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1. WO2020136623 - MOBILE VEHICULAR ALIGNMENT FOR SENSOR CALIBRATION

Note: Text based on automatic Optical Character Recognition processes. Please use the PDF version for legal matters

[ EN ]

CLAIMS

The embodiments of the invention in which an exclusive property or privilege is claimed are defined as follows:

1. A mobile system for aligning a target to an equipped vehicle for calibration of a sensor on the equipped vehicle, said system comprising:

a transport vehicle and a target adjustment stand carried by said transport vehicle, wherein said transport vehicle is configured to transport said target adjustment stand to an equipped vehicle for calibration of a sensor on the equipped vehicle;

said target adjustment stand including a base and a target mount moveably mounted on said target adjustment stand with said target mount configured to support a target, said target adjustment stand further including a plurality of actuators configured to selectively move said target mount relative to said base;

a computer system, said computer system configured to selectively actuate said actuators to position said target relative to the equipped vehicle when the equipped vehicle is positioned in front of said target adjustment stand, with said target mount being moveable by said actuators longitudinally and laterally with respect to a longitudinal axis of the equipped vehicle when positioned in front of said target adjustment stand, and vertically, and rotationally about a vertical axis;

wherein said computer system is configured to determine the orientation of the equipped vehicle relative to said target adjustment stand and to actuate said actuators responsive to the determination of the orientation of the equipped vehicle relative to said target adjustment stand to position said target relative to a sensor of the equipped vehicle whereby the sensor is able to be calibrated using the target.

2. The system of claim 1, further comprising;

two rearward wheel clamps and two forward wheel clamps, wherein said rearward wheel clamps each include a light projector and are configured for mounting to the opposed wheel assemblies of the equipped vehicle furthest from said target adjustment stand, and wherein said forward wheel clamps each include an aperture plate and are configured for mounting to the opposed wheel assemblies of the equipped vehicle closest to said target adjustment stand;

wherein said light projectors are configured to selectively project light at respective ones of said aperture plates, with each said aperture plate including at least one aperture through which the projected light is directed at said target adjustment stand;

wherein said target adjustment stand further comprises a pair of imagers with each said imager operable to image projected light passing through respective ones of said aperture plates; and

wherein said computing system is operable to determine the orientation of the equipped vehicle relative to said target adjustment stand based on said images of projected light obtained by said imagers.

3. The system of claim 2, further including a pair of spaced apart imager panels, wherein projected light passing through said aperture plates is projected onto respective ones of said imager panels to form a light pattern on each said imager panel, and wherein said imagers are configured to image said light patterns.

4. The system of claim 3, wherein said imager panels are translucent, and wherein projected light passing through said aperture plates is directed onto a front surface of said imager panels with said imagers configured to image said light pattern from a back surface of said imager panels.

5. The system of claim 4, further including a pair of imager housings, wherein each said imager housing includes one of said imager planes and wherein one of each said imagers is mounted within a respective one of said imager housings.

6. The system of any one of claims 1 to 5, wherein a pair of opposed wheel clamps selected from said forward wheel clamps and said rearward wheel clamps each further include a distance sensor configured to obtain distance information of said opposed wheel clamps relative to spaced apart portions of said target adjustment stand, and wherein said computer system is operable to determine the orientation of the equipped vehicle relative to said target adjustment stand based at least in part on the distance information from each said distance sensor.

7. The system of claim 1, wherein said target adjustment stand is moveably mounted to said transport vehicle and is moveable between a deployed position and a transport position, and wherein said target adjustment stand is positioned adjacent the equipped vehicle in said deployed position and is stowed for transport in said transport position.

8. The system of claim 1, wherein said computer system comprises a controller disposed at or adjacent said target adjustment stand, and wherein said controller is configured to selectively actuate said base member actuator and said tower actuator.

9. The system of claim 8, wherein said computer system further comprises a remote computing device, wherein said remote computing device is configured to determine the orientation of the equipped vehicle relative to said target adjustment stand and transmit control signals to said controller for selectively actuating said base member actuator and said tower actuator.

10. The system of claim 1, wherein said target adjustment stand includes a base member movably mounted to said base and a tower joined to said base member with said target mount supported by said tower, and wherein said actuators comprise a base member actuator configured to selectively move said base member relative to said base and a tower actuator configured to selectively move said tower relative to said base member, wherein said computer system is configured to actuate said base member actuator and said tower actuator responsive to the determination of the orientation of the equipped vehicle relative to said target adjustment stand.

11. The system of claim 10, wherein said base member is moveable longitudinally by said base member actuator relative to the longitudinal axis of the equipped vehicle positioned in front of said target adjustment stand, and wherein said tower is rotatable about a vertical axis by said tower actuator.

12. The system of claim 11, further including a target mount rail disposed on said tower and wherein said actuators further comprise a first target mount actuator and a second target mount actuator, wherein said first target mount actuator is operable to move said target mount laterally along said target mount rail and said second target mount actuator is operable to adjust the vertical orientation of said target mount.

