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Title:
STEERING WHEEL, STEERING UNIT AND ASSEMBLY COMPRISING THE STEERING WHEEL
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/2021/005614
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
Steering wheel (1), steering unit and assembly comprising the steering wheel (1), the steering wheel (1) comprises a first steering part (7) and a second steering part (9); a connection (11), arranged for connecting the steering wheel (1) to the steering device (5); a display device (19) including a reliable screen (21), extending between the first steering part (7) and the second steering part (9), wherein the reliable screen (21) is arranged to roll and unroll along a rolling direction (R) from at least one of the first steering part (7) or the second steering part (9).

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Inventors:
SIDDIQUI FIROZ (IN)
BHATTAD JAYKUMAR (IN)
Application Number:
PCT/IN2019/050508
Publication Date:
January 14, 2021
Filing Date:
July 09, 2019
Export Citation:
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Assignee:
FAURECIA INDIA PRIVATE LTD (IN)
ZAHNRADFABRIK FRIEDRICHSHAFEN (DE)
International Classes:
B62D1/04
Domestic Patent References:
WO2019020465A12019-01-31
Foreign References:
CN1429162A2003-07-09
DE20215753U12003-02-13
DE102006006995B42008-09-18
JP2001106089A2001-04-17
CN107221254A2017-09-29
KR20170034535A2017-03-29
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
SABALE, Suneet (IN)
Download PDF:
Claims:
CLAIMS

1.- A steering wheel (1) for a vehicle having a steering device (5) for steering the wheels of the vehicle, the steering wheel (1) comprising:

- a first steering part (7) and a second steering part (9);

- a connection (11), arranged for connecting the steering wheel (1) to the steering device

(5);

- a display device (19) including a Tollable screen (21), extending between the first steering part (7) and the second steering part (9), wherein the ro liable screen (21) is arranged to roll and unroll along a rolling direction (R) from at least one of the first steering part (7) or the second steering part (9).

2.- The steering wheel according to claim 1, wherein the first steering part (7) and the second steering part (9) are movable with respect to one another.

3.- The steering wheel according to claim 1 or 2, wherein the Tollable screen (21) is arranged to roll and unroll from the first steering part (7) and from the second steering part

(9).

4.- The steering wheel according to anyone of the preceding claims, wherein the connection (11) is arranged for removably connecting the steering wheel (1) to the steering device (5).

5.- The steering wheel according to claim 4, wherein the connection (11) has a connected state in which the first steering part (7) and the second steering part (9) are connected to the steering device (5), and a detached state in which the first steering part (7) and the second steering part (9) are not connected to the steering device (5), the connection (11) shifting from the connected state to the detached state by moving the first steering part (7) and the second steering part (9) away from one another along the rolling direction (R).

6.- The steering wheel according to anyone of the preceding claims, wherein the steering wheel (1) has a width adjustment mechanism (59) arranged for adjusting the spacing between the first steering part (7) and the second steering part (9) along the rolling direction (R).

7.- The steering wheel according to anyone of the preceding claims, wherein the Tollable screen (21) is translucent.

8.- The steering wheel according to anyone of the preceding claims, wherein the display device (19) comprises a display controller (69) arranged for displaying an image (I) on the ro liable screen (21) and a rotation sensor (71) arranged for sensing an angle of rotation of the steering wheel (1), the display controller (69) being arranged for rotating the image (I) on the ro liable screen (21) of an angle of rotation opposite to the angle of rotation sensed by the rotation sensor (71).

9.- A steering unit comprising:

- a steering device (5) for steering the wheels of a vehicle;

- a steering wheel (1) according to anyone of the preceding claim, connected to the steering device (5) by the connection (11).

10.- The steering unit according to the claim 9, wherein the steering wheel (1) is according to the claim 4, the steering device (5) comprising a central hub (35) located between the first steering part (7) and the second steering part (9) along the rolling direction (R) in the connected state of the connection (11).

11.- The steering unit according to the claim 10, wherein in the connected state of the connection (11), the first steering part (7) and the second steering part (9) are connected to the central hub (35) independently from one another.

