Tilt, Imbalance, Or Overload Patents (Class 340/440)
  • Patent number: 6678631
    Abstract: An attitude angle estimator and method of estimating attitude angle of a vehicle having an angular attitude rate sensor sensing angular attitude rate of a vehicle, a vertical accelerometer sensing vertical acceleration, and a lateral accelerometer sensing lateral acceleration. An attitude angle estimate is produced and is updated as a function of the sensed angular attitude rate. An acceleration-based attitude angle is determined as a function of the sensed accelerations, and a blending coefficient is provided. A current vehicle attitude angle estimate is generated as a function of the updated attitude angle estimate, the acceleration-based attitude angle, and the blending coefficient.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 6, 2002
    Date of Patent: January 13, 2004
    Assignee: Delphi Technologies, Inc.
    Inventor: Jan K. Schiffmann
  • Publication number: 20030236603
    Abstract: A control system (18) for an automotive vehicle includes a lateral acceleration sensor (32), a yaw rate sensor (28), a longitudinal acceleration sensor (36), and suspension height sensors (50a-50d). The controller (26) determines a roll characteristic from the first angular rate signal, the suspension height signal, and the lateral acceleration signal and a pitch characteristic from the first angular rate signal, the suspension height signal and the longitudinal acceleration signal.
    Type: Application
    Filed: June 19, 2002
    Publication date: December 25, 2003
    Inventor: Jianbo Lu
  • Publication number: 20030234721
    Abstract: An apparatus is provided for warning when the mast of a forklift is not in perfect vertical and (i) the direction, e.g. forward or backward the mast is tilted, and (ii) the relative degree of offset from perfect vertical. The apparatus includes an operations package including a power supply, a control unit, an alarm unit and a level state detector for detecting the state of the forklift's mast thus permitting dramatically more economical and safer forklift operation.
    Type: Application
    Filed: June 20, 2002
    Publication date: December 25, 2003
    Inventor: Randall S. Figueira
  • Patent number: 6654671
    Abstract: A vehicle rollover sensing apparatus and method are provided for detecting a rollover condition of the vehicle. The rollover sensing apparatus includes an angular rate sensor for sensing attitude rate of change of a vehicle and a lateral accelerometer for sensing lateral dynamics of the vehicle. The rollover sensing apparatus also has an integrator for integrating the sensed attitude rate of change signal over a variable time window and producing an attitude angle. The rollover sensing apparatus further includes deployment logic for comparing the attitude angle and attitude rate of change to a pair of variable threshold values with a gray-zone that varies based on time, and for deploying a vehicle overturn condition signal based on the comparison. Sensitivity of the deployment logic is adjusted as a function of the sensed lateral dynamics to enhance rollover deployment during certain driving events.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 15, 2002
    Date of Patent: November 25, 2003
    Assignee: Delphi Technologies, Inc.
    Inventor: Peter J. Schubert
  • Patent number: 6631317
    Abstract: A stability control system (18) for an automotive vehicle includes a plurality of sensors (28-39) sensing the dynamic conditions of the vehicle. The sensors may include a speed sensor (20), a lateral acceleration sensor (32), a roll rate sensor (34), a yaw rate sensor (20) and a longitudinal acceleration sensor (36). The controller (26) is coupled to the speed sensor (20), the lateral acceleration sensor (32), the roll rate sensor (34), the yaw rate sensor (28) and a longitudinal acceleration sensor (36). The controller (26) has an anti-integration drift filter and a steady state recovery filter. The controller determines a roll attitude angle, a pitch attitude angle and a yaw attitude angle in response to the roll angular rate signal, the yaw angular rate signal, the lateral acceleration signal, the longitudinal acceleration signal, the wheel speed signal, the anti-integration drift filter and the steady state recovery filter.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 1, 2001
    Date of Patent: October 7, 2003
    Assignee: Ford Global Technologies, Inc.
    Inventors: Jianbo Lu, Todd Allen Brown
  • Publication number: 20030174055
    Abstract: Tension alert device is used with a load secured to a vehicle load bed, which has a securing belt having a connector portion and an attachment link. The device includes a connector sleeve, with an axial bore and a sleeve end portion, which is connected to the link. A first contacter connects to an inner end portion of the sleeve and faces into the axial bore. A second contacter slides in the bore along a restricted path of travel and has a second load bed connector. The second contacter faces the first contacter and is urged away from it when the belt has a first tension threshold value. The first contacter has an electrical signal generator for producing an electrical signal, which is activated when the second contacter is biased against it when the belt attains a second threshold tension value.
