Patents by Inventor Thomas S. Hawley

Thomas S. Hawley 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: 10882510
    Abstract: Systems and methods are provided for determining an optimal point during operation of a hybrid electric vehicle towing a trailer at which the energy that can be recouped through regenerative braking is maximized. Operating conditions or characteristics of the hybrid electric vehicle and the brake characteristics of the trailer are considered in determining the optimal point at which the energy that can be recouped is maximized. At the optimal point at which the energy that can be recouped is maximized, the engine of the hybrid electric vehicle is turned off. Otherwise, the engine of the hybrid electric vehicle is left on.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 18, 2018
    Date of Patent: January 5, 2021
    Assignee: TOYOTA MOTOR ENGINEERING & MANUFACTURING NORTH AMERICA, INC.
    Inventor: Thomas S. Hawley
  • Patent number: 10781916
    Abstract: A method for controlling engine braking includes determining an amount of brake pressure being applied by a vehicle traveling on a road. The method includes determining a current velocity of the vehicle, wherein a transmission of the vehicle is operating using a first gear of a plurality of gears. The method includes, according to the amount of brake pressure and the current velocity of the vehicle, determining a road grade threshold for a second gear of the plurality of gears. The method includes determining a grade of the road. The method includes determining that the determined grade of the road satisfies the road grade threshold for the second gear of the vehicle. The method includes, in response to the determination, causing the transmission of the vehicle to operate in the second gear of the plurality of gears.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 6, 2018
    Date of Patent: September 22, 2020
    Assignee: Toyota Motor Engineering & Manufacturing North America, Inc.
    Inventors: Thomas S. Hawley, Craig D. Herring
  • Patent number: 10710574
    Abstract: Systems and methods for improving gradeability of a hybrid electric vehicle are described. More particularly, an electric motor of the hybrid electric vehicle may be used to augment engine torque generated by an internal combustion engine of the hybrid electric vehicle with motor torque generated by the electric motor during periods when a desired acceleration of the hybrid electric vehicle demands a target driveforce that exceeds a maximum driveforce generated by the internal combustion engine at a particular gear ratio of the transmission of the hybrid electric vehicle. Augmenting the engine torque with the motor torque during such periods of acceleration may delay a downshift of the transmission to a lower gear ratio thereby improving a driver experience.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 22, 2018
    Date of Patent: July 14, 2020
    Assignee: TOYOTA MOTOR ENGINEERING & MANUFACTURING NORTH AMERICA, INC.
    Inventor: Thomas S. Hawley
  • Patent number: 10688983
    Abstract: Systems and methods negate the effects of increased motor speed by a hybrid electric vehicle during an engine-off, coasting condition. Upon determining that the hybrid electric vehicle is traveling at a relatively high speed, and is experiencing an engine-on, coasting condition, the hybrid electric vehicle is transitioned to an electric motor-only mode of operation. Negative motor torque is generated to decelerate the hybrid electric vehicle while it is coasting. To optimize conditions for regenerative braking, the hybrid electric vehicle may downshift to a lower gear, increasing electric motor speed. However, the amount of negative motor power that is generated by the downshift can result in an undesirable deceleration experience. This negative motor torque can be reduced based upon the torque multiplication factor at the lower gear to mimic negative torque at the wheels had the hybrid electric vehicle not downshifted to the lower gear.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 4, 2017
    Date of Patent: June 23, 2020
    Assignee: TOYOTA MOTOR ENGINEERING & MANUFACTURING NORTH AMERICA, INC.
    Inventor: Thomas S. Hawley
  • Publication number: 20200141486
    Abstract: In one embodiment, a method for controlling engine braking is disclosed. The method includes determining an amount of brake pressure being applied by a vehicle traveling on a road. The method includes determining a current velocity of the vehicle, wherein a transmission of the vehicle is operating using a first gear of a plurality of gears. The method includes, according to the amount of brake pressure and the current velocity of the vehicle, determining a road grade threshold for a second gear of the plurality of gears. The method includes determining a grade of the road. The method includes determining that the determined grade of the road satisfies the road grade threshold for the second gear of the vehicle. The method includes, in response to the determination, causing the transmission of the vehicle to operate in the second gear of the plurality of gears.
    Type: Application
    Filed: November 6, 2018
    Publication date: May 7, 2020
    Inventors: Thomas S. Hawley, Craig D. Herring
  • Patent number: 10618512
    Abstract: System and methods are provided for improving fuel economy of a hybrid vehicle. A hybrid vehicle may include an EV driving mode, where the motor alone powers the hybrid vehicle. However, use of such a driving mode may be limited to conditions involving low drive force and power requests due to motor and battery power specifications. In some circumstances, the conditions during which the motor can be used to power the hybrid vehicle can be expanded. Such conditions may include instances where the driver only seeks light accelerations for a short period of time. Such an expanded EV mode may be triggered when the hybrid vehicle is travelling a downhill grade.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 4, 2017
    Date of Patent: April 14, 2020
    Assignee: TOYOTA MOTOR ENGINEERING & MANUFACTURING NORTH AMERICA, INC.