12.- The steering unit according to the claim 9, wherein the connection (11) comprises a central part (39) connecting the first steering part (7) and the second steering part (9) to one another, the steering device (5) comprising a complementary connection (41) connecting the central part (39) to the steering device (5).

13.- An assembly comprising a steering wheel (1) according to anyone of the claim 1 to 8, and a mounting unit (34), independent of the steering device (5), arranged for connecting to the connection (11) of the steering wheel (1).

14.- The assembly according to the claim 13, wherein the mounting unit (34) is arranged for being laid down on a substantially horizontal surface and for holding the Tollable screen (21) in a position forming an angle comprised between -45° and +45° with respect to a vertical direction.

15.- The assembly according to the claim 13, wherein the mounting unit (34) is arranged in an armrest of a vehicle.

Description:
Steering wheel, steering unit and assembly comprising the steering wheel

The present invention concerns a steering wheel for a vehicle.

It is possible to secure a screen between two steering parts of the steering wheel. The steering parts are the parts of the steering wheel that the driver grabs when driving the car. The screen can be used for displaying information relating to the operation vehicle: temperature of the motor cooling fluid, filling of the gas tank, speed of the vehicle, etc.

The steering wheel has the drawback that it is not possible to move the two steering parts with respect to one another.

The aim of the invention is proposing a steering wheel which overcomes the drawback above.

Therefore, according to a first aspect, the invention is directed to a steering wheel for a vehicle having a steering device for steering the wheels of the vehicle, the steering wheel comprising:

- a first steering part and a second steering part;

- a connection, arranged for connecting the steering wheel to the steering device;

- a display device including a Tollable screen, extending between the first steering part and the second steering part, wherein the Tollable screen is arranged to roll and unroll along a rolling direction from at least one of the first steering part or the second steering part.

Since the display device includes a Tollable screen, extending between the first steering part and the second steering part, wherein the Tollable screen is arranged to roll and unroll along a rolling direction from at least one of the first steering part or the second steering part, it is possible to move the first steering part and the second steering part with respect to one another at least along the rolling direction.

However, the Tollable screen can be arranged as well between two steering parts which are fixed with respect to one another.

It allows enlarging the screen depending on the use of the screen. For example, in an autonomous vehicle, the screen can be narrowed when the driver is actively driving the vehicle. When the vehicle is in autonomous mode, the screen can be enlarged so that the driver can comfortably work using the screen or watch videos on the screen.

The steering wheel can present the following features, alone or according to any technically feasible combination: - the first steering part and the second steering part are movable with respect to one another;

- the Tollable screen is arranged to roll and unroll from the first steering part and from the second steering part ;

- the connection is arranged for removably connecting the steering wheel to the steering device;

- the connection has a connected state in which the first steering part and the second steering part are connected to the steering device and a detached state in which the first steering part and the second steering part are not connected to the steering device the connection shifting from the connected state to the detached state by moving the first steering part and the second steering part away from one another along the rolling direction;

- the steering wheel has a width adjustment mechanism arranged for adjusting the spacing between the first steering part and the second steering part along the rolling direction;

- the Tollable screen is translucent;

- the display device comprises a display controller arranged for displaying an image on the Tollable screen and a rotation sensor arranged for sensing an angle of rotation of the steering wheel the display controller being arranged for rotating the image on the Tollable screen of an angle of rotation opposite to the angle of rotation sensed by the rotation sensor.

According to a second aspect, the invention is directed to a steering unit comprising:

- a steering device for steering the wheels of a vehicle;

- a steering wheel having the features above, connected to the steering device by the connection.

The steering unit can present the following features, alone or according to any technically feasible combination:

- the connection is arranged for removably connecting the steering wheel to the steering device, the steering device comprising a central hub located between the first steering part and the second steering part along the rolling direction in the connected state of the connection ;

- in the connected state of the connection, the first steering part and the second steering part are connected to the central hub independently from one another; - the connection comprises a central part connecting the first steering part and the second steering part to one another, the steering device comprising a complementary connection connecting the central part to the steering device.

According to a third aspect, the invention is directed to an assembly comprising a steering wheel having the features above, and a mounting unit, independent of the steering device, arranged for connecting to the connection of the steering wheel.