    Type: Application
    Filed: March 14, 2003
    Publication date: September 18, 2003
    Inventor: Maurice Tardif
  • Patent number: 6618656
    Abstract: A method for rollover detection for automotive vehicles with safety-related devices, such as roll bars, (side) airbags and seat-belt tensioners involves the following steps and features. An angular rate of rotation (&ohgr;x) around the vehicle longitudinal axis is provided by the signal of a gyrosensor, and an initial position angle (&agr;0) identifying the initial position of the vehicle transverse axis is determined from at least one sensor signal. An integral of the angular rate is added to the initial position angle. The absolute value of the resulting sum, which is proportional to the momentary inclination angle relative to the horizontal plane, is then compared to a trigger threshold that is a function of the angular rate and vehicle-specific parameters. A safety-related device is triggered if the absolute value of the resulting sum exceeds the trigger threshold.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 22, 2001
    Date of Patent: September 9, 2003
    Assignee: Temic Telefunken microelectronic GmbH
    Inventors: Hermann Kueblbeck, Ernst Rottenkolber, Peter Steiner, Helmut Steurer, Peter Weidel
  • Patent number: 6618655
    Abstract: A process for determining lateral overturning of a vehicle involves establishing a threshold value line S separating a lateral overturning region farther from an origin and a lateral non-overturning region closer to the origin on a two-dimensional map made using a rolling angle &thgr; and a rolling angular speed &ohgr; of the vehicle. When a hysteresis line for actual rolling angles and actual rolling angular speeds of the vehicle traverses the threshold value line from the lateral non-overturning region to the lateral overturning region, it is determined that there is a possibility of lateral overturning of the vehicle, and correspondingly an occupant protecting system may be deployed. Also, to assure accuracy, a lateral acceleration sensor for detecting a lateral acceleration for establishing the threshold value line S is disposed on a center plane of a vehicle body.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 15, 2001
    Date of Patent: September 9, 2003
    Assignee: Honda Giken Kogyo Kabushiki Kaisha
    Inventors: Shigeo Tobaru, Hiroyuki Maeda, Osamu Takahata
  • Patent number: 6614343
    Abstract: In a method for determining vehicle status quantities on the basis of the forces acting on the individual wheel and detected by means of tire sensors, where the measured quantities represent the longitudinal and lateral tire forces as well as the vertical tire forces, the angular yaw velocity and acceleration, the steering angle, the side slip angle of the vehicle as well as the vehicle velocity and acceleration are established by inclusion of corrective quantities established, estimated and/or calculated in corrective step. By means of the corrective steps, the quantities dependent on wheel forces, intermediate quantities, or components are weighted in dependence on further measured quantities which have been established by conventional sensor devices, etc., and/or which represent the vehicle situation.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 11, 2001
    Date of Patent: September 2, 2003
    Assignee: Continental Teves AG & Co., OHG
    Inventors: Helmut Fennel, Michael Latarnik
  • Publication number: 20030163231
    Abstract: A stability control system (24) for an automotive vehicle as includes a plurality of sensors (28-37) sensing the dynamic conditions of the vehicle and a controller (26) that controls a distributed brake pressure to reduce a tire moment so the net moment of the vehicle is counter to the roll direction. The sensors include a speed sensor (30), a lateral acceleration sensor (32), a roll rate sensor (34), and a yaw rate sensor (20). The controller (26) is coupled to the speed sensor (30), the lateral acceleration sensor (32), the roll rate sensor (34), the yaw rate sensor (28). The controller (26) determines a roll angle estimate in response to lateral acceleration, roll rate, vehicle speed, and yaw rate. The controller (26) changes a tire force vector using brake pressure distribution in response to the relative roll angle estimate.
    Type: Application
    Filed: March 3, 2003
    Publication date: August 28, 2003
    Inventors: Joseph Carr Meyers, Todd Allen Brown
  • Publication number: 20030158636
    Abstract: A method and a device for detecting critical driving conditions of a vehicle are provided, in which instantaneous values of a variable describing the transverse dynamics are measured, and a critical driving condition is detected by evaluating the time characteristic of the ascertained values. In order to detect a critical driving condition, a determination is made as to whether the ascertained values exceed an upper limiting value and, subsequently, fall below a lower limiting value, or whether the ascertained values fall below a lower limiting value and, subsequently, exceed an upper limiting value. Furthermore, a determination is also made as to whether the time interval between a first time point associated with the exceeding of the upper limiting value and a second time point associated with the falling below of the lower limiting value does not meet a specifiable time threshold value.
    Type: Application
    Filed: January 9, 2003
    Publication date: August 21, 2003
    Inventor: Hardy Haas
  • Publication number: 20030146829
    Abstract: A device and method used to indicate vehicle inclination and conditions indicative of a potential rollover is disclosed. The device and method may be embodied in original equipment or in an aftermarket product in a manner so that the driver may easily determine s the vehicle inclination. For example, the device and method may be embodied in a mirror assembly mounted in the vehicle. The device and method may also be used to detect the rate of change of inclination to provide a warning of adverse driving conditions. The device and method may also include a compass that indicates a corrected heading of the vehicle.
