Patents by Inventor Kenneth James Miller

Kenneth James Miller 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: 10246073
    Abstract: A hybrid-electric vehicle includes a power system, a controller, a driver seat, a passenger seat, a back seat, and sensors. The controller is in communication with the sensors and the power system. The seats are coupled, directly or indirectly, to the power system. The sensors are configured to detect occupancy of the driver, passenger, and back seats. The controller is programmed to receive occupancy data from the sensors, determine an occupancy status based on the occupancy data, set an operating parameter for the power system based on the occupancy status, and control the power system in accordance with the parameter.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 14, 2016
    Date of Patent: April 2, 2019
    Assignee: FORD GLOBAL TECHNOLOGIES, LLC
    Inventors: Kenneth James Miller, Thomas G. Leone, Christopher Alan Lear, Chris James Hocking
  • Patent number: 10246094
    Abstract: An example vehicle system includes a sensor and a processing device. The sensor is configured to identify a first location and a second location. The processing device is programmed to estimate a plurality of energy usages. Each energy usage is based at least in part on a speed of a host vehicle at the first location. The processing device is further programmed to select one of the plurality of energy usages as a target useable energy and control the host vehicle in accordance with the speed associated with the target useable energy.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 9, 2014
    Date of Patent: April 2, 2019
    Assignee: FORD GLOBAL TECHNOLOGIES, LLC
    Inventors: Kenneth James Miller, Thomas G. Leone, William Paul Perkins, Douglas Raymond Martin
  • Publication number: 20190093584
    Abstract: Methods and systems are provided for using an engine laser ignition system to take images, in real-time, of a cylinder during combustion and estimate cylinder soot generation. If excess soot generation is determined, cylinder fueling is adjusted by varying an injection pressure, amount, and ratio. An air-fuel ratio of the cylinder is also adjusted in view of exhaust temperature constraints to reduce soot generation.
    Type: Application
    Filed: September 25, 2017
    Publication date: March 28, 2019
    Inventors: Douglas Raymond Martin, Kenneth James Miller
  • Publication number: 20190084381
    Abstract: A humidifier system for a vehicle passenger cabin includes an onboard humidifier, an onboard reservoir in fluid communication with the humidifier and adapted to collect a fluid from a vehicle heat exchanger, and a controller configured to determine at least a passenger cabin relative humidity value and a dew point value for at least one vehicle window. The controller is configured to actuate the onboard humidifier to provide a humidified airflow into the passenger cabin, and to actuate a window heating system to heat the at least one vehicle window sufficiently to prevent or remove fogging resulting from the humidified airflow. Methods for controlling the humidifier system are described.
    Type: Application
    Filed: September 21, 2017
    Publication date: March 21, 2019
    Inventors: John K. Daniel, Douglas Raymond Martin, Kenneth James Miller, Kenneth J. Jackson
  • Publication number: 20190071067
    Abstract: Methods and systems are provided for controlling an engine idle-stop based on upcoming traffic and road conditions. In one example, a method may include receiving data including traffic information and road characteristics immediately ahead of a vehicle from one or more remote sources, and adjusting one or more vehicle thresholds based on the received data. A duration of a prospective engine idle-stop may be estimated based on the received data and an engine idle-stop may be initiated based on the duration of the prospective engine idle-stop and the adjusted one or more vehicle threshold.
    Type: Application
    Filed: September 7, 2017
    Publication date: March 7, 2019
    Inventors: Thomas G. Leone, Alexander O`Connor Gibson, Kenneth James Miller
  • Publication number: 20190062143
    Abstract: Data are received indicating an amount of pumped fuel provided to a vehicle fuel tank. A vehicle fuel tank fuel volume is received. Upon determining that a difference between the pumped amount of fuel and a detected change in a fuel volume in the fuel tank exceeds a threshold, a fuel pump is deactivated.
    Type: Application
    Filed: August 22, 2017
    Publication date: February 28, 2019
    Applicant: Ford Global Technologies, LLC
    Inventors: Aed M. Dudar, Kenneth James Miller, Thomas G. Leone
  • Publication number: 20190064027
    Abstract: A vehicle computer is described that includes a processor and memory storing instructions executable by the processor. The instructions may include, to: determine a vehicle speed; determine, for a first wheel, a first vibration profile; determine, for a second wheel, a second vibration profile that includes a roadway disturbance input; and using the speed and the two profiles, determine a wheel imbalance at the first wheel.
