Patents Assigned to Zoox, Inc.
  • Patent number: 10409284
    Abstract: Systems, apparatus and methods may be configured to implement actively-controlled light emission from a robotic vehicle. A light emitter(s) of the robotic vehicle may be configurable to indicate a direction of travel of the robotic vehicle and/or display information (e.g., a greeting, a notice, a message, a graphic, passenger/customer/client content, vehicle livery, customized livery) using one or more colors of emitted light (e.g., orange for a first direction and purple for a second direction), one or more sequences of emitted light (e.g., a moving image/graphic), or positions of light emitter(s) on the robotic vehicle (e.g., symmetrically positioned light emitters). The robotic vehicle may not have a front or a back (e.g., a trunk/a hood) and may be configured to travel bi-directionally, in a first direction or a second direction (e.g., opposite the first direction), with the direction of travel being indicated by one or more of the light emitters.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 5, 2017
    Date of Patent: September 10, 2019
    Assignee: Zoox, Inc.
    Inventors: Timothy David Kentley-Klay, Rachad Youssef Gamara
  • Patent number: 10401852
    Abstract: Various embodiments relate generally to autonomous vehicles and associated mechanical, electrical and electronic hardware, computer software and systems, and wired and wireless network communications to provide an autonomous vehicle fleet as a service. More specifically, systems, devices, and methods are configured to initiate modification of trajectories to influence navigation of autonomous vehicles. In particular, a method may include receiving a teleoperation message via a communication link from an autonomous vehicle, detecting data from the teleoperation message specifying an event associated with the autonomous vehicle, identifying one or more courses of action to perform responsive to detecting the data specifying the event, and generating visualization data to present information associated with the event to a display of a teleoperator computing device.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 21, 2016
    Date of Patent: September 3, 2019
    Assignee: Zoox, Inc.
    Inventors: Jesse Sol Levinson, Ashutosh Gajanan Rege, Rachad Youssef Gamara, Gabriel Thurston Sibley, Timothy David Kentley-Klay, Gary Linscott
  • Patent number: 10395444
    Abstract: Systems, methods, and apparatuses described herein are directed to vehicle self-diagnostics. For example, a vehicle can include sensors monitoring vehicle components, for perceiving objects and obstacles in an environment, and for navigating the vehicle to a destination. Data from these and other sensors can be leveraged to determine a behavior associated with the vehicle. Based at least in part on determining the behavior, a vehicle can determine a fault and query one or more information sources associated with the vehicle to diagnose the fault. Based on diagnosing the fault, the vehicle can determine instructions for redressing the fault. The vehicle can diagnose the fault in near-real time, that is, while driving or otherwise in the field.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 10, 2017
    Date of Patent: August 27, 2019
    Assignee: Zoox, Inc.
    Inventors: Johannes Edren, Moritz Boecker, Joseph Funke
  • Patent number: 10386836
    Abstract: A method for operating a driverless vehicle may include receiving, at the driverless vehicle, sensor signals related to operation of the driverless vehicle, and road network data from a road network data store. The method may also include determining a driving corridor within which the driverless vehicle travels according to a trajectory, and causing the driverless vehicle to traverse a road network autonomously according to a path from a first geographic location to a second geographic location. The method may also include determining that an event associated with the path has occurred, and sending communication signals to a teleoperations system including a request for guidance and one or more of sensor data and the road network data. The method may include receiving, at the driverless vehicle, teleoperations signals from the teleoperations system, such that the vehicle controller determines a revised trajectory based at least in part on the teleoperations signals.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 7, 2017
    Date of Patent: August 20, 2019
    Assignee: Zoox, Inc.
    Inventors: Amanda Lee Kelly Lockwood, Ravi Gogna, Gary Linscott, Timothy Caldwell, Marin Kobilarov, Paul Orecchio, Dan Xie, Ashutosh Gajanan Rege, Jesse Sol Levinson
  • Patent number: 10384718
    Abstract: Vehicle parking assist is described. In an example, computing system(s) associated with a first vehicle can receive, from sensor(s) associated with the first vehicle, sensor data associated with a second vehicle. Additionally, the computing system(s) can receive an indication that a second vehicle is proximate the first vehicle and can determine, based at least partly on the sensor data, that the second vehicle is moving toward a location proximate the first vehicle (e.g., to park). Based at least partly on the sensor data, the computing system(s) associated with the first vehicle can determine a position, an orientation, and/or a velocity of the second vehicle and based at least partly on determining the position, the orientation, and/or the velocity, can determine instruction(s) for guiding the second vehicle, for example to park. The instruction(s) can be output via light emitter(s), sound emitter(s), and/or a remote user interface associated with the second vehicle.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 26, 2018
    Date of Patent: August 20, 2019
    Assignee: Zoox, Inc.