    Type: Application
    Filed: August 23, 2002
    Publication date: August 7, 2003
    Inventors: Craig D. Carlson, Michael A. Reed, J. Thomas Fowler
  • Patent number: 6600985
    Abstract: A roll sensor system for a land vehicle is provided to determine when a vehicle roll condition has occurred and to trigger a safety system in response to that determination. In certain embodiments, an angular rate sensor is used to obtain an angular rate and, from the angular rate, an angle relative to the roll axis of the land vehicle. If the angular rate and the angle correspond to a safety system activation event, the roll sensor system will provide a trigger signal to the safety system. In some embodiments, the system includes an incline sensor(s) to aid in detecting and compensating for drift in the output of the angular rate sensor. In other embodiments the output of an angular rate sensor is used to validate the output of the incline sensor to aid in determining whether a vehicle safety system trigger event has occurred.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 13, 2002
    Date of Patent: July 29, 2003
    Assignee: Indiana Mills & Manufacturing, Inc.
    Inventors: Ralph M. Weaver, Michael L. Miller
  • Patent number: 6600414
    Abstract: A vehicle rollover event detector (10) includes a rollover sensor (14). A first accelerometer (80) senses vehicle acceleration in a direction offset from the front-to-rear axis of the vehicle (12) up to a maximum acceleration sensing level and provides a first acceleration signal indicative thereof. A second accelerometer (96) senses vehicle acceleration in the offset direction at acceleration levels in excess of the maximum acceleration sensing level of the first accelerometer and provides a second acceleration signal indicative thereof. A controller (26) selects the first accelerometer or second accelerometer and provides an actuation signal (110) when the signal from the rollover sensor and the selected first or second accelerometers both indicate a vehicle rollover event.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 24, 2001
    Date of Patent: July 29, 2003
    Assignee: TRW Inc.
    Inventors: Chek-Peng Foo, Huahn-Fern Yeh, Shun-Hsin Chang, Kevin J. Schemansky
  • Publication number: 20030132837
    Abstract: A vehicle includes a tip over detection device that uses a vertically oriented sensor to improve the accuracy of detecting when the vehicle has tipped over. An ECU communicates with the accelerometer and controls engine operation. The ECU stops the engine, preferably gradually, when the vehicle has tipped over. The sensor can also detect lean in additional directions that are orthogonal to the vertical direction.
    Type: Application
    Filed: October 21, 2002
    Publication date: July 17, 2003
    Inventors: Takahiko Hasegawa, Masashi Kataoka
  • Patent number: 6593849
    Abstract: A system and method for detecting wheel lift of an automotive vehicle includes a yaw rate sensor (28) that generates a yaw rate signal, a lateral acceleration sensor (32) that generates a lateral acceleration signal, a roll rate sensor (34) generating a roll rate signal, and a longitudinal acceleration sensor (36) for generating a longitudinal acceleration signal. A controller (18) is coupled to the yaw rate sensor (28), the lateral acceleration sensor (32), the roll rate sensor (34), and the longitudinal acceleration sensor (36). The controller determines a dynamic load transfer acting on the plurality of wheels as a function of yaw rate, lateral acceleration roll rate, and longitudinal acceleration. Normal forces for each of the plurality of wheels is determined as a function of the dynamic load transfer. Wheel lift is indicated when at least one of the normal forces for each of the plurality of wheels is less than a normal force threshold.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 4, 2002
    Date of Patent: July 15, 2003
    Assignee: Ford Global Technologies, LLC
    Inventors: Erik Christopher Chubb, Todd Allen Brown
  • Patent number: 6587042
    Abstract: An automatic accident informing apparatus for a two-wheel vehicle is provided which can detect the occurrence of accident with the use of a simple arrangement. The automatic accident informing apparatus for a two-wheel vehicle includes an accident detecting module 3 for detecting an accident of the vehicle and an accident informing module 7 arranged responsive to the occurrence of the accident detected by the accident detecting module 3 for informing an external party(s) of the accident. The accident detecting module 3 includes an inclination sensor 2 for measuring the inclination angle of the vehicle and an accident judgment unit 340 for judging that the vehicle met with the accident when the inclination of the vehicle remains higher than a predetermined degree throughout a specific length of time.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 26, 2001
    Date of Patent: July 1, 2003
    Assignee: Honda Giken Kogyo Kabushiki Kaisha
    Inventors: Hajime Tabata, Kazumitsu Kushida
  • Publication number: 20030100979
    Abstract: A yaw stability control system (18) is enhanced to include roll stability control function for an automotive vehicle and includes a plurality of sensors (28-39) sensing the dynamic conditions of the vehicle. The sensors may include a speed sensor (20), a lateral acceleration sensor (32), a yaw rate sensor (28) and a longitudinal acceleration sensor (36). The controller (26) is coupled to the speed sensor (20), the lateral acceleration sensor (32), the yaw rate sensor (28) and a longitudinal acceleration sensor (36). The controller (26) generates both a yaw stability feedback control signal and a roll stability feedback control signal. The priority of achieving yaw stability control or roll stability control is determined through priority determination logic. If a potential rollover event is detected, the roll stability control will take the priority.
