Patents by Inventor Jens Steffen

Jens Steffen 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: 10940851
    Abstract: The technology relates to determining the current state of friction that a vehicle's wheels have with the road surface. This may be done via active or passive testing or other monitoring while the vehicles operates in an autonomous mode. In response to detecting the loss of traction, the vehicle's control system is able to use the resultant information to select an appropriate braking level or braking strategy. This may be done for both immediate driving operations and planning future portions of an ongoing trip. For instance, the on-board system is able to evaluate appropriate conditions and situations for active testing or passive evaluation of traction through autonomous braking and/or acceleration operations. The on-board computer system may share slippage and other road condition information with nearby vehicles and with remote assistance, so that it may be employed with broader fleet planning operations.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 12, 2018
    Date of Patent: March 9, 2021
    Assignee: Waymo LLC
    Inventors: David Harrison Silver, Jens-Steffen Ralf Gutmann, Michael James
  • Publication number: 20210046910
    Abstract: Aspects of the disclosure provide for generation of trajectories for a vehicle driving in an autonomous driving mode. For instance, information identifying a plurality of objects in the vehicle's environment and a confidence value for each of the objects is received. A set of constraints may be generated. That one or more processors are unable to solve for a trajectory given the set of constraints and an acceptable braking limit may be determined. A first constraint is identified as a constraint for which could not be solved and a first confidence value. That the vehicle should apply a maximum braking level is determined based on the identified first confidence value, a threshold, and the determination that the one or more processors are unable to solve for a trajectory. Based on the determination that the vehicle should apply the maximum braking level, the maximum braking level is applied.
    Type: Application
    Filed: September 2, 2020
    Publication date: February 18, 2021
    Inventors: Shiying Zhou, Jens-Steffen Ralf Gutmann
  • Publication number: 20210025481
    Abstract: A range-change transmission device includes an input shaft, an intermediate shaft, a countershaft, a transmission output shaft, and a first planetary gear set. A first transmission element of the first planetary gear set is permanently coupled to the intermediate shaft in a rotationally fixed manner. A second transmission element of the first planetary gear set is coupled to the transmission output shaft. A first switching unit is provided to arrange a third transmission element of the first planetary gear set to be fixed to the housing in at least one switching position. The range-change transmission device also includes a second planetary gear set. A third transmission element of the second planetary gear set is permanently coupled to the intermediate shaft in a rotationally fixed manner.
    Type: Application
    Filed: June 25, 2018
    Publication date: January 28, 2021
    Applicant: DaiMler AG
    Inventors: Frank STEFFENS, Detlef SCHNITZER, Ingo PFANNKUCHEN, Jens LUCKMANN
  • Patent number: 10852746
    Abstract: The technology relates to determining general weather conditions affecting the roadway around a vehicle, and how such conditions may impact driving and route planning for the vehicle when operating in an autonomous mode. For instance, the on-board sensor system may detect whether the road is generally icy as opposed to a small ice patch on a specific portion of the road surface. The system may also evaluate specific driving actions taken by the vehicle and/or other nearby vehicles. Based on such information, the vehicle's control system is able to use the resultant information to select an appropriate braking level or braking strategy. As a result, the system can detect and respond to different levels of adverse weather conditions. The on-board computer system may share road condition information with nearby vehicles and with remote assistance, so that it may be employed with broader fleet planning operations.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 12, 2018
    Date of Patent: December 1, 2020
    Assignee: Waymo LLC
    Inventors: David Harrison Silver, Jens-Steffen Ralf Gutmann, Michael James
  • Patent number: 10824148
    Abstract: The disclosure provides a method for operating an autonomous vehicle. To operate the autonomous vehicle, a plurality of lane segments that are in an environment of the autonomous vehicle is determined and a first object and a second object in the environment are detected. A first position for the first object is determined in relation to the plurality of lane segments, and particular lane segments that are occluded by the first object are determined using the first position. According to the occluded lane segments, a reaction time is determined for the second object and a driving instruction for the autonomous vehicle is determined according to the reaction time. The autonomous vehicle is then operated based on the driving instruction.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 14, 2018
