Patents by Inventor Wilbur E. Duvall

Wilbur E. Duvall 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: 7693626
    Abstract: Vehicle with tire monitoring capabilities includes at least one wheel, each including a rim, a tire mounted on the rim, a sensor system for sensing angular, radial, tangential and/or lateral acceleration of the tire and providing acceleration signals based thereon, and an antenna arranged on the rim or tire and coupled to the sensor system for communicating data about the sensed acceleration. A processor receives acceleration signals provided by the sensor system and determines the existence of an anomaly in the tire based thereon. When arranged on the wheel, the processor provides a signal indicative or representative of the determination of the existence of the anomaly via the antenna to a receiving antenna which conveys it to a reactive system. The reactive system may provide a visual and/or audible warning to the driver of the vehicle or to personnel at a vehicle or tire monitoring facility.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 22, 2007
    Date of Patent: April 6, 2010
    Assignee: Automotive Technologies International, Inc.
    Inventors: David S. Breed, Vittorio Castelli, Wendell C. Johnson, Wilbur E. DuVall
  • Patent number: 7657354
    Abstract: Electronic system in a vehicle includes crash sensor systems each arranged to sense a crash involving the vehicle and occupant protection systems each including an occupant protection device arranged to protect an occupant in the event of a crash involving the vehicle. The crash sensor system(s) and the occupant protection system(s) are connected to a bus and supplied with power by the bus and communication through the bus. Each occupant protection device is actuated in the event of a crash involving the vehicle as sensed by a crash sensor system. Each occupant protection system may include a power supply for providing power to enable actuation of the occupant protection device, diagnostic circuitry for self-diagnosis, an occupant sensor and a controller for controlling actuation of the occupant protection device based on a signal received from a crash sensor system over the bus, and data from the occupant sensor.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 29, 2007
    Date of Patent: February 2, 2010
    Assignee: Automotive Technologies International, Inc.
    Inventors: David S. Breed, Wilbur E. DuVall, Wendell C. Johnson
  • Patent number: 7650212
    Abstract: System and method for adjusting at least one pedal for a driver in a vehicle in which a determining system determines one or more morphological characteristics of the driver, a motor is coupled to the pedal(s) and is at least automatically controllable without manual intervention to move the pedal(s) relative to a floor of the vehicle and thus adjust the position of the pedal(s) relative to the driver, and a control circuit is coupled to the determining system and the motor for automatically controlling the motor based on the determined morphological characteristic(s) of the driver. The pedal may be an accelerator pedal and/or a brake pedal of the vehicle.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 26, 2007
    Date of Patent: January 19, 2010
    Assignee: Automotive Technologies International, Inc.
    Inventors: David S. Breed, Jeffrey L. Morin, Wilbur E. DuVall
  • Patent number: 7620521
    Abstract: Arrangement and method for classifying an occupying item in a seat includes at least one force sensor arranged to measure the force applied to the seat at time intervals, and a processor coupled to the force sensor(s) for receiving the force measurements therefrom. The processor analyzes the force measurements from each force sensor over time to discern patterns in the force measurements and analyzes any discerned pattern to determine if it approximates a known pattern indicative of an animate object or an inanimate object. The processor may be trained to discern patterns providing information about the occupying item by conducting tests in which different occupying items are placed in the seat and measurements of the force applied to the seat are obtained by the force sensor, before, during and after placement of the occupying item in the seat.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 26, 2007
    Date of Patent: November 17, 2009
    Assignee: Automotive Technologies International, Inc.
    Inventors: David S. Breed, Wilbur E. DuVall, Wendell C. Johnson
  • Publication number: 20090261979
    Abstract: Method and system for monitoring a vehicle driver includes an optical imaging system that obtains images of the driver, and a processor coupled to the optical imaging system and arranged to analyze the images obtained by the optical imaging system to locate a head of the driver in the images and monitor the driver's head or a part thereof over time. The processor also determines, based on the monitoring of the driver's head or part thereof, whether the driver has lost the ability to operate the vehicle. A reactive component is affected by the processor's determination that the driver has lost the ability to operate the vehicle, and requires action by the driver to indicate regaining of the ability to operate the vehicle or exerting control over the vehicle to slow the vehicle and bring it to a stop.