    Type: Application
    Filed: August 30, 2017
    Publication date: February 28, 2019
    Applicant: Ford Global Technologies, LLC
    Inventors: Thomas G. Leone, Kenneth James Miller
  • Publication number: 20190063913
    Abstract: A computer and a method executable by the computer. The computer may include a processor and memory storing instructions executable by the processor. The instructions may include, to: receive sensor data from a sensor in a vehicle operating in a fully autonomous mode; using the data, determine a misalignment value; and based on the value, perform one of a plurality of vehicle driving functions that include stopping the vehicle.
    Type: Application
    Filed: August 24, 2017
    Publication date: February 28, 2019
    Applicant: Ford Global Technologies, LLC
    Inventors: Thomas G. Leone, Kenneth James Miller
  • Publication number: 20190055892
    Abstract: Methods and systems are provided for integrating a VCR engine with a CVT transmission. Responsive to a driver demand, a controller may determine whether to maintain a current compression ratio or transition to an alternate compression ratio based on the fuel economy benefit of the transition and further based on any engine limitations that may be incurred at the engine speed-load following the transition. To improve the net fuel economy benefit while addressing the engine limitation, a compression ratio transition may be combined with a CVT adjusted engine speed-load regime, while maintaining engine power output.
    Type: Application
    Filed: October 23, 2018
    Publication date: February 21, 2019
    Inventors: Kenneth James Miller, Thomas G. Leone, Douglas Raymond Martin
  • Publication number: 20190047566
    Abstract: A computer is programmed to cap power provided by a powertrain to a power limit in response to data indicating a critical condition of the powertrain; and provide power from the powertrain above the power limit in response to a demand for acceleration above an acceleration threshold. The computer may be programmed to cap power provided by the powertrain above the power limit to an energy limit.
    Type: Application
    Filed: August 8, 2017
    Publication date: February 14, 2019
    Applicant: Ford Global Technologies, LLC
    Inventors: Kenneth James Miller, Thomas G. Leone, Aed M. Dudar
  • Publication number: 20190047567
    Abstract: A computer is programmed to determine an occupancy status of a vehicle based on received sensor data; and adjust a parameter of a powertrain of the vehicle in response to data indicating a critical condition of the powertrain based on the occupancy status. The parameter may be one of engine speed, cylinder deactivation, transmission-shift time, and shift schedule.
    Type: Application
    Filed: August 8, 2017
    Publication date: February 14, 2019
    Applicant: Ford Global Technologies, LLC
    Inventors: Kenneth James Miller, Thomas G. Leone, Aed M. Dudar
  • Publication number: 20190049952
    Abstract: A computer is programmed to modify a first route for a vehicle to a second route in response to data indicating a critical condition of a powertrain of the vehicle, such as a temperature of the powertrain exceeding a temperature threshold. A predicted energy consumption by the powertrain is lower for the second route than for the first route.
    Type: Application
    Filed: August 8, 2017
    Publication date: February 14, 2019
    Applicant: Ford Global Technologies, LLC
    Inventors: Kenneth James Miller, Thomas G. Leone, Aed M. Dudar
  • Patent number: 10196994
    Abstract: A vehicle includes a transmission, a torque converter coupled to the transmission, a controller in communication with the transmission and the torque converter; a driver seat, a passenger seat, and a back seat coupled to the transmission, and sensors configured to detect occupancy of the seats. The sensors are in communication with the controller. The controller is programmed to receive data from the sensors, determine an occupancy status based on the occupancy data, set an engine operating parameter of one of the transmission and the torque converter based on the occupancy status, and control one of the transmission and the torque converter to operate according to the parameter.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 16, 2016
    Date of Patent: February 5, 2019
    Assignee: FORD GLOBAL TECHNOLOGIES, LLC
    Inventors: Thomas G. Leone, Kenneth James Miller, Chris James Hocking
  • Patent number: 10196067
    Abstract: Methods and systems are provided for integrating engine water injection technology with a CVT transmission. Responsive to a driver demand, a controller may determine whether to maintain a current water injection state or transition to an alternate water injection state based on each of the efficiency of the transition, water availability, and any engine limitations that may be incurred at the engine speed-load following the transition. To improve the net fuel economy benefit while addressing the engine limitation, the water injection state transition may be combined with a CVT adjusted engine speed-load regime, while maintaining engine power output.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 21, 2016
    Date of Patent: February 5, 2019
    Assignee: Ford Global Technologies, LLC
    Inventors: Thomas G. Leone, Kenneth James Miller
  • Patent number: 10197412
    Abstract: A vehicle charge system includes a computer programmed to navigate a vehicle to a charge location based on a determination, upon determining that light received by the vehicle is below a light threshold, that one of a current vehicle charge level and a predicted charge level is below a charge threshold.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 28, 2017
    Date of Patent: February 5, 2019
    Assignee: FORD GLOBAL TECHNOLOGIES, LLC
    Inventors: Aed M. Dudar, Douglas Raymond Martin, Kenneth James Miller
  • Publication number: 20190016583
    Abstract: Upon a determination to refuel a platoon of vehicles, a respective fuel inlet location is identified for each of the vehicles in the platoon. Based on the fuel inlet locations, a refueling location is selected. The platoon is navigated to the refueling location.
