WO2008113982A1 - Vehicle flooring system with path for power or signals to supply to equipment carried by the vehicle - Google Patents

Vehicle flooring system with path for power or signals to supply to equipment carried by the vehicle Download PDF

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Publication number
WO2008113982A1
WO2008113982A1 PCT/GB2008/000903 GB2008000903W WO2008113982A1 WO 2008113982 A1 WO2008113982 A1 WO 2008113982A1 GB 2008000903 W GB2008000903 W GB 2008000903W WO 2008113982 A1 WO2008113982 A1 WO 2008113982A1
Authority
WO
WIPO (PCT)
Prior art keywords
flooring
floor
vehicle
path
power
Prior art date
Application number
PCT/GB2008/000903
Other languages
French (fr)
Inventor
Richard Coates
Original Assignee
C. N. Unwin Limited
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
Priority to GB0705067.7 priority Critical
Priority to GB0705067.7A priority patent/GB2447503B/en
Application filed by C. N. Unwin Limited filed Critical C. N. Unwin Limited
Publication of WO2008113982A1 publication Critical patent/WO2008113982A1/en

Links

Classifications

    • BPERFORMING OPERATIONS; TRANSPORTING
    • B61RAILWAYS
    • B61DBODY DETAILS OR KINDS OF RAILWAY VEHICLES
    • B61D33/00Seats
    • B61D33/0057Seats characterised by their mounting in vehicles
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A61MEDICAL OR VETERINARY SCIENCE; HYGIENE
    • A61GTRANSPORT, PERSONAL CONVEYANCES, OR ACCOMMODATION SPECIALLY ADAPTED FOR PATIENTS OR DISABLED PERSONS; 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
    • BPERFORMING OPERATIONS; TRANSPORTING
    • B60VEHICLES IN GENERAL
    • B60NSEATS SPECIALLY ADAPTED FOR VEHICLES; VEHICLE PASSENGER ACCOMMODATION NOT OTHERWISE PROVIDED FOR
    • B60N2/00Seats specially adapted for vehicles; Arrangement or mounting of seats in vehicles
    • B60N2/005Arrangement or mounting of seats in vehicles, e.g. dismountable auxiliary seats
    • B60N2/015Attaching seats directly to vehicle chassis
    • B60N2/01508Attaching seats directly to vehicle chassis using quick release attachments
    • BPERFORMING OPERATIONS; TRANSPORTING
    • B60VEHICLES IN GENERAL
    • B60NSEATS SPECIALLY ADAPTED FOR VEHICLES; VEHICLE PASSENGER ACCOMMODATION NOT OTHERWISE PROVIDED FOR
    • B60N2/00Seats specially adapted for vehicles; Arrangement or mounting of seats in vehicles
    • B60N2/005Arrangement or mounting of seats in vehicles, e.g. dismountable auxiliary seats
    • B60N2/015Attaching seats directly to vehicle chassis
    • B60N2/01508Attaching seats directly to vehicle chassis using quick release attachments
    • B60N2/01516Attaching seats directly to vehicle chassis using quick release attachments with locking mechanisms
    • B60N2/01558Attaching seats directly to vehicle chassis using quick release attachments with locking mechanisms with key and slot
    • BPERFORMING OPERATIONS; TRANSPORTING
    • B61RAILWAYS
    • B61DBODY DETAILS OR KINDS OF RAILWAY VEHICLES
    • B61D17/00Construction details of vehicle bodies
    • B61D17/04Construction details of vehicle bodies with bodies of metal; with composite, e.g. metal and wood body structures
    • B61D17/10Floors
    • BPERFORMING OPERATIONS; TRANSPORTING
    • B64AIRCRAFT; AVIATION; COSMONAUTICS
    • B64CAEROPLANES; HELICOPTERS
    • B64C1/00Fuselages; Constructional features common to fuselages, wings, stabilising surfaces and the like
    • B64C1/18Floors
    • B64C1/20Floors specially adapted for freight
    • BPERFORMING OPERATIONS; TRANSPORTING
    • B64AIRCRAFT; AVIATION; COSMONAUTICS
    • B64DEQUIPMENT FOR FITTING IN OR TO AIRCRAFT; FLYING SUITS; PARACHUTES; ARRANGEMENTS OR MOUNTING OF POWER PLANTS OR PROPULSION TRANSMISSIONS IN AIRCRAFT
    • B64D9/00Equipment for handling freight; Equipment for facilitating passenger embarkation or the like
    • BPERFORMING OPERATIONS; TRANSPORTING
    • B60VEHICLES IN GENERAL
    • B60NSEATS SPECIALLY ADAPTED FOR VEHICLES; VEHICLE PASSENGER ACCOMMODATION NOT OTHERWISE PROVIDED FOR
    • B60N2/00Seats specially adapted for vehicles; Arrangement or mounting of seats in vehicles
    • B60N2/02Seats specially adapted for vehicles; Arrangement or mounting of seats in vehicles the seat or part thereof being movable, e.g. adjustable
    • B60N2/0224Non-manual adjustment, e.g. with electrical operation
    • B60N2/0244Non-manual adjustment, e.g. with electrical operation with logic circuits
    • B60N2002/0264Non-manual adjustment, e.g. with electrical operation with logic circuits characterised by the type of electrical connection, e.g. wiring, plugs or USB

