Patents by Inventor Masaya Amano

Masaya Amano 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: 7715214
    Abstract: A device and method for determining whether a malfunction is present in a drive circuit, which drives an electric device that generates counter-electromotive force, when all gates in the switching elements of the drive circuit are blocked. After the gates are blocked, the temperature of the switching elements is monitored and the presence of a malfunction is determined based on the detected temperature of the switching elements. A malfunction is determined to be present when the detected temperature equals or exceeds a predetermined temperature; the change in the detected temperature equals or exceeds a predetermined value; or the rate of change in the detected temperature equals or exceeds than a predetermined rate. Thus, it can be appropriately determined whether the gates in the drive circuit are appropriately blocked and minimize the influence of any malfunctions on other elements outside of the drive circuit.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 2, 2006
    Date of Patent: May 11, 2010
    Assignee: Toyota Jidosha Kabushiki Kaisha
    Inventors: Takeshi Kishimoto, Masaya Amano, Nobuyuki Tanaka, Kouji Miyazaki
  • Patent number: 7689335
    Abstract: Start/stop decision circuit receives main and sub IG instruction signals from a hold circuit and a sub line, respectively, and if the signals match in logic, the start/stop decision circuit follows the main IG instruction signal's logic to determine whether an ignition switch is turned on/off. If the main and sub IG instruction signals attain the high and low levels, respectively, and a logic discrepancy is thus caused, and a condition is established for speculating that the vehicle is parked and therefrom a decision is made that the vehicle system will be stopped with high probability, then the start/stop decision circuit determines that the ignition switch is turned off, and start/stop decision circuit detects that the hold circuit has an ON failure and subsequently the start/stop decision circuit stops the vehicle system.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 16, 2006
    Date of Patent: March 30, 2010
    Assignee: Toyota Jidosha Kabushik Kaisha
    Inventors: Keiji Kaita, Masaya Amano
  • Patent number: 7688606
    Abstract: Upon receiving a start instruction, a control device turns on first and third system main relays, and performs precharge processing for charging a capacitor. Here, a limiting resistor for preventing an inrush current into the capacitor in a discharged state at the time of start is not provided in a load drive device. The control device controls a gate voltage of a power MOSFET of the third system main relay such that the power MOSFET operates in a saturation region, in a range not exceeding a maximum rated power.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 13, 2006
    Date of Patent: March 30, 2010
    Assignee: Toyota Jidosha Kabushiki Kaisha
    Inventor: Masaya Amano
  • Publication number: 20090230901
    Abstract: A vehicle (100) includes a motor generator (MG) and an inverter (14) driving the motor generator (MG). A power source apparatus for the vehicle includes a battery (B) as an electric storage device, a step-up converter (12) stepping up a voltage of the electric storage device and supplying it to the inverter, and a controller (30) indicating a target step-up voltage in accordance with a target state of operation of the motor generator (MG) to the step-up converter (12). If it is determined that a current operation state signal of the motor generator (MG) is abnormal, the controller (30) increases the target step-up voltage to a maximum value. Preferably, the vehicle (100) further includes a resolver (20) detecting rotation speed of a rotor of motor generator (MG). The controller (30) determines that the operation state signal is abnormal if an output of the resolver (20) does not satisfy a prescribed condition.
