Publication Date: 2003-Apr-01
The IP.com Prior Art Database
A storage compartment is located in the brow area of an instrument panel above the instrument cluster and directly in front of the driver. In one embodiment, the storage compartment is covered with a selectively movable cover for moving between an enclosing position forwardly toward the windshield to an open position. In another embodiment, the storage compartment is enclosed by a pair of laterally sliding opposed doors.
BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION
The present invention relates to a storage compartment and one particularly useful for location in the instrument panel of a vehicle.
Vehicles typically include a variety of storage areas, such as in doors, consoles between the seats, glove compartments and the like. Some vehicles include an uncovered storage tray in the passenger side of the instrument panel. Also vehicles frequently include storage compartments built into overhead consoles. As vehicles become more compact, there remains a need for additional storage locations for items such as sunglasses, maps, tissues, and the like, which the vehicle driver may want conveniently located for access.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION The storage compartment of the present invention satisfies this need by providing a storage compartment located in the brow area of an instrument panel above the instrument cluster and directly in front of the driver. In one embodiment of the invention, the storage compartment is enclosed by a pair of opposed laterally sliding doors. In another embodiment of the present invention, the storage compartment is covered with a selectively movable cover which moves between an enclosing position forwardly toward the windshield to an open position. Thus, with the storage compartment of the present invention, a heretofore unused area is employed to provide additional, conveniently located storage for the driver's personal, relatively small items.
These and other features, objects, and advantages of the present invention will become apparent upon reading the following description thereof together with reference to the accompanying drawings.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS Fig. 1 is a perspective view of a vehicle including a storage compartment of a first embodiment of the present invention, shown enclosed by a pair of sliding covers;
Fig. 2 is a perspective view of the storage compartment shown in Fig. 1, shown uncovered for access to items stored therein;
Fig. 3 is a perspective view of an alternative embodiment of the present invention, shown in a covered position; and
Fig. 4 is a perspective view of the embodiment shown in Fig. 3, shown in an uncovered position for access to the contents of the storage compartment.
Figs. 5-9 are additional perspective views of the invention.
DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT Referring initially to Fig. 1, there is shown a vehicle 10, such as an automobile, sports utility vehicle, van, or the like, which includes a driver's side seating area 12 behind the steering wheel 14. Behind the steering wheel is an instrument panel 16 which includes electrical controls and displays 17, an instrument cluster 18, HVAC grills 19, and the like. The instrument panel typically includes a molded shell or framework which is covered by suitable, typically padded soft-touch surface material 21 configured to extend from one side of the vehicle to the other.
The area of the in...