Patents by Inventor Brett T. Muller

Brett T. Muller has filed for patents to protect the following inventions. This listing includes patent applications that are pending as well as patents that have already been granted by the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO).

  • Patent number: 10322722
    Abstract: A method of controlling an autonomously operating vehicle includes determining if the vehicle is currently occupied by a passenger, or if the vehicle is not currently occupied by a passenger. When the vehicle is currently occupied by a passenger, a vehicle controller controls at least one vehicle system to operate using a set of passenger present operating parameters. The set of passenger present operating parameters control the vehicle to provide a minimum level of passenger comfort. When the vehicle is not currently occupied by a passenger, the vehicle controller controls at least one vehicle system to operate using a set of passenger not-present operating parameters. The set of passenger not-present operating parameters control the vehicle for one of optimal energy efficiency, or for optimal vehicle diagnostic performance.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 14, 2016
    Date of Patent: June 18, 2019
    Assignee: GM Global Technology Operations LLC
    Inventors: Brett T. Muller, Joshua R. Auden, Fred W. Huntzicker
  • Publication number: 20180105175
    Abstract: A method of controlling an autonomously operating vehicle includes determining if the vehicle is currently occupied by a passenger, or if the vehicle is not currently occupied by a passenger. When the vehicle is currently occupied by a passenger, a vehicle controller controls at least one vehicle system to operate using a set of passenger present operating parameters. The set of passenger present operating parameters control the vehicle to provide a minimum level of passenger comfort. When the vehicle is not currently occupied by a passenger, the vehicle controller controls at least one vehicle system to operate using a set of passenger not-present operating parameters. The set of passenger not-present operating parameters control the vehicle for one of optimal energy efficiency, or for optimal vehicle diagnostic performance.
    Type: Application
    Filed: October 14, 2016
    Publication date: April 19, 2018
    Applicant: GM GLOBAL TECHNOLOGY OPERATIONS LLC
    Inventors: Brett T. Muller, Joshua R. Auden, Fred W. Huntzicker
  • Patent number: 9758171
    Abstract: A multi-mode powertrain system is described, and includes an internal combustion engine having stop/start capability. A method for controlling the multi-mode powertrain system includes circulating coolant to a heater core via an engine fluidic circuit that includes a water jacket of the internal combustion engine when temperature of the coolant is less than an engine fluidic circuit upper temperature threshold and the engine is in an ON state. Coolant is circulated to the heater core via a bypass fluidic circuit that excludes the water jacket of the internal combustion engine when temperature of the coolant is greater than a bypass fluidic circuit lower temperature threshold when the engine is in an OFF state.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 15, 2015
    Date of Patent: September 12, 2017
    Assignee: GM Global Technology Operations LLC
    Inventors: Ryan D. Martini, Brett T. Muller, Eric Piper, James Kenney
  • Patent number: 9637019
    Abstract: A charging system and method that may be used to automatically apply customized charging settings to a plug-in electric vehicle, where application of the settings is based on the vehicle's location. According to an exemplary embodiment, a user may establish and save a separate charging profile with certain customized charging settings for each geographic location where they plan to charge their plug-in electric vehicle. Whenever the plug-in electric vehicle enters a new geographic area, the charging method may automatically apply the charging profile that corresponds to that area. Thus, the user does not have to manually change or manipulate the charging settings every time they charge the plug-in electric vehicle in a new location.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 9, 2012
    Date of Patent: May 2, 2017
    Assignee: GM GLOBAL TECHNOLOGY OPERATIONS LLC
    Inventors: Marjorie A. Bassham, Ciro A. Spigno, Jr., Brett T. Muller, Vernon L. Newhouse
  • Patent number: 9522671
    Abstract: A method can be used to control a hybrid vehicle and includes the following steps: (a) receiving, via a control module, an input; (b) determining, via the control module, whether the hybrid vehicle is traveling on a highway based, at least in part, on a vehicle speed and an output torque request; (c) commanding, via the control module, the hybrid powertrain to switch from a charge-depletion mode to a blended mode if the hybrid vehicle is traveling on a highway; and (d) commanding, via the control module, the hybrid powertrain to use energy from the energy storage device via the electric motor-generator so as to maintain a substantially constant target state of charge (SOC) discharge rate.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 20, 2014
    Date of Patent: December 20, 2016
    Assignee: GM Global Technology Operations LLC
    Inventors: Travis James Trippel, Brett T. Muller, Michael R. Colville, Anthony H. Heap, Dean Christopher Degazio
  • Publication number: 20160362110
    Abstract: A multi-mode powertrain system is described, and includes an internal combustion engine having stop/start capability. A method for controlling the multi-mode powertrain system includes circulating coolant to a heater core via an engine fluidic circuit that includes a water jacket of the internal combustion engine when temperature of the coolant is less than an engine fluidic circuit upper temperature threshold and the engine is in an ON state. Coolant is circulated to the heater core via a bypass fluidic circuit that excludes the water jacket of the internal combustion engine when temperature of the coolant is greater than a bypass fluidic circuit lower temperature threshold when the engine is in an OFF state.
