And Causing Operation Of Vehicle Steering System Patents (Class 180/280)
  • Patent number: 10563366
    Abstract: A self-propelled warning device used for road safety includes a bracket, a warning sign mounted to an upper side of the bracket, and at least one driving mechanism. The driving mechanism includes a supporting leg, a driving unit, and a wheel. The supporting leg includes a receiving portion, the receiving portion defines an accommodating space. The driving unit is accommodated in the accommodating space. The wheel is mounted on the receiving portion and is drivingly connected to the driving unit. The wheel is driven by friction of the driving unit. The driving mechanism is also disclosed.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 28, 2017
    Date of Patent: February 18, 2020
    Inventors: Chuang-Wei Tseng, Yu-Ching Chien, Che-Hsun Chen, Chi-Ming Huang
  • Patent number: 9067469
    Abstract: A wheel stabilization mechanism includes an actuator configured to be coupled to a vehicle body and a wheel stabilizer configured to be movably coupled to the vehicle body such that the wheel stabilizer is configured to move with respect to a wheel. The actuator is configured to move the wheel stabilizer with respect to the wheel from a disengaged position toward an engaged position in response to a force applied to the vehicle body. In the engaged position, the wheel stabilizer is configured to inhibit at least a portion of the wheel from moving with respect to the vehicle body to minimize movement of the wheel with respect to the vehicle body.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 16, 2013
    Date of Patent: June 30, 2015
    Assignee: GM Global Technology Operations LLC
    Inventor: Moin U. Asjad
  • Publication number: 20150025755
    Abstract: A riding yard maintenance vehicle may include a positioning module. The positioning module may include processing circuitry configured to receive information indicative of vehicle position of the riding yard maintenance vehicle, receive an indication of a triggering event that indicates a presence of an obstacle proximate to the riding yard maintenance vehicle, and cause recordation of an obstacle identifier in association with the vehicle position responsive to receipt of the indication.
    Type: Application
    Filed: December 28, 2011
    Publication date: January 22, 2015
    Applicant: Husqvarna AB
    Inventors: Mikael Willgert, Sean Dwyer, Bernard Drew
  • Patent number: 8935088
    Abstract: An object is to prevent a driving assistance system for a vehicle from causing a collision of the driver's own vehicle with a solid object by performing driving assistance. To achieve the object, when a solid object that can be an obstacle exists in the course of the driver's own vehicle, the driving assistance system for a vehicle according to the present invention determines a plurality of primary paths along which the driver's own vehicle can travel by changing the momentum thereof, designates an avoidance line along which the solid object can be avoided from among the primary paths, and changes the momentum of the driver's own vehicle in such a way that the driver's own vehicle travels along the selected avoidance line.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 3, 2011
    Date of Patent: January 13, 2015
    Assignee: Toyota Jidosha Kabushiki Kaisha
    Inventor: Toshiyuki Matsubara
  • Publication number: 20150000995
    Abstract: A vehicle includes a vehicle frame, a wheel and tire assembly, and a wheel turn initiator system. The wheel and tire assembly is mounted with respect to the vehicle frame and is selectively rotatable about a generally vertical axis. The wheel turn initiator system is mounted with respect to the frame and has a member. The wheel turn initiator system is configured such that an external force applied to the front end of the vehicle causes the member to engage the wheel and tire assembly and thereby cause the wheel and tire assembly to rotate about the axis.
