when they are pushed apart sideways by the T-bolt-like profiled clamping member which can be introduced between the two profiled plates of the sledge.

20

The present invention also provides a method and/or mechanism for releasably connecting a load to a vehicle floor and/or floor plate as described above, by providing a connector as described in this document, attached to the load, comprising a spindle actuator; by positioning said spindle actuator along the frame 25 of the sledge such that the lower part of the T-bolt-like profiled clamping member and the two profiled plates of the sledge are separated, i.e. the lower part of the T-bolt-like profiled clamping member does not push the two profiled plates of the sledge to the sides; by introducing the lower part of the T-bolt-like profiled clamping member and the two profiled plates of the sledge in the rail, preferably through an 30 open slit at the top of the rail, while the bottom of the spindle frame or of the load attached to the spindle frame rests on the overhanging edges of the rail; by sliding the spindle frame and sledge with respect to each other such that the lower part of the T-bolt-like profiled clamping member is introduced in between the two profiled plates of the sledge, thereby pushing these profiled plates outwards such that the 35 total width of the lower part of the T-bolt-like profiled clamping member and the two profiled plates of the sledge is larger than the width of the top opening of the rail. Hereby, due to the at least partly slanted side faces of the lower part of the T-bolt-like profiled clamping member and the profile of the profiled plates, the connector 30 cannot be lifted from the rail completely. However, it can still slide along the rail. The connector and/or load can be further fixed to the floor and/or floor plate by lifting the T-bolt-like profiled clamping member upwards by turning the spindle of the clamping actuator, whereby the lower part of the T-bolt-like profiled clamping 5 member pushes both sideways and upwards on the profiled plates of the sledge, which thereby clamp the overhanging edges against the bottom of the load or spindle frame.

The invention is further described by the following non-limiting examples which 10 further illustrate the invention, and are not intended to, nor should they be interpreted to, limit the scope of the invention.

EXAMPLES

15 Figure la shows in view and in oblique projection a floor plate (1) according to prior art document EP 1 701 860 in which the floor plate (1) is placed on the corrugated bottom plate (2) of a transport vehicle (3), in which the side and back side of the transport vehicle (3) have been left out. On the corrugations of the bottom plate (2), which actually forms a corrugated section, a not indicated layer of plastic glue or 20 mastic has been applied.

The present invention provides an improvement over this prior art floor plate, preferably by installing storage parts comprising wheelchair and/or wheelchair passenger securing means according to the present invention, and/or a type of rail 25 and/or connector according to the present invention.

In figure lb, also from EP 1 701 860, placement of the whole floor plate (1) is roughly completed, meaning the floor covering material and such must still be applied. In the floor plate (1) the recesses (4) were used for the installment of a 30 retractor (5) possibly with ratchet construction or a common retractor, and for the driver of the minibus or transport vehicle (3) or an accompanying person in a suitable way. Further, three rail sections (6) are visible.

In an embodiment of the present invention, the recesses (4) found in a prior art floor 35 plate, can be used for installing the storage parts according to an embodiment of the present invention, e.g. comprising wheelchair and/or wheelchair passenger securing means.

31

Beside the rail sections (6) lay the essentially longitudinal floor sections (7) and (8), whose lateral cross sections are clearly shown in figures 2a and 2b, also taken from EP 1 701 860. The thickness D of the rail and floor sections (6, 7, 8) is approximately 60 mm and the working width of the rail section (6) is approximately 5 60 mm and that of the floor sections (8) and (7) approximately 180 respectively 230 mm.

In figure 2a the required wall thicknesses, which are necessary for the demanded strength and rigidity are schematically indicated. In the floor sections (7, 8) another 10 centre ridge (9) is applied in the middle of the profile for more rigidity. The vertical side ridges (10, 11) of the floor section parts (7, 8) are receding in vertical sense and show continuous projections (12, 13, 14) which fit form-matching onto the continuous projections (15, 16, 17) of the rail section part (6). Further, it is shown that the in accordance continuous projection (12, 13, 14) of the floor section parts 15 (7, 8) are applied left and right in reverse order. The same counts for the continuous projections (15, 16, 17) of the rail section part (6). The latter is done to be able to create a floor plate with the sections in the inverted position and with that make them repeatedly fit form-matching against each other.