Abstract

A flooring system for use with vehicles and like transportation means, employing a plurality of flooring elements, one of which (10b), preferably having inter-engaging features (22b and 24b) providing for edge to edge connection to further like elements (10a and 10c in fig 3). One or more of the elements has an inlet connector (20) and a path for power or signals which can be used by vehicle passengers or, for supply to, or communication with, equipment carried by the vehicle, e.g. by means of outlets (18b).

Description

VEHICLE FLOORING SYSTEM WITH PATH FOR POWER OR SIGNALS TO SUPPLY TO EQUIPMENT CARRIED BY THE VEHICLE
The present invention relates to flooring systems and particularly, but not exclusively to flooring systems for vehicles, such as cars, vans, buses, aircraft, boats, trains and other means of transport, and particularly, but not exclusively to flooring systems of the type which are fitted after the base vehicle is manufactured to allow safe transport of passengers in wheelchairs by providing a secure attachment between the wheelchair and the vehicle structure. It will of course be appreciated that such flooring systems can also be used as structural support for conventional seats e.g. coach seats, or other fittings or equipment.
There is an increasing need to provide wheelchair users and other passengers with improved facilities during their travel. Today's users may for example require power to recharge batteries of mobile equipment such as laptop computers and data communication for the same. They may wish to access entertainment media for playback. It may also be required to have a alarm or signalling system that requires a signal to be transmitted between the wheelchair location and a common control unit. Passengers may also require services such as power to recharge wheelchair batteries.
Furthermore, floors of vehicles usually need modification before they can accommodate passenger seating or wheelchair arrangements. Known flooring for vehicles is described in WO 99/25601. In that document, various flooring constructions are shown and described for use as a vehicle floor which could be used to affix passenger seating thereto. Where such a known floor is fitted to a vehicle requiring the supply of additional equipment with power or signal paths, then the known floor is unsatisfactory because, once fitted, the floor cannot be modified to accommodate the paths, without great difficulty.
According to a first aspect, the invention provides a vehicle flooring system comprising a plurality of elongate floor elements disposed in edge to edge relationship, to form a floor surface, characterised in that at least one of the elements has at least one power and/or signal path running along at least part of its length, for providing in use, equipment with power and/or signals and in that at least one connector is provided for connecting said path or paths to a corresponding path or paths of the vehicle. Thus a relatively straightforward floor can be fitted, if necessary, to a vehicle's existing floor and power and/or signal communication are readily available e.g. to a passenger.
Preferably the floor elements are joined together in said edge to edge relationship by means of complementary engageable features. Preferably the connector comprises an inlet and/or outlet connector for connecting to said at least one power and/or signal path.
Preferably the or each path includes one or more of electrical, pneumatic, hydraulic, light, or like paths.
Preferably the or each path includes an electrical wire path and the connector comprises an electrical connection.
The flooring system may include at least one electrical outlet socket and/or at least one light producing device, and/or at least one sound producing device, and/or a Radio Frequency or Infrared transmitter/receiver. Preferably said socket or light device or sound device or transmitter/receiver is disposed adjacent an upper surface of the floor or substantially flush with the upper surface.
Preferably the or each power path is formed from at least a portion of the material of one or more said elements.
Preferably the or each path is formed by one or more internal longitudinal cavities of one or more of the elements.
Preferably one or more of the elements has a structure and the or each path is formed by one or more electrically insulated conductive portions of the material of the structure running longitudinally of the element(s).
Preferably the floor elements include one or more tracks suitable for accepting a passenger restraining means.