    Type: Application
    Filed: November 22, 2013
    Publication date: January 1, 2015
    Inventors: Jeffrey L. Konchan, Hesham A. Ezzat
  • Patent number: 8918227
    Abstract: In a method and a device for determining a vigilance state of a motor vehicle driver, a noise signal is generated and a supplementary torque as a function of the noise signal is applied to a steering assembly, a reaction signal of the vehicle driver is determined, and the vigilance state is determined from a time characteristic of the noise signal and a time characteristic of the reaction signal, at least one parameter of a parameterized transfer function from noise signal to reaction signal is determined, and the vigilance state is determined as a function of an absolute value of the at least one parameter and/or as a function of a relative change of the at least one parameter with regard to at least one earlier parameter, the at least one earlier parameter having been determined at an earlier instant in time.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 23, 2010
    Date of Patent: December 23, 2014
    Assignee: Volkswagen AG
    Inventors: Mirko Junge, Maria Staubach
  • Publication number: 20140209403
    Abstract: In a vehicle steering system provided in a vehicle in which a high-voltage battery is provided, a clutch mechanism is mechanically disconnected and the intermediate shaft falls, after a collision of the vehicle is detected. An ECU detects the collision of the vehicle based on an acceleration that is input, and then detects contraction of the column shaft and disconnection of the clutch mechanism based on an ON signal of a microswitch. Thereafter, the ECU is able to continue to rotationally drive an electric motor based on a steering angle signal that is output from a steering angle sensor provided on the column shaft, and that is electrically insulated through a photo coupler, and thus the ECU causes the vehicle to travel and stop.
    Type: Application
    Filed: January 16, 2014
    Publication date: July 31, 2014
    Inventor: Shohei OGI
  • Patent number: 8442736
    Abstract: A system for controlling a vehicle having a brake assembly for exerting braking force on at least one wheel on the basis of a number of control parameters is provided. The system has a safety system configured to generate the control parameters as a function of a control quantity associated with the braking force to be exerted on the at least one wheel; and a vehicle handling enhancement system configured to: calculate a reference vehicle yaw acceleration on the basis of at least the longitudinal speed of the vehicle and the steer angle of the vehicle; and adjust the control quantity to zero the difference between the actual yaw acceleration and the reference vehicle yaw acceleration.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 20, 2010
    Date of Patent: May 14, 2013
    Assignee: Fiat Group Automobiles S.p.A.
    Inventors: Salvatore Casella, Francesco Canuto, Nicola Natali, Andrea Fortina
  • Patent number: 8392104
    Abstract: Provided is an avoidance maneuver calculation device that calculates a driving maneuver amount that enables an automotive vehicle to avoid an obstacle within a travelable range of a road. The device includes: a road boundary detector for detecting a road 13 where a vehicle 12 is traveling and a boundary section thereof; an obstacle detector for detecting an obstacle 14 existing on the road 13; an automotive vehicle information detector for detecting information on the vehicle 12; and an avoidance maneuver calculator 28 for calculating a maneuver amount for avoiding the obstacle 14 on the road 13.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 19, 2007
    Date of Patent: March 5, 2013
    Assignee: Nissan Motor Co., Ltd.
    Inventors: Hikaru Nishira, Yoshitaka Deguchi
  • Patent number: 8224524
    Abstract: A vehicle includes first and second rotary bodies in contact with a road surface. The vehicle also includes a rotation sensor that detects a rotational state of each of the first and second rotary bodies. Additionally, the vehicle includes a turning sensor that detects a physical quantity representing a turning state of the vehicle on the road surface. The vehicle also includes a calculation unit that calculates a predicted value of a turning parameter representing a turning amount of the vehicle by use of a difference between first and second physical quantities which represent the rotational states of the first and second rotary bodies. In addition, the vehicle includes a slip detection unit that detects occurrence of a slip of the first or second rotary body by comparing the predicted value with an actual measured value of the turning parameter obtained by receiving an output signal of the turning sensor.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 3, 2007
    Date of Patent: July 17, 2012
    Assignee: Toyota Jidosha Kabushiki Kaisha
    Inventors: Issei Nakashima, Toshio Fuwa
  • Patent number: 8095276
    Abstract: In at least one embodiment of the present invention, a sensor system for detecting an impending collision of a vehicle is provided. The sensor system comprises a primary radar arrangement providing the assessment of the severity of an impending impact and the time left before the impact. A separate confirmation detection arrangement including a confirmation sensor is for detecting within a proximity space adjacent to the vehicle to provide a confirmation output. In communication with the primary radar and confirmation detection arrangements is an electronic control module. The module is configured to produce a deployment signal for a safety device which is dependent upon evaluation of the primary radar and confirmation detection outputs.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 15, 2008
    Date of Patent: January 10, 2012
    Assignee: Autoliv ASP, Inc.