    Type: Application
    Filed: June 19, 2002
    Publication date: May 29, 2003
    Inventors: Jianbo Lu, Todd Allen Brown, Joseph Carr Meyers
  • Patent number: 6567747
    Abstract: The present invention is drawn to a light bar assembly for guiding the movement of a vehicle on a tilted surface. The light bar assembly is comprised of a housing having a light bar and a tilt sensor. The light bar is disposed in the housing and adapted to guide the movement of the vehicle. In addition, the tilt sensor is disposed in the housing and adapted to indicate the attitude of the vehicle. As such, the attitude of the vehicle is taken into consideration when the vehicle is being guided along the adjusted travel path on the tilted surface. Moreover, with the addition of the light bar assembly, an existing prior art guidance control system can be conveniently and economically upgraded to a robust system that includes the tilt sensor.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 4, 1999
    Date of Patent: May 20, 2003
    Assignee: Trimble Navigation Limited
    Inventors: Arthur F. Lange, Michael Timmons, Dominic Farmer
  • Publication number: 20030093201
    Abstract: A vehicle rollover detection apparatus and method are provided for detecting an overturn condition of the vehicle. The rollover detection apparatus includes an angular rate sensor sensing angular rate of the vehicle, and a vertical accelerometer for sensing vertical acceleration of the vehicle. A controller processes the sensed angular rate signal and integrates it to produce an attitude angle. The vertical acceleration signal is processed to determine an inclination angle of the vehicle. The rollover detection apparatus adjusts the attitude angle as a function of the inclination angle and compares the adjusted attitude angle and the processed angular rate signal to a threshold level to provide a vehicle overturn condition output signal. Additionally, the rollover detection apparatus detects a near-rollover event and adjusts the variable threshold in response thereto to prevent deployment of a vehicle overturn condition, thus providing immunity to such events.
    Type: Application
    Filed: December 13, 2002
    Publication date: May 15, 2003
    Inventors: Peter J. Schubert, Edward J. Wallner, David J. Nichols, Jan K. Schiffmann
  • Patent number: 6543147
    Abstract: A tilt detector includes a magnet, a plurality of magnetoelectric transducers, a container, and a mounting member for mounting the magnet. The mounting member is rotatably supported within the container and the plurality of magnetoelectric transducers is mounted on the container. The tilt detector detects a tilt condition from signals generated by the magnetoelectric transducers due to changes in a relative position of the magnet and the magnetoelectric transducers as the mounting member rotates within the container.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 3, 2001
    Date of Patent: April 8, 2003
    Assignee: Fujitsu Takamisawa Component Limted
    Inventor: Shinichiro Akieda
  • Patent number: 6542792
    Abstract: A vehicle rollover sensing apparatus and method are provided for detecting an overturn condition of the vehicle. The rollover sensing apparatus includes an angular rate sensor for sensing attitude rate of change of a vehicle and producing an output signal indicative thereof. The rollover sensing apparatus also has an integrator for integrating the sensed attitude rate of change signal over a variable time window and producing an attitude angle. The rollover sensing apparatus further includes deployment logic for comparing the attitude angle and attitude rate of change to a pair of variable threshold values, with a gray-zone that varies based on time, and an output for deploying a vehicle overturn condition signal based on the comparison. Adaptive bias removal and output minimum logic reduces bias and noise associated with the sensed signal.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 29, 2000
    Date of Patent: April 1, 2003
    Assignee: Delphi Technologies, Inc.
    Inventors: Peter James Schubert, Edward J Wallner, David William Braun, David John Nichols, Jan Konried Schiffmann, Dale Horan
  • Patent number: 6542073
    Abstract: A rollover sensing system (10) includes a roll rate sensor (14) operative to sense a roll rate of rotation of a vehicle (12) and to provide a roll rate signal having an electrical characteristic indicative thereof. A controller (26) is connected to the roll rate sensor (14) and is operative to determine a roll angle of the vehicle (12) based on the roll rate signal. The controller (26) includes a threshold having a value functionally related to roll angle. The controller (26) determines the occurrence of a vehicle rollover condition in response to the sensed roll rate crossing the threshold.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 20, 2000
    Date of Patent: April 1, 2003
    Assignee: TRW Inc.
    Inventors: Huahn-Fern Yeh, Chek-Peng Foo, Steven Michael Cash, Shun-Hsin Chang, Flora Maior
  • Patent number: 6538674
    Abstract: A geographic information display control system displays objective geographic information using geographic data stored in a plurality of databases. A plurality of geographic data acquiring units instruct acquiring conditions, including a job script generated from a job selection, for acquiring the geographic data stored in the plurality of databases, and a processing request receiver determines, based on an attribute of the geographic data necessary for displaying the objective geographic information, which geographic data acquiring processor among the plurality of geographic data acquiring processors is requested to execute processing. As a result, a user can obtain required geographic data without knowledge of where the desired geographic data is or without being aware of where the knowledge is prepared.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 27, 2000
    Date of Patent: March 25, 2003
    Assignee: Hitachi, Ltd.
