(19)
(11)EP 3 212 450 B1

(12)EUROPEAN PATENT SPECIFICATION

(45)Mention of the grant of the patent:
29.04.2020 Bulletin 2020/18

(21)Application number: 15854052.6

(22)Date of filing:  27.10.2015
(51)International Patent Classification (IPC): 
B60K 20/02(2006.01)
F16H 59/10(2006.01)
(86)International application number:
PCT/US2015/057461
(87)International publication number:
WO 2016/069526 (06.05.2016 Gazette  2016/18)

(54)

POSITIONABLE SHIFTER SYSTEM

POSITIONIERBARES SCHALTHEBELSYSTEM

SYSTÈME DE SÉLECTEUR DE VITESSES POUVANT ÊTRE POSITIONNÉ


(84)Designated Contracting States:
AL AT BE BG CH CY CZ DE DK EE ES FI FR GB GR HR HU IE IS IT LI LT LU LV MC MK MT NL NO PL PT RO RS SE SI SK SM TR

(30)Priority: 28.10.2014 US 201414525521

(43)Date of publication of application:
06.09.2017 Bulletin 2017/36

(73)Proprietor: The Braun Corporation
Winamac, Indiana 46996 (US)

(72)Inventors:
  • DOSENBACH, Eric, Sajed
    Winnamac, IN 46996 (US)
  • WEGNER, Christopher, C.
    Winamac, IN 46996 (US)
  • WOJDYLA, Adam
    Winamac, IN 46996 (US)
  • BARBER, Timothy, S.
    Logansport, IN 46947 (US)

(74)Representative: HGF Limited 
4th Floor Merchant Exchange 17-19 Whitworth Street West
Manchester M1 5WG
Manchester M1 5WG (GB)


(56)References cited: : 
DE-A1- 10 045 933
JP-A- 2001 055 091
US-A- 5 924 515
US-A1- 2008 079 278
DE-A1- 19 746 438
US-A- 5 617 929
US-A- 6 135 529
US-A1- 2008 143 134
  
      
    Note: Within nine months from the publication of the mention of the grant of the European patent, any person may give notice to the European Patent Office of opposition to the European patent granted. Notice of opposition shall be filed in a written reasoned statement. It shall not be deemed to have been filed until the opposition fee has been paid. (Art. 99(1) European Patent Convention).


    Description

    FIELD



    [0001] The present application relates to a passenger vehicle for transporting one or more passengers, and more particularly to a passenger vehicle which is retrofitted for transporting one or more passengers seated in a wheelchair.

    BACKGROUND



    [0002] Automobile manufacturers do not currently mass-produce passenger vehicles specifically designed to transport passengers having physical limitations, either as a driver or as a non-driving passenger. Consequently, mass-produced passenger vehicles are modified, or retrofitted, by a number of aftermarket companies dedicated to supplying vehicles to physically limited passengers. Such vehicles can be modified by removing certain parts or structures within a vehicle and replacing those parts with parts specifically designed to accommodate the physically limited passenger. For example in one configuration, a van is retrofitted with a ramp to enable a physically limited individual using a wheelchair to enter the vehicle without the assistance of another individual.

    [0003] Other known products for retrofitting a vehicle, such as a van, include wheel chair lifts, lift platforms, and lowered floor surfaces. In some instances, a door of an original equipment manufacturer (OEM) van is enlarged or otherwise modified to permit entry of the physically limited individual through what is known as the assisted entrance. Once inside the van, individuals who use the assisted entrance are often located in a rear passenger compartment of the van adjacent to or behind the assisted entrance. An example of a gear shift actuator for motor vehicles is described in the generic document DE 19746438 Al. The disclosed gear shift actuator may take two positions, a position of use, in which the driver can turn the gears, and a rest position, when the vehicle is not in use. The shift actuator is not mechanically connected to the vehicle transmission so that it can be provided at any location in the vehicle interior. The shift actuator may be associated with an armrest of a vehicle seat or the vehicle dashboard. Also the document DE 10045933 A1 discloses a positionable shifter assembly according to the preamble of claim 1.

    [0004] While these seating locations provide for the transport of the physically limited individual, such locations do not always lend themselves to providing good sightlines which enable the passenger to see a complete view of the road and the surrounding scenery. Consequently, what is needed is a modification to an OEM vehicle which allows the physically limited individual seated in a wheelchair to be located in the front passenger compartment, either as the passenger or as the driver, particularly in an OEM vehicle having a center mounted vehicle shifter or center mounted console.

    SUMMARY



    [0005] There is provided a positionable shifter assembly for supporting a shifter in a front passenger compartment of a vehicle as defined by the features of claim 1. The front passenger compartment having a driver side location having a driver usable floor area, and a passenger side location having a passenger usable floor area. The shifter assembly includes a bracket assembly configured to be stationarily fixed in the front passenger compartment of the vehicle wherein the bracket assembly defines a first axis. A carriage assembly is operatively connected to the bracket assembly and is adapted to support the shifter for movement along a second axis inclined with respect the first axis. Movement along the second axis toward the driver side location increases the amount of passenger usable floor area and movement along the second axis toward the passenger side location increases the amount of driver usable floor area A securing mechanism is operatively connected to the carriage assembly and is configured to secure the carriage assembly to the bracket assembly at a desired location along the second axis to limit side to side movement of the carriage assembly.

