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1. US20180257498 - Systems and methods for rendezvousing with an autonomous modular vehicle to provide energy

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Claims

1. A planning system of a vehicle that is comprised of a passenger compartment that is removably attached to a current carriage, wherein the current carriage and a resupply carriage are interchangeable propulsion sources for the vehicle, the planning system comprising:
one or more processors;
a memory communicably coupled to the one or more processors and storing:
a route module including instructions that when executed by the one or more processors cause the one or more processors to, in response to a request for resupplying the vehicle with energy, determine a rendezvous point for meeting the vehicle with the resupply carriage,
wherein the route module includes instructions to dispatch the resupply carriage to meet the vehicle at the rendezvous point by providing an electronic signal to the resupply carriage to cause the resupply carriage to autonomously travel to the rendezvous point, and
wherein the route module includes instructions to control the vehicle to swap the current carriage for the resupply carriage to supply energy to the vehicle.
2. The planning system of claim 1, further comprising:
a monitor module including instructions that when executed by the one or more processors cause the one or more processors to, after determining the rendezvous point, monitor a current range of the vehicle while the vehicle is in route to the rendezvous point to identify deviations in the route and whether a level of energy presently in the vehicle is sufficient to reach the rendezvous point, and
wherein the route module further includes instructions to update the rendezvous point when the level of energy is insufficient for the vehicle to reach the rendezvous point.
3. The planning system of claim 1, wherein the route module further includes instructions to control the vehicle to swap the current carriage for the resupply carriage by controlling the vehicle to autonomously detach the current carriage and dock with the resupply carriage,
wherein the resupply carriage and the current carriage include at least an energy source, a chassis, a drivetrain, and an engine, and wherein the resupply carriage autonomously navigates to the rendezvous point.
4. The planning system of claim 1, wherein the route module further includes instructions to dispatch the resupply carriage by selecting the resupply carriage from a plurality of resupply carriages that are presently available according to at least a proximity of the resupply carriage to the rendezvous point.
5. The planning system of claim 1, wherein the vehicle is an electric vehicle and the resupply carriage provides a charged battery for the vehicle.
6. The planning system of claim 1, wherein the rendezvous point is a location defined by at least geographic coordinates, wherein the route module further includes instructions to determine the rendezvous point by calculating the location as a function of operating characteristics of the vehicle, and one or more selected attributes of the rendezvous point, and wherein the operating characteristics include one or more of a route, a current range of the vehicle, and a return distance to a depot for the current carriage.
7. The planning system of claim 6, wherein the route module further includes instructions to determine the rendezvous point by separately weighing the one or more selected attributes and the operating characteristics to select the rendezvous point according to a statistical weighing of a plurality of rendezvous points.
8. The planning system of claim 1, wherein the request includes a destination location for the vehicle and a tentative route of the vehicle.
9. A non-transitory computer-readable medium storing instructions that when executed by one or more processors cause the one or more processors to:
in response to a request for resupplying a vehicle with energy, determine a rendezvous point for meeting the vehicle with a resupply carriage;
dispatch the resupply carriage to meet the vehicle at the rendezvous point by providing an electronic signal to the resupply carriage to cause the resupply carriage to autonomously travel to the rendezvous point; and
control the vehicle to swap a current carriage for the resupply carriage to supply energy to the vehicle,
wherein the vehicle is comprised of a passenger compartment that is removably attached to the current carriage, and wherein the current carriage and the resupply carriage are interchangeable propulsion sources for the vehicle.
10. The non-transitory computer-readable medium of claim 9, further comprising instructions to:
after determining the rendezvous point, monitor a current range of the vehicle while the vehicle is in route to the rendezvous point to identify deviations in the route and whether a level of energy presently in the vehicle is sufficient to reach the rendezvous point, and
update the rendezvous point when the level of energy is insufficient for the vehicle to reach the rendezvous point.
11. The non-transitory computer-readable medium of claim 9, wherein the instructions to control the vehicle to swap the current carriage for the resupply carriage include instructions to control the vehicle to autonomously detach the current carriage and dock with the resupply carriage,
wherein the resupply carriage and the current carriage include at least an energy source, a chassis, a drivetrain, and an engine, and wherein the resupply carriage autonomously navigates to the rendezvous point.
12. The non-transitory computer-readable medium of claim 9, wherein the vehicle is an electric vehicle and the resupply carriage provides a charged battery for the vehicle,
wherein the rendezvous point is a location defined by at least geographic coordinates, wherein the instructions to determine the rendezvous point include instructions to calculate the location as a function of operating characteristics of the vehicle, and one or more selected attributes of the rendezvous point, and wherein the operating characteristics include one or more of a route, a current range of the vehicle, and a return distance to a depot for the current carriage.
13. The non-transitory computer-readable medium of claim 12, wherein the instructions to determine the rendezvous point include instructions to separately weigh the one or more selected attributes and the operating characteristics to select the rendezvous point according to a statistical weighing of a plurality of rendezvous points.
14. A method of resupplying a vehicle that is comprised of a passenger compartment that is removably attached to a current carriage, wherein the current carriage and a resupply carriage are interchangeable propulsion sources for the vehicle, the method comprising:
in response to a request for resupplying the vehicle with energy, determining a rendezvous point for meeting the vehicle with the resupply carriage;
dispatching the resupply carriage to meet the vehicle at the rendezvous point by providing an electronic signal to the resupply carriage to cause the resupply carriage to autonomously travel to the rendezvous point; and
controlling the vehicle to swap the current carriage for the resupply carriage to supply energy to the vehicle.
15. The method of claim 14, further comprising:
after determining the rendezvous point, monitoring a current range of the vehicle while the vehicle is in route to the rendezvous point to identify deviations in the route and whether a level of energy presently in the vehicle is sufficient to reach the rendezvous point; and
updating the rendezvous point when the level of energy is insufficient for the vehicle to reach the rendezvous point.
16. The method of claim 14, wherein controlling the vehicle to swap the current carriage for the resupply carriage includes controlling the vehicle to autonomously detach the current carriage and dock with the resupply carriage,
wherein the resupply carriage and the current carriage include at least an energy source, a chassis, a drivetrain, and an engine, and wherein the resupply carriage autonomously navigates to the rendezvous point responsive to the vehicle dispatching the resupply carriage.
17. The method of claim 14, wherein dispatching the resupply carriage includes selecting the resupply carriage from a plurality of resupply carriages that are presently available according to at least a proximity of the resupply carriage to the rendezvous point.
18. The method of claim 14, wherein the rendezvous point is a location defined by at least geographic coordinates, wherein determining the rendezvous point includes calculating the location as a function of operating characteristics of the vehicle, and one or more selected attributes of the rendezvous point, and wherein the operating characteristics include one or more of a route, a current range of the vehicle, and a return distance to a depot for the current carriage.
19. The method of claim 18, wherein calculating the rendezvous point includes separately weighing the one or more selected attributes and the operating characteristics to select the rendezvous point according to a statistical weighing of a plurality of rendezvous points.
20. The method of claim 14, wherein the request includes a destination location for the vehicle and a tentative route of the vehicle, and wherein the vehicle is an electric vehicle, and the resupply carriage provides a charged battery for the vehicle.