Patents Examined by Michael Ng
  • Patent number: 9202320
    Abstract: An event information collecting system installed on a vehicle includes a status information acquiring device that acquires and generates vehicle status information, a control device that receives the vehicle status information generated from the status information acquiring device, a storage device connected to the control device, a main power supply that supplies electric power to the control device, and an auxiliary power supply that supplies electric power to the control device when supply of power from the main power supply is stopped. In the event information collecting system, the control device stores, in the storage device, the vehicle status information generated from the status information acquiring device and a condition of power supply from the main power supply, at the time of occurrence of a given event.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 8, 2010
    Date of Patent: December 1, 2015
    Assignee: Toyota Jidosha Kabushiki Kaisha
    Inventor: Tomoki Nagao
  • Patent number: 9181891
    Abstract: A method and a device for identifying errors in emission-relevant control devices of a vehicle, such as the injection of fuel into a cylinder, allows error identification even if none of the sub-systems exceeds a predetermined threshold value. The method has the following steps: determining whether at least one parameter, which permits conclusions to be drawn about the emission behavior of the respective control device, lies in a desired range; if the parameter lies outside said desired range, an error value that correlates to an increase in emissions is stored; if the parameter is in the desired range, an error value of zero is stored; a total error value is formed from all error values of the control device and an error message is output if the total error value exceeds a predetermined threshold value.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 11, 2008
    Date of Patent: November 10, 2015
    Inventors: Carl-Eike Hofmeister, Michael Käsbauer
  • Patent number: 9182241
    Abstract: Disclosed is a feature for a vehicle that enables taking precautionary actions in response to conditions on the road network around or ahead of the vehicle, in particular, an unusually narrow road width or lane width. A database that represents the road network is used to determine locations where an unusually narrow road width or lane width exists along roads. Then, precautionary action data is added to the database to indicate a location at which a precautionary action is to be taken about the location where the unusually narrow road width or lane width exists. A precautionary action system installed in a vehicle uses this database, or a database derived therefrom, in combination with a positioning system to determine when the vehicle is at a location that corresponds to the location of a precautionary action. When the vehicle is at such a location, a precautionary action is taken by a vehicle system as the vehicle is approaching a location where the unusually narrow road width or lane width exists.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 30, 2008
    Date of Patent: November 10, 2015
    Assignee: HERE Global B.V.
    Inventor: Robert Denaro
  • Patent number: 9174596
    Abstract: A control unit for activating an occupant protection unit includes, at least one analyzer circuit and at least one other component causing the activation. The at least one analyzer circuit transmits a signal to the at least one component as a function of an error event. The at least one other component performs a setting and at least one reset as a function of the signal.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 7, 2008
    Date of Patent: November 3, 2015
    Inventor: Norman Schuetze
  • Patent number: 9162703
    Abstract: A steering controller can control steering of a vehicle and is suitable for precision farm controlling. The steering controller can rotate the steering shaft of the vehicle direct the vehicle on a desired path, for example, using a satellite positioning system. Components of the steering controller are environmental protected by a housing that has an opening extending between its front and rear surfaces. The opening is lined by a shaft. A hub located near the front of the opening can be coupled to the steering shaft of the vehicle. A motor has a stator fixed to the housing and a rotor fixed to the hub. When the housing is attached to a fixed location on the vehicle, the motor can rotate the steering shaft by rotating the hub with respect to the housing. A control module drives the motor based on commands from a guidance module.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 30, 2013
    Date of Patent: October 20, 2015
    Assignee: AgJunction, LLC
    Inventors: Steve Miller, Brian Ganz, James Hutchings, Charles D. Syverson
  • Patent number: 9140570
    Abstract: Timing information and deeper trip planning can enhance conventional mapping functionality. A user provides a specified time of arrival and/or departure information along with a starting and end point, and receives a travel route with estimated arrival and departure times based on time-specific information, such as traffic or construction at specific times of day. The user can choose or be prompted to add one or more waypoints along the way. The user can get recommendations for hotels, restaurants, points of interest, and other such locations based on location, time of day, travel time, or other such aspects. Upon selecting a waypoint, the amount of time the user will be at that waypoint and the additional driving time are used to adjust one or more other times of the trip, such as the starting or departure times, or times of other waypoints.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 8, 2011
    Date of Patent: September 22, 2015
    Assignee: Amazon Technologies, Inc.