    [0006] Herein is also disclosed, a shifter assembly for use in a vehicle adapted to transport a physically limited person, wherein a front passenger compartment includes a dashboard, a driver side compartment, a passenger side compartment, and a vehicle shifter disposed between the driver side compartment and the passenger side compartment. The shifter assembly includes a shifter support assembly including a platform configured to support the shifter, wherein the platform is configured be positioned at a plurality of locations within the vehicle. A securing mechanism is operatively connected to the shifter support assembly and is configured to secure the shifter support assembly at one of the plurality of locations within the vehicle.

    BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS



    [0007] The above-mentioned aspects of the present invention and the manner of obtaining them will become more apparent and the invention itself will be better understood by reference to the following description of the embodiments of the invention, taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings, wherein:

    FIG. 1 illustrates an elevational side view of a sport utility vehicle including an access ramp.

    FIG. 2 illustrates a top plan sectioned view of a sport utility vehicle including a positionable shifter assembly.

    FIG. 3 illustrates a positionable shifter assembly located adjacently to a dash of a vehicle.

    FIG. 4 illustrates a perspective view of a positionable shifter assembly including a shifter.

    FIG. 5 illustrates a perspective view of a positionable shifter assembly lacking a shifter.

    FIG. 6 illustrates an underneath perspective view of a positionable shifter assembly.

    FIG. 7 illustrates a front elevational view of a positionable shifter assembly.

    FIG. 8 illustrates a side elevational view of another embodiment of a positionable shifter assembly.

    FIG. 9 illustrates a perspective view of another embodiment of a positionable shifter assembly.


    DESCRIPTION



    [0008] The embodiments of the present invention described below are not intended to be exhaustive or to limit the invention to the precise forms disclosed in the following detailed description. Rather, the embodiments are chosen and described so that others skilled in the art may appreciate and understand the principles and practices of the present invention.

    [0009] FIG. 1 illustrates a sport utility vehicle (SUV) 10 available from any number of United States and foreign manufacturers. In the illustrated embodiment, the SUV, also called a crossover vehicle, includes a unibody construction, but other SUV's having a frame on body construction, are also included in the present disclosure. Consequently the use of SUV herein is includes all types and kinds of sport utility vehicles constructed with a body on frame construction, a unibody construction, or other constructions. In addition, while the SUV is illustrated in FIG. 1, the present disclosure is directed to all passenger vehicles carrying one or more passengers.

    [0010] FIG. 1 illustrates the SUV 10 including a body 12 operatively coupled to front wheels 14 and rear wheels 16. The SUV 10 includes a unibody construction. A first passenger side door 18 is located between the front wheels 14 and rear wheels 16 and provides access to a passenger for sitting in a front seat of the vehicle adjacent to the driver. In this position, the passenger has a clearer view of the road when compared to sitting in a middle row or back row of seats of the vehicle.

    [0011] The SUV 10 has been modified to include a second passenger side door 20 coupled to the unibody frame through a mechanical linkage (not shown). In other embodiments, the side door 20 is coupled to the unibody frame through a sliding mechanism. In this embodiment, the second passenger side door has been modified to slide along a track (not shown) as opposed to the manufacturer supplied door which is hinged to swing away from the vehicle, as is understood by those skilled in the art. In addition to modifying the door 20 to slide along the track, an opening 22 to the interior, in some embodiments, is modified or widened to provide access to a passenger seated in a wheelchair. The opening is defined on the sides thereof by an edge of the door 20 and the edge of the door 18. The vehicle is further modified to include a ramp assembly 24 which provides rolling access of the wheelchair from pavement 26 into an interior 28 of the vehicle 10. The ramp assembly 24 is installed at the opening 22 and is movable between the interior of the vehicle, where it is stored in some embodiments, and to the exterior for wheelchair access.

    [0012] In known modified vehicles, such as modified vans, the middle row of seats is removed from the manufacturer supplied vehicle to enable access to a wheelchair supporting a passenger. Once the wheelchaired passenger moves into the interior of the vehicle, the passenger or caregiver locates the wheelchair in the middle portion of the interior behind the driver and passenger seats of the front row. While the wheelchaired passenger is readily and safely transported by the vehicle when located at this position, the passenger can have difficulty communicating with the driver and difficulty viewing the road and surrounding scenery. This location is therefore often frustrating for many individuals, particularly those individuals who led active lives prior to receiving their disability and continue to be actively involved. As used herein, wheelchaired passenger is used to indicate that the individual is making use of a wheelchair, whether that use is temporary or permanent.

