Patents Assigned to Zonar Systems, Inc.
  • Publication number: 20180330620
    Abstract: A handheld, portable device is used to facilitate inspection of vehicles, by generating an electronic vehicle inspection record that can be used by fleet operators to provide evidence of complying with required vehicle inspections. When the vehicle inspection record is generated, route identification data is added to the inspection record. The route identification data defines which of a plurality of predefined routes the vehicle has serviced, or will service, during a time period proximate the inspection of the vehicle. Fleet operators can thus use archived inspection records as evidence of compliance with inspection requirements, and to document what route a vehicle serviced at a particular time.
    Type: Application
    Filed: June 28, 2018
    Publication date: November 15, 2018
    Applicant: ZONAR SYSTEMS, INC.
    Inventors: Charles Michael McQuade, Brett Brinton
  • Patent number: 10102096
    Abstract: Data is collected during the operation of a vehicle and used to produce a ranking of a driver's efficiency performance, and that ranking is shared on a hosted website, such that the drivers can compare their performance metrics to their peers. Fleet operators can use these performance metrics as incentives, by linking driver pay with efficiency performance. Individual fleet operators can host their own website, where driver rankings in that fleet can be compared, or the website can be hosted by a third party, and multiple fleet operators participate. The third party can offset their costs for operating the website by charging participating fleet operators a fee, and/or by advertising revenue. In some embodiments, all driver efficiency performance data is displayed in an anonymous format, so that individual drivers cannot be identified unless the driver shares their user ID.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 1, 2016
    Date of Patent: October 16, 2018
    Assignee: ZONAR SYSTEMS, INC.
    Inventors: Bryan Hunt, Charles Michael McQuade
  • Patent number: 10099706
    Abstract: A remote user can define one or more zone based driver/vehicle behavior definitions. Current vehicle location is analyzed at the vehicle or remotely to determine if the vehicle is approaching or has arrived at a location for which a zone based driver/vehicle behavior has been defined. For zone based driver behavior definitions, a display in the vehicle automatically displays the zone based driver behavior definition to the driver. In some embodiments driver compliance is tracked and non-compliance is reported to the remote user. For zone based vehicle behavior definitions, a vehicle controller at the vehicle responsible for controlling the defined behavior is reprogrammed to impose the defined behavior (no regeneration at location, max speed at location, no idle over 2 minutes at location, etc.). Once the vehicle has left the zone, the controller programming reverts to its prior state, and/or zone based driver behavior definition is no longer displayed.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 18, 2016
    Date of Patent: October 16, 2018
    Assignee: ZONAR SYSTEMS, INC.
    Inventor: Bryan Hunt
  • Patent number: 10056008
    Abstract: A driver efficiency score is based on defining at least metric, collecting data related to the metric during the driver's operation of a vehicle, determining how often the driver's deviated from an optimal standard for that metric, and then reducing the efficiency score based on how often the driver's deviated from the optimal standard, to express the result as an efficiency score of 100% or less (100% meaning the driver never varied from the optimum). The efficiency score for a specific trip is reported along with a loss in dollars due to an efficiency score of less than 100%. Useful metrics include how often the driver deviated from an optimal RPM range (a sweet zone) for the vehicle being operated, how often the driver operated a vehicle at highway speeds without using cruise control, and how often the driver operated a vehicle in excess of a predetermined maximum speed.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 14, 2014
    Date of Patent: August 21, 2018
    Assignee: ZONAR SYSTEMS, INC.
    Inventors: Tim Sweany, Charles Michael McQuade
  • Patent number: 10013592
    Abstract: System and method for collecting object identification data from a plurality of objects that interact with a vehicle during operation of the vehicle, where the vehicle interacts with specific objects at specific geographical positions. An identification sensor is coupled to a geographical position sensor, and whenever an object is identified a record is generated, the record including the identification of the object, the position of the vehicle when the interaction between the object and the vehicle occurs, and the time of the interaction. Exemplary objects include passengers, containers, and documents. Exemplary interactions include loading/unloading an object from the vehicle, boarding a passenger, unloading a passenger, transferring a bulk material from the vehicle into a specific container, and/or transferring a bulk material from a specific container to the vehicle. The record may also include additional data about a parameter of the object (such as the object's weight, volume, or temperature).
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 17, 2017
    Date of Patent: July 3, 2018
    Assignee: ZONAR SYSTEMS, INC.