    Type: Application
    Filed: December 22, 2008
    Publication date: October 22, 2009
    Inventors: David S. Breed, Wendell C. Johnson, Wilbur E. DuVall
  • Patent number: 7580782
    Abstract: Electronic system in a vehicle includes crash sensor systems each arranged to sense a crash involving the vehicle and occupant protection systems each including an occupant protection device arranged to protect an occupant in the event of a crash involving the vehicle. The crash sensor system(s) and the occupant protection system(s) are connected to a bus and supplied with power by the bus and communication through the bus. Each occupant protection device is actuated in the event of a crash involving the vehicle as sensed by a crash sensor system. Each occupant protection system may include a power supply for providing power to enable actuation of the occupant protection device, diagnostic circuitry for self-diagnosis, an occupant sensor and a controller for controlling actuation of the occupant protection device based on a signal received from a crash sensor system over the bus, and data from the occupant sensor.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 6, 2007
    Date of Patent: August 25, 2009
    Assignee: Automotive Technologies International, Inc.
    Inventors: David S. Breed, Wendell C. Johnson, Wilbur E. DuVall
  • Patent number: 7555370
    Abstract: System for obtaining information about a vehicle or a component therein includes sensors fixed to a frame of the vehicle and arranged to generate and transmit a signal upon receipt and detection of a radio frequency (RF) signal and a multi-element, switchable directional antenna array. Each antenna element is directed toward a respective sensor and transmitter RF signals toward that sensor and receive return signals therefrom. A control mechanism controls transmission of the RF signals from the antenna elements, e.g., causes the antenna elements to be alternately switched on in order to sequentially transmit the RF signals and receive the return signals from the sensors.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 19, 2007
    Date of Patent: June 30, 2009
    Assignee: Automotive Technologies International, Inc.
    Inventors: David S. Breed, Wilbur E. DuVall, Wendell C. Johnson
  • Publication number: 20090092284
    Abstract: Method and system for obtaining information about an object in a compartment in a vehicle includes directing illumination into the compartment, spatial or temporally modulating the illumination, receiving light reflected from an object in the compartment, and analyzing the reflected light to obtain information about the object. The compartment may be a passenger compartment of an automobile, the trunk of an automobile or the interior of a trailer of a truck. The illumination may be directed from a light source and the reflected light received at a receiver spaced apart from the light source. Analysis of the reflected light may therefore entail applying a triangulation calculation to enable a determination of a distance between the light source and illuminated point on the object. The same method and system can be adapted for monitoring the environment around the vehicle.
    Type: Application
    Filed: November 21, 2007
    Publication date: April 9, 2009
    Applicant: AUTOMOTIVE TECHNOLOGIES INTERNATIONAL, INC.
    Inventors: David S. Breed, Wendell C. Johnson, Wilbur E. DuVall
  • Publication number: 20090066065
    Abstract: Vehicular system for determining the presence of an object in a passenger compartment of the vehicle includes a first image receiver arranged at a first location for obtaining a first two-dimensional view of a portion of the compartment, and a second image receiver arranged at a second location for obtaining a second two-dimensional view of the same portion of the compartment, the second image receiver being arranged relative to the first image receiver such that three dimensions of the portion of the compartment are encompassed by the first and second views. A processor receives images from the first and second image receivers and determines whether an object is present in the compartment based on the images. A reactive system, such as an airbag assembly, may be coupled to the processor and controlled thereby based on the determination of whether an object is present in the imaged portion of the compartment.
    Type: Application
    Filed: February 21, 2008
    Publication date: March 12, 2009
    Applicant: AUTOMOTIVE TECHNOLOGIES INTERNATIONAL, INC.
    Inventors: David S. Breed, Wendell C. Johnson, Wilbur E. DuVall
  • Publication number: 20090046538
    Abstract: Vehicle including a first substructure and a second substructure arranged such that an interior space is defined by or between the first and second substructures, and an arrangement for determining whether an object is present in the interior space. The arrangement includes ultrasonic transducers arranged on the second substructure and to transmit ultrasonic waves toward the first substructure and receive any waves reflected by objects in the interior space and a processor coupled to the ultrasonic transducers and arranged to determine whether an object is present in the interior space based on reception of waves by the ultrasonic transducers. If the vehicle is an automobile and the interior space is the passenger compartment therein, the first substructure can be the passenger seat and the second substructure can be the A-pillar, in which case, the processor determines the presence or absence of a passenger in the passenger seat.
    Type: Application
    Filed: March 3, 2008
    Publication date: February 19, 2009
    Applicant: AUTOMOTIVE TECHNOLOGIES INTERNATIONAL, INC.