    [0013] Over the past few years, the number of wheelchaired individuals who desire to lead full active lives has increased. To accommodate such individuals, the SUV has become a preferred vehicle of choice, particularly with military veterans who received disabilities during their tours of duty. Consequently, the SUV 10 is further modified or retrofitted as illustrated in FIG. 2 to provide a location having sufficient space for the wheelchaired passenger in the front passenger location next the driver. To retrofit the vehicle 10, a manufactured SUV is purchased from a dealer or directly from the manufacturer and the manufacturer supplied center console is disassembled or removed from the vehicle. In particular, the original shifter is separated from other manufacturer supplied components and reused and located in the front passenger compartment in a positionable shifter assembly 34, as described herein.

    [0014] As can be seen in FIG. 2, a driver side location 30 and a passenger side location 32 are located in a front passenger compartment on either side of the positionable shifter assembly 34, which includes a center console 36 and a shifter 38. In this embodiment, the shifter assembly 34 is configured to move along a line 40 such that the shifter assembly 34 is positionable within the front passenger compartment to either increase or decrease the amount of usable floor area in either of the driver side location 30 and the passenger side location 32. When moved closer to the driver side location 30, the passenger side position 32 is enlarged sufficiently to accommodate a wheelchair 42. In another embodiment, a driver seat 44 is removed and the shifter assembly 34 is moved toward the passenger side position 32 to accommodate the wheelchair 42 when located in the driver side location 30.

    [0015] FIG 3 illustrates a perspective view of one embodiment of a vehicle dash 46, the location of which is illustrated in FIG. 2. As seen in FIG. 3, the vehicle dash 46 is disposed adjacent to the center console 36 and to a shift knob 48 which extends from the center console 36. The center console 36 is generally located in a middle area between the driver side location 30 and the passenger side location 32. The center console 36, which includes the shifter assembly 34, is positionable along the direction 40 to move the center console 36 in one direction or the other depending on the desired location.

    [0016] The center console 36 supports the shifter assembly 32 within a housing 50. A user accessible handle 52 is located and accessible at a bottom portion 54 of the housing 50, which is configured to surround the handle 52. The user accessible handle 52 is accessible by either individual located in one of the driver side location 30 and the passenger side position 32. Movement of the handle 52 from a first position to a second position enables movement of the console 36 along the direction 40 in either direction. In one position, the handle 52 fixes or locks the console 36 in place with respect to the dash 46 and in the other position releases the console 36 for movement along the direction 40. In one embodiment, the console 36 is supported by and moves on a rail structure 56 in response to a force applied by one of the passengers to move the console from side to side. If the wheelchaired passenger is to be located in the location 32, then the console 36 is moved toward the driver side location 30 to provide sufficient space for locating the wheelchair in the front passenger area. Once the console 36 is located as desired, the handle 52 is moved to the other of the first positon or second position to fix the location of the console 36, so that further movement along the direction 40 is substantially prevented until the handle 52 is again moved.

    [0017] FIG. 4 illustrates one embodiment of the positionable shifter assembly 34 including the shifter 38, with the shift knob 48, and a portion of the housing 50, the majority of which is not shown to illustrate the shifter assembly 34. The assembly 34 includes a bracket assembly 60 operatively coupled to a carriage assembly 62. The carriage assembly 62 is configured to move on one or more rails 64 which extend from a first side 66 to a second side 68 of the bracket assembly 60. The bracket assembly 60 further includes a plurality of feet 70 which are configured to engage a supporting structure located at or behind or the dash 46 of the vehicle 10. While the rails 64, as illustrated, are depicted as having a round cross-section, other embodiments include other cross-sections such as rectangular, oval, or square, such as the rails 56 of FIG. 3. In one embodiment, the bracket assembly 62 defines a first axis 65 which extends generally along a length of the bracket assembly 62 and the rails 64 define a second axis 67, generally perpendicular to the first axis. In this embodiment, the carriage assembly 62 moves generally parallel to the dash 46.

    [0018] The carriage assembly 62 includes first and second supports 72 (see also FIG. 6) one or both of which are configured to engage one of both of the rails 64. In one embodiment, each of the first and second supports 72 includes one or more apertures 74 including an insert or sleeve 76 which circumscribes the rail 64. The insert 76, in different embodiments, is formed of a low friction material to promote ease of movement of the carriage assembly 62 along the rails. In other embodiments, the insert 76 is not present, and the rail directly engages the supports 72. In one or more embodiments, the sleeve 76 includes a bearing or bearing bushing.

    [0019] Each of the rails 64 includes a length which is greater than the distance between the first and second supports 72 such that the carriage assembly 62 is positionable between the first side 66 and the second side 68 during reciprocal movement thereof. In one embodiment, the distance between the first side 66 and the second side 68 is about four (4) inches and permits an extent of movement of the carriage assembly 62 of about 4 inches. In other embodiments, the travel distance of the carriage assembly 62 with respect to the bracket assembly 60 is selected to achieve a desired travel distance within the constraints provided by the configuration of the vehicle 10. In other embodiments, a single rail is used.