20 The continuous projections (13) and (16) further show a half-circle-shaped recess (18) to, as shown in figure 2b, be locked with tensile strength with a continuous round thread profile (19). Further, if required glue can also be used at the head faces.

25 In the cross-section of figure 2b of the rail section part (6) the slit (20) for receiving a connector with accessories can be. With regard to mechanical demands the thicknesses of the walls (21, 22) of the rail section are rather sturdy to keep the chair/seat with the rail section part (6) fastened with sufficient safety at a collision.

30 Further the rail section (6) is provided with a small elevation (23) as thick as the floor covering (24), which can be vinyl or carpeting and/or anti-slipping material. In an embodiment of the present invention, this possible floor covering comprises and essentially flat top surface which defines the floor level.

35 Figure 3 shows an overview of the interior of a transport vehicle where three devices are installed on the vehicle floor with a floor plate (1) via a rail (48) in a rail section (6) of said floor plate (1). Two foldable chairs are unfolded and provide seats for able passengers. One foldable chair is folded and space is made available for a l 32 wheelchair passenger. It should be noted that the chair is foldable in such a way, i.e. first the back support is folded on top of the seat element and then the seat element is turned, that the view of the wheelchair passenger through the window is unblocked. Able passengers can be secured in the first two seats by a three-point 5 safety-belt system with a first (109), a second (118) and a third (71) attachment point. A retractor (70) can be attached to the second attachment point (118) and a buckle can be attached to the third attachment point (71). The wheelchair passenger may be secured in his wheelchair by the same three-point safety-belt system as could be used by an able passenger occupying the third chair if it were unfolded, but 10 now with a first (109), a second (118) and a fourth (72) attachment point. A buckle, stored in a storage part (201) in a floor section (7, 8) of the floor plate (1) comprising wheelchair passenger securing means, can be attached to the fourth attachment point (72). Furthermore, the wheelchair is positioned in between five storage parts, four of which may comprise wheelchair securing means, and one of 15 which comprises wheelchair passenger securing means providing a fourth attachment point (72) for a safety-belt system.

Figures 4a-llb show a storage part (201) and its components according the present invention. Figures 4a-4b show a storage part which can be positioned in a recess (4, 20 see figs, la-lb) of a floor section (7, 8) of the floor plate (1), with its essentially flat upper surface (202) at the floor level. Figure 4a shows a storage part (201) in a closed position, where the lid (203) is closed and at the floor level. Figure 4b shows a storage part (201) in an open position, where the lid (203) has been slidden underneath the top wall of a covering frame (204), under the floor level. The storage 25 part in fig. 4a is seen to house a hook which can be used to secure a wheelchair to the floor plate (1), and which is lifted from the storage cavity (206) above floor level by lifting means (not shown in fig. 4b). Alternatively, the storage part (201) may comprise e.g. a buckle attached to a fourth attachment point (72) for securing a wheelchair passenger in his wheelchair. The covering frame (204) comprises solid 30 upstanding walls (209) and a solid top wall (210) with one hole (208) into which the top surface (211) of the lid (203) fits and is attached to the support frame (207) with a snap fit connection (217a, 217b). In figs. 4a-4b, the storage cavity (206) is bound by the upstanding (209) and top (210) walls of the covering frame (204).

35 Figures 5a and 5b show a storage part (201) with the covering frame (204) removed, in closed position (fig. 5a) and in open position (fig. 5b).

33

Figures 6a-6d show the lid (203) and support frame (207) from different perspectives and whereby the lid is in the closed (figs. 6a-6b) or open (figs. 6c-6d) position. The support frame (207) comprises lid-guiding edges (212a, 212b) which define the trajectory which the lid (203) follows when being opened or closed. The 5 lid (203) has corresponding edges or surfaces (213a, 213b) which can slide over the lid-guiding edges (212a, 212b). The support frame comprises upstanding (214) and top (215) walls are largely solid for protecting the securing means inside from dust and possible shocks. Electronic and electrical components (216), e.g. for the sensors, retractor (un)locking mechanism and/or lid actuator control, can be 10 attached to an inside wall of the support frame (207).