    Type: Application
    Filed: July 17, 2017
    Publication date: January 17, 2019
    Applicant: Ford Global Technologies, LLC
    Inventors: Aed M. Dudar, Kenneth James Miller, Thomas G. Leone
  • Publication number: 20190012603
    Abstract: A system includes a processor configured to wirelessly receive data indicating vehicle-feature usage for an individual vehicle. The processor is also configured to aggregate received data to form a feature-usage customer profile defining feature preferences. The processor is further configured to select vehicles associated with a customer-classification, including predefined feature-usage characteristics, the customer-classification determined based on a correlation between the predefined feature-usage characteristics and the aggregated data in the feature-usage profile defining feature preferences. The processor is also configured to compare the aggregated data to the selected vehicles to determine a vehicle having features preferred by a customer as indicated by the aggregated data in the feature-usage profile and recommend the determined vehicle to the customer.
    Type: Application
    Filed: July 5, 2017
    Publication date: January 10, 2019
    Inventors: Kenneth James Miller, Thomas G. Leone
  • Patent number: 10164433
    Abstract: A method for balancing electrical grid production with electrical grid demand, according to an exemplary aspect of the present disclosure includes, among other things, adjusting operation of an engine of an electrified vehicle during a drive event to either conserve a state of charge of a battery pack in response to a first grid condition of an electrical grid or deplete the state of charge of the battery pack in response to a second grid condition of the electrical grid.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 19, 2016
    Date of Patent: December 25, 2018
    Assignee: FORD GLOBAL TECHNOLOGIES, LLC
    Inventors: Kenneth James Miller, Douglas Raymond Martin, Jimmy Kapadia
  • Patent number: 10155551
    Abstract: A front air dam assembly for a vehicle includes a translatable front air deflecting panel for altering an airflow beneath the vehicle, a deploying mechanism for translating the front air deflecting panel between a raised position and one or more deployed positions, and a rapid raising mechanism for rapidly raising the front air deflecting panel from the one or more deployed positions. A controller in operative communication with the deploying mechanism and the rapid raising mechanism controls the operation thereof. At least one sensor is included for sending a signal indicative of a road or vehicle condition to the controller. A locking mechanism under the control of the controller is provided for locking the front air deflector panel in the raised or the one or more deployed position.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 27, 2017
    Date of Patent: December 18, 2018
    Assignee: Ford Global Technologies LLC
    Inventors: Kenneth James Miller, Daniel Mark Schaffer, Christopher James Hocking
  • Patent number: 10151233
    Abstract: Methods and systems are provided for maintaining a desired engine coolant level and a relative glycol amount in the engine coolant by using water sourced from on-board vehicle systems. In one example, a method may include supplying water to the engine coolant reservoir in response to the engine coolant level decreasing below a threshold. Also, a relative glycol amount in the coolant may be maintained at a threshold amount by adding water to the coolant in response to a relative glycol increasing above the threshold.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 2, 2018
    Date of Patent: December 11, 2018
    Assignee: Ford Global Technologies, LLC
    Inventors: Douglas Raymond Martin, John Eric Rollinger, Kenneth James Miller, Aed M. Dudar