    Inventors: Norimasa Shibata, Keiro Muro, Yasuei Nomoto
  • Publication number: 20030055549
    Abstract: A method and apparatus for determining likelihood of rollover of a vehicle and/or mitigating rollover of the vehicle is responsive to measured vehicle lateral acceleration and a measured one of vehicle roll rate and vehicle suspension displacements to derive estimates of roll angle and roll rate. First, preliminary, estimates of roll angle and roll rate are derived and used as pseudo-measurements in a dynamic, closed loop observer equation which represents a model of the vehicle in a first roll mode for roll angles small compared to a reference value indicating two wheel lift-off and a second roll mode for roll angles at least near a reference value indicating two wheel lift-off. The observer equation has parameters and gains with values for each mode stored as a function of roll angle index derived from measurements and pseudo-measured values. The observer equation produces second, improved values or roll angle and roll rate together indicating the likelihood of vehicle rollover.
    Type: Application
    Filed: August 27, 2002
    Publication date: March 20, 2003
    Inventors: David John Barta, Aleksander Boguslaw Hac
  • Publication number: 20030052793
    Abstract: A motion detection apparatus and method for securing a detector, transducer or accelerometer. The detector is securely positioned in a location corresponding to a portion of the body such as the head, stomach, heart, sternum, or other portion. The mounting apparatus includes a base section to which the detector is secured and support members. Support members can have a fixed-length or be extendable. The support members are adjusted if necessary to position the mounting apparatus and detector to the predetermined position.
    Type: Application
    Filed: September 18, 2001
    Publication date: March 20, 2003
    Inventors: Michael L. Gustason, David R. Hertwig, Patrick M. Krugh, Susan M. Ross, Timothy W. Stone
  • Publication number: 20030050741
    Abstract: In a method for the avoidance of rollover phenomena in semitrailers with the emission of warning signals for the driver of the vehicle when driving inappropriately, the center of gravity of the load of the semitrailer is calculated in an on-board computer. From the center of gravity thus determined and the known weight of the loaded semitrailer, the on-board computer calculates a rollover limit as a function of instantaneous driving parameters, on exceeding of which limit a warning is issued to the driver of the vehicle.
    Type: Application
    Filed: June 21, 2002
    Publication date: March 13, 2003
    Inventors: Wolf-Deitrich Bauer, Christian Michael Mayer, Andreas Schwarzhaupt, Gernot Spiegelberg
  • Patent number: 6527077
    Abstract: A body incline sensor includes an erroneous detection preventing circuit for transmitting an inclined state signal by determining that a body is in an inclined state when an incline angle detector detects a weight, and a state so detected continues over a predetermined length of time. In the event that the incline angle detector does not detect a weight within a predetermined length of time due to an inertia force resulting when a body is rolling, no inclined state signal is transmitted from an inclined state transmitter, whereby the erroneous detection of the incline of the body can be prevented, the accuracy with which the incline of the body is detected being thus improved.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 22, 2001
    Date of Patent: March 4, 2003
    Assignee: Honda Giken Kogyo Kabushiki Kaisha
    Inventors: Takao Yamamoto, Naoki Murasawa, Masao Akieda, Koichi Shimamura
  • Patent number: 6518751
    Abstract: A vehicle rollover sensor 10 is provided, including a movable member free 12 free to rotate about a single axis 14. The movable member 12 includes an inertial mass 18. A magnet 22 is mounted to the movable member 12. The vehicle rollover sensor 10 further includes a magnetoresistive sensor 24 capable of sensing changes in the magnetic field due to changes in the orientation of the moveable member 12.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 5, 2002
    Date of Patent: February 11, 2003
    Assignee: Ford Global Technologies, Inc.
    Inventor: Christopher Richard Bujak
  • Patent number: 6507016
    Abstract: A vehicle rollover sensor (10) includes a rotor (12) having a central rotor axis (14) and which is mountable within a vehicle (18). The rotor (12) is inertially balanced and freely rotatable about the rotor axis (14). The sensor (10) also includes a detector (32) for detecting rotation of the rotor (12) relative to the rotor axis (14). The detector (32) is operative to provide a detector signal (43) indicative of the detected relative rotation. The detector signal (43) is used to determine the occurrence of a vehicle rollover condition.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 18, 2000
    Date of Patent: January 14, 2003
    Assignee: TRW Inc.
