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: 7421321
    Abstract: System for obtaining information about a vehicle or a component therein includes sensors 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 or cause the antenna elements to transmit the RF signals simultaneously and space the return signals from the sensors via a delay line in circuitry from each antenna element such that each return signal is spaced in time in a known manner without requiring switching of the antenna elements.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 17, 2005
    Date of Patent: September 2, 2008
    Assignee: Automotive Technologies International, Inc.
    Inventors: David S. Breed, Wilbur E. DuVall, Wendell C. Johnson
  • Patent number: 7418346
    Abstract: Method for avoiding collisions between a host vehicle and other vehicles in which the position of the vehicles is determined, the vehicles are equipped with a transmitter/receiver, and in the host vehicle, the possibility of a collision involving the host vehicle is assessed by receiving signals from the transmitter/receivers of each other vehicle, analyzing the received signals to extract positional information about the transmitter/receivers from each signal, and when a received signal contains additional information of interest about a possible collision involving the host vehicle, analyzing the extracted positional information to determine whether any signals contain additional information of interest about a possible collision involving the host vehicle. Additional information is extracted only from such signals and analyzed to ascertain whether a collision between the host vehicle and any other vehicles is likely to occur in order to enable action to be taken to prevent the collision, e.g.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 1, 2006
    Date of Patent: August 26, 2008
    Assignee: Intelligent Technologies International, Inc.
    Inventors: David S. Breed, Wilbur E. DuVall, Wendell C. Johnson, Kostyantyn Alexandrovich Lukin
  • Patent number: 7415126
    Abstract: Optical classification method for classifying an occupant in a vehicle by acquiring images of the occupant from a single camera and analyzing the images acquired from the single camera to determine a classification of the occupant. The single camera may be a digital CMOS camera, a high-power near-infrared LED, and the LED control circuit. It is possible to detect brightness of the images and control illumination of an LED in conjunction with the acquisition of images by the single camera. The illumination of the LED may be periodic to enable a comparison of resulting images with the LED on and the LED off so as to determine whether a daytime condition or a nighttime condition is present. The position of the occupant can be monitored when the occupant is classified as a child, an adult or a forward-facing child restraint.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 14, 2003
    Date of Patent: August 19, 2008
    Assignee: Automotive Technologies International Inc.
    Inventors: David S. Breed, Wilbur E. DuVall, Wendell C. Johnson, Tie-Qi Chen
  • Publication number: 20080189053
    Abstract: Arrangement and method for analyzing weight of an occupying item in a seat including one or more weight sensors arranged to obtain a measurement of the force applied to the seat, a forcing function determination arrangement for measuring a forcing function of the seat and a processor coupled to the weight sensor(s) and forcing function determination arrangement for receiving the measurement of the force applied to the weight sensor(s) and the measurement of the forcing function from the forcing function measurement system and determining the weight of the occupying item based thereon. The forcing function determination arrangement may include an accelerometer and measures effects on the seat caused by load of a seatbelt associated with the seat and/or effects on the seat of road roughness, steering maneuvers, and a vehicle suspension system.
    Type: Application
    Filed: February 28, 2008
    Publication date: August 7, 2008
    Applicant: AUTOMOTIVE TECHNOLOGIES INTERNATIONAL, INC.
    Inventors: David S. Breed, Wendell C. Johnson, Wilbur E. DuVall
  • Patent number: 7407029
    Abstract: Weight sensor for determining the weight of an occupant of a seat including a bladder arranged in a seat portion of the seat and including material or structure in an interior thereof which constrains fluid flow therein and one or more transducers for measuring the pressure of the fluid in the bladder. The material or structure might be open cell foam. The bladder may include one or more chambers, and if more than one chamber is formed, each chamber can be arranged at a different location in the seat portion of the seat.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 21, 2004
    Date of Patent: August 5, 2008
    Assignee: Automotive Technologies International, Inc.
    Inventors: David S. Breed, Wilbur E. DuVall, Jeffrey L. Morin
  • Patent number: 7401807
    Abstract: Airbag control arrangement for a vehicle including an airbag system having at least one airbag, a seat for occupancy by an occupant to be protected by the airbag(s), a seat position sensor system for determining the seat's position, and a control system for controlling deployment of the airbag(s). The control system is coupled to the seat position sensor system and determines deployment for the airbag(s) based on the determined position of the seat. Deployment of each airbag may be based only on the determined position of the seat, i.e., not based on information about the occupant or occupying item of the seat. The control system can suppress deployment of the airbag(s) or provide for a depowered deployment when the seat position sensor system indicates that the seat is in a forwardmost position.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 6, 2006
    Date of Patent: July 22, 2008
    Assignee: Automotive Technologies International, Inc.