    Inventors: Thomas S. Hawley, Shingo Eto
  • Publication number: 20200062238
    Abstract: Systems and methods for improving gradeability of a hybrid electric vehicle are described. More particularly, an electric motor of the hybrid electric vehicle may be used to augment engine torque generated by an internal combustion engine of the hybrid electric vehicle with motor torque generated by the electric motor during periods when a desired acceleration of the hybrid electric vehicle demands a target driveforce that exceeds a maximum driveforce generated by the internal combustion engine at a particular gear ratio of the transmission of the hybrid electric vehicle. Augmenting the engine torque with the motor torque during such periods of acceleration may delay a downshift of the transmission to a lower gear ratio thereby improving a driver experience.
    Type: Application
    Filed: August 22, 2018
    Publication date: February 27, 2020
    Inventor: Thomas S. Hawley
  • Patent number: 10549747
    Abstract: System and methods are provided for improving launch performance of a hybrid vehicle. During a stall condition prior to launch, the engine of the hybrid vehicle can produce engine torque beyond a standard stall torque limit. Negative motor torque that offsets the increase in engine torque in accordance with the standard stall torque limit is produced by the motor. This results in loading the automatic transmission of the hybrid vehicle with additional torque that would otherwise not be possible. During a launch condition following the stall condition, the motor torque is dropped to 0 Nm, and the brakes are released, allowing the hybrid vehicle to accelerate. The full torque generated by the engine is provided to the automatic transmission and used to drive one or more wheels of the hybrid vehicle.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 4, 2017
    Date of Patent: February 4, 2020
    Assignee: TOYOTA MOTOR ENGINEERING & MANUFACTURING NORTH AMERICA, INC.
    Inventor: Thomas S. Hawley
  • Patent number: 10507820
    Abstract: Systems and methods provide accurate determinations of relevant vehicle mass that can take into account any load being carried and/or towed by a vehicle, such as an electric vehicle or hybrid vehicle. Systems and methods also provide accurate road load measurements that can take into account road gradient(s) and the impact of gravity. Accordingly, the dynamic nature of relevant vehicle mass and road load can be captured. Efforts to optimize operation and/or take preemptive action to provide more efficient performance, enhance the drive experience, etc. can be better achieved through the more accurate determinations of relevant vehicle mass and road load achieved by these systems and methods.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 4, 2017
    Date of Patent: December 17, 2019
    Assignee: TOYOTA MOTOR ENGINEERING & MANUFACTURING NORTH AMERICA, INC.
    Inventors: Thomas S. Hawley, Shingo Eto
  • Patent number: 10392003
    Abstract: Systems and methods provide control the amount of battery SOC of a hybrid vehicle prior to reaching a downgrade section of roadway in order to offset the amount of energy that the hybrid vehicle will recuperate when traveling the downgrade. Navigation systems and methods are used to identify upcoming road conditions, such as downgrades. In this way, the battery SOC of the hybrid vehicle can maintain the capacity to allow a motor of the hybrid vehicle to assist in decelerating the hybrid vehicle during the downgrade if need be. Additionally, a situation where the battery is fully charged before reaching the end of the downgrade is avoided, which if not, could result in overcharging the battery, or having to switch to an engine-only mode of travel, where a driver must supplement engine braking with friction braking.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 4, 2017
    Date of Patent: August 27, 2019
    Assignee: TOYOTA MOTOR ENGINEERING & MANUFACTURING NORTH AMERICA, INC.
    Inventor: Thomas S. Hawley
  • Publication number: 20190217847
    Abstract: Systems and methods are provided for determining an optimal point during operation of a hybrid electric vehicle towing a trailer at which the energy that can be recouped through regenerative braking is maximized. Operating conditions or characteristics of the hybrid electric vehicle and the brake characteristics of the trailer are considered in determining the optimal point at which the energy that can be recouped is maximized. At the optimal point at which the energy that can be recouped is maximized, the engine of the hybrid electric vehicle is turned off. Otherwise, the engine of the hybrid electric vehicle is left on.
    Type: Application
    Filed: January 18, 2018
    Publication date: July 18, 2019
    Inventor: Thomas S. Hawley
  • Patent number: 10300907
    Abstract: Systems and methods provide power to augment that of an electric motor in a hybrid electric vehicle to control deceleration of the hybrid electric vehicle. When a hybrid electric vehicle is going to encounter some road condition that may require deceleration, e.g., a downgrade, the hybrid electric vehicle may turn off the engine to take advantage of the regenerative braking properties of the hybrid electric vehicle while traversing the downgrade. However, in situations where the electric motor is unable to provide sufficient negative motor torque to control deceleration, the engine can be connected to the drivetrain in a fuel-cut off mode allowing the engine to generate negative engine torque that can augment the negative motor torque.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 4, 2017
    Date of Patent: May 28, 2019
    Assignee: TOYOTA MOTOR ENGINEERING & MANUFACTURING NORTH AMERICA, INC.