Figures 7a-7b specifically show a set of wheelchair securing means (218) comprising a retractor (219) with electric, mechanical, magnetic, electromagnetic and/or electromechanical retractor locking/unlocking mechanisms (225), a webbing (220) 15 which is wound around the axis (222) of the retractor (219), a webbing-guiding component (221) around which the webbing (220) can be guided (not shown) before it is attached to a wheelchair hook (205), and a base frame (223) to which the components of the securing means (218) which are not allowed to move, may be attached. Other components of the storage part (201), such as the support frame 20 (207) and/or lid actuator (224), may also be attached to the base frame (223) by a snap-fit connection, bolts, screws, glue, and/or any other mechanical or chemical connection. Alternatively, the storage part may house wheelchair passenger securing means, comprising a buckle for a safety-belt system instead of or in addition to a wheelchair hook (205), attached to a webbing and retractor.

25

Figures 8 and 9 show the lifting means (226) and how they are positioned with respect to the support frame (207) and wheelchair hook (205). The support frame (207) constrains the lifting means (226) from moving translationally by protrusions (230). A cantilever (227) is positioned under the hook (205) and is capable of lifting 30 the hook when the lifting means (226) are turned around a pivot axis (229) by cantilever pivoting means (228a, 228b). The latter comprise lid-engaging means such as the surfaces (228a) which engage an edge or surface (228b) of the lid (203, see e.g. fig. 10a).

35 Figures 10a-10b show the lid actuator (224) and lid-opening means (231a, 231b). The lid actuator (224) comprises an electric motor (232) which is capable of actuating a screw drive comprising a spindle (233) with a helical screw thread (234) on its outer surface. A first component of the lid-opening means (231b) is screwed 34 on the helical screw thread (234) and has a part (235) which fits in a recess (236) created by a set of protrusions (237) of a second component of the lid-opening means (231a), attached to the lid (203). If electric motor (232) makes the spindle (233) turn, lid-opening means (231b) which is hooked into the recess (236) of lid-5 opening means (231a) and thus cannot rotate, moves along the spindle (233), hereby pulling/pushing the lid (203) along. Remark that the lid-opening means (231a) and (231b) can still move vertically with respect to each other, hereby allowing the lid (203) itself to move along its trajectory which lowers the lid when it is being opened.

10

Figures lla-llb show an overview of components of the storage part (201) and how they are located with respect to each other when the lid (203) is in a closed (fig. 11a) and an open (fig. lib) position. For clarity, the lid-opening means (231a) and (231b) are not hooked into each other, and the lid (203) has not been pushed 15 completely open, although the hook (205) is shown as lifted in fig. lib.

Figures 12-16b show an embodiment of a connector and its parts according to the present document. A connector (44) comprises a sledge (45), a T-bolt-like profiled clamping member (46) and a clamping actuator (47) placed on the sledge (45). By 20 inserting the T-bolt-like profiled clamping member (46) in between two profiled plates (52a, 52b) of the sledge (45) and lifting it with the clamping actuator (47), the connector is clamped on a rail (48) of the vehicle floor plate (1). The rail (48) comprises a U-shaped lateral cross section (49) with overhanging edges (50) and, in this case, lies along an essentially longitudinal direction. The sledge (45) comprises a 25 sledge frame (51) and two profiled plates (52a, 52b), each of which can rotate around its respective pivot axis (53a, 53b) fixed with respect to the sledge frame (51). The T-bolt-like profiled clamping member (46) comprises a slab-like upper part (54), a flatiron-like lower part (55) which comprises essentially straight sides (56a, 56b), a peak-shaped back end (57), and upstanding, slanted side faces (58). The 30 clamping actuator (47) comprises a spindle frame (59), a spindle (60) and a lifting frame (61). The T-bolt-like profiled clamping member (46) is introduced into an essentially rectangular hole (62) at the bottom of the spindle frame (62) and is refrained from moving in the longitudinal direction by the front side (62a) and the back side (62b) of the hole (62). The T-bolt-like profiled clamping member (46) is 35 connected to the lifting frame (61) by a cylindrical pivot bar (63) which is introduced through a hole (64) in the upper part (54) of the T-bolt-like profiled clamping member (46) and through two slanted slits (65a, 65b) in the lifting frame (61). The lifting frame is capable of moving along a longitudinal groove (66) in the spindle 35 frame (59) when the spindle (60) is turned. The bottom of the spindle frame (59) fits into the sledge frame (51) and can slide between a locking position (67) in which the T-bolt-like profiled clamping member (46) is introduced in between the two profiled plates (52a, 52b), and an open position (68) in which the T-bolt-like profiled 5 clamping member (46) is not positioned in between the two profiled plates (52a, 52b).