    Inventors: David S. Breed, Wilbur E. DuVall, Wendell C. Johnson
  • Publication number: 20080157940
    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: February 28, 2008
    Publication date: July 3, 2008
    Applicant: AUTOMOTIVE TECHNOLOGIES INTERNATIONAL, INC.
    Inventors: David S. Breed, Wendell C. Johnson, Wilbur E. DuVall, Oleksandr Chekhovoy, Kyrylo Zakharenkov
  • Publication number: 20080157510
    Abstract: Method and arrangement for controlling deployment of a side airbag from an airbag module to protect an occupant in a seat of a vehicle in a crash in which it is determined whether a small child is to be protected by deployment of the side airbag, and when it is determined that a small child is to be protected by the side airbag, it is determined the whether the small child has his or her head against the airbag module. When it is determined that a small child is to be protected by the side airbag and has his or her head against the airbag module, deployment of the airbag is suppressed.
    Type: Application
    Filed: March 10, 2008
    Publication date: July 3, 2008
    Applicant: AUTOMOTIVE TECHNOLOGIES INTERNATIONAL, INC.
    Inventors: David S. Breed, Wendell C. Johnson, Wilbur E. DuVall
  • Publication number: 20080154629
    Abstract: Method and arrangement for setting a speed limit for vehicle travelling on a road includes monitoring conditions of the road, determining a speed limit for travel of vehicles on the road based on the monitored conditions, and transmitting the determined speed limit to the vehicles to thereby notify operators of the vehicles of the determined speed limit. Monitoring conditions of the road may entail monitoring weather conditions around the road, monitoring visibility for operators of the vehicles on the roads, monitoring traffic on the road, monitoring accidents on the road or emergency situations of vehicles on the road and/or monitoring the speed of vehicles travelling on the road and a distance between adjacent vehicles.
    Type: Application
    Filed: February 18, 2008
    Publication date: June 26, 2008
    Applicant: INTELLIGENT TECHNOLOGIES INTERNATIONAL, INC.
    Inventors: David S. Breed, Wendell C. Johnson, Wilbur E. DuVall
  • Publication number: 20080142713
    Abstract: Vehicle including a system for obtaining information about an occupant in a compartment in the vehicle includes illuminating an area of the compartment in which the occupant is expected to be situated with infrared illumination, the infrared illumination being generated from at least one common source and being simultaneously directed from each common source in multiple directions into the area of the compartment in which the occupant is expected to be situated. Infrared receivers receive infrared waves from the area of the compartment in which the occupant is expected to be situated after illumination of the area of the compartment and generate images of the area of the compartment. A processor analyzes the received infrared waves and obtains information about the occupant therefrom when the occupant is situated in the compartment. One or more vehicular components may be controlled based on the obtained information.
    Type: Application
    Filed: February 6, 2008
    Publication date: June 19, 2008
    Applicant: AUTOMOTIVE TECHNOLOGIES INTERNATIONAL, INC.
    Inventors: David S. Breed, Wendell C. Johnson, Wilbur E. DuVall
  • Publication number: 20080143085
    Abstract: Vehicular apparatus and method for determining a characteristic of an object that may be located on a seat of the vehicle includes emitters, each emitting a beam along a path on which the object may be located, each path being in a different direction, receivers, each receiving beams emitted from the array of emitters that are reflected from the object when present in the seat, and a processor coupled to the emitters and the receivers for determining time-of-flight of each reflected and received beam between emission of the beam from the emitters and reception of the beam at the receivers. The processor determines one or more characteristics of the object based on the determined time-of-flight of each reflected and received beam, taken either individually or in combination.
    Type: Application
    Filed: February 25, 2008
    Publication date: June 19, 2008
    Applicant: AUTOMOTIVE TECHNOLOGIES INTERNATIONAL, INC.
    Inventors: David S. Breed, Wendell C. Johnson, Wilbur E. DuVall
  • Patent number: 7387183
    Abstract: Method for determining the position of the occupant in a seat having a bottom portion on which the occupant sits and a back portion situated at an angle to the bottom portion including arranging a bladder having at least one chamber in the bottom portion, measuring the pressure in each chamber, and determining the position of the occupant based at least on part on the measured pressure. Pressure may be measured by arranging at least one transducer in association with each chamber. If the bladder comprises a plurality of chambers, each chamber can be arranged at a different location in the bottom portion and the weight distribution of the occupant determined based on the measured pressure in the chambers. In this case, a respective transducer may be arranged in association with each chamber.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 13, 2004
    Date of Patent: June 17, 2008
    Assignee: Automotive Technologies International, Inc.