    [0020] A securing mechanism 80 is operatively connected to the carriage assembly 62 to secure the carriage assembly 62 at a desired location with respect to the bracket assembly 60. In one embodiment, the securing mechanism 80 includes a lever 82 having an end portion 84, which in the embodiment of FIG. 3, is covered by the handle 52. As used herein, the term "lever" includes levers of different types. The end portion 84 is movable from a first position to a second position along the direction 86 to release the carriage 62 for reciprocal movement along the rails 64 and to fix the position of the carriage assembly 62 with respect to the rails 64. The direction 86 is used to illustrate an up and down movement of the lever 82 in a direction, which in different embodiments, is generally linear or which is curved, for instance when the lever 82 moves about an axis of rotation. In other embodiments, other securing mechanisms to adjustably locate the carriage assembly 62 with respect to the bracket assembly 60, move along the axis 65.

    [0021] The carriage assembly 62 further includes a support 90 which is operatively connected to the shifter 38, and in particular to a base 92 of the shifter 34. As seen in FIG. 4, the support 90 is configured to couple to the base 92 through one or more apertures configured to receive connectors (not shown). As illustrated in FIG. 5, the support 90 is coupled to the first and second supports 72, which in turn are supported for movement with respect to the bracket assembly 60. The feet 70 are generally perpendicular to a plane defined by a support surface 94 of the support 90. Consequently, coupling of the feet 70 to an appropriate support structure of the vehicle 10 locates the support surface 94 generally parallel with the floor of the vehicle 10, either when stationary or during movement of the carriage assembly 62 between the first side 66 and second side 68 of the bracket assembly 60.

    [0022] As illustrated in FIG. 6, the lever 82 of the securing mechanism 80, which terminates at one end with the end portion 84, terminates at another end 96 configured to engage a locating strip 98 including a plurality of indentations 100 to provide a friction brake. In one embodiment, the end 96 includes one or more projections 102 configured to engage the indentations 100. The securing mechanism 80 includes a coupler 104 which operatively connects a portion of lever 82 (located between the ends 84 and 96) such that the lever 82 is pivotable about the rail 64 closest to the locating strip 98. Consequently, movement of the end 84 in a direction toward the support 90 disengages the projections 102 from the indentations 100 to release the carriage assembly 62 from its fixed position. A resilient member or spring 106, disposed between the lever 82 and the bracket 90, which keeps the projections 102 in contact with the indentations 100, is compressed during this movement. Once the carriage assembly 62 is moved to the desired location, a release of the end 84 reengages the projections 102 with the indentations 100 under expansion of the spring 106. In another embodiment, the spring 106 is absent and is replaced by a torsion spring located at the rail 64 and the lever 82. Other embodiments include other types of springs, including leaf springs

    [0023] The carriage assembly 62 includes a locator 108 which is connected to the support 90 and includes a first part 110 and a second part 112 as seen in FIG. 7. The first part 110 and second part 112 extend downward and away from the support 90. The first part 110 and 112 define a space therebetween configured to receive a corresponding U-shaped bracket 114 extending from the lever 82. The U-shaped bracket 114 moves toward the support 90 during compression of the spring 106 and limits upward and sideward movement of the lever 82 with respect to the locator 108. In this configuration, therefore, repeated engagement and disengagement of the projections 102 with the indentations 100 remain relatively consistent during the useful life of the shifter assembly 34.

    [0024] FIG. 8 illustrates another embodiment of the carriage assembly 62 including the support 90. In this configuration, a first support 120 is coupled to the support 90 and engages a rail 122 and a second support 124 engages a second rail 126. A contact plate 128 is located between the first rail 122 and the second rail 126 and extends from one side bracket to another side bracket of the bracket support 60. The first support 120 and the second support 124 are coupled together with a connector 130 through a third support 132. In one embodiment, the third support 132 is a rectangular tube in which a brake plate 134 is located and which pivots about or rests on a pin 136 extending through the interior thereof. In other embodiments, the first support 120, second support 124 and third support 132 are combined together to from a single unitary part, two parts or more than three parts.

    [0025] A first end 138 of the brake plate 134 is located adjacently to the contact plate 128, and upon movement of the brake plate 132 about the pin 136, the brake plate 134 is moved into and out of engagement with the contact plate 128. Movement of the brake plate 134 is provided by a lever 140 having a cam end 142 which engages a compressible spacer 144. Another end 146 of the brake plate 134 is coupled to a rod 148 which is also operatively connected to the lever 140. The end 146 is fixed to the rod 148 such that up and down movement of the rod (as illustrated) moves the end 138 into and out of contact with the contact plate 128. Therefore, movement of the lever 140 about an axis of the cam end 142 moves rod 148 and therefore the end 138 to fix the location of the carriage assembly 62 once located at a desired position. A stop 149, such as a nut, is fixedly coupled to the rod 148 to substantially prevent movement of the brake plate 134 along the rod 148, in at least one direction. Upon actuation of the brake plate 134, a bending moment is provided at the pin 136 to engage the end 138 at the contact plate 128. The axis of rotation of the cam end 142 is offset such that the cam end 142 compresses the spacer 144 in one position and decompresses the spacer 142 in another position. In the position illustrated, the cam end 142 has compressed the spacer 144 and the end 138 is held relatively securely in contact with the contact plate 128 to fix the location of the carriage assembly 62 with respect to the bracket 66.