    Inventors: Michel Kozyreff, Bernard Guy De Mersseman
  • Patent number: 7852023
    Abstract: The object of the present invention is to provide an electric power steering controller in which a redundant system equal to that with a relay is configured, without incurring the upsizing or deterioration in reliability, of the controller. An electric power steering controller involving the present invention is provided with a motor for providing a steering system with output torque; a motor driving circuit for driving the motor; a microcontroller for calculating a current to be applied to the motor; a gate driver for driving a plurality of switching devices constituting a bridge circuit, based on the result of the calculation by the microcontroller; and a switching portion for cutting off the power supply to the gate driver.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 15, 2005
    Date of Patent: December 14, 2010
    Assignee: Mitsubishi Denki Kabushiki Kaisha
    Inventors: Takayuki Kifuku, Kazuto Kusakabe
  • Patent number: 7831314
    Abstract: A driving assisting for calculating risk potential by considering a response delay by the driver and transmitting information related to the risk potential to the operator in a haptic manner. A controller is provided to estimate the response delay based on an operation performed by the operator. Based on the estimated response delay, the controller calculates a future position at which the risk potential is to be calculated. The longer the response delay, the remoter the future position is. The shorter the response delay, the nearer the future position is. The calculated risk potential at the future position may be transmitted to the operator via a pressing force from one of right and left side portions of a driver's seat occupied by the operator.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 23, 2005
    Date of Patent: November 9, 2010
    Assignee: Nissan Motor Co., Ltd.
    Inventor: Masahiro Egami
  • Patent number: 7778742
    Abstract: An intention estimation and operation assistance system for estimating an operator's intention and providing assistance to operation of a machine. Reference data, such as the operation of a plurality of hypothetical operators, is provided for comparison with the operation of a real operator, to determine an estimated intention of the operator. The estimated operator is utilized to alter the operation of the machine, to provide a safer and/or smoother operation experience in operating the machine.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 8, 2008
    Date of Patent: August 17, 2010
    Assignees: Nissan Motor Co., Ltd., Drexel University
    Inventors: Nobuyuki Kuge, Tomohiro Yamamura, Dario Salvucci
  • Patent number: 7702441
    Abstract: A safety logic for vehicle rollover detection systems comprising a main rollover detection logic and at least one protection device for the occupant or occupants of the vehicle, including a vehicle lateral acceleration sensor (11), which generates an output signal indicating a near rollover event, when a lateral acceleration of a vehicle exceeds the first predefined threshold value (15) or, when a lateral acceleration of vehicle exceeds the second predefined threshold value (16) that is lower than the first predefined threshold value (15) and simultaneously at least one additional safety logic activation signal is present (1, 1?, 1?, 1??).
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 16, 2005
    Date of Patent: April 20, 2010
    Assignee: Delphi Technologies, Inc.
    Inventors: Mariusz Geborek, Aleksandra Urbanek, Daniel Sygnarowicz
  • Patent number: 7620497
    Abstract: A method and a device for driver information and for a reaction upon leaving the traffic lane by a vehicle. In this context, the course of at least one edge marking of the traffic lane is ascertained, the track of the vehicle that is to be expected is determined, and as a function of these variables the possible leaving of the traffic lane by the vehicle is ascertained. In the determination of the track of the vehicle, future reactions of the driver are taken into consideration.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 16, 2003
    Date of Patent: November 17, 2009
    Assignee: Robert Bosch GmbH
    Inventor: Alexander Maass
  • Patent number: 7610983
    Abstract: A method for damage limitation in the event of an offset frontal collision between two motor vehicles, with a first signal which signals an imminent collision triggering the steerable front wheels (9, 10) to turn inward in opposite directions, is to minimize the impact-induced yaw moment. To this end, the steerable wheels are moved back to the initial position again after the collision or if the collision has not taken place at all. To this end, two actuators (17?, 17?) with an external power source are provided in the case of a vehicle which is equipped for this purpose, with each actuator being associated with a steerable wheel (9, 10).