    Inventor: Thomas S. Hawley
  • Publication number: 20190039596
    Abstract: Systems and methods provide control the amount of battery SOC of a hybrid vehicle prior to reaching a downgrade section of roadway in order to offset the amount of energy that the hybrid vehicle will recuperate when traveling the downgrade. Navigation systems and methods are used to identify upcoming road conditions, such as downgrades. In this way, the battery SOC of the hybrid vehicle can maintain the capacity to allow a motor of the hybrid vehicle to assist in decelerating the hybrid vehicle during the downgrade if need be. Additionally, a situation where the battery is fully charged before reaching the end of the downgrade is avoided, which if not, could result in overcharging the battery, or having to switch to an engine-only mode of travel, where a driver must supplement engine braking with friction braking.
    Type: Application
    Filed: August 4, 2017
    Publication date: February 7, 2019
    Inventor: Thomas S. Hawley
  • Publication number: 20190039600
    Abstract: System and methods are provided for improving fuel economy of a hybrid vehicle. A hybrid vehicle may include an EV driving mode, where the motor alone powers the hybrid vehicle. However, use of such a driving mode may be limited to conditions involving low drive force and power requests due to motor and battery power specifications. In some circumstances, the conditions during which the motor can be used to power the hybrid vehicle can be expanded. Such conditions may include instances where the driver only seeks light accelerations for a short period of time. Such an expanded EV mode may be triggered when the hybrid vehicle is travelling a downhill grade.
    Type: Application
    Filed: August 4, 2017
    Publication date: February 7, 2019
    Inventors: Thomas S. Hawley, Shingo Eto
  • Publication number: 20190039597
    Abstract: Systems and methods provide power to augment that of an electric motor in a hybrid electric vehicle to control deceleration of the hybrid electric vehicle. When a hybrid electric vehicle is going to encounter some road condition that may require deceleration, e.g., a downgrade, the hybrid electric vehicle may turn off the engine to take advantage of the regenerative braking properties of the hybrid electric vehicle while traversing the downgrade. However, in situations where the electric motor is unable to provide sufficient negative motor torque to control deceleration, the engine can be connected to the drivetrain in a fuel-cut off mode allowing the engine to generate negative engine torque that can augment the negative motor torque.
    Type: Application
    Filed: August 4, 2017
    Publication date: February 7, 2019
    Inventor: Thomas S. Hawley
  • Publication number: 20190039599
    Abstract: System and methods are provided for improving launch performance of a hybrid vehicle. During a stall condition prior to launch, the engine of the hybrid vehicle can produce engine torque beyond a standard stall torque limit. Negative motor torque that offsets the increase in engine torque in accordance with the standard stall torque limit is produced by the motor. This results in loading the automatic transmission of the hybrid vehicle with additional torque that would otherwise not be possible. During a launch condition following the stall condition, the motor torque is dropped to 0 Nm, and the brakes are released, allowing the hybrid vehicle to accelerate. The full torque generated by the engine is provided to the automatic transmission and used to drive one or more wheels of the hybrid vehicle.
    Type: Application
    Filed: August 4, 2017
    Publication date: February 7, 2019
    Inventor: Thomas S. Hawley
  • Publication number: 20190039595
    Abstract: Systems and methods provide accurate determinations of relevant vehicle mass that can take into account any load being carried and/or towed by a vehicle, such as an electric vehicle or hybrid vehicle. Systems and methods also provide accurate road load measurements that can take into account road gradient(s) and the impact of gravity. Accordingly, the dynamic nature of relevant vehicle mass and road load can be captured. Efforts to optimize operation and/or take preemptive action to provide more efficient performance, enhance the drive experience, etc. can be better achieved through the more accurate determinations of relevant vehicle mass and road load achieved by these systems and methods.
    Type: Application
    Filed: August 4, 2017
    Publication date: February 7, 2019
    Inventors: Thomas S. Hawley, Shingo Eto
  • Publication number: 20190039601
    Abstract: Systems and methods negate the effects of increased motor speed by a hybrid electric vehicle during an engine-off, coasting condition. Upon determining that the hybrid electric vehicle is traveling at a relatively high speed, and is experiencing an engine-on, coasting condition, the hybrid electric vehicle is transitioned to an electric motor-only mode of operation. Negative motor torque is generated to decelerate the hybrid electric vehicle while it is coasting. To optimize conditions for regenerative braking, the hybrid electric vehicle may downshift to a lower gear, increasing electric motor speed. However, the amount of negative motor power that is generated by the downshift can result in an undesirable deceleration experience. This negative motor torque can be reduced based upon the torque multiplication factor at the lower gear to mimic negative torque at the wheels had the hybrid electric vehicle not downshifted to the lower gear.
    Type: Application
    Filed: August 4, 2017
    Publication date: February 7, 2019
    Inventor: Thomas S. Hawley