    Inventors: Charles Michael McQuade, Brett Brinton
  • Publication number: 20180035083
    Abstract: A fuel authorization system enables data to be exchanged between vehicles and a gated facility, to verify that the vehicle is authorized to enter the facility. The gated facility is equipped with a camera and a short-range radio (RF) component. Participating vehicles are equipped with fuel authorization component including a RF component that can establish a data link with the gated facility's RF unit. When the camera senses a vehicle in the fuel lane, an RF query is sent to the vehicle. Participating vehicles respond with an action perceivable by the camera. An RF data link is then established between the enrolled vehicle and the gated facility to verify that the vehicle is authorized to receive fuel. Once the verification is complete, the fuel dispenser is enabled.
    Type: Application
    Filed: October 7, 2017
    Publication date: February 1, 2018
    Applicant: ZONAR SYSTEMS, INC.
    Inventors: MICHAEL CHARLES KING, RICK FADLER, CHARLES MICHAEL MCQUADE
  • Patent number: 9881432
    Abstract: A fuel authorization system enables data to be exchanged between vehicles and a fuel vendor, to verify that the vehicle is authorized to receive fuel. Each fuel island is equipped with a camera and a short range radio (RF) component. Participating vehicles are equipped with fuel authorization component including an IR transmitter and a RF component that can establish a data link with the fuel island's RF unit. When the camera senses a vehicle in the fuel lane, an RF query is sent to the vehicle. Participating vehicles respond with an IR transmission. An RF data link is then established between the enrolled vehicle and the fuel vendor to verify that the vehicle is authorized to receive fuel. Once the verification is complete, the fuel dispenser is enabled. In some embodiments, the IR data link is not required, as the camera can distinguish between multiple fuel lanes.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 17, 2014
    Date of Patent: January 30, 2018
    Assignee: ZONAR SYSTEMS, INC.
    Inventors: Charles Michael McQuade, Rick Fadler
  • Patent number: 9856129
    Abstract: Described herein is a fuel authorization program that vehicles enrolled in the fuel authorization program to provide fuel tank sensor data in each fuel authorization request, so that an amount of fuel authorized will be limited to the amount needed to fill the vehicle's fuel tank, reducing a likelihood that fuel will be diverted. In at least some embodiments, the fuel authorization controller at the vehicle automatically uses the fuel tank sensor data and known tank size to include in a fuel authorization request sent to a fuel vendor data defining how much fuel is required to fill the vehicle fuel tanks. In at least some embodiments, the fuel vendor consults data from a source other than the vehicle (such as records maintained by the fuel authorization program) to determine how large the vehicles fuel tanks are, and to calculate how much fuel is required.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 12, 2014
    Date of Patent: January 2, 2018
    Assignee: Zonar Systems, Inc.
    Inventors: Michael Charles King, Rick Fadler, Charles Michael McQuade
  • Patent number: 9858462
    Abstract: System and method for collecting object identification data from a plurality of objects that interact with a vehicle during operation of the vehicle, where the vehicle interacts with specific objects at specific geographical positions. An identification sensor is coupled to a geographical position sensor, and whenever an object is identified a record is generated, the record including the identification of the object, the position of the vehicle when the interaction between the object and the vehicle occurs, and the time of the interaction. Exemplary objects include passengers, containers, and documents. Exemplary interactions include loading/unloading an object from the vehicle, boarding a passenger, unloading a passenger, transferring a bulk material from the vehicle into a specific container, and/or transferring a bulk material from a specific container to the vehicle. The record may also include additional data about a parameter of the object (such as the object's weight, volume, or temperature).
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 28, 2016
    Date of Patent: January 2, 2018
    Assignee: ZONAR SYSTEMS, INC.
    Inventors: Charles Michael McQuade, Brett Brinton
  • Publication number: 20170351890
    Abstract: System and method for collecting object identification data from a plurality of objects that interact with a vehicle during operation of the vehicle, where the vehicle interacts with specific objects at specific geographical positions. An identification sensor is coupled to a geographical position sensor, and whenever an object is identified a record is generated, the record including the identification of the object, the position of the vehicle when the interaction between the object and the vehicle occurs, and the time of the interaction. Exemplary objects include passengers, containers, and documents. Exemplary interactions include loading/unloading an object from the vehicle, boarding a passenger, unloading a passenger, transferring a bulk material from the vehicle into a specific container, and/or transferring a bulk material from a specific container to the vehicle. The record may also include additional data about a parameter of the object (such as the object's weight, volume, or temperature).
    Type: Application
    Filed: August 17, 2017
    Publication date: December 7, 2017
    Applicant: ZONAR SYSTEMS, INC.