    Date of Patent: November 3, 2020
    Assignee: WAYMO LLC
    Inventors: Jared Stephen Russell, Jens-Steffen Ralf Gutmann
  • Patent number: 10793123
    Abstract: Aspects of the disclosure provide for generation of trajectories for a vehicle driving in an autonomous driving mode. For instance, information identifying a plurality of objects in the vehicle's environment and a confidence value for each of the objects is received. A set of constraints may be generated. That one or more processors are unable to solve for a trajectory given the set of constraints and an acceptable braking limit may be determined. A first constraint is identified as a constraint for which could not be solved and a first confidence value. That the vehicle should apply a maximum braking level is determined based on the identified first confidence value, a threshold, and the determination that the one or more processors are unable to solve for a trajectory. Based on the determination that the vehicle should apply the maximum braking level, the maximum braking level is applied.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 4, 2018
    Date of Patent: October 6, 2020
    Assignee: Waymo LLC
    Inventors: Shiying Zhou, Jens-Steffen Ralf Gutmann
  • Publication number: 20200272161
    Abstract: Aspects of the disclosure relate to controlling a first vehicle in an autonomous driving mode. While doing so, a second vehicle may be identified. Geometry for a future trajectory of the first vehicle may be identified, and an initial allowable discomfort value may be identified. Determining a speed profile for the geometry that meets the value may be attempted by determining a discomfort value for the speed profile based on a set of factors relating to at least discomfort of a passenger of the first vehicle and discomfort of a passenger of the second vehicle. When a speed profile that meets the value cannot be determined, the value may be adjusted until a speed profile that meets the value is determined. The speed profile that meets an adjusted value is used to control the first vehicle in the autonomous driving mode.
    Type: Application
    Filed: March 13, 2020
    Publication date: August 27, 2020
    Inventors: Jens-Steffen Ralf Gutmann, Tobias Kunz, Vadim Furman
  • Publication number: 20200247405
    Abstract: The technology relates to determining a future heading of an object. In order to do so, sensor data, including information identifying a bounding box representing an object in a vehicle's environment and locations of sensor data points corresponding to the object, may be received. Based on dimensions of the bounding box, an area corresponding to a wheel of the object may be identified. An orientation of the wheel may then be estimated based on the sensor data points having locations within the area. The estimation may then be used to determine a future heading of the object.
    Type: Application
    Filed: February 14, 2020
    Publication date: August 6, 2020
    Inventor: Jens-Steffen Ralf Gutmann
  • Publication number: 20200189567
    Abstract: The technology relates to determining the current state of friction that a vehicle's wheels have with the road surface. This may be done via active or passive testing or other monitoring while the vehicles operates in an autonomous mode. In response to detecting the loss of traction, the vehicle's control system is able to use the resultant information to select an appropriate braking level or braking strategy. This may be done for both immediate driving operations and planning future portions of an ongoing trip. For instance, the on-board system is able to evaluate appropriate conditions and situations for active testing or passive evaluation of traction through autonomous braking and/or acceleration operations. The on-board computer system may share slippage and other road condition information with nearby vehicles and with remote assistance, so that it may be employed with broader fleet planning operations.
    Type: Application
    Filed: December 12, 2018
    Publication date: June 18, 2020
    Inventors: David Harrison Silver, Jens-Steffen Ralf Gutmann, Michael James
  • Publication number: 20200192365
    Abstract: The disclosure provides a method for operating an autonomous vehicle. To operate the autonomous vehicle, a plurality of lane segments that are in an environment of the autonomous vehicle is determined and a first object and a second object in the environment are detected. A first position for the first object is determined in relation to the plurality of lane segments, and particular lane segments that are occluded by the first object are determined using the first position. According to the occluded lane segments, a reaction time is determined for the second object and a driving instruction for the autonomous vehicle is determined according to the reaction time. The autonomous vehicle is then operated based on the driving instruction.
