Patents Assigned to Zonar Systems, Inc.
  • Patent number: 11274029
    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: November 24, 2017
    Date of Patent: March 15, 2022
    Assignee: Zonar Systems, Inc.
    Inventors: Rick Fadler, Charles Michael McQuade, Michael Charles King
  • Patent number: 11170589
    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: Grant
    Filed: August 16, 2017
    Date of Patent: November 9, 2021
    Assignee: Zonar Systems, Inc.
    Inventor: Bryan Hunt
  • Patent number: 11080950
    Abstract: Operational data generated and used in a vehicle to control various vehicular systems is temporarily stored in a data buffer in the vehicle. A processor in the vehicle is configured to detect anomalous conditions, which can be based on predefined fault codes or user defined conditions (based on a single parameter or a combination of parameters). Whenever such an anomaly is detected, a diagnostic log is conveyed from the vehicle to a remote location. Such a log will include the detected anomaly, and buffered operational data. In at least one embodiment, the diagnostic log includes buffered operational data collected both before and after the anomaly. The diagnostic log is analyzed at the remote location to diagnose the cause of the anomalous condition, so a decision can be made as to whether the vehicle requires immediate repair, or whether the repair can be scheduled at a later time.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 8, 2016
    Date of Patent: August 3, 2021
    Assignee: Zonar Systems, Inc.
    Inventors: Charles Michael McQuade, Brett Brinton, Greg Colvin
  • Patent number: 10783730
    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: January 8, 2019
    Date of Patent: September 22, 2020
    Assignee: Zonar Systems, Inc.
    Inventors: Charles Michael McQuade, Rick Fadler
  • Patent number: 10706647
    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: August 10, 2016
    Date of Patent: July 7, 2020
    Assignee: Zonar Systems, Inc.
    Inventors: Chris Oliver, Charles Michael McQuade, Fred Fakkema, Brett Brinton, William Brinton
  • Patent number: 10685509
    Abstract: Position data received wirelessly from a vehicle enrolled in an inspection waiver program are employed to determine when the enrolled vehicle has entered a geofenced area, associated to an inspection station. After determining that the enrolled vehicle is in the geofenced area, 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 in the geofenced area associated to 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.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 1, 2019
    Date of Patent: June 16, 2020
    Assignee: ZONAR SYSTEMS, INC.
    Inventors: Charles Michael McQuade, Fred Fakkema, Brett Brinton, William Brinton
  • Patent number: 10668932
    Abstract: A remote user can mandate one or more zone-based driver/vehicle predefined behaviors. 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 mandated. For zone-based vehicle behavior mandates, 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: December 5, 2019
    Date of Patent: June 2, 2020
    Assignee: ZONAR SYSTEMS, INC.
    Inventor: Bryan Hunt
  • Patent number: 10665040
    Abstract: Operational data generated and used in a vehicle to control various vehicular systems is temporarily stored in a data buffer in the vehicle. A processor in the vehicle is configured to detect anomalous conditions, which can be based on predefined fault codes or user defined conditions (based on a single parameter or a combination of parameters). Whenever such an anomaly is detected, a diagnostic log is conveyed from the vehicle to a remote location. Such a log will include the detected anomaly, and buffered operational data. In at least one embodiment, the diagnostic log includes buffered operational data collected both before and after the anomaly. The diagnostic log is analyzed at the remote location to diagnose the cause of the anomalous condition, so a decision can be made as to whether the vehicle requires immediate repair, or whether the repair can be scheduled at a later time.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 26, 2011
    Date of Patent: May 26, 2020
    Assignee: ZONAR SYSTEMS, INC.
    Inventors: Greg Colvin, Charles Michael McQuade, Brett Brinton
  • Publication number: 20200108843
    Abstract: A remote user can mandate one or more zone-based driver/vehicle predefined behaviors. 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 mandated. For zone-based vehicle behavior mandates, 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: Application
    Filed: December 5, 2019
    Publication date: April 9, 2020
    Applicant: ZONAR SYSTEMS, INC.
    Inventor: BRYAN HUNT
  • Patent number: 10600096
    Abstract: In order to obtain competitive pricing for vehicle servicing, a pricing service provider is used to obtain pricing data from a plurality of service vendors. In at least some embodiments, one or more of the following types of additional information for each vendor will be provided along with the pricing data, to enable the consumer (the owner or operator of the vehicle) to make an informed selection: a rating of the vendor, a relative distance between the consumer (or known vehicle location) and the vendor, and a time period defining when the vendor will be able to accommodate the service. In at least some embodiments, a pricing service provider hosts a reverse auction for the benefit of the consumer. In at least some embodiment, the pricing service provider hosts a webpage upon which results of the service requests from the plurality of vendors are displayed.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 9, 2011
    Date of Patent: March 24, 2020
    Assignee: ZONAR SYSTEMS, INC.
    Inventors: Charles Michael McQuade, Brett Brinton
  • Publication number: 20200066068
    Abstract: Position data received wirelessly from a vehicle enrolled in an inspection waiver program are employed to determine when the enrolled vehicle has entered a geofenced area, associated to an inspection station. After determining that the enrolled vehicle is in the geofenced area, 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 in the geofenced area associated to 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.
    Type: Application
    Filed: October 1, 2019
    Publication date: February 27, 2020
    Applicant: ZONAR SYSTEMS, INC.