The assembly can present the following features, alone or according to any technically feasible combination:

- the mounting unit is arranged for being laid down on a substantially horizontal surface and for holding the Tollable screen in a position forming an angle comprised between -45° and +45° with respect to a vertical direction;

- the mounting unit is arranged in an armrest of a vehicle.

Other features and advantages of the invention will become apparent when reading the detailed description given below, purely by way of example and in a non-limitative manner, referring to the following figures:

- the figure 1 is a conceptual view in perspective of a driving wheel according to the invention, connected to the steering device of a vehicle;

- the figure 2 is a conceptual view in perspective of a part of the Tollable screen implemented in the steering wheel of the invention;

- the figure 3 is a conceptual view in perspective of a driving wheel according to a first embodiment of the invention, with the connection to the steering device in its detached state;

- the figure 4 is a conceptual view in perspective of the driving wheel of the figure 3, connected to a mounting unit allowing to use the screen at home for working;

- the figure 5 is a conceptual view in perspective of the driving wheel of the figure 3, connected to another mounting unit allowing to secure the screen to an armrest of the vehicle;

- the figure 6 is a conceptual view in perspective of a driving wheel according to a second embodiment of the invention, showing the complementary connection arranged on the steering device for receiving the driving wheel;

- the figure 7 is a conceptual view similar to the figure 6, showing the driving wheel connected to the steering device; - the figure 8 is a sectional view of a part of the steering wheel of the figures 6 and 7, showing a width adjustment mechanism arranged for adjusting the spacing between the first steering part and the second steering part; and

- the figures 9 and 10 are front views of an embodiment of the steering wheel of the invention, showing how the display controller controls the orientation of the image displayed on the screen when the steering wheel is rotated.

The steering wheel 1 shown of the figure 1 is typically implemented on a vehicle, for example a car, a truck or even a motorbike.

Only the dashboard 3 of the vehicle is shown on the figure 1.

The vehicle comprises a steering device 5 for steering the wheels of the vehicle.

The steering device 5 is for example of a steer by wire type. In this case, the vehicle comprises electric actuators for pivoting the wheels, a sensor sensing the position of the steering wheel 1, and an electronic control unit driving the actuators as a function of the position of the steering wheel 1 sensed by the sensor.

Alternatively, the steering device 5 is mechanical. It typically comprises a steering column connected to steer arms by a rack and pinion mechanism.

The steering wheel 3 comprises:

- a first steering part 7 and a second steering part 9;

- a connection 11, arranged for connecting the steering wheel 1 to the steering device 5.

The connection 11 connects the steering wheel 1 to a complementary connection 13 of the steering device 5. The complementary connection 13 belongs to a rotatable part of the steering device 5, which is rotatable with respect to the dashboard 3 for pivoting the wheels. When the connection 11 connects the steering wheel 1 to the complementary connection 13, the steering wheel 1 and the rotatable part of the steering device 5 rotate as one piece around the rotational axis of the steering device 5.

In the examples depicted on the figures, the first steering part 7 and the second steering part 9 have a L shape. Each has an elongated hold member 15, and an elongated connection member 17 secured to the hold member 15 and forming with the hold member 15 an angle close to 90°.

The hold members 15 of the two steering parts 7, 9 are substantially parallel to one another, or define together an angle lower than 30°.

The hold members 15 of the first steering part 7 and the second steering part 9 are the members of the steering wheel 1 that the driver grabs when driving the vehicle. The driver grabs the hold members 15 of the first steering part 7 with one hand and grabs the hold members 15 of the second steering part 9 with his second hand.

The first steering part 7 and the second steering part 9 are substantially symmetrical with respect to the rotational axis of the steering device 5.

The steering wheel 3 comprises a display device 19 including a Tollable screen 21.

The Tollable screen is a flexible electronic screen, arranged for displaying images.

The Tollable screen 21 extends between the first steering part 7 and the second steering part 9. More precisely, the Tollable screen 21 extends from the hold members 15 of the first steering part 7 to the hold members 15 of the second steering part 9.