Preferably said complementary interengageable features include resilient parts for allowing adjacent floor elements to snap together in use. According to a second aspect the invention provides an elongate floor element of a vehicle flooring system disposable adjacent like elongate floor elements in an edge to edge relationship to form a floor, the element being characterised in that at least one power and/or signal path runs along at least part of the length of the element, for providing in use, equipment with power and/or signals, and in that at least one connector is provided for connecting said path or paths to corresponding paths of the vehicle. Preferably the floor element is joinable with like elements in said edge to edge relationship by means of complementary engageable features.
According to a third aspect the invention provides an elongate floor element of a vehicle flooring system, the element having a channelled portion for restraining movement of persons or objects conveyed by the vehicle the element being characterised in that at least one power and/or signal path runs along at least part of the length of the element, for providing in use, equipment with power and/or signals, and in that at least one connector is provided for connecting said path or paths to corresponding paths of the vehicle. The invention extends to a method of adapting a vehicle comprising the step of fitting a flooring system as described above, or a plurality of elongate floor elements as described above, to form a supplementary floor fitted to the existing floor or chassis of the vehicle.
In the statements above, the floor surface may provide an exposed area on which, wheelchairs, passengers, or equipment may rest directly.
In an embodiment, the vehicle mentioned above may be a vehicle for transporting a plurality of wheelchairs and the power and/or signal path may be wiring for electrical connection between one or more of the wheelchairs and the vehicle's wiring loom. Wheelchair restraining channels may be provided in the floor.
The invention extends also to any inventive combination of features described herein.
One embodiment of the invention is described below, by way of example, with reference to the drawings, wherein: Figure 1 shows a plan view of a flooring system according to the invention; Figure 2 shows a longitudinal sectional view of the flooring system shown in Figure 1 ;
Figure 3 shows a cross sectional view of the flooring system shown in Figure 1 , and
Figures 4, 5 and 6 show enlarged partial views of the views illustrated in Figures 1 , 2 and 3 respectively.
Referring to Figure 1 there is shown a flooring system which is fitted to the existing floor deck of a vehicle, such as a mini-bus or the like (not shown) for carrying a plurality of wheelchairs and their users. The flooring includes a plurality of unitary flooring elements 10a, 10b and 10c, laid in an inter-engaging manner, as explained below, so as to form a substantially continuous floor surface made up of surfaces 8a, 8b and 8c on which wheelchairs may rest directly. The flooring provides channels 12a and 12c used to secure vehicle seating; restraints for wheelchairs; or other items carried by the vehicle. In this instance flooring element 10c has no channel.
Spaced along the elements 10a and 10b are electrical outlet sockets 14a and 14b for supplying electrical power, eg to powered wheelchairs restrained in the vehicle by the use of channels 12a and 12c. Channels 12a and 12b have a generally narrowed opening allowing restraining straps to slide longitudinally along the channels so that they can be positioned along the channel to suit the user. The channels can in additional, or alternatively be used to secure seating in the like to the floor. Figure 2 shows a longitudinal section of the floor element 10b. An electrical wire conductor 16b is connected in parallel to each socket 14b. This Figure shows also plugs 18b inserted into each socket 14b to illustrate that a plug can be inserted into one or more of the sockets to supply power to a passenger's device. In practice it will not be necessary to insert a plug into each socket 14b.
Each of the sockets 14b is connected to an inlet connector plug 20. The connector 20 is connectable to a corresponding circuit of the vehicle. In this instance, during fitting of the floor the plug 20 can be connected to a existing wiring loom of the vehicle or adapted to fit such a loom, or new wiring can be provided for the flooring system.
Figure 3 shows a cross section of the floor shown in Figure 1 , illustrating the inter-engagement of the elements 10a, 10b and 10c.
Figure 4 shows an enlarged partial view of Figure 1. Figure 5 shows an enlarged partial view of Figure 2. Socket 14b can be seen mounted flush with the floor surface 8b.