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 11, 2004
    Date of Patent: November 3, 2009
    Assignee: Magna Steyr Fahrzeugtechnik AG & Co. KG
    Inventors: Toros Akgun, Stephan Winkler, Wolfgang Hirschberg, Christian Kaltenmesser
  • Publication number: 20090198411
    Abstract: An electronic steering damper system is provided for a vehicle. The electronic steering damper system can be supported with respect to the vehicle's frame and can selectively impose resistance to steering of one or more of the vehicle's wheels in response to a vehicle condition signal received from a sensor such as, for example, a vehicle speed sensor. An actuator connected with the electronic steering damper system can be configured for use by an operator to adjust the manner in which the electronic steering damper system selectively imposes resistance to steering of the wheel(s) in response to the vehicle condition signal. Vehicles including an electronic steering damper system are also provided.
    Type: Application
    Filed: February 6, 2008
    Publication date: August 6, 2009
    Inventor: Mark T. Kohls
  • Patent number: 7571039
    Abstract: A rollover avoidance system for changing the damping characteristics of suspension dampers at each wheel of a vehicle so as to mitigate the potential for vehicle rollover. The system includes a plurality of vehicle parameter sensors for measuring vehicle parameters and providing vehicle parameter signals. The system also includes a controller for generating a damper suspension command signal for each damper using the vehicle parameter signals. The controller considers a roll control factor representing a rollover condition of the vehicle and a yaw stability control factor representing a yaw condition of the vehicle to set the damping of the dampers to mitigate the potential for vehicle rollover.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 8, 2006
    Date of Patent: August 4, 2009
    Assignee: GM Global Technology Operations, Inc.
    Inventors: Shih-Ken Chen, Nikolai K. Moshchuk, Cheng-Foo Chen
  • Patent number: 7463137
    Abstract: A system and method are disclosed for back up control of a towed-vehicle. The system may include a back up detector, at least one misalignment sensor, a controller, and a misalignment responder. The misalignment responder turns the steering wheel of a towed-vehicle. The system may further include a wireless transmitter to communicate signals between a towing-vehicle and the towed-vehicle. A misalignment signal may be produced by the misalignment sensor when a relative angle between the towing-vehicle and the towed-vehicle exceeds a relative angle threshold. The system may further include a monitoring device in the towing-vehicle to provide an indication of jackknifing and that a towed-vehicle's battery power is low.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 27, 2007
    Date of Patent: December 9, 2008
    Inventors: Randell J. Wishart, Jesse T. Wilkinson, Robin Lee Benjamin
  • Patent number: 7109676
    Abstract: A control for an electric motor in a vehicle. The control ascertains whether an obstacle is interfering with rotation of the motor. The control establishes a baseline speed, representing normal free running speed of the motor. This baseline speed will be different, in different operating environments. Then the control determines whether measured motor speed drops below the baseline speed by a predetermined amount. If so, then the motor is shut down, or reversed.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 13, 2005
    Date of Patent: September 19, 2006
    Assignee: Valeo Electrical Systems, Inc.
    Inventor: Thierry Roger Caussat
  • Patent number: 6906639
    Abstract: A system and method assists the driver of a motor vehicle in preventing accidents or minimizing the effects of same. In one form, a television camera or other ranging device is mounted on a vehicle and scans the roadway ahead of the vehicle as the vehicle travels. Continuously generated video picture signals output by the camera are electronically processed and analyzed by a fuzzy-logic-based image analyzing computer mounted in the controlled vehicle, which generates control signals and applies them to control the operation of the accelerator, brake, and steering system of the vehicle in a coordinated way to attempt to avoid or lessen the effects of a collision. In a particular form, the decision computer may select the evasive action taken from a number of choices, depending on whether and where the detection device senses other vehicles and obstacles. Warning signals may also be generated.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 21, 2003
    Date of Patent: June 14, 2005
    Inventors: Dorothy Lemelson, Robert D. Pedersen, Jerome H. Lemelson
  • Patent number: 6862506
    Abstract: A method for automatically adjusting a vehicle stability enhancement (VSE) system is disclosed. The VSE system is used in conjunction with a steering system having a plurality of driver-selectable steering modes associated therewith. In an exemplary embodiment, the method includes configuring a reference model within the VSE system to generate desired vehicle handling aspects, the desired vehicle handling aspects being a function of one or more driver inputs to the steering system. Then, a determination is made as to which of the plurality of driver-selectable steering modes is activated, wherein each of the desired vehicle handling aspects generated is made further dependent upon a specific steering mode selected.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 19, 2002
    Date of Patent: March 1, 2005
    Assignee: Delphi Technologies, Inc.