    [0026] FIG. 9 illustrates another embodiment of the positionable shifter assembly 34 including a center console 36 and a shifter 38. In this embodiment, the shifter assembly 34 is configured to move in either direction along the line 40 upon rotation of a knob 150, which is a type of lever. In this embodiment, one or both of the bracket assembly 60 and carriage assembly 62 includes a rail 152 and a threaded rod 154. The threaded rod 154 is operatively connected to a threaded portion of the carriage assembly 62 (not shown), such that rotation of the knob 150 moves the carriage assembly 62 with respect to the bracket assembly 60. In other embodiments, the knob 150 is replaced with an electrical drive system which moves the carriage assembly 62 with respect to the bracket assembly 60 using electrical power. In one embodiment, the knob 150 is replaced with a pushbutton and a motor is added, whereupon activation of the pushbutton drives the motor which rotes the threaded rod.

    [0027] While exemplary embodiments incorporating the principles of the present invention have been disclosed herein, the present invention is not limited to the disclosed embodiments. Instead, this application is intended to cover any variations, uses, or adaptations of the invention using its general principles. Further, this application is intended to cover such departures from the present disclosure as come within known or customary practice in the art to which this invention pertains and which fall within the limits of the appended claims.


    Claims

    1. A positionable shifter assembly (34) for supporting a shifter (38) in a front passenger compartment of a vehicle (10), the front passenger compartment having a driver side location (30) having a driver usable floor area, and a passenger side location (32) having a passenger usable floor area, the vehicle (10) comprising:
    a bracket assembly (60) configured to be stationarily fixed in the front passenger compartment of the vehicle, the bracket assembly (60) defining a first axis (65); characterised by further comprising:

    a carriage assembly (62) operatively connected to the bracket assembly (60), the carriage assembly (62) adapted to support the shifter (38) for movement along a second axis (67) inclined with respect the first axis (65), wherein movement along the second axis (67) toward the driver side location (30) increases the amount of passenger usable floor area and movement along the second axis (67) toward the passenger side location (32) increases the amount of driver usable floor area; and

    a securing mechanism (80), operatively connected to the carriage assembly (62), the securing mechanism (80) configured to secure the carriage assembly (62) to the bracket assembly (60) at a desired location along the second axis (67) to limit side to side movement (40) of the carriage assembly (62).


     
    2. The positionable shifter assembly (34) of claim 1 further comprising a carriage support (72) operatively connected to the bracket assembly (60) and to the carriage assembly (62), wherein the carriage support (72) is configured to support the carriage assembly (62) for reciprocal movement side to side along the second axis (67) with respect to the bracket assembly (60).
     
    3. The positionable shifter assembly (34) of claim 2 wherein the carriage support (72) includes at least one rail (64) aligned along the second axis (67) and the carriage assembly (62) includes a coupler (72) configured to engage the rail (64) such that the carriage assembly (62) is movable along the rail (64).
     
    4. The positionable shifter assembly (34) of any preceding claim wherein the securing mechanism (80) includes a locking feature (96, 98, 128, 132, 154) configured to fix the position of the carriage assembly (62) with respect to the bracket assembly (60).
     
    5. The positionable shifter assembly (34) of claim 4 wherein the locking feature (96, 98, 128, 132, 154) includes a lever (82).
     
    6. The positionable shifter assembly (34) of claim 4 or 5 wherein the locking feature (96, 98, 128, 132, 154) includes a cam (142).
     
    7. The positionable shifter assembly (34) of any one of claims 4 to 6 wherein the locking feature (96, 98, 128, 132, 154) includes a knob (150).
     
    8. The positionable shifter assembly (34) of claim 5, or claim 6 or 7 when dependent on claim 5, wherein the lever (82) includes a lever arm including a first end (84) accessible to a user of the vehicle (10) and a second end (96) rotatably coupled to one of the rail (64) and the carriage assembly (62).
     
    9. The positionable shifter (34) assembly of claim 8 wherein the securing mechanism (80) includes a friction brake (98) and the lever arm includes an engagement portion (96) configured to engage the friction brake (98) to fix the position of the carriage assembly (62) with respect to the bracket assembly (60), wherein up and down movement (86) of the lever arm engages and disengages the friction brake (98), wherein the up and down movement (86) is generally perpendicular to the side to side movement (40).
     
    10. The positionable shifter assembly (34) of any preceding claim wherein the bracket assembly (60) is configured to be coupled to a frame of a vehicle center console (36).
     
    11. The positionable shifter assembly (34) of any preceding claim further comprising a housing (50) coupled to the carriage assembly (62), the housing (50) including an aperture to receive a shifter knob (48) of the shifter assembly.
     