Figure 6 shows an enlarged partial view of Figure 3 wherein features 22b and 24b are inter-engageable with complimentary features of adjacent floor elements. In use a first element is offered up to a second element at an oblique angle such that a male hooked portion 26 of the first section is inserted into a female curved channel 28 of the second element. Then the first element is pivoted about the centre point of the curve of curved channel 28, such that resilient ridged section 30 is snapped into receiving channel 32. Thus adjacent elements can be snapped together. As the elements are being fitted together, they can be fixed to the existing floor of the vehicle, e.g. by means of adhesive or mechanical fasteners.
In the embodiment shown the floor elements 1Oa1 10b and 10c can be formed from extruded metal such as aluminium, only some of which may have channelled upper portions such as channel 12a and 12b.
Whilst one embodiment only has been described and illustrated, variants, modifications and alternatives will be apparent to the skilled addressee, which would fall within the scope of the invention. For example, the power paths 16a and 16b illustrated could be supplemented or replaced by a power or signal path of hydraulic, pneumatic or light (optical fibre) media or the like. An electrically conductive path in the form of a wire has been illustrated although it would be possible to provide at least one electrical path produced from suitably insulated portions of the structure of the element itself. For example, discreet electrical paths formed from the walls of the elements are possible having material of an electrically insulating nature between the paths. The element, when manufactured from electrically conductive material, could act as an earth return without any modification. It would also be possible to provide hydraulic or pneumatic paths formed from the internal cavities of the elements, such that the flooring itself acts as a duct. Such cavities can have sealed ends and an inlet e.g. in one of the sealed ends, and outlets e.g. incorporated into a wall portion of the element. Many different outlets for the power/signal paths are envisaged. The electrical outlet sockets illustrated could be replaced or supplemented by, for example, (floor) lights, loudspeakers, or Radio Frequency/Infra-red transmitter and/or receiver points (e.g. for wireless data communication). Conventional hydraulic, pneumatic or optical fibre inlets and/or outlets or the like could also be provided, for example a pneumatic plug could be fitted to the floor on a short length of hose, to act as an inlet. Further, one or more pneumatic outlet sockets could be fitted to the floor, e.g. as a flush fitting, in a similar manner to the electrical outlets 18b illustrated. Using suitable known apparatus, it could be possible also to change the form of the power /signal, for example from light input to electrical output. It could be possible also for communication between passengers or their devices for example by using a common communication path provided in or at the floor such as an Ethernet or USB path. One edge to edge fixing system has been described and illustrated, although many other types could be used. It is possible that the edge to edge fitting could incorporate an inlet and/or an outlet for the aforementioned power or signal paths. Further modifications to the flooring elements are envisaged wherein there may be no edge to edge fixing. In that modification the flooring elements can be laid abutting each other or close enough to form a substantially continuous floor. Separate fastenings to hold adjacent flooring elements together may be provided also. Hollow floor elements have been illustrated having cavities in which power paths may run, but the elements could have exposed or covered channels in which the paths run, such channels being accessible from the floor surface when fitted. Alternatively the elements could be solid or substantially solid, having power paths incorporated therein during manufacture.
It will be apparent that the flooring system described and illustrated provides a simple way of adapting the floor or chassis of and existing vehicle, not necessarily for passengers, to provide a supplementary floor surface which has useful power paths as described above. The floor surface described could be used directly as a floor or a further layer or covering could be used to form the floor surface. The floor elements may have floor support features for supporting a floor surface spaced from the elements and may include features for concealing fixings which would secure a further floor surface. The description and claims use the word 'vehicle' to embrace all means of transport or conveyance of passengers or articles by land, sea surface or subsurface, air, space etc.