    Inventor: Stephen R. W. Cooper
  • Patent number: 6496759
    Abstract: A method is used to largely suppress the offset of a rotation rate sensor in that a given rotation rate is only subjected to integration if it exceeds a lower rotation rate threshold and lies below an upper rotation rate threshold. The thresholds are predefined as a function of an offset of the rotation rate sensor in question, and integration of the rotation rate is aborted after a predefined reset time and restarted.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 1, 2001
    Date of Patent: December 17, 2002
    Assignee: Robert Bosch GmbH
    Inventors: Bernhard Mattes, Volker Breunig, Lothar Groesch
  • Patent number: 6459367
    Abstract: The present automated vehicle regulation compliance enforcing system is comprised of an on-board monitoring system for being installed on a heavy truck, and an interrogation system for being installed in enforcement vehicles and inspection stations. The monitoring system is comprised of a processor connected to speed and weigh sensors installed in the truck and trailers. The processor is arranged to monitor various operating parameters of the truck, such as loading, load distribution, speed, driver maintenance information, driving time, and mileage. The processor is also connected to an interface which enables the truck operator to input driver and vehicle information, and a transceiver for communicating with the interrogation system. The interrogation system is comprised of a processor connected to a transceiver, and arranged to interrogate the monitoring system to download data.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 4, 2000
    Date of Patent: October 1, 2002
    Inventors: Randall D. Green, Barbara J. Turpel, David L. Turpel, Gary J. Lukas
  • Patent number: 6456194
    Abstract: A device and method used to indicate vehicle inclination and conditions indicative of a potential rollover is disclosed. The device and method may be embodied in original equipment or in an aftermarket product in a manner so that the driver may easily determine the vehicle inclination. For example, the device and method may be embodied in a mirror assembly mounted in the vehicle. The device and method may also be used to detect the rate of change of inclination to provide a warning of adverse driving conditions. The device and method may also include a compass that indicates a corrected heading of the vehicle.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 21, 2000
    Date of Patent: September 24, 2002
    Inventors: Craig D. Carlson, Michael A. Reed, J. Thomas Fowler
  • Patent number: 6452487
    Abstract: A system and method for warning of a tip over condition in a motor vehicle, such as a tractor trailer, that is carrying a cargo load. The system includes at least one left side sensor for sensing a proportion of the cargo load carried on the left side of the motor vehicle's cargo section. Similarly, at least one right side sensor is provided for sensing a proportion of the cargo load carried on the right side of the motor vehicle's cargo section. A microprocessor is coupled to both the left side sensors and the right side sensors. The microprocessor calculates a ratio of the cargo load borne by the left side of the motor vehicle and the right side of the motor vehicle. An alarm is provided that is coupled to the microprocessor. The microprocessor sounds an alarm when the calculated ratio exceeds a predetermined threshold value, thus indicating a potential tip over condition.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 14, 2000
    Date of Patent: September 17, 2002
    Inventor: Stanley Krupinski
  • Patent number: 6437701
    Abstract: In the present invention, the distance from a predetermined point to the center of gravity of the load and a first portion of a work machine and the distance from that predetermined point to the center of gravity of the second portion of the work machine are compared, either singly or in a combination, to a predetermined value. Optionally, the articulation angle of the machine and weight and position of the load are combined with a vehicle weight value into a stability value and the stability value is compared to an alarm value. Should an instability condition be detected, an output signal is sent to an output device to alert the operator and/or affect the movement of the machine to prevent instability of the work machine.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 18, 2000
    Date of Patent: August 20, 2002
    Assignee: Caterpillar Inc.
    Inventor: Thomas P. Muller
  • Patent number: 6433681
    Abstract: A vehicle rollover event detector (10) includes an accelerometer (80) that senses vehicle acceleration in a direction offset from a front-to-rear axis of the vehicle (12) and provides an acceleration signal (101) indicative thereof. A rollover sensor (14) senses vehicle roll and provides a roll signal (32) indicative of vehicle roll about the front-to-rear axis of the vehicle. A controller (26) compares the roll signal (32) against a first rollover threshold (42) when the acceleration signal (101) is less than an acceleration threshold (113) and compares the roll signal (32) against a second rollover threshold (116) when the acceleration signal (101) is equal to or greater than the acceleration threshold (113) and for indicating a vehicle rollover condition when the roll signal is greater than the threshold (42, 116) it is compared against.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 24, 2001
    Date of Patent: August 13, 2002
    Assignee: TRW Inc.
    Inventors: Chek-Peng Foo, Huahn-Fern Yeh, Shun-Hsin Chang
  • Patent number: 6424907
    Abstract: A method and device is disclosed for determining and detecting the rollover hazard of a vehicle through a dynamic detection of variations in the center of gravity of the vehicle. During cornering of the vehicle, first condition variables, which correspond to the respective wheel load, are detected on at least two wheels. The detected first condition variables are compared to reference values representative of the respective cornering maneuver. A corresponding change in the center of gravity is calculated from the differences between the detected first condition variables and the reference values.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 23, 2001
    Date of Patent: July 23, 2002
    Assignee: Continental Teves AG & Co., OHG
    Inventors: Peter Rieth, Alfred Eckert, Bernhard Schmittner
  • Publication number: 20020075140
    Abstract: A rollover sensing system (10) includes a roll rate sensor (14) operative to sense a roll rate of rotation of a vehicle (12) and to provide a roll rate signal having an electrical characteristic indicative thereof. A controller (26) is connected to the roll rate sensor (14) and is operative to determine a roll angle of the vehicle (12) based on the roll rate signal. The controller (26) includes a threshold having a value functionally related to roll angle. The controller (26) determines the occurrence of a vehicle rollover condition in response to the sensed roll rate crossing the threshold.
    Type: Application
    Filed: December 20, 2000
    Publication date: June 20, 2002
    Applicant: TRW Inc.