    12. The positionable shifter assembly (34) of claim 9 wherein the first end (84) of the lever arm (82) is configured to move between a first position and a second position, wherein in at least one of the first position and the second position the carriage assembly (62) is fixed with respect to the bracket assembly (60) such that the shifter (38) is stably located within the front passenger compartment.
     
    13. The positionable shifter assembly (34) of claim 12 wherein the lever arm (82) includes a pivot (104) about which the securing mechanism (80) moves between the first position and the second position, wherein a resilient member (106) is located between the lever arm (82) and a bracket (90) to keep engagement portion (96) engaged with the friction brake (98).
     
    14. The positionable shifter assembly (34) of claim 13 wherein the resilient member (106) includes a compressed condition configured to disengage the engagement portion (96) from the friction brake (98).
     
    15. The positionable shifter assembly (34) of claim 14 wherein the friction brake (98) includes indentations (100) and the engagement portion (96) includes projections (102), wherein the projections (102) are configured to engage the indentations (100) to hold the carriage assembly (62) in a fixed position.
     


    Ansprüche

    1. Positionierbare Schalthebelanordnung (34) zum Stützen eines Schalthebels (38) in einem vorderen Fahrgastraum eines Fahrzeugs (10), wobei der vordere Fahrgastraum eine fahrerseitige Position (30) mit einem vom Fahrer nutzbaren Bodenbereich und eine beifahrerseitige Position (32) mit einem vom Beifahrer nutzbaren Bodenbereich aufweist, wobei das Fahrzeug (10) Folgendes umfasst:

    eine Klammeranordnung (60), die dazu konfiguriert ist, stationär in dem vorderen Fahrgastraum des Fahrzeugs befestigt zu sein, wobei die Klammeranordnung (60) eine erste Achse (65) definiert;

    gekennzeichnet dadurch, dass es ferner Folgendes umfasst:

    eine Schlittenanordnung (62), die betriebswirksam mit der Klammeranordnung (60) verbunden ist, wobei die Schlittenanordnung (62) dazu ausgelegt ist, den Schalthebel (38) zur Bewegung entlang einer zweiten Achse (67), die bezüglich der ersten Achse (65) geneigt ist, zu stützen, wobei Bewegung entlang der zweiten Achse (67) in Richtung der fahrerseitigen Position (30) das Ausmaß an vom Beifahrer nutzbarem Bodenbereich vergrößert und Bewegung entlang der zweiten Achse (67) in Richtung der beifahrerseitigen Position (32) das Ausmaß an vom Fahrer nutzbarem Bodenbereich vergrößert; und

    einen Sicherungsmechanismus (80), der betriebswirksam mit der Schlittenanordnung (62) verbunden ist, wobei der Sicherungsmechanismus (80) dazu konfiguriert ist, die Schlittenanordnung (62) an der Klammeranordnung (60) an einer gewünschten Stelle entlang der zweiten Achse (67) zu sichern, um eine Bewegung (40) von Seite zu Seite der Schlittenanordnung (62) zu begrenzen.


     
    2. Positionierbare Schalthebelanordnung (34) nach Anspruch 1, die ferner eine Schlittenstütze (72) umfasst, die betriebswirksam mit der Klammeranordnung (60) und der Schlittenanordnung (62) verbunden ist, wobei die Schlittenstütze (72) dazu konfiguriert ist, die Schlittenanordnung (62) zum Hin- und Herbewegen von Seite zu Seite entlang der zweiten Achse (67) bezüglich der Klammeranordnung (60) zu stützen.
     
    3. Positionierbare Schalthebelanordnung (34) nach Anspruch 2, wobei die Schlittenstütze (72) mindestens eine Schiene (64) aufweist, die entlang der zweiten Achse (67) ausgerichtet ist, und die Schlittenanordnung (62) ein Verbindungsstück (72) aufweist, das dazu konfiguriert ist, die Schiene (64) so in Eingriff zu nehmen, dass die Schlittenanordnung (62) entlang der Schiene (64) bewegt werden kann.
     
    4. Positionierbare Schalthebelanordnung (34) nach einem der vorhergehenden Ansprüche, wobei der Sicherungsmechanismus (80) ein Verriegelungsmerkmal (96, 98, 128, 132, 154) umfasst, das dazu konfiguriert ist, die Position der Schlittenanordnung (62) bezüglich der Klammeranordnung (60) zu fixieren.
     
    5. Positionierbare Schalthebelanordnung (34) nach Anspruch 4, wobei das Verriegelungsmerkmal (96, 98, 128, 132, 154) einen Hebel (82) aufweist.
     
    6. Positionierbare Schalthebelanordnung (34) nach Anspruch 4 oder 5, wobei das Verriegelungsmerkmal (96, 98, 128, 132, 154) eine Nocke (142) aufweist.
     
    7. Positionierbare Schalthebelanordnung (34) nach einem der Ansprüche 4 bis 6, wobei das Verriegelungsmerkmal (96, 98, 128, 132, 154) einen Knauf (150) aufweist.
     