    Type: Application
    Filed: December 14, 2018
    Publication date: June 18, 2020
    Inventors: Jared Stephen Russell, Jens-Steffen Ralf Gutmann
  • Publication number: 20200192403
    Abstract: The technology relates to determining general weather conditions affecting the roadway around a vehicle, and how such conditions may impact driving and route planning for the vehicle when operating in an autonomous mode. For instance, the on-board sensor system may detect whether the road is generally icy as opposed to a small ice patch on a specific portion of the road surface. The system may also evaluate specific driving actions taken by the vehicle and/or other nearby vehicles. Based on such information, the vehicle's control system is able to use the resultant information to select an appropriate braking level or braking strategy. As a result, the system can detect and respond to different levels of adverse weather conditions. The on-board computer system may share road condition information with nearby vehicles and with remote assistance, so that it may be employed with broader fleet planning operations.
    Type: Application
    Filed: December 12, 2018
    Publication date: June 18, 2020
    Inventors: David Harrison Silver, Jens-Steffen Ralf Gutmann, Michael James
  • Patent number: 10640111
    Abstract: Aspects of the disclosure relate to identifying and adjusting speed plans for controlling a vehicle in an autonomous driving mode. In one example, an initial speed plan for controlling speed of the vehicle for a first predetermined period of time corresponding to an amount of time along a route of the vehicle is identified. Data identifying an object and characteristics of that object is received from a perception system of the vehicle. A trajectory for the object that will intersect with the route at an intersection point at particular point in time is predicted using the data. A set of constraints is generated based on at least the trajectory. The speed plan is adjusted in order to satisfy the set of constraints for a second predetermined period of time corresponding to the amount of time. The vehicle is maneuvered in the autonomous driving mode according to the adjusted speed plan.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 7, 2016
    Date of Patent: May 5, 2020
    Assignee: Waymo LLC
    Inventors: Jens-Steffen Ralf Gutmann, Vadim Furman, Tobias Kunz
  • Publication number: 20200125106
    Abstract: The technology relates controlling an autonomous vehicle through a multi-lane turn. In one example, data corresponding to a position of the autonomous vehicle in a lane of the multi-lane turn, a trajectory of the autonomous vehicle, and data corresponding to positions of objects in a vicinity of the autonomous vehicle may be received. A determination of whether the autonomous vehicle is positioned as a first vehicle in the lane or positioned behind another vehicle in the lane may be made based on a position of the autonomous vehicle in the lane relative to the positions of the objects. The trajectory of the autonomous vehicle through the lane may be adjusted based on whether the autonomous vehicle is positioned as a first vehicle in the lane or positioned behind another vehicle in the lane. The autonomous vehicle may be controlled based on the adjusted trajectory.
    Type: Application
    Filed: October 19, 2018
    Publication date: April 23, 2020
    Inventors: Jared Stephen Russell, Jens-Steffen Ralf Gutmann, Pei Sun
  • Patent number: 10627825
    Abstract: Aspects of the disclosure relate to controlling a first vehicle in an autonomous driving mode. While doing so, a second vehicle may be identified. Geometry for a future trajectory of the first vehicle may be identified, and an initial allowable discomfort value may be identified. Determining a speed profile for the geometry that meets the value may be attempted by determining a discomfort value for the speed profile based on a set of factors relating to at least discomfort of a passenger of the first vehicle and discomfort of a passenger of the second vehicle. When a speed profile that meets the value cannot be determined, the value may be adjusted until a speed profile that meets the value is determined. The speed profile that meets an adjusted value is used to control the first vehicle in the autonomous driving mode.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 22, 2017
    Date of Patent: April 21, 2020
    Assignee: WAYMO LLC
    Inventors: Jens-Steffen Ralf Gutmann, Tobias Kunz, Vadim Furman
  • Publication number: 20200108808
    Abstract: Aspects of the disclosure provide for generation of trajectories for a vehicle driving in an autonomous driving mode. For instance, information identifying a plurality of objects in the vehicle's environment and a confidence value for each of the objects is received. A set of constraints may be generated. That one or more processors are unable to solve for a trajectory given the set of constraints and an acceptable braking limit may be determined. A first constraint is identified as a constraint for which could not be solved and a first confidence value. That the vehicle should apply a maximum braking level is determined based on the identified first confidence value, a threshold, and the determination that the one or more processors are unable to solve for a trajectory. Based on the determination that the vehicle should apply the maximum braking level, the maximum braking level is applied.
