Reinventing Vehicle Platforms

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The Future of Vehicle Platforms (Inventions by Adrian Chernoff)

Reinventing the automobile is about starting fresh and taking a new look at mobility. The internal combustion engine has put major constraints on the vehicle. It’s time we had new innovations, innovations that can springboard transportation into the 21st century! The innovations covered here are at the center of electric vehicles. An electric vehicle platform can change the way cars are driven, the way cars are fueled, and how clean and green they can be in the future and in the present.

The automotive platform of the future is known as the “skateboard.” The skateboard houses the vehicle’s key mechanisms for propulsion, braking, acceleration, communication, and energy storage. The skateboard is also a self-contained chassis where essential components are placed: all the operational systems for engines, electric motors, wiring, communications, suspension, and many other technical elements. This skateboard base plate is a new way to make, manufacture, and assemble vehicles. It also offers improvements and methods to improve current production programs with smart packaging, improved reliability, upgradeability and super-fuel-efficient vehicles. The following innovations cover a wide array of inventions, from manufacturing vehicle bodies, assembling scalable chassis, providing mobile power, streamlining manufacturing process, and creating chassis stacking, smart electrical systems, plug-and-play chassis frame modules, electric vehicle development platforms, and vehicle body connections, power, and controls.

7,281,600    Pre-Engineered Frame Portion and Method of Use Therefor

  1. A vehicle chassis includes a structural frame having a frame portion that partially defines an open space and that has a predetermined configuration such that the open space maintains a predetermined amount of spatial integrity in the event of a horizontal impact to the vehicle chassis. The frame also includes a frame component operatively connected to the frame portion that further defines the structural frame. The open space provides a protected packaging space wherein certain critical chassis components are placed. The frame portion configuration provides a pre-engineered protected area that may be used in a variety of structural frame configurations. Accordingly, a method for using pre-engineered frame portions is provided.

7,441,615    Modular Chassis with Simplified Body-Attachment Interface

  1. A chassis having systems responsive to a nonmechanical control signals and a simplified body-attachment interface includes preassembled modules to enhance ease and simplicity of chassis assembly. The chassis is preferably configured to minimize the possibility of a preassembled module being incorrectly positioned within the chassis. Methods for advantageously employing preassembled modules to assemble vehicle chassis are also provided.

7,303,033    Vehicle Frame Assembly and Method for Same

  1. A method for assembling vehicular structural frames employing elongated members and connectors interconnecting the elongated members increases flexibility in assembling chassis frames and body frames. The method includes assembling a first vehicle structural frame according to a first design, and assembling a second vehicle structural frame according to a second design. The second design is derived from the first design by replacing elongated members of the first design with differently-dimensioned elongated members, or by changing the quantity of elongated members, to result in a second structural frame configuration different from the first structural frame configuration.

6,899,194    Lower Vehicle Body Structure and Method of Use Therefor

  1. A lower vehicle body structure for a vehicle body defining an interior space includes structural elements that extend higher than the lower extent of the interior space. The structural elements protect the spatial integrity of the interior space by being sufficiently configured and positioned to receive a load at a point higher than the lower extent of the interior space from an impact to the vehicle body. The vehicle body is configured to be mateable with a chassis having systems that are responsive to non-mechanical control signals. A method for advantageously using pre-engineered lower body structures as a common base for bodies of varying styles, types, and configurations is also provided.

6,923,282    Chassis Subassembly Module and Method for Using Same

  1. A chassis subassembly module having a portion of a chassis structural frame and vehicular componentry facilitates the assembly of a chassis having systems responsive to non-mechanical control signals and a simplified body-attachment interface. A method of employing chassis subassembly modules to assemble chassis is also provided.

6,935,449    Vehicle Electrical Distribution System and Method of Use Therefor

  1. An electrical distribution system for a vehicle having electrical devices includes at least one junction box and a plurality of terminals interconnected by at least one conductive path. The electrical distribution system operatively interconnects the electrical devices when the electrical devices are appropriately connected to the electrical distribution system via the terminals. A method for advantageously using an electrical distribution system having sufficient terminals and sufficient conductive paths to accommodate a plurality of vehicle electrical device combinations is also provided.

6,948,226    Chassis Frame Packaging Cavity Loading Method

  1. A method of assembling a vehicle chassis includes providing a vehicle frame having a plurality of packaging cavities opening in a plurality of different directions, mounting vehicle hardware components toward openings in the packaging cavities and installing the vehicle hardware components into operative positions in their packaging cavities. The installation of the vehicle hardware components and their respective packaging cavities may be arranged to make the components removable from the frame in respective ones of the different directions.

6,935,658    Chassis Frame Module and Method of Use for Same

  1. A structural frame for a vehicle chassis includes transversely-oriented unitary structural members interconnecting at least three longitudinally-oriented elongated members. The use of unitary structural members and elongated members provides flexibility in assembling structural frames of differing configurations. Correspondingly, a method of assembling structural frames having transversely-oriented unitary structural members interconnecting at least three longitudinally-oriented elongated members is provided.

6,726,438    Chassis Stacking

  1. A vehicle chassis having substantially all of the mechanical, electrical, and structural componentry necessary for a fully functional vehicle includes 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. A substantially flat and relatively thin vehicle chassis enables compact storage of multiple vehicle chassis. This compact storage is achieved by high density vertical stacking of the vehicle chassis, which improves packaging and shipping efficiency, reduces plant floor usage for storage during or before testing, assembly or shipping processes, and may reduce overall manufacturing, assembly, shipping, and/or vehicle costs. The chassis is characterized by the absence of a front engine compartment, with energy conversion, energy storage, steering and braking systems contained substantially within a generally flat frame, having substantially flat upper and lower faces to facilitate optimal stacking efficiency.

7,028,791    Mobile Chassis and Interchangeable Vehicle Body with a HVAC System

  1. A mobile chassis for vehicle body interchangeability has a heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) system packaged in a rolling platform. The system is connected to a power train cooling loop for waste heat circulation and to an electric air conditioning compressor for cooling. Supplemental heating elements are utilized for additional heating loads. Airflow from the HVAC system flows into the vehicle body through single or multiple passthroughs from the rolling platform. The air is then distributed through a ducting system in the vehicle body. The ducting system utilizes floor structure, seat structure, body pillars, or other designed forms so that the airflow is positioned and directed as desired.

7,083,016    Mobile Chassis and Interchangeable Vehicle Body with Waste Heat Rejection

  1. A mobile chassis for vehicle body interchangeability has a waste heat rejection system packaged in a rolling platform. The system is connected to a powertrain cooling loop for waste heat circulation. The cooling loop includes cooling fin heat exchangers on the sides of the rolling platform and another heat exchanger in the HVAC system for utilizing otherwise waste heat in the air conditioning of each vehicle body being interchanged.

6,986,401    Systems Packaged within Flat Vehicle Chassis

  1. A vehicle chassis includes a braking system, an energy conversion system, a steering system and a suspension system wherein each system is operably connected to at least one of a plurality of wheels. The systems are packaged substantially within a substantially flat vehicle frame to provide a substantially flat chassis. The flatness of the chassis increases available passenger space in any attached vehicle body and facilitates compatibility between the chassis and bodies of varying configurations.


Reinventing Vehicle CHASSIS: Patents