    8. Positionierbare Schalthebelanordnung (34) nach Anspruch 5, oder nach Anspruch 6 oder 7, wenn diese von Anspruch 5 abhängig sind, wobei der Hebel (82) einen Hebelarm aufweist, der ein erstes Ende (84), das für einen Benutzer des Fahrzeugs (10) erreichbar ist, und ein zweites Ende (96), das drehbar mit der Schiene (64) und der Schlittenanordnung (62) verbunden ist, aufweist.
     
    9. Positionierbare Schalthebelanordnung (34) nach Anspruch 8, wobei der Sicherungsmechanismus (80) eine Reibungsbremse (98) aufweist und der Hebelarm einen Ineingriffnahmeabschnitt (96) aufweist, der dazu konfiguriert ist, die Reibungsbremse (98) in Eingriff zu nehmen, um die Position der Schlittenanordnung (62) bezüglich der Klammeranordnung (60) zu fixieren, wobei ein Auf- und Abbewegen (86) des Hebelarms die Reibungsbremse (98) in Eingriff nimmt und löst, wobei das Auf- und Abbewegen (86) allgemein senkrecht zur Bewegung (40) von Seite zu Seite ist.
     
    10. Positionierbare Schalthebelanordnung (34) nach einem der vorhergehenden Ansprüche, wobei die Klammeranordnung (60) dazu konfiguriert ist, mit einem Rahmen einer Fahrzeugmittelkonsole (36) verbunden zu werden.
     
    11. Positionierbare Schalthebelanordnung (34) nach einem der vorhergehenden Ansprüche, die ferner ein Gehäuse (50) umfasst, das mit der Schlittenanordnung (62) verbunden ist, wobei das Gehäuse (50) eine Öffnung zur Aufnahme eines Schalthebelknaufs (48) der Schalthebelanordnung aufweist.
     
    12. Positionierbare Schalthebelanordnung (34) nach Anspruch 9, wobei das erste Ende (84) des Hebelarms (82) dazu konfiguriert ist, sich zwischen einer ersten Position und einer zweiten Position zu bewegen, wobei in der ersten und/oder in der zweiten Position die Schlittenanordnung (62) bezüglich der Klammeranordnung (60) derart fixiert ist, dass der Schalthebel (38) sich dauerhaft innerhalb des vorderen Fahrgastraums befindet.
     
    13. Positionierbare Schalthebelanordnung (34) nach Anspruch 12, wobei der Hebelarm (82) einen Drehpunkt (104) aufweist, um den sich der Sicherungsmechanismus (80) zwischen der ersten Position und der zweiten Position bewegt, wobei ein elastisches Element (106) zwischen dem Hebelarm (82) und einer Klammer (90) angeordnet ist, um den Ineingriffnahmeabschnitt (96) in Eingriff mit der Reibungsbremse (98) zu halten.
     
    14. Positionierbare Schalthebelanordnung (34) nach Anspruch 13, wobei das elastische Element (106) einen zusammengedrückten Zustand aufweist, der dazu konfiguriert ist, den Ineingriffnahmeabschnitt (96) aus der Reibungsbremse (98) zu lösen.
     
    15. Positionierbare Schalthebelanordnung (34) nach Anspruch 14, wobei die Reibungsbremse (98) Vertiefungen (100) aufweist und der Ineingriffnahmeabschnitt (96) Vorsprünge (102) aufweist, wobei die Vorsprünge (102) dazu konfiguriert sind, die Vertiefungen (100) in Eingriff zu nehmen, um die Schlittenanordnung (62) in einer festen Position zu halten.
     


    Revendications

    1. Ensemble de levier de vitesses positionnable (34) destiné à supporter un levier de vitesses (38) dans un compartiment passager avant d'un véhicule (10), le compartiment passager avant ayant un emplacement latéral conducteur (30) ayant une surface au sol utilisable par le conducteur, et un emplacement latéral passager (32) ayant une surface au sol utilisable par un passager, le véhicule (10) comprenant :

    un ensemble console (60) configuré pour être fixé de manière stationnaire dans le compartiment passager avant du véhicule, l'ensemble console (60) définissant un premier axe (65) ;

    caractérisé en ce qu'il comprend en outre :

    un ensemble chariot (62) connecté de manière opérationnelle à l'ensemble console (60), l'ensemble chariot (62) adapté pour supporter le levier de vitesses (38) pour un déplacement le long d'un deuxième axe (67) incliné par rapport au premier axe (65), dans lequel un déplacement le long du deuxième axe (67) en direction de l'emplacement latéral conducteur (30) augmente la quantité d'espace au sol utilisable par le passager et un déplacement le long du deuxième axe (67) en direction de l'emplacement latéral passager (32) augmente la quantité d'espace au sol utilisable par le conducteur ; et

    un mécanisme de fixation (80), connecté de manière opérationnelle à l'ensemble chariot (62), le mécanisme de fixation (80) configuré pour fixer l'ensemble chariot (62) à l'ensemble console (60) au niveau d'un emplacement souhaité le long du deuxième axe (67) pour limiter un déplacement d'un côté à l'autre (40) de l'ensemble chariot (62).