    Inventors: Huahn-Fern Yeh, Chek-Peng Foo, Steven Michael Cash, Shun-Hsin Chang, Flora Maior
  • Publication number: 20020075143
    Abstract: A vehicle rollover event detector (10) includes an accelerometer (80) that senses vehicle acceleration in a direction offset from a front-to-rear axis of the vehicle (12) and provides an acceleration signal (101) indicative thereof. A rollover sensor (14) senses vehicle roll and provides a roll signal (32) indicative of vehicle roll about the front-to-rear axis of the vehicle. A controller (26) compares the roll signal (32) against a first rollover threshold (42) when the acceleration signal (101) is less than an acceleration threshold (113) and compares the roll signal (32) against a second rollover threshold (116) when the acceleration signal (101) is equal to or greater than the acceleration threshold (113) and for indicating a vehicle rollover condition when the roll signal is greater than the threshold (42, 116) it is compared against.
    Type: Application
    Filed: January 24, 2001
    Publication date: June 20, 2002
    Inventors: Chek-Peng Foo, Huahn Fern Yeh, Shun-Hsin Chang
  • Publication number: 20020075142
    Abstract: A vehicle rollover event detector (10) includes a rollover sensor (14). A first accelerometer (80) senses vehicle acceleration in a direction offset from the front-to-rear axis of the vehicle (12) up to a maximum acceleration sensing level and provides a first acceleration signal indicative thereof. A second accelerometer (96) senses vehicle acceleration in the offset direction at acceleration levels in excess of the maximum acceleration sensing level of the first accelerometer and provides a second acceleration signal indicative thereof. A controller (26) selects the first accelerometer or second accelerometer and provides an actuation signal (110) when the signal from the rollover sensor and the selected first or second accelerometers both indicate a vehicle rollover event.
    Type: Application
    Filed: January 24, 2001
    Publication date: June 20, 2002
    Applicant: TRW Inc.
    Inventors: Chek-Peng Foo, Huahn-Fern Yeh, Shun-Hsin Chang, Kevin J. Schemansky
  • Patent number: 6404336
    Abstract: The chamber (3) of the sensor (1) comprises a first and a second passage (16, 17) that communicate with the outside; a source of visible light (11) outside the chamber, through the first of the said passages (16), illuminates the interior of the chamber (3) and the spherical body (7) arranged inside it; an element sensitive to the quantity of light (9) outside the chamber to receive, through the second of the said passages (17), the light reflected from inside the chamber and electronic circuit that analyzes the electric signals correlated with the quantity of light seen by the said light-sensitive element (9) to generate at least one pulse that activates a movement control system of the means in which the sensor (1) is installed and an alarm system.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 15, 2001
    Date of Patent: June 11, 2002
    Assignee: Autotecnica S.r.L.
    Inventors: Achille Palumbo, Renzo Previati
  • Patent number: 6397133
    Abstract: A sensing and notification system helps prevent vehicle rollover accidents, and/or, in the event of such an accident, notifies emergency rescue and/or medical personnel of the same. Vehicle sensors and an associated microprocessor and central controller cooperate to determine whether a potential or immediate rollover condition exists, and then appropriately communicate the existence of such condition to the vehicle operator or other vehicle occupants through local alarms and/or a remote call center through radio transmission of emergency signals. Should a potential rollover condition exists, the system provides local notification to the vehicle operator or occupants through an audible alarm and/or a visible alarm, and further provides a recommended steering correction.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 18, 2000
    Date of Patent: May 28, 2002
    Assignee: Palmer Safety Systems, LLC
    Inventors: Paul van der Pol, Meredith Leathers
  • Patent number: 6385518
    Abstract: An industrial truck, particularly a fork-lift truck, wherein the front and rear wheels are supported on a vehicle frame and one of which is adapted to be driven, a load-receiving means which is adjustable at least in height by means of a power-exerting apparatus, and a safety device which detects a tilt of the industrial truck and is in an operative communication at least with an alarm signal emitter, whereby a load sensor is associated with at least one wheel and the safety device has a comparison device which provides a signal to the alarm signal emitter when one or more of the wheel loads measured fall below a preset value.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 20, 2000
    Date of Patent: May 7, 2002
    Assignee: Jungheinrich Aktiengesellschaft
    Inventors: Paul Rickers, Ralf Baginski, Frank Mänken, Nis-Georg Nissen
  • Patent number: 6384719
    Abstract: A process for preventing overturning of a utility vehicle equipped with an ABS or EBS braking system comprises: (a) detecting the load on two corresponding wheels on each side of the vehicle; (b) when the vehicle is traveling in a curve to the left or right, determining the lateral acceleration of the vehicle; (c) simultaneously determining the change in load value for the inner of the two corresponding wheels at that lateral acceleration value; (d) repeating steps (b) and (c) for a curve in the other direction; (e) from the lateral acceleration value and the associated changes in load values, determining and storing limit acceleration values for curves to the left and to the right, which limit acceleration values represent the lateral acceleration of the vehicle as it travels in a curve to the left or to the right which result in no load on an inner wheel of the vehicle; (f) continuously monitoring the lateral acceleration the vehicle; and (g) when the lateral acceleration of vehicle as it travels in
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 21, 2000
    Date of Patent: May 7, 2002
    Assignee: WABCO GmbH & Co. OHG
    Inventor: Thomas Dieckmann
  • Patent number: 6356188
    Abstract: A system for detecting wheel lift of an automotive vehicle has a speed sensor (22) coupled to a wheel (12) of automotive vehicle (10). A torque control system (20) is coupled to wheel (12) to change the torque at the wheel. A controller (18) is coupled to the torque control system and a speed sensor. The controller (18) determines lift by changing the torque of the wheel, measuring the change in torque and indicating lift in response to the change in torque which may be indicated by wheel speed.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 25, 2000
    Date of Patent: March 12, 2002
    Assignee: Ford Global Technologies, Inc.