    Inventors: Charles Michael McQuade, Brett Brinton
  • Publication number: 20170345232
    Abstract: System and method for enabling predefined events to be used to trigger the collection of vehicle position data. A combination GSM device and GPS device is used to collect vehicle position data and to convey that position data to a remote computing device for review and/or analysis. There is a tradeoff between collecting too much data (cell phone bill is too high) and collecting too little data (value added analytics cannot be achieved without sufficient data). The concepts disclosed herein relate to method and apparatus to enable the data collection/transmission paradigm of such a GSM/GPS to be varied (or triggered) based on the detection of one or more predefined events. This enables data which can contribute to value added analytics to be acquired, without wasting airtime on unimportant data.
    Type: Application
    Filed: August 16, 2017
    Publication date: November 30, 2017
    Applicant: ZONAR SYSTEMS, INC.
    Inventor: BRYAN HUNT
  • Patent number: 9828233
    Abstract: Described herein is a fuel authorization program that vehicles enrolled in the fuel authorization program to provide fuel tank sensor data in each fuel authorization request, so that an amount of fuel authorized will be limited to the amount needed to fill the vehicle's fuel tank, reducing a likelihood that fuel will be diverted. In at least some embodiments, the fuel authorization controller at the vehicle automatically uses the fuel tank sensor data and known tank size to include in a fuel authorization request sent to a fuel vendor data defining how much fuel is required to fill the vehicle fuel tanks. In at least some embodiments, the fuel vendor consults data from a source other than the vehicle (such as records maintained by the fuel authorization program) to determine how large the vehicles fuel tanks are, and to calculate how much fuel is required.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 12, 2014
    Date of Patent: November 28, 2017
    Assignee: ZONAR SYSTEMS, INC.
    Inventors: Charles Michael McQuade, Rick Fadler
  • Patent number: 9815681
    Abstract: Described herein is a fuel authorization program that requires data to be dynamically retrieved from a vehicle data bus during the fuel authorization process. This can be implemented using a smart cable that is installed in enrolled vehicles. The smart cable includes a housing suitable for commercial environments, a cable to logically couple the smart cable to the vehicle data bus, a second data link to be used to logically couple the smart cable to a fuel authorization “puck” in a vehicle, and a controller. The puck handles communication with the fuel vendor. The controller automatically implements the functions responding to a query from the puck received over the second data link by dynamically acquiring data from the vehicle data bus using the first data link, and conveying the data to the puck using the second data link.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 11, 2014
    Date of Patent: November 14, 2017
    Assignee: ZONAR SYSTEMS, INC.
    Inventors: Charles Michael McQuade, Rick Fadler
  • Patent number: 9805538
    Abstract: A fuel authorization program based on equipping fuel station, fuel pumps, and vehicles with components to enable automatic fuel authorization for enrolled vehicles. The program includes fuel pumps including a pump transmitting sensor that automatically emits a pump ID. As a vehicle pulls in next to the pump a vehicle coupling receiving sensor detects the pump ID signal and a proximity link is created. The vehicle sensor passes the pump ID via hardwire or Bluetooth to vehicle fuel authorization processor (which can be part of a telematics device). The vehicle processor transmits the pump ID (and any fuel authorization credentials needed, such as a PIN or VIN) via WI-FI to a Station processor for fuel vendor authorization. If approved, the pump is enabled. As the vehicle moves away the coupling sensor link is broken and the vehicle transmits a “disconnect” message via Wi-Fi and the pump is disabled.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 10, 2014
    Date of Patent: October 31, 2017
    Assignee: ZONAR SYSTEMS, INC.
    Inventors: Charles Michael McQuade, Rick Fadler, Ryan Schoelerman
  • Patent number: 9787950
    Abstract: A fuel authorization system enables data to be exchanged between vehicles and a fuel vendor, to verify that the vehicle is authorized to receive fuel. Each fuel island is equipped with a camera and a short range radio (RF) component. Participating vehicles are equipped with fuel authorization component including an IR transmitter and a RF component that can establish a data link with the fuel island's RF unit. When the camera senses a vehicle in the fuel lane, an RF query is sent to the vehicle. Participating vehicles respond with an IR transmission. An RF data link is then established between the enrolled vehicle and the fuel vendor to verify that the vehicle is authorized to receive fuel. Once the verification is complete, the fuel dispenser is enabled. In some embodiments, the IR data link is not required, as the camera can distinguish between multiple fuel lanes.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 17, 2014
    Date of Patent: October 10, 2017
    Assignee: ZONAR SYSTEMS, INC.