    Inventor: Andrew Baird
  • Patent number: 9128488
    Abstract: In a movement direction control apparatus and a non-transitory computer readable medium, a reaction torque accompanying rotation of a rotor is utilized to control a rotation angle of a body in a yaw direction. A specification of a yaw angle of a wheel as a target of the movement direction is received, and information of a friction torque is acquired. A rotation angular acceleration in the yaw direction is calculated, based on the yaw angle, the specification of which has been received, and the reaction torque is calculated, based on the calculated rotation angular acceleration in the yaw direction. An operation instruction to a motor for yaw is generated, based on the calculated reaction torque and the acquired information of the friction torque.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 14, 2011
    Date of Patent: September 8, 2015
    Assignee: Murata Manufacturing Co., Ltd.
    Inventors: Shigeru Tsuji, Shigeki Fukunaga, Mitsuhiro Namura, Koji Kawai, Kenichi Shirato
  • Patent number: 9129460
    Abstract: System and method for providing feedback to drivers. The system monitors selected vehicle parameters while a vehicle is being driven, and detects one or more vehicle operation violations by comparing the selected vehicle parameters to predetermined thresholds. A mentoring message is provided to the driver if the threshold is exceeded. If a vehicle operation violation has not been corrected within a preselected time period, then a violation report may be sent to a third party or a central server and/or a different mentoring message may be provided to the driver. Vehicle parameter data may be monitored from an on-board vehicle diagnostic system. The mentoring message may be an audible warning, such as a spoken message, or a visual warning, such as a text message. The selected vehicle parameters may be a vehicle speed, a vehicle acceleration, or a vehicle seatbelt use.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 25, 2007
    Date of Patent: September 8, 2015
    Assignee: inthinc Technology Solutions, Inc.
    Inventors: Scott McClellan, Jonathan C. Catten, Todd Follmer
  • Patent number: 9090240
    Abstract: A method of managing clutch thermal loads in a multi-speed dual-clutch transmission (DCT) that is paired with an internal combustion engine in a vehicle is provided. The method includes assessing operation of the DCT and ascertaining a mode of operation of a clutch in the DCT. The method also includes predicting, in response to the ascertained mode of operation of the clutch, an amount of time remaining until the clutch reaches a threshold temperature. The method additionally includes ascertaining whether the predicted amount of time remaining until the clutch reaches the threshold temperature is within a predetermined range of time. Furthermore, the method includes activating an indicator configured to signal that the predicted amount of time remaining is within the predetermined range of time. A vehicle having a DCT, an internal combustion engine, and a controller configured to predict thermal loading on a clutch in the DCT is also disclosed.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 5, 2012
    Date of Patent: July 28, 2015
    Assignee: GM Global Technology Operations LLC
    Inventors: Joseph B. Burtch, Sahm Litkouhi, John E. Marano
  • Patent number: 9083861
    Abstract: An end-of-train unit for a rear railroad car, including: a housing mountable to a portion of the rear railroad car; a visual data collection device in operative engagement or at least partially integral with the housing and having a field-of-view, wherein the visual data collection device is configured to obtain visual data representative of at least a portion of the area in the field-of-view; and a transmission device in operative engagement or at least partially integral with at least one of the housing and the visual data collection device and configured to transmit the visual data to a processing unit of a forward railroad car. A visual data collection system and method are also provided.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 9, 2010
    Date of Patent: July 14, 2015
    Assignee: Wabtec Holding Corp.