Claims

Claims
1. A vehicle flooring system comprising a plurality of elongate floor elements disposed in edge to edge relationship, to form a floor surface, characterised in that at least one of the elements has at least one power and/or signal path running along at least part of its length, for providing in use, equipment with power and/or signals and in that at least one connector is provided for connecting said path or paths to a corresponding path or paths of the vehicle.
2. A flooring system as claimed in claim 1 wherein the floor elements are joined together in said edge to edge relationship by means of complementary engageable features.
3. A flooring system as claimed in claim 1 or 2 wherein the connector comprises an inlet and/or outlet connector for connecting to said at least one power and/or signal path.
4. A flooring system as claimed in claim 1 ,2 or 3 wherein the or each path includes one or more of electrical, pneumatic, hydraulic, or light paths.
5. A flooring system as claimed in claim 1 ,2 or 3 wherein the or each path includes an electrical wire path and the connector comprises an electrical connection.
6. A flooring system as claimed in claim 5 further comprising at least one electrical outlet socket and/or at least one light producing device, and/or at least one sound producing device, and/or a Radio Frequency or Infrared transmitter/receiver.
7. A flooring system as claimed in claim 6 wherein said socket or light device or sound device or transmitter/receiver is disposed adjacent an upper surface of the floor or substantially flush with the upper surface.
8. A flooring system as claimed in any preceding claim, wherein the or each power path formed from at least a portion of the material of one or more said elements.
9. A flooring system as claimed in any one of claims 1 to 4 wherein the or each path is formed by one or more internal longitudinal cavities of one or more of the elements.
10. A flooring system as claimed in any one of the preceding claims 1 to 8 wherein one or more of the elements has a structure and the or each path is formed by one or more electrically insulated conductive portions of the material of the structure running longitudinally of the element(s).
11. A flooring system as claimed in any one preceding claim wherein one or more of the floor elements include one or more tracks suitable for accepting a passenger restraining means.
12. A flooring system as claimed in any one of claims 2 to 11 wherein said complementary interengageable features include resilient parts for allowing adjacent floor elements to snap together in use.
13. An elongate floor element of a vehicle flooring system disposable adjacent like elongate floor elements in an edge to edge relationship to form a floor, the element being characterised in that at least one power and/or signal path runs along at least part of the length of the element, for providing in use, equipment with power and/or signals, and in that at least one connector is provided for connecting said path or paths to corresponding paths of the vehicle.
14. An elongate floor element as claimed in claim 13 wherein the floor element is joinable with like elements in said edge to edge relationship by means of complementary engageable features.
15. An elongate floor element of a vehicle flooring system, the element having a channelled portion for restraining movement of persons or objects conveyed by the vehicle the element being characterised in that at least one power and/or signal path runs along at least part of the length of the element, for providing in use, equipment with power and/or signals, and in that at least one connector is provided for connecting said path or paths to corresponding paths of the vehicle.
16. A method of adapting a vehicle comprising the step of fitting a flooring system as claimed in claims 1 to 12, or a plurality of elongate floor elements as claimed in any one of claims 13 or 14, to form a supplementary floor fitted to the existing floor or chassis of the vehicle.
17. A flooring system, or an elongate floor element or method of adapting a vehicle, substantially as described herein with reference to the drawings.
PCT/GB2008/000903 2007-03-16 2008-03-14 Vehicle flooring system with path for power or signals to supply to equipment carried by the vehicle WO2008113982A1 (en)