    Inventors: Michael Charles King, Rick Fadler, Charles Michael McQuade
  • Patent number: 9747254
    Abstract: Disclosed herein are techniques for implementing vehicle ECU reprograming, so the ECU programming, which plays a large role in vehicle performance characteristics, is tailored to current operational requirements, which may be different than the operational characteristics selected by the manufacturer when initially programming the vehicle ECU (or ECUs) with specific instruction sets, such as fuel maps. In one embodiment, a controller monitors the current operational characteristics of the vehicle, determines the current ECU programming, and determines if a different programming set would better suited to the current operating conditions. In the event that the current programming set should be replaced, the controller implements the ECU reprogramming. In a related embodiment, users are enabled to specify the ECU programming to change, such as changing speed limiter settings.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 5, 2013
    Date of Patent: August 29, 2017
    Assignee: Zonar Systems, Inc.
    Inventors: Charles Michael McQuade, Bryan Hunt, Dan Mayer
  • Patent number: 9747794
    Abstract: Position data received wirelessly from a vehicle enrolled in an inspection waiver program are employed to determine when the enrolled vehicle is approaching an inspection station. After determining that the enrolled vehicle is approaching an inspection station, and if the enrolled vehicle has a valid inspection waiver, a bypass confirmation can selectively be provided to the vehicle operator, authorizing the operator to bypass the inspection station. The task of determining when an enrolled vehicle is approaching the location of an inspection station can be performed using a processor disposed in the vehicle, or at a remote location separate from both the vehicle and the inspection station, or at the inspection station. The inspection stations can be mobile so that their locations are varied to prevent operators from intentionally avoiding an inspection, as may occur with fixed inspection stations.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 26, 2014
    Date of Patent: August 29, 2017
    Assignee: Zonar Systems, Inc.
    Inventors: Chris Oliver, Charles Michael McQuade, Fred Fakkema, Brett Brinton, William Brinton, Jr.
  • Publication number: 20170206496
    Abstract: Documents related to delivery of loads shipped by trucking operators can be scanned or otherwise captured using mobile computing devices having document capture and/or document delivery functionality. Load related data can be manually input by drivers during the capture process. Such data can be incorporated into the scanned document as metadata. The concepts disclosed herein encompass establishing a logical connection between the mobile computing device implementing the document capture functionality and a vehicle ECU or vehicle data bus. The document capture application is configured to extract data form the vehicle ECU or vehicle data base and incorporate that data into the document captured. Data, such as location data, can be similarly captured by establish a logical connection with a telematics device including a GPS component. Where the telematics device includes a wireless data link, the capture document can be wirelessly conveyed to a remote data center.
    Type: Application
    Filed: February 7, 2017
    Publication date: July 20, 2017
    Applicant: ZONAR SYSTEMS, INC.
    Inventors: CHARLES MICHAEL MCQUADE, MICHAEL CHARLES KING
  • Publication number: 20170193502
    Abstract: A fuel authorization program based on equipping fuel station, fuel pumps, and vehicles with components to enable automatic fuel authorization for enrolled vehicles. The program includes fuel pumps including a pump transmitting sensor that automatically emits a pump ID. As a vehicle pulls in next to the pump a vehicle coupling receiving sensor detects the pump ID signal and a proximity link is created. The vehicle sensor passes the pump ID via hardwire or Bluetooth to vehicle fuel authorization processor (which can be part of a telematics device). The vehicle processor transmits the pump ID (and any fuel authorization credentials needed, such as a PIN or VIN) via WI-FI to a Station processor for fuel vendor authorization. If approved, the pump is enabled. As the vehicle moves away the coupling sensor link is broken and the vehicle transmits a “disconnect” message via Wi-Fi and the pump is disabled.
    Type: Application
    Filed: December 6, 2016
    Publication date: July 6, 2017
    Applicant: ZONAR SYSTEMS, INC.
    Inventors: CHARLES MICHAEL MCQUADE, RICK FADLER, RYAN SCHOELERMAN
  • Patent number: 9607464
    Abstract: A fuel authorization program based on equipping fuel station, fuel pumps, and vehicles with components to enable automatic fuel authorization for enrolled vehicles. The program includes fuel pumps including a pump transmitting sensor that automatically emits a pump ID. As a vehicle pulls in next to the pump a vehicle coupling receiving sensor detects the pump ID signal and a proximity link is created. The vehicle sensor passes the pump ID via hardwire or Bluetooth to vehicle fuel authorization processor (which can be part of a telematics device). The vehicle processor transmits the pump ID (and any fuel authorization credentials needed, such as a PIN or VIN) via WI-FI to a Station processor for fuel vendor authorization. If approved, the pump is enabled. As the vehicle moves away the coupling sensor link is broken and the vehicle transmits a “disconnect” message via Wi-Fi and the pump is disabled.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 10, 2014
    Date of Patent: March 28, 2017
    Assignee: ZONAR SYSTEMS, INC.
    Inventors: Charles Michael McQuade, Rick Fadler, Ryan Schoelerman