    Inventors: Carl L. Haas, John E. Halowell
  • Patent number: 9051888
    Abstract: A method for automatically controlling a stationary gas engine, where an engine speed control deviation is computed from a set engine speed (nSL) and an actual engine speed (nIST), and a set torque is determined as a correcting variable from the speed control deviation by a speed controller, where a set volume flow is determined as a function of the set torque to establish a mixture throttle angle (DKW1, DKW2) and a gas throttle angle, and where the set volume flow is varied to adjust the gas throttle angle by a correction factor.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 30, 2009
    Date of Patent: June 9, 2015
    Inventors: Peer Smuda, Michael Prothmann, Ludwig Klaser-Jenewein
  • Patent number: 9046894
    Abstract: Navigation aid method for determining, by an instruction giver, the path of an aircraft initially following a predetermined path in an approach phase and upon which are defined a safety altitude and an alarm limit, said aircraft including a navigation system of the INS/GNSS type including a satellite information receiver and at least one inertial unit producing position information, said method including determining a future path; estimating predicted protection radii on the future path are estimated, starting at the calculation time in the case of a critical situation, in terms of position information, which starts at the calculation time; calculating a limit time after which the predicted protection radius is greater than or equal to the alarm limit; and calculating a limit time after which the predicted protection radius is greater than or equal to the alarm limit.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 27, 2010
    Date of Patent: June 2, 2015
    Assignee: Thales
    Inventors: Pierre Bouniol, Olivier Polaert, Pierre-Jérôme Clemenceau
  • Patent number: 9031743
    Abstract: A collision avoidance ECU estimates a traveling locus based on an estimated curve radius of an own vehicle in a basic traveling locus estimating unit, and in a changed traveling locus estimating unit, obtains separation distances between an own vehicle and white lines based on the relative positional relationship between an own vehicle and the white lines, and estimates, as a changed traveling locus, a route along the white lines with the obtained separation distances maintained. In a collision judging unit, when auto-steering control and departure warning control are not performed, collision judgment is performed based on the basic traveling locus estimated in the basic traveling locus estimating unit, and when the auto-steering control and departure warning control are performed, the traveling locus is changed to the changed traveling locus estimated in the changed traveling locus estimating unit and collision judgment is performed.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 26, 2008
    Date of Patent: May 12, 2015
    Assignee: Toyota Jidosha Kabushiki Kaisha
    Inventor: Toshinori Okita
  • Patent number: 9020716
    Abstract: A control device for a vehicle drive device that includes a drive source that outputs a drive force for running and an automatic transmission that has multiple speeds, the control device includes: a blipping control device that performs blipping control in which an output torque of the drive source is changed irrespective of an accelerator operation when a manual downshift of the automatic transmission is performed, and that changes a timing to perform next blipping control in a learning manner on the basis of an undershoot amount of a turbine speed at start of shifting of the automatic transmission.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 4, 2010
    Date of Patent: April 28, 2015
    Assignee: Toyota Jidosha Kabushiki Kaisha
    Inventors: Keisuke Ota, Hitoshi Matsunaga
  • Patent number: 8775043
    Abstract: A hybrid vehicle includes an internal-combustion engine, an engine starter ISG motor, a main motor that drives rear wheels, a CVT pulley belt disposed between an engine output shaft and a front wheel shaft, a clutch connected between the output shaft of the internal-combustion engine and an input shaft of the CVT, a battery, and a hybrid controller. When the hybrid controller determines that there is a need to add a traction force of the engine from a state where the vehicle is driven by the main motor alone, the hybrid controller controls the respective components so as to start the engine by the ISG motor in a state where the clutch is disengaged, control a speed ratio of the CVT so that a CVT input speed achieves a target speed for starting clutch engagement, detects the engine rotation speed, detects the CVT input speed, and engages the clutch when a difference between those speeds falls within a predetermined range.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 5, 2007
    Date of Patent: July 8, 2014
    Assignee: Bosch Corporation
    Inventors: Takashi Imaseki, Takashi Miyano, Nils Schoeche
  • Patent number: 8660741