Priority Applications (2)

Application Number Priority Date Filing Date Title
GB0705067.7 2007-03-16
GB0705067.7A GB2447503B (en) 2007-03-16 2007-03-16 Vehicle flooring system

Applications Claiming Priority (1)

Application Number Priority Date Filing Date Title
EP08718745A EP2137046A1 (en) 2007-03-16 2008-03-14 Vehicle flooring system with path for power or signals to supply to equipment carried by the vehicle

Publications (1)

Publication Number Publication Date
WO2008113982A1 true WO2008113982A1 (en) 2008-09-25

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PCT/GB2008/000903 WO2008113982A1 (en) 2007-03-16 2008-03-14 Vehicle flooring system with path for power or signals to supply to equipment carried by the vehicle

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GB (1) GB2447503B (en)
WO (1) WO2008113982A1 (en)

Cited By (2)

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DE102012212305A1 (en) 2011-07-18 2013-01-24 Ford-Werke Gmbh Loading base for fastening at floor of e.g. passenger compartment of vehicle for fixing seats, has profiled elements positively joined together, and loading rail integrated into profiled elements and spaced from connection region
DE102013114443A1 (en) * 2013-12-19 2015-06-25 Sortimo International Gmbh Floor profile for attachment of vehicle equipment in vehicles

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ITBO20070327A1 (en) * 2007-05-04 2008-11-05 E D M Engineering Dev & Ma Rke A vehicle, in particular a motor vehicle, for the transport of passengers for assistance.
DE202008001539U1 (en) * 2008-02-02 2009-03-19 Schuster, Hermann Retaining device and restraint system
DE102008052337A1 (en) 2008-10-20 2010-05-12 Airbus Deutschland Gmbh Multifunctional cargo compartment system
DE102010063310A1 (en) * 2010-12-16 2012-06-21 Heinz Buse Platform for use in a logistics system
DE102014202195B4 (en) * 2014-02-06 2020-09-17 Volkswagen Aktiengesellschaft Motor vehicle
GB201410160D0 (en) * 2014-06-09 2014-07-23 Unwin C N Ltd Floor structure
GB2539372A (en) * 2015-04-13 2016-12-21 Unwin C N Ltd Flooring

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WO1999025601A1 (en) 1997-11-13 1999-05-27 M.C.M. Holding A/S A floor for a transport means and profiles for the construction thereof as well as a vehicle provided with such a floor
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GB2417369A (en) * 2004-08-19 2006-02-22 Boeing Co Seat electrical connectors integrated into floor
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US6659402B1 (en) * 2002-08-07 2003-12-09 The Boeing Company Modular aircraft seat system
WO2005037597A1 (en) * 2003-10-22 2005-04-28 Beheers & Beleggingsmaatschappij Verachtert B.V. Improved floor mounted on the bottom plate of transport vehicles for fastening chairs / seats and wheelchairs
EP1626470A2 (en) * 2004-08-12 2006-02-15 Airbus Deutschland GmbH Current distribution system for electric supply of rail-mounted installations in an aircraft
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Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
DE102012212305A1 (en) 2011-07-18 2013-01-24 Ford-Werke Gmbh Loading base for fastening at floor of e.g. passenger compartment of vehicle for fixing seats, has profiled elements positively joined together, and loading rail integrated into profiled elements and spaced from connection region
DE102013114443A1 (en) * 2013-12-19 2015-06-25 Sortimo International Gmbh Floor profile for attachment of vehicle equipment in vehicles

Also Published As

Publication number Publication date
GB2447503A (en) 2008-09-17
EP2137046A1 (en) 2009-12-30
GB2447503B (en) 2012-01-04
GB0705067D0 (en) 2007-04-25

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