    Inventors: Karen A. Boswell, John D. Martens, Edward J. Bedner, Brian P. McDonald, Hsien H. Chen
  • Patent number: 6647330
    Abstract: An electronic power assisted steering system and method wherein vehicle operating parameters, such as steering rack rate and position, are employed to predict future current requirements of the power assisted steering system, and adjust vehicle operating parameters, such as engine and alternator systems, to assure the appropriate power supply to the power assisted steering system without voltage peaks or sags.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 30, 2002
    Date of Patent: November 11, 2003
    Assignee: Visteon Global Technologies, Inc.
    Inventor: Mark W. Gluch
  • Patent number: 6571892
    Abstract: Systems and methods for controlling a device are disclosed. In one embodiment, the systems and methods allow for the control of a human transport device such that the human transport device remains in an upright position regardless of the surface being traversed. The systems and methods may include a plurality of operational modes where each mode has different characteristics. Additionally, systems and method for locating a center of gravity of a device are disclosed.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 15, 2001
    Date of Patent: June 3, 2003
    Assignee: DEKA Research and Development Corporation
    Inventors: Dean L. Kamen, Robert R. Ambrogi, Burl Amsbury, Susan D. Dastous, Robert J. Duggan, John David Heinzmann, Richard Kurt Heinzmann, David W. Herr, John M. Kerwin, John B. Morrell, James Henry Steenson, Jr.
  • Patent number: 6567748
    Abstract: A motion control system controls a vehicle so as to avoid contacting an obstacle in front of the vehicle by applying a braking force or a turning force to the vehicle. In particular, the turning force is applied to the vehicle to avoid the obstacle by turning the vehicle when the system judges that the vehicle can not avoid contact with the obstacle with deceleration presently applied. The turning force is calculated by comparing a first turning force necessary to make a turn to avoid the obstacle with a second turning force presently applied to the vehicle. The system generates the turning force presently applied to the vehicle. The system generates the turning force by controlling at least one of a braking force of a selected wheel, a front wheel steering mechanism and a rear wheel steering mechanism.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 2, 2001
    Date of Patent: May 20, 2003
    Assignee: Fuji Jukogyo Kabushiki Kaisha
    Inventor: Koji Matsuno
  • Patent number: 6553293
    Abstract: The invention provides a method and computer usable medium, including a program, for steering a vehicle having driver-controlled front wheel steering and active rear wheel steering. A rear wheel steering angle static portion is determined based on a control gain and a front wheel steering angle. A slew-limited magnitude of desired lateral acceleration is determined based on a desired lateral acceleration. A multiplying factor is determined based on the slew-limited magnitude of desired lateral acceleration. A feed-forward rear steering angle is determined based on the multiplying factor, the rear wheel steering angle static portion, and a rear wheel steering angle dynamic portion.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 3, 2002
    Date of Patent: April 22, 2003
    Assignee: Delphi Technologies, Inc.
    Inventor: Aleksander B. Hac
  • Patent number: 6546324
    Abstract: A control system for a motor vehicle subsystem comprises a reference model and a feedforward controller. The reference model computes desired states of the subsystem. The feedforward controller computes a first control value based on input from the reference model, and computes a second control value based on yaw rate of the vehicle and a control variable for the subsystem.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 13, 2001
    Date of Patent: April 8, 2003
    Assignee: Delphi Technologies, Inc.
