Patent Number: 6,253,131

Title: Steering wheel electronic interface

Abstract: Method and apparatus for interfacing steering wheel inputs on a steering wheel assembly with electronically-controlled devices in a vehicle. A steering wheel interface module in the steering wheel assembly is connected between the steering wheel inputs and a data communication bus in the steering wheel assembly. The steering wheel inputs provide control information to the steering wheel interface module, which in turn formulates data messages based on the control information and transmits the data messages on the data communication bus in the steering wheel assembly. Preferably, the steering wheel interface module includes a processing unit and a memory in communication with the processing unit. The data messages are formulated by the processing unit in accordance with programmed instructions stored in the memory. The programmed instructions and/or data messages stored in the memory may be modified or supplemented at a later time. The steering wheel interface module may also have a communication connection with one or more outputs on the steering wheel assembly for displaying status information. The data communication bus in the steering wheel assembly is electrically connected through a rotational connection assembly to a data communication bus in the vehicle that conveys the data messages sent by the steering wheel interface module to the electronically-controlled devices in the vehicle.

Inventors: Quigley; Jon M. (Mount Vernon, WA), Bertalan; Richard P. (Arlington, WA), Bargewell; Jeffrey E. (Burlington, WA), Plummer; Lew E. (LaConner, WA), Scherzinger; Ted (Redmond, WA)

Assignee: PACCAR Inc

International Classification: B60R 16/02 (20060101); G09F 009/00 ()

Expiration Date: 06/26/2018