Title:
MULTIFUNCTION VEHICULAR SEAT
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A multi-function vehicular seat includes a seat cushion and a seat back which are pivotably attached. A lockable rotatable mounting link supports the front portion of the seat cushion, and a lockable longitudinally slidable pivot mount is connected with the bottom of the seat back. A lower portion of the seat back functions as a link between the longitudinally slidable pivot mount and the seat cushion, with the result being that the seat functions as a four bar link to allow not only translational repositioning of the seat but also a fold flat function, a recliner function, and forward translational and rotational folding sufficient to allow ingress and egress to and from a position behind the seat.



Inventors:
Jaranson, John (Dearborn, MI, US)
Chatwin, Andrew (Stratford Upon Avon, GB)
Application Number:
11/530067
Publication Date:
05/29/2008
Filing Date:
09/08/2006
Assignee:
FORD GLOBAL TECHNOLOGIES, LLC (Dearborn, MI, US)
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A47C1/022
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
DUNN, DAVID R
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Jerome R. Drouillard (Grass Lake, MI, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A multifunction vehicular seat, comprising: a seat cushion; a rotatable seat cushion mounting link supporting a front portion of said seat cushion; a seat back; a longitudinally slidable pivot mount connected to the bottom of said seat back; and a pivotable connection extending between a rear portion of said seat cushion and a portion of said seat back located above the bottom of the seatback, such that a lower portion of the seatback functions as a link between said longitudinally slidable pivot mount and said seat cushion.

2. A multifunction seat according to claim 1, wherein said rotatable seat cushion mounting link comprises an upper end pivoted to the front portion of the seat cushion, and a lower end having a bracket for mounting to a floor, wherein said lower end pivot is selectively lockable.

3. A multifunction seat according to claim 2, wherein said longitudinally slidable pivot mount is lockable both rotationally and translationally.

4. A multifunction seat according to claim 3, wherein said seat is movable to a flat, folded configuration by unlocking both said lower end pivot and the pivot function of said longitudinally slidable pivot mount, and by rotating said seat back forward, while rotating said rotatable seat cushion mounting link in a forward direction, said until said seat back is superimposed upon said seat cushion.

5. A multifunction seat according to claim 3, wherein said seat is movable to a flat, folded configuration by unlocking both said lower end pivot and the pivot function of said longitudinally slidable pivot mount, and by rotating said seat back forward, while rotating rotatable seat cushion mounting link in a rearward direction, said until said seat back is superimposed upon said seat cushion.

6. A multifunction seat according to claim 3, wherein said seat is movable translationally by unlocking both said lower end pivot and the slide function of said longitudinally slidable pivot mount.

7. A multifunction seat according to claim 3, wherein said seat is movable to an ingress/egress position by unlocking both said lower end pivot and the pivot function of said longitudinally slidable pivot mount, as well as the slide function of said longitudinally slidable pivot mount, so as to permit said seatback to be moved forward both rotationally and translationally as said seat cushion moves forward.

8. A multifunction seat according to claim 3, wherein said seat is movable to a reclined position by unlocking the pivot function of said longitudinally slidable pivot mount, as well as the slide function of said longitudinally slidable pivot mount, so as to permit an upper portion of said seat back to be moved rearward rotationally as said slidable pivot mount and a lower portion of said seat back move forward.

9. A multifunction seat adapted to be installed in a vehicle as a lever-adjustable, four bar linkage, comprising: a first link, comprising a seat cushion support extending from a front portion of a seat cushion downwardly to a forward mounting bracket; a second link, comprising said seat cushion; a third link, comprising a portion of a seat back extending from a rear portion of said seat cushion downwardly to a longitudinally slidable rear mounting bracket; and a fourth link, which is constituted when said forward mounting bracket and said rear mounting bracket are in contact with a single surface.

10. A multifunction seat according to claim 9, wherein at least a portion of said seat back extending above said seat cushion functions as a lever arm for adjusting the position of said seat.

11. A multifunction seat according to claim 9, wherein said seat has at least a first operating position in which said seat back and said seat cushion are in raised positions, and a second operating position in which said seat back and said seat cushion are in lowered positions, such that said seat back is generally horizontal and superimposed upon said seat cushion.