    Type: Application
    Filed: December 26, 2006
    Publication date: September 17, 2009
    Applicant: TOYOTA JIDOSHA KABUSHIKI KAISHA
    Inventor: Masaya Amano
  • Patent number: 7559871
    Abstract: In a reverse drive with power output from an engine, the control procedure of the invention selects a drive point of the higher rotation speed corresponding to the higher accelerator opening among available drive points that ensure output of a target engine power, and controls the engine to be driven at the selected drive point and ensure output of a torque demand corresponding to the accelerator opening to a drive shaft. A required torque level output from a motor MG2 increases with an increase in engine torque under the conditions of a fixed torque demand of the drive shaft and a fixed output power level of the engine 22. Setting a drive point of the higher rotation speed and the lower torque corresponding to a higher level of the accelerator opening ensures output of the torque demand to the drive shaft. Setting a drive point of the lower rotation speed and the higher torque corresponding to a lower level of the accelerator opening improves the drive feeling of the engine.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 19, 2005
    Date of Patent: July 14, 2009
    Assignee: Toyota Jidosha Kabushiki Kaisha
    Inventors: Masaya Amano, Keiji Kaita
  • Patent number: 7520352
    Abstract: In response to a decrease in observed battery voltage Vb to or below a preset threshold value Vs1, the control procedure of the invention closes the gates of an inverter for an air conditioner to stop a supply of electric power to the air conditioner (at a time point t1). In response to a further decrease in observed battery voltage Vb to or below a preset threshold value Vm1, the control procedure closes the gates of inverters for motors MG1 and MG2 to stop supplies of electric power to the motors MG1 and MG2 (at a time point t2). The threshold values Vs1 and Vm1 are set to keep the battery voltage Vb at or above a minimum required voltage for proper operations of an electric power steering (EPS). This arrangement guarantees the minimum required voltage for proper operations of the EPS and accordingly ensures the stable steering performance even in the event of a voltage decrease of the battery.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 27, 2005
    Date of Patent: April 21, 2009
    Assignee: Toyota Jidosha Kabushiki Kaisha
    Inventors: Takeshi Hoshiba, Masaya Amano
  • Publication number: 20080170421
    Abstract: A device and method for determining whether a malfunction is present in a drive circuit, which drives an electric device that generates counter-electromotive force, when all gates in the switching elements of the drive circuit are blocked. After the gates are blocked, the temperature of the switching elements is monitored and the presence of a malfunction is determined based on the detected temperature of the switching elements. A malfunction is determined to be present when the detected temperature equals or exceeds a predetermined temperature; the change in the detected temperature equals or exceeds a predetermined value; or the rate of change in the detected temperature equals or exceeds than a predetermined rate. Thus, it can be appropriately determined whether the gates in the drive circuit are appropriately blocked and minimize the influence of any malfunctions on other elements outside of the drive circuit.
    Type: Application
    Filed: March 2, 2006
    Publication date: July 17, 2008
    Applicant: TOYOTA JIDOSHA KABUSHIKI KAISHA
    Inventors: Takeshi Kishimoto, Masaya Amano, Nobuyuki Tanaka, Kouji Miyazaki
  • Publication number: 20080053721
    Abstract: In response to a decrease in observed battery voltage Vb to or below a preset threshold value Vs1, the control procedure of the invention closes the gates of an inverter for an air conditioner to stop a supply of electric power to the air conditioner (at a time point t1). In response to a further decrease in observed battery voltage Vb to or below a preset threshold value Vm1, the control procedure closes the gates of inverters for motors MG1 and MG2 to stop supplies of electric power to the motors MG1 and MG2 (at a time point t2). The threshold values Vs1 and Vm1 are set to keep the battery voltage Vb at or above a minimum required voltage for proper operations of an electric power steering (EPS). This arrangement guarantees the minimum required voltage for proper operations of the EPS and accordingly ensures the stable steering performance even in the event of a voltage decrease of the battery.
    Type: Application
    Filed: July 27, 2005
    Publication date: March 6, 2008
    Applicant: TOYOTA JIDOSHA KABUSHIKI KAISHA
    Inventors: Takeshi Hoshiba, Masaya Amano
  • Publication number: 20070243970
    Abstract: In a reverse drive with power output from an engine, the control procedure of the invention selects a drive point of the higher rotation speed corresponding to the higher accelerator opening among available drive points that ensure output of a target engine power, and controls the engine to be driven at the selected drive point and ensure output of a torque demand corresponding to the accelerator opening to a drive shaft. A required torque level output from a motor MG2 increases with an increase in engine torque under the conditions of a fixed torque demand of the drive shaft and a fixed output power level of the engine 22. Setting a drive point of the higher rotation speed and the lower torque corresponding to a higher level of the accelerator opening ensures output of the torque demand to the drive shaft. Setting a drive point of the lower rotation speed and the higher torque corresponding to a lower level of the accelerator opening improves the drive feeling of the engine.
    Type: Application
    Filed: July 19, 2005
    Publication date: October 18, 2007
    Applicant: TOYOTA JIDOSHA KABUSHIKI KAISHA
    Inventors: Masaya Amano, Keiji Kaita
  • Publication number: 20070108959
    Abstract: Upon receiving a start instruction, a control device turns on first and third system main relays, and performs precharge processing for charging a capacitor. Here, a limiting resistor for preventing an inrush current into the capacitor in a discharged state at the time of start is not provided in a load drive device. The control device controls a gate voltage of a power MOSFET of the third system main relay such that the power MOSFET operates in a saturation region, in a range not exceeding a maximum rated power.