     
    2. Ensemble de levier de vitesses positionnable (34) selon la revendication 1, comprenant en outre un support de chariot (72) connecté de manière opérationnelle à l'ensemble console (60) et à l'ensemble chariot (62), dans lequel le support de chariot (72) est configuré pour supporter l'ensemble chariot (62) pour un déplacement en va-et-vient d'un côté à l'autre le long du deuxième axe (67) par rapport à l'ensemble console (60).
     
    3. Ensemble de levier de vitesses positionnable (34) selon la revendication 2, dans lequel le support de chariot (72) inclut au moins un rail (64) aligné le long du deuxième axe (67) et l'ensemble chariot (62) inclut un coupleur (72) configuré pour solidariser le rail (64) de manière à ce que l'ensemble chariot (62) soit mobile le long du rail (64).
     
    4. Ensemble de levier de vitesses positionnable (34) selon l'une quelconque revendication précédente, dans lequel le mécanisme de fixation (80) inclut une caractéristique de verrouillage (96, 98, 128, 132, 154) configurée pour fixer la position de l'ensemble chariot (62) par rapport à l'ensemble console (60).
     
    5. Ensemble de levier de vitesses positionnable (34) selon la revendication 4, dans lequel la caractéristique de verrouillage (96, 98, 128, 132, 154) inclut un levier (82).
     
    6. Ensemble de levier de vitesses positionnable (34) selon la revendication 4 ou 5, dans lequel la caractéristique de verrouillage (96, 98, 128, 132, 154) inclut une came (142).
     
    7. Ensemble de levier de vitesses positionnable (34) selon l'une quelconque des revendications 4 à 6, dans lequel la caractéristique de verrouillage (96, 98, 128, 132, 154) inclut une molette (150).
     
    8. Ensemble de levier de vitesses positionnable (34) selon la revendication 5, ou la revendication 6 ou 7 lorsqu'elle est dépendant de la revendication 5, dans lequel le levier (82) inclut un bras de levier incluant une première extrémité (84) accessible à un utilisateur du véhicule (10) et une deuxième extrémité (96) couplée en rotation à l'un du rail (64) et de l'ensemble chariot (62).
     
    9. Ensemble de levier de vitesses positionnable (34) selon la revendication 8, dans lequel le mécanisme de fixation (80) inclut un frein à friction (98) et le bras de levier inclut une partie de solidarisation (96) configurée pour solidariser le frein à friction (98) pour fixer l'emplacement de l'ensemble chariot (62) par rapport à l'ensemble console (60), dans lequel un déplacement vers le haut et le bas (86) du bras de levier solidarise et désolidarise le frein à friction (98), dans lequel le déplacement vers le haut et le bas (86) est globalement perpendiculaire au déplacement d'un côté à l'autre (40).
     
    10. Ensemble de levier de vitesses positionnable (34) selon l'une quelconque revendication précédente, dans lequel l'ensemble console (60) est configuré pour être couplé à un cadre d'une console centrale du véhicule (36).
     
    11. Ensemble de levier de vitesses positionnable (34) selon l'une quelconque revendication précédente, comprenant en outre un boîtier (50) couplé à l'ensemble chariot (62), le boîtier (50) incluant une ouverture pour recevoir un pommeau de levier de vitesses (48) de l'ensemble de levier de vitesses.
     
    12. Ensemble de levier de vitesses positionnable (34) selon la revendication 9, dans lequel la première extrémité (84) du bras de levier (82) est configurée pour se déplacer entre une première position et une deuxième position, dans lequel dans au moins l'une de la première position et la deuxième position, l'ensemble chariot (62) est fixé par rapport à l'ensemble console (60) de manière à ce que le levier de vitesses (38) soit positionné de manière stable dans le compartiment passager avant.
     
    13. Ensemble de levier de vitesses positionnable (34) selon la revendication 12, dans lequel le bras de levier (82) inclut un pivot (104) autour duquel le mécanisme de fixation (80) se déplace entre la première position et la deuxième position, dans lequel un élément élastique (106) se trouve entre le bras de levier (82) et une console (90) pour maintenir une partie de solidarisation (96) solidarisée avec le frein à friction (98).
     
    14. Ensemble de levier de vitesses positionnable (34) selon la revendication 13, dans lequel l'élément élastique (106) inclut une condition compressée configurée pour désolidariser la partie de solidarisation (96) du frein à friction (98).
     
    15. Ensemble de levier de vitesses positionnable (34) selon la revendication 14, dans lequel le frein à friction (98) inclut des indentations (100) et la partie de solidarisation (96) inclut des saillies (102), dans lequel les saillies (102) sont configurées pour solidariser les indentations (100) pour maintenir l'ensemble chariot (62) dans une position fixe.
     




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    Cited references

    REFERENCES CITED IN THE DESCRIPTION



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    Patent documents cited in the description