The Tollable screen 21 is arranged to roll and unroll along a given rolling direction R from at least one of the first steering part 7 or the second steering part 9. The rolling direction R is shown by an arrow on the figures.

Preferably, the Tollable screen 21 is arranged to roll and unroll from both the first steering part 7 and from the second steering part 9.

It means that a part of the Tollable screen 21 is rolled inside the first streering part 7 and/or a part of the Tollable screen 21 is rolled inside the second steering part 9. Each part can roll and unroll. When it rolls or unrolls, the screen 21 travels in the rolling direction R. The rolling direction R is the transverse direction in the example depicted on the figures.

For example, as shown on the figure 2, the Tollable screen 21 comprises a flexible display 23 and a plurality of columnar bodies 25.

The flexible display 23 is of any acceptable type. For example, it is made of organic electronic emission diodes (OFED type). It has an active front surface 27, on which the images are displayed.

The columnar bodies 25 are secured on a back surface 29 of the flexible display 23, opposite the front surface 27. They are made of a rather rigid material. They are arranged to give stiffness to the Tollable screen 21, without preventing the flexible screen to roll and unroll.

The columnar bodies 25 are elongated along a longitudinal direction which is substantially perpendicular to said given direction. They are arranged parallel to another, and are spaced apart along the rolling direction. As a consequence, the columnar bodies 25 can pivot with respect to one another around axes which are substantially perpendicular to the rolling direction. They are slightly flexible around said axes, are shown on the figure 2. The Tollable screen 21 has a visible central part 31, and two side parts which are stored inside respectively the first steering part 7 and the second steering part 9 (figure 3).

The side parts are not visible on the figures. Along the rolling direction R, the side parts are on both sides of the central part 31.

For example, each side part is winded about a pivotable shaft arranged in a cavity of the first steering part 7 or the second steering part 9.

The cavities of the first steering part 7 and the second steering part 9 have respective slots 33 facing one another along the rolling direction, through which the side parts of the flexible screen 21 pass. The side parts are free to travel through the slots 33 along the rolling direction.

The flexible display 23 is typically a touch screen.

The ro liable screen 21 is preferably translucent, and can thus be used as a draw template.

Typically, the first steering part 7 and the second steering part 9 are movable with respect to one another.

They are movable with respect to one another at least along the rolling direction. Therefore, when the first steering part 7 and the second steering part 9 are moved away from one another along the rolling direction, the ro liable screen 21 unrolls from the first steering part 7 and/or from the second steering part 9. When the first steering part 7 and the second steering part 9 are moved closer to one another along the rolling direction, the ro liable screen 21 rolls into the first steering part 7 and/or into the second steering part 9.

Advantageously, the connection 11 is arranged for removably connecting the steering wheel 1 to the steering device 5.

The figure 4 shows a mounting unit 34, independent of the steering device 5, arranged for connecting to the connection 11 of the steering wheel 1.

In other words, the steering wheel 1 can be separated from the steering device, and thereafter be connected to the mounting device 34.

For example, the mounting unit 34 is arranged for being laid down on a substantially horizontal surface and for holding the ro liable screen 21 in a position forming an angle comprised between -45° and +45° with respect to a vertical direction.

The substantially horizontal surface belongs for example to a table. In this case, the screen 2 of the steering wheel 1 can be used at home for working, after the journey in the vehicle is completed. According to another example (figure 5), the mounting unit 34 is arranged in an armrest of the vehicle, or in any other part of the vehicle. In this case, the screen 21 can be used for working or entertaining in the vehicle, for example when the vehicle is in autonomous mode or is stopped.

According to a first embodiment, depicted on the figures 3 and 4, the connection 11 has a connected state in which the first steering part 7 and the second steering part 9 are connected to the steering device 5, and a detached state (figure 3) in which the first steering part 7 and the second steering part 9 are not connected to the steering device 5.

The connection 11 shifts from the connected state to the detached state by moving the first steering part 7 and the second steering part 9 away from one another along said rolling direction.

In this case, the steering device 5 comprises a central hub 35 located between the first steering part 7 and the second steering part 9 along the rolling direction in the connected state of the connection 11.