    Inventors: CHARLES MICHAEL MCQUADE, FRED FAKKEMA, BRETT BRINTON, WILLIAM BRINTON
  • Patent number: 10572704
    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 attached to a particular object that is to be delivered to specific location. A record for the object 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. The record also includes a specific target location for delivery of the object. Exemplary interactions include loading/unloading an object from the vehicle. The record may also include additional data about a parameter of the object (such as the object's weight, volume, or temperature). An alert is sent to a driver of the vehicle when he approaches a location that is adjacent to the delivery location of the vehicle.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 23, 2019
    Date of Patent: February 25, 2020
    Assignee: ZONAR SYSTEMS, INC.
    Inventors: Charles Michael McQuade, Brett Brinton
  • Patent number: 10565893
    Abstract: A method of providing visual feedback to a driver based on data collected during vehicle operation. A processor at the vehicle analyzes vehicle data, and determines when predetermined threshold values have been reached for particular parameters. Whenever such a threshold is reached, an audible indication is provided to the driver, indicating that the baseline has been exceeded. Certain parameters have at least two threshold values. When a first threshold value is reached, an alert is presented to the driver, but no data is recorded or reported. When a second threshold value is reached, another alert is presented to the driver, and data is recorded for reporting to a driver manager or supervisor. This approach provides a driver warning, that if they correct the triggering behavior, their supervisor is never notified of that behavior. However, if the behavior escalates, and the second threshold is breached, the behavior is recorded.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 5, 2018
    Date of Patent: February 18, 2020
    Assignee: ZONAR SYSTEMS, INC.
    Inventors: Charles Michael McQuade, Michael Charles King
  • Publication number: 20200013306
    Abstract: A method of providing visual feedback to a driver based on data collected during vehicle operation. A processor at the vehicle analyzes vehicle data and determines when predetermined threshold values have been reached for particular parameters. Whenever such a threshold is reached, an audible indication is provided to the driver, indicating that the baseline has been exceeded. Certain parameters have at least two threshold values. When a first threshold value is reached, an alert is presented to the driver, but no data is recorded or reported. When a second threshold value is reached, another alert is presented to the driver, and data is recorded for reporting to a driver manager or supervisor. This approach provides a driver warning, that if they correct the triggering behavior, their supervisor is never notified of that behavior. However, if the behavior escalates, and the second threshold is breached, the behavior is recorded.
    Type: Application
    Filed: September 17, 2019
    Publication date: January 9, 2020
    Applicant: ZONAR SYSTEMS, INC.
    Inventors: CHARLES MICHAEL MCQUADE, MICHAEL CHARLES KING
  • Patent number: 10507845
    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: December 17, 2019
    Assignee: ZONAR SYSTEMS, INC.
    Inventor: Bryan Hunt
  • Patent number: 10489998
    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: November 18, 2016
    Date of Patent: November 26, 2019
    Assignee: ZONAR SYSTEMS, INC.
    Inventors: Charles Michael McQuade, Rick Fadler
  • Patent number: 10431020
    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: December 5, 2016
    Date of Patent: October 1, 2019
    Assignee: ZONAR SYSTEMS, INC.
    Inventors: Charles Michael McQuade, Fred Fakkema, Brett Brinton, William Brinton
  • Patent number: 10431097
    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: Grant
    Filed: June 28, 2018
    Date of Patent: October 1, 2019
    Assignee: ZONAR SYSTEMS, INC.
    Inventors: Charles Michael McQuade, Brett Brinton
  • Patent number: 10417929
    Abstract: A method of providing visual feedback to a driver based on data collected during vehicle operation. A processor at the vehicle analyzes vehicle data, and determines when predetermined threshold values have been reached for particular parameters. Whenever such a threshold is reached, an audible indication is provided to the driver, indicating that the baseline has been exceeded. Certain parameters have at least two threshold values. When a first threshold value is reached, an alert is presented to the driver, but no data is recorded or reported. When a second threshold value is reached, another alert is presented to the driver, and data is recorded for reporting to a driver manager or supervisor. This approach provides a driver warning, that if they correct the triggering behavior, their supervisor is never notified of that behavior. However, if the behavior escalates, and the second threshold is breached, the behavior is recorded.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 22, 2016
    Date of Patent: September 17, 2019
    Assignee: ZONAR SYSTEMS, INC.
    Inventors: Charles Michael McQuade, Michael Charles King
  • Publication number: 20190279444
    Abstract: Data is collected during the operation of multiple vehicles in a fleet. Such data can be used by fleet operators for efficiency analysis and improvements; however, the sheer quantity of available data makes such analysis potentially difficult and time consuming. Disclosed herein are several fleet performance monitoring graphical user interfaces (GUI) that simultaneously display different types of fleet data to a user, using combinations of different data types designed to enable fleet users to efficiently manage their fleet by trends and exceptions, which are efficiently and graphically presented to the fleet operator. One such GUI simultaneously displays fleet vehicles on a map, alerts by vehicle, fleet uptime, and maintenance information. In at least one embodiment, the map identifies vehicles having critical alerts using a different color coding than vehicles not associated with such alerts. In at least one embodiment, the fleet uptime metrics simultaneously display vehicle metrics and driver metrics.
    Type: Application
    Filed: May 28, 2019
    Publication date: September 12, 2019
    Applicant: ZONAR SYSTEMS, INC.
    Inventor: CHARLES MICHAEL MCQUADE