    Inventor: Timothy David Kentley-Klay
  • Patent number: 10379538
    Abstract: In autonomous driving, it is often useful to plan trajectories in a curvilinear coordinate frame with respect to some reference trajectory, like a path produced by a hi-level route planner. This disclosure includes techniques for developing efficient approximate path coordinate motion primitives appropriate for fast planning in autonomous driving scenarios. These primitives are approximate in that particular quantities, like the path length, acceleration, and track offset trajectory, are known with some degree of certainty, and values that depend on the curvature of the reference path can be bound. Such approximate motion primitives can be used to control the autonomous vehicle to follow the trajectory in an environment.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 15, 2017
    Date of Patent: August 13, 2019
    Assignee: Zoox, Inc.
    Inventors: Matthew Sheckells, Timothy Caldwell, Marin Kobilarov
  • Patent number: 10372130
    Abstract: Techniques for communicating feedback to passengers of autonomous vehicles regarding reasons for actions taken by autonomous vehicles to build trust with passengers are described herein. For instance, an autonomous vehicle may associate various objects with symbols and/or predicates while traversing a path to evaluate Linear Temporal Logic (LTL) formulae. Events along the path may require the autonomous vehicle to perform an action. The vehicle may determine to communicate the event and/or action to the passenger to provide a reason as to why the autonomous vehicle took the action, based on evaluation of the LTL formulae. In some examples, the autonomous vehicle may communicate with passengers via one or more of visual cues, auditory cues, and/or haptic cues. In this way, autonomous vehicles may build trust with passengers by reassuring and informing passengers of reasons for taking actions either before, during, or after the action is taken.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 19, 2017
    Date of Patent: August 6, 2019
    Assignee: Zoox, Inc.
    Inventors: Karen Kaushansky, Jacob Lee Askeland, Vasumathi Raman
  • Patent number: 10353390
    Abstract: Techniques for generating and executing trajectories to guide autonomous vehicles are described. In an example, a first computer system associated with an autonomous vehicle can generate, at a first operational frequency, a route to guide the autonomous vehicle from a current location to a target location. The first computer system can further determine, at a second operational frequency, an instruction for guiding the autonomous vehicle along the route and can generate, at a third operational frequency, a trajectory based at least partly on the instruction and real-time processed sensor data. A second computer system that is associated with the autonomous vehicle and is in communication with the first computer system can execute, at a fourth operational frequency, the trajectory to cause the autonomous vehicle to travel along the route. The separation of the first computer system and the second computer system can provide enhanced safety, redundancy, and optimization.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 23, 2017
    Date of Patent: July 16, 2019
    Assignee: Zoox, Inc.
    Inventors: Gary Linscott, Robert Edward Somers, Joona Markus Petteri Kiiski, Marin Kobilarov, Timothy Caldwell, Jacob Lee Askeland, Ashutosh Gajanan Rege, Joseph Funke
  • Patent number: 10332292
    Abstract: An augmentation system may supplement a person's view from at least one of an actual vehicle or a virtual vehicle of an environment through which the vehicle travels. The system may include a receiver configured to receive data signals representative of operation of the vehicle and representative of objects in the environment through which the vehicle travels. The system may also include a converter in communication with the receiver. The converter may be configured to convert the data signals into display data representative of the operation of the vehicle and representative of the objects in the environment through which the vehicle travels. The converter may also be configured to communicate the display data to a display in communication with the converter and configured to display, within the person's view from the vehicle, images representative of the display data to supplement the person's view.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 17, 2017
    Date of Patent: June 25, 2019
    Assignee: Zoox, Inc.
    Inventor: Taylor Andrew Arnicar
  • Patent number: 10334050
    Abstract: Various embodiments relate generally to autonomous vehicles and associated mechanical, electrical and electronic hardware, computer software and systems, and wired and wireless network communications to provide an autonomous vehicle fleet as a service. In particular, a method may include identifying a location of a user device associated with a user, transmitting a command to an autonomous vehicle system associated with an autonomous vehicle service to transit to the location, and providing information associated with the user device to the autonomous vehicle system, where the information includes configuration data to adapt one or more sub-systems of the autonomous vehicle. Sub-systems of the autonomous vehicle may include interior lighting, ambient sound, road handling, seating configuration, communication synchronization, and temperature control systems.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 5, 2015
    Date of Patent: June 25, 2019
    Assignee: Zoox, Inc.