    Abstract: A particulate filter ash loading prediction method including the steps of determining a maximum average lifetime for the particulate filter; performing a calculation of a running average of time between regenerations of the particulate filter; calculating an end-of-service-life ratio of the particulate filter dependent upon the maximum average lifetime and the running average; and comparing the end-of-service-life ratio to a predetermined minimum end-of-service-life ratio. If the end-of-service-life ratio is equal to or less than the minimum end-of-service-life ratio then indicating that at least one of service and replacement of the particulate filter is needed due to ash loading.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 1, 2010
    Date of Patent: February 25, 2014
    Assignee: Deere & Company
    Inventors: Ryan Nevin, Antonio Triana, Danan Dou, Taner Tuken
  • Patent number: 8406976
    Abstract: Oil pressure detecting means 150 detects a clutch oil pressure in driving a clutch in its engaging direction against a biasing force of a return spring 12 for normally disengaging the clutch. Stroke end detecting means 140 detects that the clutch has reached a stroke end position where clutch disks are in contact with each other when the amount of change in clutch oil pressure becomes larger than a predetermined value. Clutch control correction amount calculating means 130 calculates a work load generated in the return spring 12 according to the clutch oil pressure detected at the stroke end position and then calculates a control correction amount for the clutch according to the difference between the work load calculated above and a predetermined reference value.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 19, 2009
    Date of Patent: March 26, 2013
    Assignee: Honda Motor Co., Ltd.
    Inventors: Yoshiaki Nedachi, Hiroyuki Kojima, Junya Watanabe, Takashi Ozeki, Yoshiaki Tsukada, Kazuyuki Fukaya
  • Patent number: 8392064
    Abstract: A variety of methods, systems, devices and arrangements are implemented for automated assistance for a driver. One such method relates to a synergistic combination of automation and human control for a motor vehicle traveling on a lane, thereby allowing human-based decisions to be supplement (or be supplemented by) automated decisions. Specific aspects facilitate maintenance of the vehicle on the lane. The vehicle is automatically steered towards a lateral offset within the vehicle lane. Steering input from the driver results in changes to this lateral offset. This modification of the lateral offset can be used to allow the driver to follow any trajectory parallel to the road, including trajectories where the vehicle is not centered within the lane.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 27, 2008
    Date of Patent: March 5, 2013
    Assignee: The Board of Trustees of the Leland Stanford Junior University
    Inventors: Sebastian Thrun, Jesse S. Levinson
  • Patent number: 8332097
    Abstract: A method of detecting an object in or near a path of a vehicle utilizes object detection and warning system, including one or more cameras mounted to the vehicle. The method includes taking a first image with a camera when the vehicle is operated in a first predetermined manner, taking a second image with the camera when the vehicle is operated in a second predetermined manner, comparing the second image with the first image, and operating the system based on the compared first and second images. The method may further include storing a plurality of first images in a memory and comparing the second image with one of the first images stored in the memory. The method may further include alerting a vehicle driver when the object is detected, disabling the vehicle and then enabling the vehicle when no object is in a potential path of the vehicle.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 14, 2007
    Date of Patent: December 11, 2012
    Assignee: DENSO International America, Inc.
    Inventors: Tanemichi Chiba, Hiroto Uesaka, Michael A. Wiegand
  • Patent number: 8280591
    Abstract: A method monitors the vehicle handling of a vehicle with respect to vehicle stability by comparing a measured variable, which reflects the yaw rate or the lateral acceleration, with a comparison value, which is derived from the steering angle, specified by the driver. The gradients of the regression lines, which are normalized in relation to each other, of the measured variable, on the one hand, and the comparison value, which represents the steering angle, on the other hand, are compared continuously over a number of analysis time windows. Upon finding a significant deviation between these gradients, an unstable driving condition is concluded. The difference between the gradients of the regression lines, which may be determined by a first order least squares method and normalized to the same units by a suitably applied amplification factor, are determined and compared with a suitably determined limit value, above which an instability is inferred.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 11, 2008
    Date of Patent: October 2, 2012
    Assignee: Bayerische Motoren Werke Aktiengesellschaft
    Inventors: Benan Serarslan, Max von Groll, Stefan Gietl