SeatBridge

The Problem


Most, if not all, of the front seats of production cars are currently mounted separately on two rails directly connected to the floor.

These rails provide an easy way for adjusting the seats longitudinal position, but have a major drawback: they significantly reduce the foot space available to the rear passengers, also reducing the comfort and without any aesthetic as well.

The goal was to find a solution to this problem in order to give rear passengers a much larger foot space and to achieve a better, uncluttered look.

The Solution


The proposed solution is to raise the position of the front seats sliding elements by inserting a"bridge" structure made of a folded metal sheet (or equivalent functional element).

The patent pending solution, that integrates the front seats mountings as well as the center console.

The structure is connected to the car’s structure in the door sills and center tunnel areas.


Benefits


Save your feet - and your Shoes!

Experience a better travel comfort and never scratch your shoes again

Clean, elegant look

No more ugly metal rails, but a minimal, uncluttered look with full-size carpets

More usable space for your things

Use the taller space under the seats to store a bag, or whatever you like





For passengers

  • Aesthetic
  • Feet comfort and space, + 40%
  • Easier cleaning
  • Single removable carpet each seat

For seat makers

  • Innovation
  • Higher market volume
  • Value increase of delivered good: not only seats but also central consolle and accessories
  • No constraint for geometries

For car makers

  • Simplified production line: one side only to assemble front seats
  • A single configuration item, i.e.: the Front SeatBridge Assembly, which includes: left seat, right seat, central console, wirings, left rail, right rail, safety belts lock, etc.
  • Lower production costs: one robot only, less items to be installed, less wiring, etc.
  • Lower logistics costs: only one item to be purchased, received, stored, managed
  • Innovation

The Structure


Production Improvements


Possible Applications



Two-seat city car



D-Segment Passenger Car


Today: under the driver’s seat of a D-Segment passenger car (2013 model)

Tomorrow: a much more uncluttered design, without doing any modification to the seat components

Note: the sliding device is not part of the patent; the Patent Application document shows possible and easy solutions


Premium SUV


Today: under the driver’s seat

Tomorrow: the SeatBridge enables to have a free, usable space


Driver Seat - Rear View


Today

Without the rails

Tomorrow: with the SeatBridge


Premium SUV


Today: the mounting system of the driver’s seat

Tomorrow: much bigger foot room, cleaner, more premium look

Body-in-White Production Details


Images are for illustrative purposes only

Questions and Answers


For the sake of clearness and transparency, hereinafter we include some possible concerns that could be raised by this solution, as it always happen when innovation has to be assessed.

  • The hip position is not correct: The hip position is totally in the hands of the designer
  • The strength of the car can be decreased: The car strength does not depend on current front seats mounting systems. SeatBridge makes it possible the creation of a transversal reinforcement under the front seats, hence dramatically increasing lateral impacts resilience.
  • The cost is too high: The cost of the SeatBridge itself is only a little bit higher than the present-day rails solution, but the cost of the car decreases due to the much easier installation of the whole Front Seats Assembly which includes also all wirings for: safety belts, passenger presence sensor, lighting, heating.
  • The solution could implicate some weight increase: True, but it should be in the 1-8 kg range, starting from an aluminum solution for a Fiat 500, to a steel solution for a Mercedes-Benz S Class.
  • The adoption of the suggested solution needs modifications to the car floor: To be studied case by case of course, but new car floors will be more simple of current ones; proper solutions can be easily studied for existing car floors.
  • The Bridge Structure could disturb the legs of passengers when seats are moved full forward or backward: It is a matter of design and trade off to be managed according to the car size
  • Seat structures will have to be modified: not so much, because all mechanical/electric parts of the seat are today “included” into the seat; SeatBridge will not modify them.
  • The connection between the seats and the SeatBridge is not part of the patent; anyhow the patent application includes some specific proposals that show the ease of the assembly.

SeatBridge is a win-win-win solution:

  • Users win: more space, aesthetics and comfort
  • Cars Makers win: cars are build with less time and cost due to easier logistics and installation
  • Seats Makers win: higher turnover due to the additional labour that they will supply with the Front Seats Assembly

Contact


You can contact us at:

About Sintec


SINTEC was founded by Claudio Buccini, a naval and mechanical graduated engineer who served the Italian Navy and worked - amongst the others - at Riva Shipyard, Wally Group and Finmeccanica Spa, always at executive level.