    Type: Application
    Filed: November 13, 2006
    Publication date: May 17, 2007
    Applicant: TOYOTA JIDOSHA KABUSHIKI KAISHA
    Inventor: Masaya Amano
  • Publication number: 20060208568
    Abstract: Start/stop decision circuit receives main and sub IG instruction signals from a hold circuit and a sub line, respectively, and if the signals match in logic, the start/stop decision circuit follows the main IG instruction signal's logic to determine whether an ignition switch is turned on/off. If the main and sub IG instruction signals attain the high and low levels, respectively, and a logic discrepancy is thus caused, and a condition is established for speculating that the vehicle is parked and therefrom a decision is made that the vehicle system will be stopped with high probability, then the start/stop decision circuit determines that the ignition switch is turned off, and start/stop decision circuit detects that the hold circuit has an ON failure and subsequently the start/stop decision circuit stops the vehicle system.
    Type: Application
    Filed: February 16, 2006
    Publication date: September 21, 2006
    Applicant: TOYOTA JIDOSHA KABUSHIKI KAISHA
    Inventors: Keiji Kaita, Masaya Amano
  • Patent number: 6966866
    Abstract: A power outputting apparatus determines whether a parking gear and a parking lock pole of a parking lock mechanism are engaged. When they are engaged, a second motor outputs a torque which is the sum of a pushing torque that is slightly greater than torque pulses generated in a ring gear shaft by the torque pulses of the engine during cranking, and a reaction force torque necessary for cranking so that a first motor cranks an engine. As a result, it is possible to suppress the parking gear and the parking lock pole of the parking lock mechanism from vibrating due to the torque pulses generated during cranking of the engine, and thus also minimize the contact noise resulting therefrom.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 11, 2003
    Date of Patent: November 22, 2005
    Assignee: Toyota Jidosha Kabushiki Kaisha
    Inventors: Daigo Ando, Masaya Amano
  • Patent number: 6807476
    Abstract: In response to an operation stop instruction of an engine, the technique of the invention carries out control to make the engine stop at a specific position that is far from a first compression stroke at a subsequent start of the engine, for example, at a target stop position &thgr;t set at a top dead center of a piston in a proximate compression stroke, which is immediately before the first compression stroke. In the first compression stroke at the subsequent start of the engine, the revolving speed of the engine stopped at the specific position is significantly higher than the revolving speed of the engine stopped at a position close to the first compression stroke. Such control thus ensures a smooth compression stroke at the subsequent start of the engine.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 24, 2003
    Date of Patent: October 19, 2004
    Assignee: Toyota Jidosha Kabushiki Kaisha
    Inventors: Daigo Ando, Masaya Amano
  • Patent number: 6777837
    Abstract: A hybrid-vehicle drive unit supports a motor-generator with high precision, improving the efficiency of the motor-generator, and reducing the size of the motor-generator, independent of any influence of centering precision of the crank shaft and of deformation of the torque converter. According to the invention, a motor housing is disposed between a converter housing and an internal combustion engine, and a bearing is fitted to a lateral wall provided in a front portion of the motor housing. Rotor supporting members are independently supported by the bearing. Eccentric rotation of the crank shaft resulting from explosive vibrations of the engine is counteracted by two flex plates. Owing to a predetermined clearance, one of the rotor supporting members as a separate component is free from the influence of deformation of the torque converter.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 12, 2001
    Date of Patent: August 17, 2004
    Assignees: Aisin AW Co., Ltd., Toyota Jidosha Kabushiki Kaisha
    Inventors: Shigeo Tsuzuki, Kenji Omote, Masahiro Hasebe, Satoru Wakuta, Keiichi Shinohara, Atsushi Tabata, Yutaka Taga, Seiji Nakamura, Masaya Amano
  • Patent number: 6719076
    Abstract: A vehicle characterized by a deceleration that is readily adjustable in the course of braking control with a torque of a motor mounted on a vehicle. In one embodiment, the vehicle has a power system including an engine, a motor, a torque converter, a transmission, and an axle that are linked with one another in series. The transmission is a mechanism that changes over a gear ratio under control of a control unit to vary the transmitted torque. The driver manipulates a gearshift lever in the vehicle to specify a desired deceleration by power source braking. The control unit refers to a predetermined map and specifies a combination of motor torque and gear ratio to attain the specified deceleration. In the course of braking control, the deceleration is corrected according to a step-on amount of an accelerator pedal in a range of play of the accelerator pedal. This arrangement facilitates minute adjustment of the deceleration by the power source braking.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 24, 2001
    Date of Patent: April 13, 2004
    Assignee: Toyota Jidosha Kabushiki Kaisha
    Inventors: Atsushi Tabata, Yutaka Taga, Seiji Nakamura, Masaya Amano
  • Publication number: 20030163244
    Abstract: In response to an operation stop instruction of an engine, the technique of the invention carries out control to make the engine stop at a specific position that is far from a first compression stroke at a subsequent start of the engine, for example, at a target stop position &thgr;t set at a top dead center of a piston in a proximate compression stroke, which is immediately before the first compression stroke. In the first compression stroke at the subsequent start of the engine, the revolving speed of the engine stopped at the specific position is significantly higher than the revolving speed of the engine stopped at a position close to the first compression stroke. Such control thus ensures a smooth compression stroke at the subsequent start of the engine.