12. A multifunction seat according to claim 9, wherein a joint between said first link and said forward mounting bracket is lockable.

13. A multifunction seat according to claim 9, wherein a joint between said third link and said longitudinally slidable rear mounting bracket is lockable.

Description:

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

1. Field of the Invention

The present invention relates to a seat for use in a vehicle. This inventive seat is said to multi-functional because it may be used not only as a translationally movable upright seat, but also as a recliner. And, it may be folded forward to allow ingress and egress to portions of the vehicle behind the location of the seat.

2. Disclosure Information

The second and third rows of seats in vehicles such as sport utility vehicles, minivans, and crossover vehicles work best if they are multi-functional. Such second and third row seats are typically configured to fold flat to increase cargo carrying capability. Also, the second row of seats must fold so as to allow access to the third row of seats and, perhaps, to the space extending behind the third row of seats. Automotive designers have incorporated a number of different mechanisms to accomplish these desired multi-functions. Such mechanisms have, however, been complicated and, in many cases, counterintuitive for the vehicle operator. U.S. Pat. No. 7,040,684 discloses a seat mechanism which is quite complicated in its operation. U.S. Pat. No. 6,817,670, although less complicated, is not adaptable to a flat floored vehicle.

A multi-function vehicular seat according to the present invention solves problems associated with known seats by providing a cost effective and easily employed mechanism in a seat which is movable translationally, which may be folded flat, which may be reclined, and which may be moved to allow ingress or egress to seating rows and/or storage space behind the location at which the seat is mounted.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

A multi-function vehicular seat includes a seat cushion and a seat back. A rotatable mounting link supports the front portion of the seat cushion. A longitudinally slidable pivot mount is connected to the bottom of the seat back, and a pivotable connection extends between a rear portion of the seat cushion and a portion of the seat back located above the bottom of the seat back, such that a lower portion of the seat back functions as a link between the longitudinally slidable pivot mount and the seat cushion. The rotatable mounting link preferably includes an upper end pivoted to the front portion of the seat cushion and a lower end pivoted to a bracket for mounting to a floor, with the lower end being selectively lockable. The longitudinally slidable pivot mount is lockable both rotationally and translationally.

The present seat is movable to a flat, folded configuration by unlocking both the lower end pivot and the pivot portion of the longitudinally slidable pivot mount, and by rotating the seat back forward, while rotating the rotatable mounting link and seat cushion in a forward direction until the seat back is superimposed upon the seat cushion. Alternatively, the seat may be moved to a flat, folded configuration by unlocking both the lower end pivot of the rotatable mounting link and the pivot portion of the longitudinally slidable pivot mount, and by rotating the seat back forward while rotating the rotatable mounting link in a rearward direction until the seat back is superimposed upon the seat cushion.

The present seat is movable translationally by unlocking both the lower end pivot of the rotatable mounting link and the slide function of the longitudinally slidable pivot mount, while leaving the pivot portion of the longitudinally slidable pivot mount locked.

The present seat is movable to an ingress/egress position by unlocking the lower end pivot of the rotatable mounting link and the pivot function of the longitudinally slidable pivot mount, as well as the slide function of the longitudinal slidable mount, so as to permit the seat back to be moved forward both rotationally and translationally as the seat cushion moves forward.

It is an advantage of a seat according to the present invention that multi-functional attributes such as the ability to fold the seat flat, the ability to recline the seat back, and the ability to rotate the seat forward to allow access to an area behind the seat, are all available in the context of a seat mechanism which is less costly and less complicated than known designs.

It is another advantage of a seat system according to the present invention that operation of the seat is intuitive and easily accomplished by a vehicle operator.

Other advantages, as well as features and objects of the present invention, will become apparent to the reader of this specification.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is a side elevation of a seat according to the present invention shown in an upright locked position.

FIG. 2 illustrates translational movement of the seat of FIG. 1.

FIG. 3 illustrates the seat of the present invention moving from an upright position to a folded flat position.

FIG. 4 shows the seat of the present invention moved forward and folded to allow ingress and egress to a position behind the seat.