    Inventors: Hsien H. Chen, Ashok Chandy
  • Patent number: 6178365
    Abstract: A system for controlling steering of a vehicle, including a steering device such as a steering wheel with an electric motor which assists steering of driven wheels of the vehicle, first steering control unit for controlling the motor, a CCD camera for detecting a lane condition of a road on which the vehicle travels, a yaw rate sensor for detecting motion of the vehicle, steering assist torque calculating unit for calculating a steering assist torque necessary for holding the lane, a torque sensor for detecting an actual steering torque manually applied to the steering device by the driver, and second steering control unit for calculating a torque command to be output to the first steering control unit based on the steering assist torque calculated by the steering assist torque calculating unit and the detected steering torque to control the actuator such that the torque command decreases.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 11, 1998
    Date of Patent: January 23, 2001
    Assignee: Honda Giken Kogyo Kabushiki Kaisha
    Inventors: Hiroyuki Kawagoe, Shinnosuke Ishida, Tomoaki Teramoto, Kaoru Matsuno
  • Patent number: 5969432
    Abstract: A synchronous rectifier, to which the primary-side input voltage of the transformer and a control voltage with the same frequency as the input voltage is applied, is connected to the primary side of the transformer. The phase of the control voltage can be switched between and, so that the output voltage of the synchronous rectifier corresponds exclusively to the voltage drop component at the ohmic input resistance of the transformer at, and exclusively to the voltage drop component at the inductive input resistance of the transformer at Since both the ohmic and the inductive input resistances are dependent on the resistance of the load connected to the secondary side (e.g., the squib of an air bag), both voltage components can be used to obtain reliable information on the status of the load resistance.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 23, 1998
    Date of Patent: October 19, 1999
    Assignee: Robert Bosch GmbH
    Inventors: Erich Zabler, Anton Dukart
  • Patent number: 5947225
    Abstract: A vehicle has a sensor for detecting a first distance to a first object and a second distance to a second object located on the other side of the first object. The vehicle travels along a path between the first object and the second object based on the detected first and second distances.A vehicle has a sensor for detecting a distance to an object and a working unit which is movably connected with a main body. The working unit is moved based on the detected distance to the object.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 12, 1996
    Date of Patent: September 7, 1999
    Assignee: Minolta Co., Ltd.
    Inventors: Yuichi Kawakami, Nobukazu Kawagoe
  • Patent number: 5709281
    Abstract: A vehicle steering apparatus (20) includes a steering feel motor (50). A torque sensor (58) senses steering torque applied by a vehicle driver. A sensor (24) senses a characteristic of a driver and provides a signal indicative thereof. A hazard sensor (44) senses a potential steering hazard. The steering feel motor is controlled in response to the sensed driver characteristic and to any sensed potential steering hazard. Either open-loop or closed-loop control is provided for controlling the feel motor in response to sensed static and dynamic forces.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 14, 1995
    Date of Patent: January 20, 1998
    Assignee: TRW Inc.
    Inventors: Kenneth A. Sherwin, Daniel E. Williams
  • Patent number: 5621291
    Abstract: A self-propelled robotic vacuum cleaner includes independently driven right and left drive wheels, a front sensor emitting ultrasonic waves in a forward direction as the front sensor is oscillated right and left by, and a rear sensor emitting ultrasonic waves in a lateral direction. The ultrasonic waves from the front sensor determine the presence of obstacles in front of the cleaner. The ultrasonic waves from the front and rear sensors together determine a distance between the cleaner and an adjacent wall, as well as an angle formed between the wall and a direction of travel of the cleaner. The respective speeds of the right and left drive wheels are controlled to keep the travel path of the cleaner parallel to the wall and at a predetermined distance therefrom whenever no obstacle is sensed.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 31, 1995
    Date of Patent: April 15, 1997
    Assignee: Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd.
