In the patent data, Apple notes that, of course, existing occupant safety systems for traditional, one- two- or three-row vehicles, such as restraints including safety belts, can reduce the risk of injury during a collision. Safety belts typically include a strap, such as a shoulder strap or a lap strap, and a buckle.
The buckle typically includes a latch and a receiver. An occupant of a vehicle may sit in a vehicle seat and reach for the latch. The occupant may then pull on the latch to draw a portion of the strap away from the vehicle seat so that the occupant can insert the latch into the receiver, thereby, securing the strap around the occupant’s body.
Safety belts typically include one or more anchors that secure the safety belts to the vehicle seat and that provide directional guidance for positioning the strap on the occupant’s body as the latch is inserted into the receiver. The one or more anchors are typically stationary and disposed at predetermined positions on the vehicle seat. Apple says that, accordingly, if the safety belt secures the occupant to the vehicle seat in an undesirable manner, the occupant can’t adjust the location or position of the one or more anchors in order to adjust how the strap is positioned on the occupant’s body. What’s more, the tech giant says it may be difficult to locate the latch.
For example, the latch may become lodged between portions of the vehicle seat and may be difficult to locate or retrieve in order to operate the safety belt. For these reasons Apple says that new approaches to safety belt positioning and presentation systems are “desirable.”
Here’s the summary of the invention: “A system includes a first anchor that is disposed adjacent an upper portion of a seat back and that is selectively positionable between a first position on a first axis and a second position along the first axis. The system further includes a second anchor disposed adjacent a lower portion of the seat back.
“The second anchor is selectively coupled to the first anchor. The system further includes a third anchor disposed adjacent the lower portion of the seat back, the third anchor being selectively coupled to the second anchor and separated by a distance on a second axis from the second anchor. The first anchor, the second anchor, and the third anchor are jointly positionable when the second anchor is coupled to the first anchor and when the third anchor is coupled to the second anchor.”