FIG. 5 illustrates the present seat moving into a reclining configuration.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS

As shown in FIG. 1, seat 10 has seat cushion 14 and seat back 18. Front end 14a of seat cushion 14 is supported by rotatable mounting link 22 which has upper pivot 26 at upper end 22a and a lockable lower pivot, 30, at lower end 22b. Rotatable mounting link 22 also has a bracket 34, which is attached to lower end 22 by means of lockable pivot 30. The locking of pivot 30 is controlled by means of locking lever 38, using either a cam lock or other type of lock known to those skilled in the art and suggested by this disclosure. The important thing is that locking lever 38 allows rotatable mounting link 22 to pivot about lockable lower pivot 30 selectively.

Pivot 58 serves as the sole connection between seat back 18 and seat cushion 14. Pivot 58 is not lockable. Lower portion 18b of seat back 18 extends between pivot 58 and lockable pivot 50. Longitudinally slidable pivot mount 40 extends between lockable pivot 50 and track 46, which is adapted for mounting to a vehicle floor or other surface to which seat 10 is being attached. Longitudinally slidable pivot mount 40 slides in slot 48 which is provided in track 46. The sliding action of slidable pivot mount 40 is controlled by means of locking lever 42. Similarly with lockable lower pivot 30, lockable pivot 50 is lockable by means of locking lever 54.

It may easily be seen from FIG. 1 that longitudinally slidable pivot mount 40 and pivot 58 cause the portion of seat back 18 which is marked 18b, and which is located above the bottom of seat back 18 and below pivot 58, to function as a link between mount 40 and seat cushion 14.

In essence, the present multi-function seat is adapted to be installed in a vehicle as a lever-adjustable four bar linkage. The first link is embodied as a seat cushion support, namely rotatable mounting link 22, extending between a front portion of seat cushion 14 downwardly to mounting bracket 34. The second link is seat cushion 14 itself. A third link is that portion of seat back 18 extending from a rear portion of seat cushion 14, which is shown at 14b, downwardly to longitudinally slidable rear mount 40. The fourth link is constituted when two mounting brackets 34 and 40, including track 46, are mounted to a single surface. In this configuration, at least a portion of seat back 18, labeled 18a and extending above seat cushion 14, functions as a lever arm for adjusting the position of seat 10. As described more fully below, seat 10 has at least a first operating position in which seat back 18 and seat back 14 are in the raised position shown in FIG. 1, and a second operating position, shown in FIG. 3, in which seat back 18 and seat cushion 14 are in lowered positions, such that seat back 18 is generally horizontal and superimposed upon seat cushion 14. These positions are made possible by the lockability of lockable lower pivot 30 of rotatable mounting link 22 and lockable pivot 50 located at the lower end of seat back 18.

FIG. 2 illustrates the fore and aft adjustability of the present seat. Lockable lower pivot 30 is unlocked, allowing rotatable mounting link 22 to rotate forward and rearward as seat 10 is moved translationally. Pivot 50 remains locked, but locking lever 42 is actuated to allow slidable pivot mount 40 to move translationally on track 46.

FIG. 3 illustrates a fold flat function of the present seat. To achieve this configuration, lockable lower pivot 30 is unlocked, as is pivot 50, while the slide lock of mount 40 is maintained in a locked position. Then, seat back 18 is rotated forward, causing rotatable mounting link 22 to also rotate forward as seat cushion 14 moves forward, thereby lowering seat cushion 14 to a grounded position, while superimposing seat back 18 upon seat cushion 14. As an alternative fold flat position, rotatable mounting link 22 may be rotated in a rearward direction first before seat back 18 is rotated flat upon seat cushion 14.

FIG. 4 illustrates an ingress/egress position of seat 10, in which both locking pivots 30 and 50 are unlocked, as is slidable mount 40, such that entirety of seat 10 may be pushed forward as far as possible, with seat back 18 being rotated forward as far as possible, with the result that seat cushion 14 and rotatable mounting link 22 become roughly parallel.

FIG. 5 illustrates a reclining function in which both pivots 30 and 50 are unlocked, but slidable pivot mount 40 is maintained in a locked position, such that seat back 18 may be rotated rearwardly, causing simultaneous rotation of rotatable mounting link 22, with the result that seat back 18 moves to a less vertical position, accompanied by minor lowering of seat cushion 14.

While particular embodiments of the invention have been shown and described, numerous variations and alternate embodiments will occur to those skilled in the art. Accordingly, it is intended that the invention be limited only in terms of the appended claims.