Reinventing Vehicle Safety

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The Future of Vehicle Safety Systems (Inventions by Adrian Chernoff)

All vehicles should and must be safe. While considering how to evolve and reinvent the vehicle, many inventions have been devised and developed. Safety is paramount—in reinventing the vehicle, too, safety cannot be ignored. That’s why many innovations cover safety solutions with respect to pedestrian impact, improved crumple and crush zones, enhanced seat belt systems, anticipatory crash warning systems, post-crash informatics, and improved vehicle structures.

The following innovations are some of the inventions created to improve driver and passenger safety. They cover pre-crash systems, structural lock-down hoods, seat belt airbags, enhanced vehicle structures, integrated vehicle bumpers, front impact zones, chassis impact zones, structural design elements, and motorized structural elements.

7,258,188    Variable Seat Belt

  1. A seat belt system includes webbing having a solid material that is configured to effect a shape or dimensional change in response to an activation signal. In a preferred embodiment, the webbing includes a first part and a second part, each having a wide end and a narrow end. The webbing is mounted with respect to a vehicle seat back so that the webbing is positionable across an occupant between the occupant's neck and the occupant's pelvis, and is characterized by the absence of an over-the-shoulder portion.

7,077,439    Vehicle Bumper and Method of Making Same

  1. A vehicle bumper is formed using fluid pressure such that the bumper is characterized by a curvature. The bumper preferably includes an upper bumper bar portion and a lower bumper bar portion that are interconnected. The bumper is also preferably connectable to a pair of upper rails and a pair of lower rails so that an impact load is distributable between the upper rails and the lower rails. The bumper preferably includes an inner panel and an outer panel. A method of forming a bumper is also provided. The method includes subjecting a metal blank to fluid pressure to form a bumper having a shape characterized by a curvature.

7,287,614    Engine Compartment Cover

  1. A vehicle includes a body defining an engine compartment and a plurality of vehicle frame members. An engine compartment cover defines a portion of the engine compartment and functions as a structural load-bearing portion of a vehicle frame by rigidly, structurally interconnecting vehicle frame members.

7,225,542    Vehicle Body Compartment Lid Method of Manufacturing

  1. A vehicle body compartment lid includes a unitary, one-piece panel. The panel has both an inner panel portion and an outer panel portion, and is bent or folded such that the inner panel portion and the outer panel portion are in juxtaposition with one another. A method of manufacturing a vehicle body compartment lid employing the panel is also provided. The panel is preferably formed using fluid pressure.

6,846,038    Integral Vehicle Front Assembly

  1. A body panel includes a hood portion configured to extend over and across a vehicle front compartment, and two fender portions. A unitary, one-piece inner panel and a unitary, one-piece outer panel cooperate to define the hood portion and the two fender portions. The inner panel and the outer panel comprise a substantial portion of a vehicle body front end, replacing the multitude of inner panels, outer panels, and reinforcements in a prior art vehicle body. The body panel preferably functions as a load-bearing vehicle frame portion, reducing or eliminating prior art vehicle frame components. A method of manufacturing the body panel includes forming an inner panel and an outer panel using superplastic forming, quick plastic forming, or sheet hydroforming, and connecting the inner panel and the outer panel.

6,793,275    Load-Bearing Body Panel Assembly for a Motor Vehicle

  1. A body panel functions as a hood by at least partially concealing an engine compartment, and functions as a structural load-bearing portion of a vehicle frame by structurally interconnecting vehicle frame members. The body panel preferably includes a hood portion and two fender portions.

6,991,055    Motorized Cover System and Method of Use Thereof

  1. A motorized cover system includes a cover movably connected with respect to a compartment such as a vehicle component, at least one motor vehicle, and at least one linkage operatively connecting the cover to the motor, wherein the motor is operable for moving the cover between a closed position and at least one open position. The motorized cover system may include an automatically engageable and disengageable latch assembly for securing the cover to the vehicle. A method of opening and closing a vehicle compartment cover includes relaying an operator control signal to a motor, powering the motor, and moving the cover between a first position and a second position.

7,004,502    Frontal Impact Energy Dissipation Zone

  1. A vehicle chassis having substantially all of the mechanical, electrical, and structural componentry necessary for a fully functional vehicle, including at least an energy conversion system, a steering system, and a braking system. The chassis is configured for matability with a variety of different types or styles of vehicle bodies. Various prior art mechanical control linkages between a driver and controlled systems are replaced with non-mechanical control signal transmission components. Fuel cell technology is also implemented.

6,905,138    Chassis with Energy-Absorption Zones

  1. A chassis having systems responsive to non-mechanical control signals and a simplified body-attachment interface includes regions optimized for energy absorption from an impact to the chassis periphery. A structural frame defines open spaces within which chassis systems are positioned. Material configured to absorb energy from an impact to the chassis periphery is located between the chassis periphery and the open spaces.


Reinventing Vehicle SAFETY SYSTEMS: Patents