    Inventors: Timothy David Kentley-Klay, Rachad Youssef Gamara
  • Patent number: 10322724
    Abstract: Brake force distribution via a combination of mechanical braking and regenerative braking techniques is described. In an example, a brake system of a vehicle can detect a braking action and can cause a first negative force to be distributed across two or more wheel assemblies associated with the vehicle. A control system of the vehicle can send a command to at least a power system of the vehicle to cause the power system to affect a second negative force on a first wheel assembly and a positive force on a second wheel assembly to cause an uneven distribution of brake force between the first wheel assembly and the second wheel assembly. As a result, a combined net braking force is applied to the front wheels—the wheels with the most grip—and a reduced net braking force to is applied to the rear wheels to prevent rear-wheel lock-up.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 28, 2019
    Date of Patent: June 18, 2019
    Assignee: Zoox, Inc.
    Inventors: Johannes Edren, Moritz Boecker, Ryan O'Leary Flatland
  • Patent number: 10315563
    Abstract: Techniques for using beam-formed acoustic notifications for pedestrian notification are described. Computing device(s) can receive sensor data associated with an object in an environment of a vehicle. The computing device(s) can determine first data for emitting a first beam of acoustic energy via speaker(s) of an acoustic array associated with the vehicle, and second data for emitting a second beam of acoustic energy via speakers of the acoustic array. The computing device(s) can cause the speaker(s) to emit the first beam in a direction of the object at a first time and the second beam in the direction of the object at a second time. Directions of propagation of the first beam and the second beam are offset so that the object can localize the source the acoustic notification, thereby localizing the vehicle in the environment.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 22, 2018
    Date of Patent: June 11, 2019
    Assignee: Zoox, Inc.
    Inventors: Jacob Avi Harper, Jeremy Yi-Xiong Yang, Forrest Leighton Merrill, Michael Moshe Kohen, George Dalman Nelson, III, Subasingha Shaminda Subasingha, Josh Alexander Jimenez
  • Patent number: 10317897
    Abstract: An aesthetically pleasing discreet wearable system for interacting with a vehicle, or fleet of vehicles. The wearable system may be worn as a necklace, bracelet, anklet, or the like and allows for communication between a passenger and a vehicle, or fleet of vehicles. A passenger may summon or cancel a ride, alter interior lighting and music levels, or otherwise control a vehicle by interacting with the wearable system. Such interaction includes signals generated by a microphone, by a touch sensor, or by gesture recognition. The wearable system communicates to the passenger a successful summoning of a ride, successfully canceling a ride, and a time to arrival by combinations of vibrations, light emissions, and audio alerts.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 16, 2016
    Date of Patent: June 11, 2019
    Assignee: Zoox, Inc.
    Inventors: Timothy David Kentley-Klay, Karen Kaushansky, Vincent Mamo
  • Patent number: 10317240
    Abstract: Travel data may be gathered and published on a global map for use by various entities. The travel data may be captured by one or more vehicle computing devices, such as those associated with the operation and/or control of a vehicle. The vehicle computing devices may receive input from one or more sensors, and may identify and/or classify an event and/or areas of interest based on the input. The vehicle computing devices may then send travel data to the global map server for publication. Additionally or alternatively, the travel data may be captured by one or more user devices. The user devices may be configured to receive travel data, such as via a user interface, and to send the travel data to the global map server for publication. The global map server may consolidate and publish the travel data on a global map.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 30, 2017
    Date of Patent: June 11, 2019
    Assignee: Zoox, Inc.
    Inventors: Adriano Di Pietro, Gabriel Thurston Sibley, James William Vaisey Philbin
  • Patent number: 10303961
    Abstract: A system for detecting a classifying objects in a vehicle can comprise one or more sensors for detecting the presence of an object, other than a passenger, on the vehicle. The system can classify the object as, for example, a personal object or trash. The system can provide a series of escalating reminders for the passenger to take the object with them when they exit the vehicle. When a personal object is left in the vehicle after the passenger has exited the vehicle, the system can communicate with a computing device of a central control or the passenger using additional communication channels such as, for example, e-mail, text, or the Internet. When trash is left in the vehicle, the vehicle can automatically contact, or return to, a maintenance facility for servicing. This can prevent the use of unclean vehicles for new passengers, among other things.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 13, 2017
    Date of Patent: May 28, 2019
    Assignee: Zoox, Inc.