In order to lock the connector (44) to the rail (48), the connector is placed in the open position (68). The lower part (55) of the T-bolt-like profiled clamping member 10 (46) and the freely-hanging profiled plates (52a, 52b) are introduced through the longitudinal slit (87) at the top of the rail. The clamping actuator (47) and T-bolt-like profiled clamping member (46) are then slidden with respect to the sledge (45) such that the lower part (55) of the T-bolt-like profiled clamping member (46) is introduced between the two profiled plates (52a, 52b) and the connector is in a 15 locking position (67). As such, the connector (44) cannot be detached from the rail (48), but can still slide along the rail since it is not completely clamped. For clamping the connector (44) to the rail (48), the spindle (60) needs to be turned. This way, the lifting frame (61) moves in a longitudinal direction such that the T-bolt-like profiled clamping member (46) is lifted due to the slanted slits (65a, 65b) to which it 20 is connected via the pivot bar (63). By turning the spindle (60) far enough, the connector (44) is clamped to the rail (48). Loosening of the connector (44) can be done by turning the spindle in the opposite way and following the above mentioned steps in reverse. The connector (44) may be connected to the bottom of the foot support of the device such as a foldable chair or the foot support of a safety-belt 25 system with a foldable chair, and/or may clamp an essentially horizontal protrusion mounted on the bottom of the load between the bottom of the spindle frame (59) and the top side of the overhanging edges (50) of the rail and/or the floor (48). In an embodiment, the outer shape of the spindle frame (69a) fits a hole (69b) in or near the bottom of the load. The outer shape of the spindle frame (69a) of a second 30 connector may fit a second hole (69c) in or near the bottom of the load.

It is supposed that the present invention is not restricted to any form of realization described previously and that some modifications can be added to the presented example of fabrication without reappraisal of the appended claims.

1039039

Claims (18)