In the connected state of the connection 11, the first steering part 7 and the second steering part 9 are connected to the central hub 35 independently from one another. In other words, the first steering part 7 and the second steering part 9 are each individually, directly, connected to the central hub 35.

For example, the connection 11 comprises a snap connection of the first steering part 7 to the central hub 35 and another snap connection of the second steering part 9 to the central hub 35.

The central hub 35 has two recesses 37, opening in opposite directions. The free ends 39 of the connection members 17 of the two steering parts 7, 9 are arranged such that they can be fitted inside the recesses 37 with a snap fit.

According to a second embodiment, depicted on the figures 6 and 7, the connection 11 comprises a central part 39 connecting the first steering part 7 and the second steering part 9 to one another. The steering device 5 comprises a complementary connection 41 connecting the central part 39 to the steering device 5.

The central part 39 is for example an elongated member, connecting to one another the respective connection members 17 of the first steering part 7 and the second steering part 9. It is elongated in the rolling direction.

The central part 39 has a circular outer section. The complementary connection 41 comprises a fixed part 43, and a pivotable part 45 pivotably connected to the fixed part 43.

The fixed part 43 and the pivotable part 45 have respective recesses 47, 49.

The pivotable part 45 is pivotable between an open position (figure 6), and a closed position (figure 7).

In the closed position, the recesses 47, 49 face each other and define together a boring through 51 having an inner section substantially identical to the outer section of the central part 39.

In the open position, the central part 39 can be laid down in the recess 47 of the fixed part 43. The pivotable part 45 can subsequently be pivoted to its closed position such that it adapts around the central part 39, and the central part 39 is pressed between the fixed part 43 and the pivotable part 45.

The fixed part 43 and the pivotable part 45 can be secured in the closed position by a pin 53 engaged in respective through holes 55, 57 of the fixed part 43 and the pivotable part 45. The through holes 55, 57 are aligned when the pivotable part 45 is in the closed position.

Advantageously, the steering wheel 1 has a width adjustment mechanism 59 arranged for adjusting the spacing between the first steering part 7 and the second steering part 9 along the rolling direction (figure 8).

The width adjustment mechanism 59 can move the first steering part 7 and the second steering part 9 away from one another along the rolling direction, or closer to one another along the rolling direction, as indicated above.

The width adjustment mechanism 59 is for example arranged inside the central part 39.

The width adjustment mechanism 59 comprises a motor 61, two lead screws 63 and two threaded borings 65.

One threaded boring 65 extends in the first steering part 7 and the other one in the second steering part 9.

The two lead screws 63 are aligned. They are driven in rotation by the motor 61.

Each lead screw 63 cooperates with one of the two threaded borings 65.

The two lead screws 63 are guided in rotation by two ball bearings 67. One ball bearing 67 is arranged in the first steering part 7 and the other one in the second steering part 9. The motor 61 drives the two lead screws 63 in rotation inside the threaded borings 65. Depending upon the rotation direction, the lead screws 63 cooperate with the threaded borings 65 for displacing the first steering part 7 and the second steering part 9 toward one another or away from one another.

Advantageously, the display device 19 comprise a display controller 69 arranged for displaying an image I on the ro liable screen 21 and a rotation sensor 71 arranged for sensing an angle of rotation of the steering wheel 1 (figure 9).

The display controller 69 is programmed for rotating the image I on the Tollable screen 21 of an angle of rotation opposite to the angle of rotation sensed by the rotation sensor 71 (figure 10).

The display controller 69 is a data processing unit. It typically comprises a processor and a memory associated to the processor.

The rotation sensor 71 is of any adapted type. It measures the rotational position of the steering wheel 1 with respect to a neutral position and forwards the information to the display controller.

When the steering wheel 1 is in the neutral position (figure 9), the image I has a given orientation on the screen around the rotation axis of the steering device 5.

When the steering wheel 1 is rotated of an angle a around the rotation axis (figure 10), the display controller 69 modifies the orientation of the image I on the screen. It pivots the image I on the screen of an angle -a around the rotation axis, such that the image I keeps the same orientation around the rotation with respect to the driver.