    Type: Application
    Filed: February 24, 2003
    Publication date: August 28, 2003
    Inventors: Daigo Ando, Masaya Amano
  • Publication number: 20030154945
    Abstract: A power outputting apparatus determines whether a parking gear and a parking lock pole of a parking lock mechanism are engaged. When they are engaged, a second motor outputs a torque which is the sum of a pushing torque that is slightly greater than torque pulses generated in a ring gear shaft by the torque pulses of the engine during cranking, and a reaction force torque necessary for cranking so that a first motor cranks an engine. As a result, it is possible to suppress the parking gear and the parking lock pole of the parking lock mechanism from vibrating due to the torque pulses generated during cranking of the engine, and thus also minimize the contact noise resulting therefrom.
    Type: Application
    Filed: February 11, 2003
    Publication date: August 21, 2003
    Inventors: Daigo Ando, Masaya Amano
  • Patent number: 6459980
    Abstract: A vehicle has a power system, in which an engine, a motor, a torque converter, a transmission, and an axle are connected in series. The transmission has a mechanism of varying a gear ratio under the control of a control unit. A driver of the vehicle operates a specific switch for setting a deceleration to specify a desired deceleration by means of power source braking. In response to an ON operation of a snow mode switch, a possible range of setting of the deceleration is restricted to a specific area that does not cause any slip or skid of the vehicle. The control unit totally controls the torque of the motor and the gear ratio, thereby implementing the braking at the desired deceleration. This arrangement attains the desired deceleration specified by the driver in the wide possible range of the setting, while restricting the deceleration to a specific range according to the driving conditions of the vehicle.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 24, 2001
    Date of Patent: October 1, 2002
    Assignee: Toyota Jidosha Kabushiki Kaisha
    Inventors: Atsushi Tabata, Yutaka Taga, Seiji Nakamura, Masaya Amano
  • Publication number: 20020036434
    Abstract: A hybrid-vehicle drive unit supports a motor-generator with high precision, improving the efficiency of the motor-generator, and reducing the size of the motor-generator, independent of any influence of centering precision of the crank shaft and of deformation of the torque converter. According to the invention, a motor housing is disposed between a converter housing and an internal combustion engine, and a bearing is fitted to a lateral wall provided in a front portion of the motor housing. Rotor supporting members are independently supported by the bearing. Eccentric rotation of the crank shaft resulting from explosive vibrations of the engine is counteracted by two flex plates. Owing to a predetermined clearance, one of the rotor supporting members as a separate component is free from the influence of deformation of the torque converter.
    Type: Application
    Filed: September 12, 2001
    Publication date: March 28, 2002
    Inventors: Shigeo Tsuzuki, Kenji Omote, Masahiro Hasebe, Satoru Wakuta, Keiichi Shinohara, Atsushi Tabata, Yutaka Taga, Seiji Nakamura, Masaya Amano
  • Patent number: 6340339
    Abstract: A vehicle drive device is provided having a first source of driving force and a hydraulic transmission, into which power is input from the first source of driving force, arranged axially. A motor that transmits power by an electromagnetic action between a stator and a rotor is arranged between the first source of driving force and the hydraulic transmission. The stator is arranged to be radially distant from the rotational center axis of the hydraulic transmission. A small diameter portion formed to have a smaller outer diameter than an inner diameter of the stator is formed at a motor side of the hydraulic transmission and the hydraulic transmission is arranged with the small diameter portion being inserted axially into the inner periphery of the stator. As a result, the axial length of the vehicle drive device is shortened to thereby provide a small-size, lightweight device.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 7, 1999
    Date of Patent: January 22, 2002
    Assignee: Toyota Jidosha Kabushiki Kaisha
    Inventors: Atsushi Tabata, Yutaka Taga, Ryuji Ibaraki, Shuji Nagano, Seiji Nakamura, Masaya Amano