  1. 1. Vloerplaat voor een voertuig om valide en andersvalide mensen te vervoeren, waarop stoelen en/of zetels en/of rolstoelen kunnen vastgemaakt worden, de 5 vloerplaat voorzien van een of meer vloersecties en/of railsecties, de vloersecties voorzien van in wezen vlakke bovenzijden die een vloerniveau definiëren, de vloersecties voorzien van een of meer opslagdelen voorzien van een opslagholte, de opslagdelen gelokaliseerd onder en/of op hetzelfde niveau als het vloerniveau, de opslagdelen voorzien van beveiligingsmiddelen 10 voor een rolstoel en/of rolstoelpassagier, met het kenmerk dat de opslagdelen voorzien zijn van een deksel dat kan bewegen tussen een gesloten positie, in wezen op het vloerniveau, en een open positie, op een niveau onder het vloerniveau. 1. Floor plate for a vehicle to transport bodied and differently abled people, which chairs and / or seats and / or wheelchairs can be secured, the fifth floor plate with one or more floor sections and / or rail sections, floor sections provided essentially flat tops defining a floor level, the floor sections provided with one or more storage parts is provided with a storage cavity, the storage portions located below and / or at the same level as the floor level, the storage portions provided with safety means 10 for a wheelchair, and / or wheelchair passenger, characterized in that the storage sections are provided with a cover which can move between a closed position, essentially at the floor level, and an open position, at a level below the floor level.
  2. 2. Vloerplaat volgens conclusie 1, waarbij het deksel kan glijden langs een 15 traject tussen de gesloten positie en de open positie. 2. The floorboard as claimed in claim 1, wherein the lid can slide along a track 15 between the closed position and the open position.
  3. 3. Vloerplaat volgens conclusie 2, waarbij het traject een longitudinaal traject is. 3. Floor plate according to claim 2, wherein the range is a longitudinal path.
  4. 4. Vloerplaat volgens een van de conclusies 1 tot en met 3, waarbij de opslagdelen voorzien zijn van hefmiddelen om de beveiligingsmiddelen voor een rolstoel en/of rolstoelpassagier op te heffen boven het vloerniveau en 20 neer te laten onder het vloerniveau in de opslagholte. 4. A floorboard as claimed in any one of claims 1 to 3, wherein the storage sections are provided with lifting means to raise the security means for a wheelchair, and / or wheelchair passenger above the floor level and 20 to be lowered below the floor level in the storage cavity.
  5. 5. Vloerplaat volgens een van de conclusies 1 tot en met 4, waarbij de beveiligingsmiddelen voor een rolstoelpassagier voorzien zijn van een gesp, een riem en/of een oprolmechanisme, die een bevestigingsinrichting van een veiligheidsgordelsysteem om een valide en/of andersvalide passagier te 25 beveiligen, kunnen aannemen. 5. A floorboard as claimed in any one of claims 1 to 4, wherein the safety means for a wheelchair passenger to be provided with a buckle, a belt and / or a retractor, which has a mounting device of a safety belt system to one of the common and / or otherwise able-bodied passenger to 25 securing can take.
  6. 6. Vloerplaat volgens een van de conclusies 1 tot en met 5, waarbij de beveiligingsmiddelen voor een rolstoel voorzien zijn van een rolstoelhaak, een riem en/or een oprolmechanisme, die tenminste een deel van een rolstoel aan de vloer van het voertuig kunnen beveiligen, bij voorkeur in 30 samenwerking met andere beveiligingsmiddelen voor een rolstoel. 6. A floorboard as claimed in any one of claims 1 to 5, wherein the safety means for a wheelchair provided with a wheelchair hook, a strap and / or a retractor, which can secure at least part of a wheelchair to the floor of the vehicle, preferably, in 30 association with other security means for a wheelchair.
  7. 7. Vloerplaat volgens een van de conclusies 1 tot en met 6, waarbij de beveiligingsmiddelen voor een rolstoel en/of rolstoelpassagier voorzien zijn van elektrische, magnetische, electromagnetische en/of elektromechanische sluitingsmiddelen die het oprolmechanisme in en/of uit een aanhaalstand 35 kunnen vast- en/of uitzetten. 7. A floorboard as claimed in any one of claims 1 to 6, wherein the safety means for a wheelchair, and / or wheelchair passenger are provided with electrical, magnetic, electromagnetic and / or electro-mechanical closing means which the retractor into and / or out of a tightening condition 35 can determine - and / or off.
  8. 8. Vloerplaat volgens conclusie 7, waarbij de sluitingsmiddelen voorzien zijn van een elektromechanisch aangedreven pin en/of pal verbonden aan het oprolmechanisme en verbonden aan veiligheidscontrolemiddelen, bij voorkeur 1039039 voorzien van een controleknop of schakelaar om de sluitingsmiddelen te activeren en/of deactiveren. 8. A floorboard as claimed in claim 7, wherein the closing means are provided with an electro-mechanically driven pin and / or directly connected to the coil-up mechanism, and associated with safety means, preferably 1,039,039 is provided with a control button or switch, to activate the closure means and / or deactivate.
  9. 9. Vloerplaat volgens een van de conclusies 1 tot en met 8, waarbij de beveiligingsmiddelen voor een rolstoel en/of rolstoelpassagier voorzien zijn 5 van een sensor die kan voelen of de beveiligingsmiddelen voor een rolstoel en/of rolstoelpassagier al dan niet bebruikt worden en/of zich tenminste gedeelelijk buiten de opslagholte bevinden. 9. A floorboard as claimed in any one of claims 1 to 8, wherein the relief means for a wheelchair, and / or wheelchair passenger, 5 of a sensor that can sense whether the security means may or may not be bebruikt for a wheelchair, and / or wheelchair passenger, and / or are located at least portions body outside the storage cavity.