    Type: Application
    Filed: October 4, 2018
    Publication date: April 9, 2020
    Inventors: Shiying Zhou, Jens-Steffen Ralf Gutmann
  • Patent number: 10615591
    Abstract: A power electronics unit for driving an electric machine excited by permanent magnets and including a rotor and a stator having at least one stator winding, comprising at least one power switch designed to drive the stator winding, and an overvoltage protection device to protect the power switch from overvoltage. The overvoltage protection device comprises a phase voltage detecting device associated with the power switch as well as a short-circuit switching circuit which, when a predetermined phase voltage threshold value of the phase voltage detected by the phase voltage detection device is reached or exceeded, is adapted to be activated for short-circuiting the stator winding associated with the power switch. The short-circuit switching circuit comprises the power switch designed to drive the stator winding.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 16, 2015
    Date of Patent: April 7, 2020
    Assignee: L-3 COMMUNICATIONS MAGNET-MOTOR GMBH
    Inventors: Peter Ehrhart, Jens Steffen
  • Patent number: 10611373
    Abstract: The technology relates to determining a future heading of an object. In order to do so, sensor data, including information identifying a bounding box representing an object in a vehicle's environment and locations of sensor data points corresponding to the object, may be received. Based on dimensions of the bounding box, an area corresponding to a wheel of the object may be identified. An orientation of the wheel may then be estimated based on the sensor data points having locations within the area. The estimation may then be used to determine a future heading of the object.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 8, 2019
    Date of Patent: April 7, 2020
    Assignee: Waymo LLC
    Inventor: Jens-Steffen Ralf Gutmann
  • Publication number: 20190351897
    Abstract: Aspects of the disclosure relate to determining whether a vehicle should continue through an intersection. For example, the one or more of the vehicle's computers may identify a time when the traffic signal light will turn from yellow to red. The one or more computers may also estimate a location of a vehicle at the time when the traffic signal light will turn from yellow to red. A starting point of the intersection may be identified. Based on whether the estimated location of the vehicle is at least a threshold distance past the starting point at the time when the traffic signal light will turn from yellow to red, the computers can determine whether the vehicle should continue through the intersection.
    Type: Application
    Filed: June 21, 2019
    Publication date: November 21, 2019
    Inventors: Jens-Steffen Ralf Gutmann, Andreas Wendel, Nathaniel Fairfield, Dmitri A. Dolgov, Donald Jason Burnette
  • Publication number: 20190316664
    Abstract: A range-change transmission device includes a main shaft, an output shaft, and a range-change unit. The range-change unit has at least one planetary gearbox, which includes at least one first gearbox element, at least one second gearbox element, and at least one third gearbox element. The range-change unit also has at least one shifting device, which is provided at least for the selective connection of the main shaft to the first gearbox element and/or to the second gearbox element.
    Type: Application
    Filed: September 18, 2017
    Publication date: October 17, 2019
    Inventors: Ingo PFANNKUCHEN, Detlef SCHNITZER, Frank STEFFENS, Jens LUCKMANN
  • Publication number: 20190315352
    Abstract: The technology relates to determining a future heading of an object. In order to do so, sensor data, including information identifying a bounding box representing an object in a vehicle's environment and locations of sensor data points corresponding to the object, may be received. Based on dimensions of the bounding box, an area corresponding to a wheel of the object may be identified. An orientation of the wheel may then be estimated based on the sensor data points having locations within the area. The estimation may then be used to determine a future heading of the object.
    Type: Application
    Filed: May 8, 2019
    Publication date: October 17, 2019
    Inventor: Jens-Steffen Ralf Gutmann