    Inventor: Jae-Bong Lee
  • Patent number: 5574641
    Abstract: An apparatus and method for detecting heartbeat pulse information of a driver, including determining a level of awareness of the driver from the heartbeat pulse information, detecting a steering angle of the vehicle, determines the level of awareness, of the driver from the steering angle and activating at least one warning according to the level of awareness of the driver.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 23, 1995
    Date of Patent: November 12, 1996
    Assignee: Mitsubishi Jidosha Kogyo Kabushiki Kaisha
    Inventors: Yoshinaka Kawakami, Yoshiharu Takigawa, Arihiro Isomura, Kouichi Kamiya, Katsunori Hamatani
  • Patent number: 5533795
    Abstract: The parking brake of a vehicle is automatically operated whenever the driver or operator leaves the operator's seat and/or opens the door to the vehicle. A seat switch and a separate door switch are electrically wired to an electrical solenoid which operates a valve that controls the supply of air from an air tank through a manual air valve to the brakes. The seat and door switches are connected in parallel to the ignition switch wired to the battery which is grounded to a common ground with the solenoid, whereby either the seat switch or the door switch be closed to release the brakes.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 29, 1995
    Date of Patent: July 9, 1996
    Inventor: Louie J. Brooks
  • Patent number: 5012886
    Abstract: A mobile cleaning apparatus device automatically follows guides such as walls or other obstacles, by engaging the guides with a detector element and controlling the steering of the apparatus in response to the level of forces sensed by the detector.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 14, 1989
    Date of Patent: May 7, 1991
    Inventors: Andre Jonas, Bernard Jonas
  • Patent number: 4967862
    Abstract: A tether-guided vehicle and method of controlling same. A tether sensor indicates the angle, .theta., of the tether with respect to the vehicle and the tension, T, on the tether. A contact-sensitive bumper disposed about at least the front periphery of the vehicle indicates the position, P, and force, F, of contact with an obstacle. A drive system moves the vehicle in response to tether angle, .theta., and tension, T, thereby providing a "servo pull" feature. When the vehicle contacts an obstacle, it stops, backs up, turns and resume forward motion to circumnavigate the obstacle, thereby providing an "obstacle avoidance" feature. The servo pull and obstacle avoidance features make the vehicle suitable in a number of applications, such as for canister vacuums, hospital or factory carts, and the like.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 13, 1989
    Date of Patent: November 6, 1990
    Assignee: Transitions Research Corporation
    Inventors: William Pong, Joseph F. Engelberger, William S. Kazman
  • Patent number: 4794536
    Abstract: A steering angle detection device of the type wherein a computer (12) calculates a steering angle. When a steering shaft (20) is turned, pulse signals (SS1, SS2) are generated from an encoder (10). In response to these pulses signals (SS1, SS2), the computer (12) detects the rotational direction and angle of the steering shaft (20). When a sampling signal is generated in relation to the running of a vehicle, the computer (12) calculates a mean value of a cumulative past rotational angles and further calculates the rotational angle of the steering shaft (20) relative to a neutral position indicated by the mean value.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 17, 1985
    Date of Patent: December 27, 1988
    Assignee: Toyoda Koki Kabushiki Kaisha
    Inventors: Kunihiko Eto, Akihiro Ohno, Yutaka Mori
  • Patent number: 4223756
    Abstract: A traffic system consisting of vehicle and road, in particular for the public local passenger traffic, with automatically cross-controllable vehicles, with a track-determining guide device extending along a desired track and with a cross-positional controller in the vehicle detecting the course of the guide device and acting on the steerable wheels of the vehicle; for purposes of catching a vehicle that deviates from the track, an emergency safety channel delimited by vertical side webs is provided along the road between the support wheels of the vehicle, whose width corresponds to the maximum permissive cross-positional tolerance of the vehicle on the road without lateral collision; at least one emergency safety bolt which is normally taken along in the raised position and is adapted to be rapidly lowerable, is provided centrally of the vehicle at the bottom side thereof; the safety bolt is able to support itself at the side webs of the emergency safety channel while feelers provided at the vehicle on both s
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 8, 1978
    Date of Patent: September 23, 1980
    Assignee: Daimler-Benz Aktiengesellschaft
    Inventor: Helmut Bertelsbeck
  • Patent number: 4210905
    Abstract: An alarm for waking a dozing driver includes a plurality of electrical switches arranged about the steering wheel of a vehicle. A rigid member extends continuously about the steering wheel and is resiliently attached thereto and arranged with respect to the switches so that a normal grasp of the steering wheel causes the rigid member to be displaced and at least one of the plurality of switches to change from its normal position. Alarm means are electrically connected with the plurality of switches and with a power supply so that the change of state of a switch from its normal position deactivates the alarm means.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 21, 1978
    Date of Patent: July 1, 1980
    Inventor: David A. Coons