    Inventors: David S. Breed, Wendell C. Johnson, Wilbur E. DuVall, Oleksandr Chekhovoy, Kyrylo Zakharenkov
  • Publication number: 20090033540
    Abstract: Accident avoidance system for a host vehicle includes a global positioning system residing on the host vehicle for determining the host vehicle's location as the host vehicle travels, a communication system residing on the host vehicle operative to receive signals including information received directly from other vehicles indicating the locations thereof and traffic information received from an infrastructure-based station indicating the locations of other vehicles, and a navigation system residing on the host vehicle coupled to the global positioning system and the communication system.
    Type: Application
    Filed: September 11, 2008
    Publication date: February 5, 2009
    Applicant: INTELLIGENT TECHNOLOGIES INTERNATIONAL, INC.
    Inventors: David S. Breed, Wilbur E. DuVall, Wendell C. Johnson
  • Patent number: 7477758
    Abstract: System and method for detecting the presence of contents of a vehicular compartment in which a detector system generates an output signal indicative of the absence of an object in the compartment when an object is not situated in the compartment and a different output signal indicative of a particular object in the compartment when such an object is situated in the compartment. Different output signals are thus generated for different objects. A processor is coupled to the detector system for processing the output signal to create a signal characteristic of the object which is indicative of whether the object is animate or inanimate. This system is coupled to a reactive system for affecting one or more vehicular components when the created signal is indicative of an animate object. The reactive system may be a release device for opening an access door or panel to the compartment.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 19, 2006
    Date of Patent: January 13, 2009
    Assignee: Automotive Technologies International, Inc.
    Inventors: Ray Piirainen, David S. Breed, Wendell C. Johnson, Wilbur E. DuVall
  • Patent number: 7467809
    Abstract: System and method for sensing one or more occupant characteristics of a vehicle occupant in which an electromagnetic energy signal is transmitted toward an occupant location within a vehicle and absorption of the energy signal by a vehicle occupant is detected, if such absorption occurs. An absorption signal indicative of the absorbed energy signal is detected and processed to determine the occupant characteristic(s). Occupant characteristics include the presence or absence of an occupant, size, location, biometric features such as a voice print, a hand print, a finger print, an iris scan and a facial feature, and type, e.g., a child seat. The occupant characteristic may be used to control a vehicular component such as an occupant protection device.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 28, 2002
    Date of Patent: December 23, 2008
    Assignee: Automotive Technologies International, Inc.
    Inventors: David S. Breed, Wilbur E. DuVall, Wendell C. Johnson
  • Patent number: 7467034
    Abstract: Method for obtaining information about tires on a vehicle includes arranging a tire monitor on each tire, arranging an interrogator on the vehicle, arranging antennas on the vehicle, each antenna being spaced apart from one another and associated with some tires and further being spaced different distances from the tire monitors on the associated tires, wirelessly transmitting initiation signals from the interrogator to each tire monitor through the antennas to cause each tire monitor to provide signals containing information about one or more properties of the tire on which the tire monitor is arranged, receiving the signals provided by the tire monitors at the antennas, directing the signals from the antennas to the interrogator, and determining a location of each tire monitor and thus a location of a tire on which the tire monitor is arranged by analyzing the signals provided by each tire monitor.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 30, 2006
    Date of Patent: December 16, 2008
    Assignee: Automotive Technologies International, Inc.
    Inventors: David S. Breed, Wendell C. Johnson, Wilbur E. DuVall
  • Publication number: 20080292146
    Abstract: Security system and method for monitoring vehicular compartments includes at least one optical image receiving unit arranged to receive optical images of a compartment of the vehicle, e.g., from at least a portion of the face of a person located at a driver's station in a passenger compartment of the vehicle, and produce image signals therefrom and a processor including an electronic facial-recognition system coupled to the optical image receiving unit(s) responsive to the image signals and controllably coupled to the enabling system, and an electronic storage device coupled to the facial-recognition system to store a set of image signals. The facial-recognition system enables ignition of the vehicle system only if signals representative of select characteristics of a scanned face of the person derived from the image signals produced by the optical image receiving unit(s) match a member of a set of signals stored in the electronic storage device.
    Type: Application
    Filed: October 29, 2007
    Publication date: November 27, 2008
    Applicant: AUTOMOTIVE TECHNOLOGIES INTERNATIONAL, INC.
