Jeep to Introduct Expandable Passenger Seating Area?

Date 2006/6/19 15:06:00 | Topic: Concept/Demonstration

One of our readers, GregB, saw this article over at allpar.com (you must be logged in to view the article) about a recent U.S. patent awarded to DaimlerChrysler about an expandable passenger seating area. The idea is that a 2nd row of seating can be added to a cargo vehicle via a sliding rear passenger compartment wall.

We checked out the patent at it seems legit. Granted, many patents are secured then never used for anything, but this one seemed interesting enough to mention. Here's some text from the patent information:

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

The present invention relates to vehicle body configurations, and more particularly to a vehicle body capable of converting between two-passenger and four-passenger configurations.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

Currently, consumers seeking a vehicle with cargo carrying capabilities, such as a truck, are limited to either selecting a two-passenger cabin or a four-passenger cabin. A consumer desiring a four passenger cabin typically must endure a reduction in cargo carrying capabilities. Specifically, the extra row of seats for a four passenger cabin requires a large part of the truck's cargo area, reducing the type of objects that can be transported, such as longer pieces of lumber.

On the other hand, those consumers who prefer a two passenger cabin must forgo any hope of having extra seating area. Otherwise, they must decide if they are going to potentially sacrifice cargo area for a four passenger cabin. Accordingly, a need exists for a vehicle capable of converting between either a four-passenger or a two-passenger cabin configuration.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

The present invention provides an apparatus for enabling the enlargement of the cabin for a vehicle having an enclosed cabin and a cargo bed extending rearwardly from the cabin. The apparatus includes a rear wall removably coupled to the cabin. A guide element is positioned along a floor of the cargo bed and a base portion of the rear wall is slideably coupled to the guide element, which enables the rear wall to be translated rearwardly from the cabin to vary a volume thereof.


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