    Inventors: David S. Breed, Wilbur E. DuVall, Wendell C. Johnson
  • Patent number: 7386372
    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 at least one ultrasonic transducer 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 transducer(s) and arranged to determine whether an object is present in the interior space based on reception of waves by the ultrasonic transducer(s). 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: Grant
    Filed: April 7, 2006
    Date of Patent: June 10, 2008
    Assignee: Automotive Technologies International, Inc.
    Inventors: David S. Breed, Wilbur E. DuVall, Wendell C. Johnson, Oleksandr Chekhovoy, Kyrylo Zakharenkov
  • Publication number: 20080129475
    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: Application
    Filed: November 15, 2007
    Publication date: June 5, 2008
    Applicant: AUTOMOTIVE TECHNOLOGIES INTERNATIONAL, INC.
    Inventors: David S. Breed, Wilbur E. DuVall, Wendell C. Johnson
  • Publication number: 20080133136
    Abstract: System and method for preventing accidents between first and second vehicles at intersections in which the absolute position and velocity of the first vehicle are determined, map data relating to edges of lanes of roadways, edges of roadways and the location of traffic control devices is stored in a map database and the status of the traffic control devices is provided to the first vehicle when needed. The absolute position and velocity of the second vehicle are determined and a collision between the first and second vehicles is predicted based on the position and velocity of the first and second vehicles, the map data and the status of the traffic control devices. An action or changing operation is initiated by a reactive component or system in the first and/or second vehicle when a collision is predicted.
    Type: Application
    Filed: January 10, 2008
    Publication date: June 5, 2008
    Applicant: INTELLIGENT TECHNOLOGIES INTERNATIONAL, INC.
    Inventors: David S. Breed, Wendell C. Johnson, Wilbur E. DuVall
  • Publication number: 20080114502
    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: Application
    Filed: November 19, 2007
    Publication date: May 15, 2008
    Applicant: AUTOMOTIVE TECHNOLOGIES INTERNATIONAL, INC.
    Inventors: David S. Breed, Wilbur E. DuVall, Wendell C. Johnson
  • Patent number: 7359527
    Abstract: Method and system for obtaining and optionally utilizing information about an occupant of a vehicle includes a weight sensor system arranged in connection with a bottom portion of a seat on which the occupant will be seated to provide data about weight of an occupant, and a spatial sensor system which monitors a space above the seat in which the occupant would be situated if seated in the seat to provide data about occupancy of the space above the seat. Information about the occupant is determined based on data provided by the weight sensor system and the spatial sensor system. The weight sensor system is a bladder arranged in the bottom portion or at least one strain gage mounted on structural members of the seat.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 20, 2006
    Date of Patent: April 15, 2008
    Assignee: Automotive Technologies International, Inc.
    Inventors: David S. Breed, Jeffrey L. Morin, Wendell C. Johnson, Wilbur E. DuVall
  • Patent number: 7330784
    Abstract: Vehicular seat assembly includes a seat having a bottom portion and a back portion coupled at an angle to a rear portion of the bottom portion, a support structure arranged at least partially under the seat and to support the seat on a substrate at a plurality of locations including two rearward locations on opposite lateral sides of the seat and at least one forward location, and a weight measuring system arranged in connection with the support structure for determining an approximate weight of an occupying item of the seat. The weight measuring system consists of only one or two sensors, e.g., strain gage sensors, arranged at the rearward locations or only one or two sensors arranged at the forward location(s). Each sensor provides data relating to the force or pressure being applied at the respective location which is used to derive the approximate weight of the occupying item.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 25, 2006
    Date of Patent: February 12, 2008
    Assignee: Automotive Technologies International, Inc.
    Inventors: Wendell C. Johnson, David S. Breed, Wilbur E. DuVall
  • Patent number: 7313467
    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: March 31, 2006
    Date of Patent: December 25, 2007
    Assignee: Automotive Technologies International Inc.
    Inventors: David S. Breed, Wilbur E. DuVall, Wendell C. Johnson
  • Patent number: 7295925
    Abstract: Method and system for preventing accidents between first and second vehicles includes a positioning system arranged in each vehicle for determining the absolute position thereof, a memory unit arranged in the first vehicle for storing data about travel lanes, a communication system for transmitting the position of the second vehicle to the first vehicle, a receiver system arranged in the first vehicle for receiving position information from the second vehicle, a processor coupled to the positioning system, the receiver system and the memory unit in the first vehicle for predicting a collision between the vehicles based on the position of the vehicles and travel lane data, and a reactive component arranged in the first vehicle and coupled to the processor. The reactive component is arranged to initiate an action or change its operation when a collision is predicted by the processor, e.g., sound or indicate an alarm.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 22, 2006
    Date of Patent: November 13, 2007
    Assignee: Intelligent Technologies International, Inc.
    Inventors: David S. Breed, Wilbur E. DuVall, Wendell C. Johnson