GM has filed a patent application for a new heated seat belt system designed to enhance the comfort of passengers.
The GM patent filing has been assigned application number US 11,673,496 B1 with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) and was published on June 13th, 2023. The patent was originally filed on March 17th, 2022, and lists several U.S.-based engineers as the inventors, including Taeyoung Han, Shailendra Kaushik, Alok Warey, Chih-Hung Yen, and Bahram Khalighi.
The GM patent describes a heated seat belt system that includes thermally controlled technology integrated with a portion of the lap belt and a portion of the shoulder belt. The thermally controlled portions can include a porous sleeve connected to the seat ventilation system, of the vehicle ventilation system. Alternatively, the heated seat belt can incorporate heating fabric or thermoelectric elements.
“Vehicles are commonly operated at temperatures ranging from well below 0 degrees F to over 100 degrees F,” the GM patent states. “At these temperatures, it is desirable to provide alternative heating and cooling systems that allow a passenger to be comfortable regardless of the outdoor temperatures and that the alternative heating and cooling systems operate efficiently.”
Providing heating or cooling directly to the passenger via an element that is in contact with the passenger can be very effective and efficient, as demonstrated by the efficacy of technology like heated and ventilated seats, or heated and ventilated steering wheels. Greater efficiency is also highly desirable in light of the broader industry movement towards all-electric vehicles, which are particularly sensitive to power drains resulting from excessive cabin climate control usage.
Per previous GM Authority coverage, GM has filed to patent several other novel climate control systems as of late, including a heated sunroof roller shade system and a radiant surface heating system, as well as a climate control system capable of detecting and compensating for occupant clothing levels.