  10. 10. Vloerplaat volgens een van de conclusies 1 tot en met 9, waarbij de opslagdelen voorzien zijn van een steunchassis voorzien van een deksel- 10 geleidende boord en/of oppervlak die het traject van het deksel tussen de gesloten en de open positie definiëren. 10. A floorboard as claimed in any one of claims 1 to 9, wherein the storage sections are provided with a supporting chassis provided with a lid 10 conductive board and / or surface defining the range of the cover between the closed and the open position.
  11. 11. Vloerplaat volgens een van de conclusies 1 tot en met 10, waarbij de opslagdelen voorzien zijn van een aandrijfmechanisme voor het deksel en van deksel-openende middelen om het deksel te openen en te sluiten. 11. A floorboard as claimed in any one of claims 1 to 10, wherein the storage sections are provided with a driving mechanism for the lid and of the lid-opening means to open the cover and to close it.
  12. 12. Vloerplaat volgens een van de conclusies 1 tot en met 11, waarbij het aandrijfmechanisme voor het deksel voorzien is van een elektrische motor, en/of waarbij de deksel-openende middelen voorzien zijn van een schroefaandrijving dat in staat is om een roterende beweging van een spil van de elektrische motor om te zetten in een translationele beweging van 20 tenminste een bestanddeel van de schroefaandrijving, de deksel-openende middelen voorzien zijnde van een of meer uitsteeksels en/of inhammen verbonden aan het deksel en in staat zijnde om in het genaamde bestanddeel van de schroefaandrijving te haken. 12. A floorboard as claimed in any one of claims 1 to 11, wherein the drive mechanism for the lid is provided with an electric motor, and / or wherein the lid-opening means comprises a screw drive which is capable of a rotational movement of a spindle of the electric motor to be converted into a translational movement of 20, at least a component of the screw drive, the applicable lid-opening means is provided with one or more projections and / or inlets connected to the lid and being able to get into the named component of the screw drive to hooks.
  13. 13. Vloerplaat volgens een van de conclusies 1 tot en met 12, waarbij de 25 hefmiddelen voorzien zijn van een uitkragende ligger en ligger-pivoterende middelen voorzien van een pivot-as, bij voorkeur in wezen horizontaal en transversaal liggend, rond de welke de uitkragende ligger kan roteren, de uitkragende ligger tenminste gedeeltelijk gelokaliseerd onder de beveiligingsmiddelen voor een rolstoel en/of rolstoelpassagier. 13. A floorboard as claimed in any one of claims 1 to 12, wherein the 25 lifting means being provided with a cantilever and beam-to-pivoting means are provided with a pivot axis, preferably essentially horizontally and transversely lying, around which the projecting beam can rotate, the cantilever located at least partially below the security means for a wheelchair, and / or wheelchair passenger.
  14. 14. Vloerplaat volgens een van de conclusies 1 tot en met 13, waarbij het steunchassis gepositioneerd is op de ligger-pivoterende middelen om zijn translationele beweging te beperken, en waarbij de ligger-pivoterende middelen voorzien zijn van deksel-engagerende middelen zoals een kerf of een uitsteeksel, bij voorkeur aan een transversale zijkant van de ligger-35 pivoterende middelen, die contact kunnen maken met een kant, een uitsteeksel en/of een kerf van het deksel wanneer het deksel bijna in de open positie is, daarbij de uitkragende ligger roterend rond de pivot-as in opwaartse richting wanneer het deksel naar de open positie toe beweegt en/of in neerwaartse richting wanneer het deksel naar de gesloten positie toe beweegt. 14. A floorboard as claimed in any one of claims 1 to 13, wherein the support frame is positioned on the beam-to-pivoting means in order to limit its translational movement, and in which the beam-to-pivoting means are provided with lid-engage agents such as a notch or a projection, preferably located at a transversal side of the girder 35 pivoting means, which can make contact with a side, a projection and / or a notch of the cover when the cover is almost in the open position, thereby the cantilever rotatingly around the pivot axis in the upward direction when the lid moves toward the open position and / or in a downward direction when moving to the lid to the closed position.
  15. 15. Vloerplaat volgens een van de conclusies 1 tot en met 14, waarbij de opslagdelen voorzien zijn van een of meer lichten zoals LEDs, die 5 aangestoken kunnen worden en wiens licht gericht is naar de verwachte positie van de rolstoel wanneer het deksel in de open positie is. 15. A floorboard as claimed in any one of claims 1 to 14, wherein the storage sections are provided with one or more lamps, such as LEDs, which can be five lighted and whose light is directed towards the expected position of the wheelchair when the lid is in the open is position.
  16. 16. Vloerplaat volgens een van de conclusies 1 tot en met 15, waarbij de railsecties voorzien zijn van een rail, bij voorkeur in een in wezen longitudinale richting, de rail voorzien van een U-vormige laterale doorsnede 10 en/of overhangende randen, die bij voorkeur in wezen recht zijn in de longitudinale richting. 16. A floorboard as claimed in any one of claims 1 to 15, wherein the rail sections are provided with a rail, preferably in a substantially longitudinal direction, the rail is provided with a U-shaped lateral cross-section 10 and / or overhanging edges, which preferably are substantially straight in the longitudinal direction.
  17. 17. Systeem voorzien van een vloerplaat volgens een van de conclusies 1 tot en met 16, voorzien van tenminste een rail en een of meer connectoren om een lading, zoals een opklapbare stoel, aan de rail van de vloerplaat te fixeren. 17. The system is provided with a floor plate according to any one of claims 1 to 16, comprising at least one rail and one or more connectors for fixing a load, such as a folding chair, to the rail of the floorboard.