    Inventors: Joseph Carr Meyers, Todd Allen Brown
  • Patent number: 6353384
    Abstract: A system for determining an out of balance wheel condition on a vehicle incorporates a wheel speed signal such as provided by ABS systems. The wheel speed signal is associated with acceleration information from an accelerometer on the axle. If a particular acceleration profile is repeated across several rotational cycles of the wheels, then an indication is made that an out of balance condition exists.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 9, 1999
    Date of Patent: March 5, 2002
    Assignee: Meritor Heavy Vehicle Systems, LLC
    Inventor: Dennis A. Kramer
  • Patent number: 6332104
    Abstract: A stability control system 24 for an automotive vehicle as includes a plurality of sensors 28-37 sensing the dynamic conditions of the vehicle and a controller 26 that controls a distributed brake pressure to reduce a tire moment so the net moment of the vehicle is counter to the roll direction. The sensors include a speed sensor 30, a lateral acceleration sensor 32, a roll rate sensor 34, and a yaw rate sensor 20. The controller 26 is coupled to the speed sensor 30, the lateral acceleration sensor 32, the roll rate sensor 34, the yaw rate sensor 28. The controller 26 determines a roll angle estimate in response to lateral acceleration, roll rate, vehicle speed, and yaw rate. The controller 26 may ultimately be used to determine a tire force vector such as brake pressure distribution or a steering angle change in response to the relative roll angle estimate.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 21, 1999
    Date of Patent: December 18, 2001
    Assignee: Ford Global Technologies, Inc.
    Inventors: Todd Allen Brown, Douglas Scott Rhode
  • Patent number: 6324446
    Abstract: A stability control system 24 for an automotive vehicle as includes a plurality of sensors 28-37 sensing the dynamic conditions of the vehicle and a controller 26 that controls a distributed brake pressure to reduce a tire moment so the net moment of the vehicle is counter to the roll direction. The sensors include a speed sensor 30, a lateral acceleration sensor 32, a roll rate sensor 34, and a yaw rate sensor 20. The controller 26 is coupled to the speed sensor 30, the lateral acceleration sensor 32, the roll rate sensor 34, the yaw rate sensor 28. The controller 26 determines a roll angle estimate in response to lateral acceleration, roll rate, vehicle speed, and yaw rate. The controller 26 changes a tire force vector using a steering angle change in response to the relative roll angle estimate.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 21, 1999
    Date of Patent: November 27, 2001
    Assignee: Ford Global Technologies, Inc.
    Inventors: Todd Allen Brown, Douglas Scott Rhode
  • Patent number: 6324450
    Abstract: A mobile object information recording apparatus includes first and second cameras and various vehicle condition sensors for detecting mobile object information representing the status of a vehicle. An abnormal level detector detects an abnormal level of the vehicle on the basis of the acceleration detected by a 3-dimensional sensor. A data amount setting unit sets the amount of data to be stored in a file area to a value corresponding to the detected abnormal level, and memory controller stores, into the file area, mobile object information with a length of time corresponding to the determined amount of data, including periods immediately before and after the moment at which the abnormal level is detected, such as when a collision occurs, whereby the mobile object information is stored in a highly efficient fashion.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 5, 2000
    Date of Patent: November 27, 2001
    Assignee: Clarion Co., Ltd
    Inventor: Takaaki Iwama
  • Patent number: 6304805
    Abstract: To estimate the readiness of overturn of vehicle accurately at quick timing corresponding to the behavior of an actual vehicle, at first, a roll angle &phgr;0 and a roll rate &phgr;0′ which indicate an actual tendency of overturn of a running vehicle are measured (calculated). Then, the maximum amplitude A (estimation value) is calculated based on an operational expression for estimating the maximum amplitude A of the behavior estimation value &phgr; (t) of the roll angle &phgr; before damp derived from the following physical model describing the vehicle behavior based on the roll angle &phgr; indicating the overturn tendency of the running vehicle and the estimation value A is set as the overturn parameter X which indicates the readiness of overturn of the vehicle: J&phgr;″+D&phgr;′+K&phgr;=F (where, J: roll inertia, D: damper constant, K: spring constant, F: centrifugal force, &phgr;″: roll rate differential value, &phgr;′: roll rate, &phgr;: roll angle).
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 20, 2000
    Date of Patent: October 16, 2001
    Assignee: Denso Corporation
    Inventor: Nobuyoshi Onogi