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1. WO2020108860 - VEHICLE SYSTEM

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[ EN ]

CLAIMS

1 . A vehicle system for use in a vehicle, the vehicle system comprising a vehicle cabin defined, at least in part, by an upper cabin surface and a lower cabin surface, the vehicle system comprising an air flow system and at least one seat that defines a seating area for a user; the air flow system comprising:

at least one air vent disposed in at least one of the upper cabin surface and the lower cabin surface; and

an airflow apparatus configured to direct an airflow through the at least one air vent, wherein the at least one air vent is configured to direct the airflow around a periphery within which the seating area is defined so as to generate a thermal curtain at least partly around the seating area.

2. The vehicle system as claimed in claim 1 , comprising a control system comprising one or more controller(s) configured to control the air flow through the at least one air vent.

3. The vehicle system as claimed in claim 2, wherein the seat is moveable into a plurality of positions, the seating area being defined for the user in each of the plurality of positions, and wherein the one or more controllers are configured to receive a seat signal relating to at least one of:

(i) whether or not the seat is occupied, and

(ii) the position of the seat from the plurality of positions,

the one or more controllers being further configured to generate a control signal to control the airflow in response to the seat signal.

4. The vehicle system as claimed in claim 3, wherein the seat is moveable to each of the plurality of positions by at least one of:

longitudinal movement along a longitudinal axis of the vehicle cabin, lateral movement along a transverse axis of the vehicle cabin, angular movement about one or more axes of the vehicle cabin.

5. The vehicle system as claimed in any of claims 1 to 4, comprising at least one air vent configured to direct the airflow downwards around the periphery.

6. The vehicle system as claimed in any of claims 1 to 4, comprising at least one air vent configured to direct the airflow upwards around the periphery.

7. The vehicle system as claimed in any of claims 1 to 6, comprising an array of individual air vents configured to direct an airflow around the periphery.

8. The vehicle system as claimed in claim 7, wherein the array of individual air vents are disposed in the upper and/or the lower cabin surface.

9. The vehicle system as claimed in any of claims 1 to 6, comprising an elongate air flow vent shaped so as to direct an airflow around the periphery.

10. The vehicle system as claimed in claim 9, wherein the elongate air flow vent is disposed in the upper and/or the lower cabin surface.

1 1 . The vehicle system as claimed in any of claims 1 to 10, comprising a first airflow apparatus configured to direct a first airflow through at least one first air vent in one of the upper cabin surface and the lower cabin surface and a second airflow apparatus configured to direct a second airflow to at least one second air vent in the other of the upper cabin surface and the lower cabin surface, the first and second air vents being configured to direct opposed airflows towards one another to create the thermal curtain.

12. The vehicle system as claimed in claim 1 1 , wherein the first airflow apparatus is configured to direct an airflow which is at a lower temperature than an airflow directed by the second air flow apparatus.

13. The vehicle system as claimed in claim 1 1 , wherein the first airflow apparatus is configured to direct an airflow which is at a higher temperature than an airflow directed by the second air flow apparatus.

14. The vehicle system as claimed in any of claims 1 1 to 13, wherein the at least one upper air vent and the at least one lower air vent are in alignment with one another along an axis corresponding to respective airflows to or from the vents.

15. A vehicle comprising the vehicle system as claimed in any of claims 1 to 14.

16. A control system for controlling an air flow system of a vehicle, the vehicle having a vehicle cabin defined, at least in part, by an upper cabin surface and a lower cabin surface, the vehicle comprising:

at least one seat that defines a seating area for a user; and

an air flow system, the air flow system comprising;

at least one air vent disposed in at least one of the upper cabin surface and the lower cabin surface; and

an airflow apparatus configured to direct an airflow through the at least one air vent, and the at least one air vent is configured to direct the airflow around a periphery within which the seating area is defined so as to generate a thermal curtain surrounding the seating area;

the control system comprising one or more controllers, configured to:

receive a seat signal relating to whether or not the vehicle seat is occupied; generate a control signal to control the airflow through the at least one air vent in dependence on the seat signal; and

output the control signal so as to generate the thermal curtain at least partly around the seating area if the seat associated with the seating area is occupied.

17. The control system according to Claim 16, wherein the one or more controllers collectively may comprise:

at least one electronic processor having one or more electrical inputs for receiving the seat signal; and

at least one electronic memory device operatively coupled to the at least one electronic processor and having instructions stored therein;

wherein the at least one electronic processor is configured to access the at least one memory device and execute the instructions stored therein so as to generate the control signal.

18. A method of controlling an air flow system for a vehicle having a vehicle cabin defined, at least in part, by an upper cabin surface and a lower cabin surface, the vehicle comprising:

an air flow system; and

at least one seat that defines a seating area for a user, the air flow system comprising;

at least one air vent disposed in at least one of the upper cabin surface and the lower cabin surface;

an airflow apparatus configured to direct an airflow through the at least one air vent;

the method comprising directing the airflow around a periphery within which the seating area is defined so as to generate a thermal curtain at least partly around the seating area.

19. The method as claimed in claim 18, wherein the seat is moveable into a plurality of positions, the method comprising receiving a seat signal relating to at least one of:

(i) whether or not the seat is occupied, and

(ii) the position of the seat from the plurality of positions,

and generating a control signal to control the airflow in response to the seat signal.

20. The method of claim 18 or claim 19, comprising directing a first airflow through at least one first air vent in one of the upper cabin surface and the lower cabin surface and directing a second airflow to at least one second air vent in the other of the upper cabin surface and the lower cabin surface, the first and second air vents being configured to direct opposed airflows towards one another to create the thermal curtain.