  18. 18. Systeem volgens conclusie 17, waarbij de connector voorzien is van een slee, een T-boutachtig geprofileerd klemorgaan en een klemaandrijving, • waarbij de klemaandrijving geplaatst is op de slee en in staat is het T-boutachtige geprofileerde klemorgaan op te heffen zodat de connector met het T-boutachtig geprofileerde klemorgaan geklemd is aan de vloer 20 van het voertuig, bij voorkeur aan een rail met U-vormige dwarsdoorsnede en/of overhangende randen in de vloer van het voertuig; 18. A system according to claim 17, wherein the connector is provided with a sled, a T-bolt-like profiled clamping member and a clamping drive, • wherein the clamping drive has been placed on the sled and is able to eliminate the T-bolt-like profiled clamping member so that the connector with the T-bolt-like profiled clamping member is clamped to the floor 20 of the vehicle, preferably on a rail with U-shaped cross-section and / or overhanging edges in the floor of the vehicle; • waarbij de slee voorzien is van een frame en twee geprofileerde platen, die elk in staat zijn om te draaien rond een bij voorkeur in wezen longitudinale pivot-as die vast opgesteld is ten opzichte van het frame; • wherein the sledge is provided with a frame and two profiled plates, which are each able to rotate about a preferably substantially longitudinal pivot axis which is arranged fixed relative to the frame; 25. waarbij het T-boutachtig geprofileerd klemorgaan voorzien is van een plaatachtig bovenstuk en een strijkijzerachtig onderstuk voorzien van in wezen rechte zijkanten en een piek-vormige voor- en/of achterkant, waarbij het onderstuk van het T-boutachtig geprofileerd klemorgaan voorzien is van opstaande zijvlakken die ten minste gedeeltelijk schuin 30 staan ten opzichte van de zijden van het plaatachtig bovenstuk van het T- boutachtig geprofileerde klemorgaan. 25. in which the T-bolt-like profiled clamping member is provided with a plate-like top piece and an iron-like underneath piece provided with substantially straight sides, and a peak-shaped front and / or back side, whereby the lower part of the T-bolt-like profiled clamping member is provided with standing side surfaces of which are at least partially inclined stand 30 with respect to the sides of the plate-like top section of the T-bolt-like profiled clamping member. • waarbij de klemaandrijving voorzien is van een draaistaaf, een spilchassis en een hijschassis; • wherein the clamping drive is provided with a pivot rod, a spindle chassis and a lifting chassis; • waarbij het plaatachtig bovenstuk van het T-boutachtig geprofileerd 35 klemorgaan door een in wezen rechthoekig gat gaat in de onderkant van het spilchassis, waarbij bij voorkeur het T-boutachtig geprofileerd klemorgaan ervan wordt weerhouden in de lengterichting te bewegen door de voor/achterkant van het gat in de onderkant van het spilchassis; • in which the plate-like top section of the T-bolt-like profiled 35 clamping member by a substantially rectangular hole goes into the bottom of the spindle chassis, wherein, preferably, the T-bolt-like profiled clamping member is prevented from moving in the longitudinal direction by the front / back side of the hole in the bottom of the spindle chassis; en • waarbij het T-boutachtig geprofileerde klemorgaan bevestigd is aan het hijsframe, bij voorkeur door een in wezen cilindrische spil waarbij de spil 5 door een transversaal gat door het bovenstuk van het plaatachtige bovenstuk deel van het T-boutachtig geprofileerde klemorgaan gestoken is en rust in schuine sleuven langs de zijkanten van het hijschassis, waarbij het hijschassis in staat is om zich langs de lengterichting ten opzichte van de spilchassis te bewegen en de draaistaaf doorheen het 10 spilchassis en het hijschassis in de lengterichting steekt zodat het draaien van de draaistaaf resulteert in een longitudinale beweging van de hijschassis ten opzichte van het spilchassis, en daarbij de spil naar boven of naar beneden doet bewegen omdat het de schuine sleuven in de zijkanten van het hijschassis volgt; and • in which it is attached T-bolt-like profiled clamping member of the hoisting frame, preferably by a substantially cylindrical spindle in which the spindle 5 by a transverse hole through the top piece of the plate-like top portion of the inserted T-bolt-like profiled clamping member and rests in oblique slits along the sides of the hoisting frame, wherein the lifting chassis is able to move along the longitudinal direction with respect to the spindle chassis, and inserting the pivot rod through the 10 spindle chassis and the lifting chassis in the longitudinal direction so that the rotation of the torsion bar results in a longitudinal movement of the lifting frame with respect to the spindle chassis, and thereby moves the spindle up or down as it follows the inclined slots in the sides of the lifting chassis; 15. waarbij de rail voorzien is van een open gleuf aan de bovenkant die breder is dan de breedte van het onderstuk van het T-boutachtig geprofileerd klemorgaan van de connector, en die ook breder is dan de breedte tussen de twee geprofileerde platen van de slee wanneer deze vrij hangen, maar waarbij de breedte van de open gleuf aan de bovenkant 20 kleiner is dan de breedte van de twee geprofileerde platen van de slee wanneer ze zijdelings van elkaar weggeduwd zijn door het T-boutachtig geprofileerde klemorgaan dat tussen de twee geprofileerde platen van de slee kan ingevoegd worden. 15. wherein the rail is provided with an open slot at the top which is wider than the width of the base of the T-bolt-like profiled clamping member of the connector, and which is also wider than the width between the two profiled plates of the sled when it hang freely, but in which the width of the open slot on the top 20 is less than the width of the two profiled plates of the sled when they are laterally pushed away from each other by the T-bolt-like profiled clamping member which lies between the two profiled plates of the sled may be inserted. 1039039 1039039
NL1039039A 2011-09-15 2011-09-15 Improved vehicle floor plate for transporting wheelchair passengers. NL1039039C (en)