    Inventors: David S. Breed, Wendell C. Johnson, Wilbur E. DuVall
  • Patent number: 7444210
    Abstract: Method for in-vehicle communications during use of the vehicle, in which a first, data-processing component is arranged on the vehicle, at least one second component is arranged on a non-rotating part of the vehicle, each second component being a sensor arranged to measure a property of the vehicle or a component thereof or an actuator arranged to control a system, subsystem or other component of the vehicle, and the first and second components wirelessly communicate with one another. When the second component is a sensor, it wirelessly transmits data about the measured property and the first component receives the data wirelessly from the second component and processes the received data. When the first component is an actuator, it processes data relating to control of the second component and generates and wirelessly transmits signals to the second component to control the system, subsystem or other component of the vehicle.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 15, 2007
    Date of Patent: October 28, 2008
    Assignee: Automotive Technologies International, Inc.
    Inventors: David S. Breed, Wilbur E. DuVall, Wendell C. Johnson
  • Publication number: 20080250869
    Abstract: Pipeline including a system for monitoring fluid flowing through the pipeline includes a conduit defining an interior and at least one sensor assembly arranged in the interior. Each sensor assembly includes an energy generating system and at least one flow measuring device coupled to the energy generating system to be powered thereby. The flow measuring device provides information about flow of fluid in the conduit. The information may be transmitted to a remote monitoring location via a telematics or communications unit connected to each sensor assembly.
    Type: Application
    Filed: October 11, 2007
    Publication date: October 16, 2008
    Applicant: INTELLIGENT TECHNOLOGIES INTERNATIONAL, INC.
    Inventors: David S. Breed, Wendell C. Johnson, Wilbur E. DuVall
  • Publication number: 20080236275
    Abstract: Arrangement and method for monitoring a fluid storage tank which includes a housing defining an interior receivable of a removable fluid. An interior sensor system is arranged on the housing to obtain information about any fluid in the interior of the housing different than the location of the tank. A location determining system is arranged on the housing to monitor the location of the tank, and a communication system is coupled to the interior sensor system and the location determining system and which is arranged to transmit the information about the fluid in the interior of the housing and the location of the tank to one or more remote facilities. The communication system may be arranged on the housing itself, which is especially applicable when the housing is movable, for example, such as the housing of a Frac tank. The location and condition of the fluid in the tank can thus be known at all times.
    Type: Application
    Filed: October 1, 2007
    Publication date: October 2, 2008
    Applicant: INTELLIGENT TECHNOLOGIES INTERNATIONAL, INC.
    Inventors: David S. Breed, Wendell C. Johnson, Wilbur E. DuVall
  • Publication number: 20080234899
    Abstract: Method and system for obtaining information about a category of an occupying item in a volume of a passenger compartment of a vehicle in which the occupying item is situated during use of the vehicle and controlling one or more vehicular components. A time-varying signal is directed into the volume from at least one location. A modification of the directed signal arising from a property of any occupying items in the volume is detected, different occupying items causing different modifications of the same directed signal. A distinction is made between different occupying items of the volume or between parts of an occupying item based on the detected modification to the directed signal and each component, e.g., an inflatable airbag, is controlled based on the distinction between the occupying items or parts thereof.
    Type: Application
    Filed: May 8, 2008
    Publication date: September 25, 2008
    Applicant: AUTOMOTIVE TECHNOLOGIES INTERNATIONAL, INC.
    Inventors: David S. Breed, Wendell C. Johnson, Wilbur E. DuVall
  • Patent number: 7426437
    Abstract: Accident avoidance system for a host vehicle includes a global positioning system residing on the host vehicle for determining the host vehicle's location as the host vehicle travels based on signals received from one or more satellites, a map database having digital maps corresponding to an area including the location of the host vehicle as determined by the global positioning system, a vehicle-to-vehicle communication system residing on the host vehicle operative for receiving signals including location information acquired by global positioning systems residing on other vehicles directly from the other vehicles indicating the locations of the other vehicles, and a navigation system including a display residing on the host vehicle for displaying images to an occupant of the host vehicle showing the digital maps and indications of the locations of the host vehicle and the other vehicles on the digital maps.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 5, 2007
    Date of Patent: September 16, 2008
    Assignee: Intelligent Technologies International, Inc.
    Inventors: David S. Breed, Wilbur E. DuVall, Wendell C. Johnson