    Inventors: Christopher John Stoffel, Timothy David Kentley-Klay
  • Patent number: 10303174
    Abstract: Systems, apparatus and methods implemented in algorithms, hardware, software, firmware, logic, or circuitry may be configured to process data and sensory input to determine whether an object external to an autonomous vehicle (e.g., another vehicle, a pedestrian, road debris, a bicyclist, etc.) may be a potential collision threat to the autonomous vehicle. The autonomous vehicle may be configured to implement interior active safety systems to protect passengers of the autonomous vehicle during a collision with an object or during evasive maneuvers by the autonomous vehicle, for example. The interior active safety systems may be configured to provide passengers with notice of an impending collision and/or emergency maneuvers by the vehicle by tensioning seat belts prior to executing an evasive maneuver and/or prior to a predicted point of collision.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 1, 2018
    Date of Patent: May 28, 2019
    Assignee: Zoox, Inc.
    Inventors: Timothy David Kentley-Klay, Rachad Youssef Gamara, Sagar Behere
  • Patent number: 10304191
    Abstract: A three dimensional bounding box is determined from a two dimensional image. A two dimensional bounding box is calculated based on a detected object within the image. A three dimensional bounding box is parameterized as having a yaw angle, dimensions, and a position. The yaw angle is defined as the angle between a ray passing through a center of the two dimensional bounding box and an orientation of the three dimensional bounding box. The yaw angle and dimensions are determined by passing the portion of the image within the two dimensional bounding box through a trained convolutional neural network. The three dimensional bounding box is then positioned such that the projection of the three dimensional bounding box into the image aligns with the two dimensional bounding box previously detected. Characteristics of the three dimensional bounding box are then communicated to an autonomous system for collision and obstacle avoidance.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 11, 2016
    Date of Patent: May 28, 2019
    Assignee: Zoox, Inc.
    Inventors: Arsalan Mousavian, John Patrick Flynn, Dragomir Dimitrov Anguelov
  • Patent number: 10298910
    Abstract: This disclosure is directed to calibrating sensors mounted on an autonomous vehicle. First image data and second image data representing an environment can be captured by first and second cameras, respectively (and or a single camera at different points in time). Point pairs comprising a first point in the first image data and a second point in the second image data can be determined and projection errors associated with the points can be determined. A subset of point pairs can be determined, e.g., by excluding point pairs with the highest projection error. Calibration data associated with the subset of points can be determined and used to calibrate the cameras without the need for calibration infrastructure.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 29, 2018
    Date of Patent: May 21, 2019
    Assignee: Zoox, Inc.
    Inventor: Till Kroeger
  • Patent number: 10289984
    Abstract: Systems, methods, and apparatuses described herein are directed to automated vehicle diagnostics and maintenance. For example, vehicles can include sensors monitoring vehicle components, for perceiving objects and obstacles in an environment, and for navigating the vehicle to a destination. Data from these and other sensors can be leveraged to track a performance of the vehicle over time to determine a state of vehicle components, and/or changes to acceleration/deceleration and steering behavior of the vehicle over time. As issues for servicing are determined, the methods, apparatuses, and systems can include automated scheduling of vehicle maintenance. For example, based on a determination of the potential issues based on sensor data and/or user indications, vehicle maintenance can be scheduled to be performed in the field or at a service center. Technicians can be assigned to perform vehicle maintenance based on the servicing issue and/or on capabilities of the technician.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 10, 2017
    Date of Patent: May 14, 2019
    Assignee: Zoox, Inc.
    Inventors: Greg Zanghi, Joseph Funke, Timothy David Kentley-Klay
  • Patent number: 10275662
    Abstract: A friction estimation system for estimating friction-related data associated with a surface on which a vehicle travels, may include a camera array including a plurality of imagers configured to capture image data associated with a surface on which a vehicle travels. The image data may include light data associated with the surface. The friction estimation system may also include an image interpreter in communication with the camera array and configured to receive the image data from the camera array and determine friction-related data associated with the surface based, at least in part, on the image data. The image interpreter may be configured to be in communication with a vehicle control system and provide the friction-related data to the vehicle control system.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 30, 2016
    Date of Patent: April 30, 2019
    Assignee: Zoox, Inc.
    Inventor: Jacob Lee Askeland