Priority Applications (2)

Application Number Priority Date Filing Date Title
NL1039039A NL1039039C (en) 2011-09-15 2011-09-15 Improved vehicle floor plate for transporting wheelchair passengers.
NL1039039 2011-09-15

Applications Claiming Priority (2)

Application Number Priority Date Filing Date Title
NL1039039A NL1039039C (en) 2011-09-15 2011-09-15 Improved vehicle floor plate for transporting wheelchair passengers.
EP20120184593 EP2570104A1 (en) 2011-09-15 2012-09-14 Improved vehicle floor plate for transporting wheelchair passengers

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NL1039039C true NL1039039C (en) 2013-03-18

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NL1039039A NL1039039C (en) 2011-09-15 2011-09-15 Improved vehicle floor plate for transporting wheelchair passengers.

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EP (1) EP2570104A1 (en)
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Families Citing this family (1)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
WO2015144099A3 (en) * 2014-03-24 2015-12-30 Api Cz S.R.O. Device for fastening a loose object, especially a wheelchair, to a vehicle floor

Citations (2)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US5444897A (en) * 1994-01-06 1995-08-29 Gross; Nathan R. Hooks reciprocable between a recessed inoperative position and an exposed operative position
EP1701860A1 (en) * 2003-10-22 2006-09-20 Beheers & Beleggingsmaatschappij Verachtert B.V. Improved floor mounted on the bottom plate of transport vehicles for fastening chairs / seats and wheelchairs

Family Cites Families (2)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
DK128997A (en) 1997-11-13 1999-05-14 Martin Christensen Floor to a means of transport
DE60321059D1 (en) 2003-11-04 2008-06-26 Beheers & Beleggingsmij Verach Folding seat for traffic vehicle-passengers

Patent Citations (2)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US5444897A (en) * 1994-01-06 1995-08-29 Gross; Nathan R. Hooks reciprocable between a recessed inoperative position and an exposed operative position
EP1701860A1 (en) * 2003-10-22 2006-09-20 Beheers & Beleggingsmaatschappij Verachtert B.V. Improved floor mounted on the bottom plate of transport vehicles for fastening chairs / seats and wheelchairs

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