    Type: Application
    Filed: June 15, 2015
    Publication date: December 15, 2016
    Applicant: GM GLOBAL TECHNOLOGY OPERATIONS LLC
    Inventors: Ryan D. Martini, Brett T. Muller, Eric Piper, James Kenney
  • Patent number: 9499157
    Abstract: A method for controlling a hybrid vehicle includes the following: (a) receiving route data for a trip route; (b) determining a drive profile for the trip route based on the route data and vehicle information; (c) determining an energy deficit distribution based on an adjusted tractive power distribution defined by the drive profile compared with a generator power of the vehicle; (d) determining a minimum energy requirement energy deficit distribution; (e) determining a state of charge (SOC) threshold based on the minimum energy requirement; and (f) commanding the powertrain to operate in a charging mode when the SOC threshold is greater than the SOC of an energy storage device of the vehicle. The charging mode may be one of a condensed charging mode, a standard charging mode, and a prolonged charging mode.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 24, 2014
    Date of Patent: November 22, 2016
    Assignee: GM Global Technology Operations LLC
    Inventors: Brett T. Muller, Travis James Trippel
  • Publication number: 20160023649
    Abstract: A method for controlling a hybrid vehicle includes the following: (a) receiving route data for a trip route; (b) determining a drive profile for the trip route based on the route data and vehicle information; (c) determining an energy deficit distribution based on an adjusted tractive power distribution defined by the drive profile compared with a generator power of the vehicle; (d) determining a minimum energy requirement energy deficit distribution; (e) determining a state of charge (SOC) threshold based on the minimum energy requirement; and (f) commanding the powertrain to operate in a charging mode when the SOC threshold is greater than the SOC of an energy storage device of the vehicle. The charging mode may be one of a condensed charging mode, a standard charging mode, and a prolonged charging mode.
    Type: Application
    Filed: July 24, 2014
    Publication date: January 28, 2016
    Inventors: Brett T. Muller, Travis James Trippel
  • Publication number: 20150232084
    Abstract: A method can be used to control a hybrid vehicle and includes the following steps: (a) receiving, via a control module, an input; (b) determining, via the control module, whether the hybrid vehicle is traveling on a highway based, at least in part, on a vehicle speed and an output torque request; (c) commanding, via the control module, the hybrid powertrain to switch from a charge-depletion mode to a blended mode if the hybrid vehicle is traveling on a highway; and (d) commanding, via the control module, the hybrid powertrain to use energy from the energy storage device via the electric motor-generator so as to maintain a substantially constant target state of charge (SOC) discharge rate.
    Type: Application
    Filed: February 20, 2014
    Publication date: August 20, 2015
    Applicant: GM GLOBAL TECHNOLOGY OPERATIONS LLC
    Inventors: Travis James Trippel, Brett T. Muller, Michael R. Colville, Anthony H. Heap, Dean Christopher Degazio
  • Patent number: 9056552
    Abstract: A system and method for charging a battery in a plug-in electric vehicle. In an exemplary embodiment, the method determines if a delayed battery charging feature is active and if the battery is severely depleted. If both conditions are satisfied, the method enables a priority charging feature that temporarily overrides the delayed charging feature and begins charging the battery according to a priority charging process until it reaches a level where it is no longer severely depleted. At this point, the method may terminate the priority charging process and initiate the delayed charging process, which is designed to take advantage of off-peak electricity rates, anticipated times of vehicle use, etc.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 31, 2012
    Date of Patent: June 16, 2015
    Assignee: GM Global Technology Operations LLC
    Inventors: Brett T. Muller, Nicholas J. Hainer, Adam R. Sepanak
  • Publication number: 20140117946
    Abstract: A system and method for charging a battery in a plug-in electric vehicle. In an exemplary embodiment, the method determines if a delayed battery charging feature is active and if the battery is severely depleted. If both conditions are satisfied, the method enables a priority charging feature that temporarily overrides the delayed charging feature and begins charging the battery according to a priority charging process until it reaches a level where it is no longer severely depleted. At this point, the method may terminate the priority charging process and initiate the delayed charging process, which is designed to take advantage of off-peak electricity rates, anticipated times of vehicle use, etc.
    Type: Application
    Filed: October 31, 2012
    Publication date: May 1, 2014
    Applicant: GM GLOBAL TECHNOLOGY OPERATIONS LLC
    Inventors: Brett T. Muller, Nicholas J. Hainer, Adam R. Sepanak
  • Publication number: 20130175974
    Abstract: A charging system and method that may be used to automatically apply customized charging settings to a plug-in electric vehicle, where application of the settings is based on the vehicle's location. According to an exemplary embodiment, a user may establish and save a separate charging profile with certain customized charging settings for each geographic location where they plan to charge their plug-in electric vehicle. Whenever the plug-in electric vehicle enters a new geographic area, the charging method may automatically apply the charging profile that corresponds to that area. Thus, the user does not have to manually change or manipulate the charging settings every time they charge the plug-in electric vehicle in a new location.
    Type: Application
    Filed: January 9, 2012
    Publication date: July 11, 2013
    Applicant: GM GLOBAL TECHNOLOGY OPERATIONS LLC
    Inventors: Marjorie A. Bassham, Ciro A. Spigno, JR., Brett T. Muller, Vernon L. Newhouse