13. A method of calibrating a sensor of an equipped vehicle by aligning a target with the sensor of the equipped vehicle, said method comprising:

transporting a target adjustment stand to the equipped vehicle using a transport vehicle;

longitudinally arranging the transport vehicle with the equipped vehicle;

nominally positioning the equipped vehicle in front of the target adjustment stand, wherein the target adjustment stand includes a base and a target mount configured to support a target, and wherein the target adjustment stand includes actuators for adjusting the position of the target mount;

determining an orientation of the equipped vehicle relative to the target adjustment stand using a computer system;

positioning the target mount based on the determined orientation of the equipped vehicle relative to a sensor of the equipped vehicle by actuating the actuators with the computer system; and

performing a calibration routine whereby the sensor is calibrated using the target.

14. The method of claim 13, wherein the target adjustment stand is moveably mounted to the transport vehicle and is moveable between a deployed position and a transport position, and wherein said method further comprises deploying the target adjustment stand from the transport position to the deployed position after said transporting the target adjustment stand to the equipped vehicle using the transport vehicle.

15. The method of claim 13, wherein said determining an orientation of the equipped vehicle relative to the target adjustment stand includes determining a runout-compensated thrust angle of the equipped vehicle, and wherein said positioning the target mount includes positioning the target based on the runout-compensated thrust angle.

16. The method of claim 15, wherein said determining a runout-compensated thrust angle of the equipped vehicle comprises determining wheel alignment at multiple positions of the equipped vehicle, with the tire assemblies of the equipped vehicle rotated between the multiple positions.

17. The method of claim 13, wherein said determining an orientation of the equipped vehicle relative to the target adjustment stand comprises;

projecting lights from light projectors on rearward wheel clamps through apertures on aperture plates of forward wheel clamps, wherein the rearward wheel clamps are mounted to the opposed wheel assemblies of the equipped vehicle furthest from the target adjustment stand and the forward wheel clamps are mounted to the opposed wheel assemblies of the equipped vehicle closest to the target adjustment stand;

imaging light projected through the apertures by the light projectors with imagers disposed at the target adjustment stand; and

determining the orientation of the equipped vehicle relative to the target adjustment stand based on the images of projected light obtained by the imagers.

18. The method of claim 17, wherein said target adjustment stand includes a pair of spaced apart imager panels, and wherein said projecting lights from light projectors comprises projecting light onto respective ones of said imager panels to form a light pattern on each imager panel, and wherein the imagers are configured to image the light patterns.

19. The method of claim 18, wherein the imager panels are translucent, and wherein the light pattern formed on each imager panel is imaged from a back surface of the imager panels.

20. The method of any one of claims 13 to 19, wherein a pair of opposed wheel clamps selected from the forward wheel clamps and the rearward wheel clamps each further include a distance sensor configured to obtain distance information relative to spaced apart portions of the target adjustment stand, and wherein said determining an orientation of the equipped vehicle comprises determining the orientation of the equipped vehicle relative to the target adjustment stand based at least in part on the distance information from each distance sensor.

21. The method of claim 13, wherein said computer system comprises a remote computing device, wherein the remote computing device is configured to determine the orientation of the equipped vehicle relative to the target adjustment stand and transmit control signals to selectively actuate the actuators.

22. A mobile system for aligning a target to an equipped vehicle for calibration of a sensor on the equipped vehicle, said system comprising:

a transport vehicle with a target adjustment stand moveably mounted to said transport vehicle, wherein said transport vehicle is configured to transport said target adjustment stand to an equipped vehicle for calibration of a sensor on the equipped vehicle, and wherein said target adjustment stand is moveable between a deployed position and a transport position, and wherein said target adjustment stand is positioned adjacent the equipped vehicle in said deployed position and is stowed for transport in said transport position;

said target adjustment stand including a base and a target mount moveably mounted on said base with said target mount configured to support a target, said target adjustment stand further including a plurality of actuators configured to selectively move said target mount relative to said base;

a plurality of wheel clamps affixable to wheels of the equipped vehicle, wherein said wheel clamps comprise two rearward wheel clamps and two forward wheel clamps, wherein said rearward wheel clamps each include a light projector and are configured for mounting to the opposed wheel assemblies of the equipped vehicle furthest from said target adjustment stand, and wherein said forward wheel clamps each include an aperture and are configured for mounting to the opposed wheel assemblies of the equipped vehicle closest to said target adjustment stand, wherein said light projectors are configured to selectively project light at respective ones of said apertures through which the projected light is directed at said target adjustment stand;

wherein said target adjustment stand further comprises a pair of imagers with each said imager operable to image projected light passing through respective ones of said apertures; and

a computer system, said computer system configured to selectively actuate said actuators to position said target relative to the equipped vehicle when the equipped vehicle is positioned in front of said target adjustment stand, wherein said computer system is configured to determine the orientation of the equipped vehicle relative to said target adjustment stand based on said images of projected light obtained by said imagers and to actuate said actuators responsive to the determination of the orientation of the equipped vehicle relative to said target adjustment stand to position said target relative to a sensor of the equipped vehicle whereby the sensor is able to be calibrated using the target.

23. The system of claim 22, wherein said target mount is moveable by said actuators longitudinally and laterally with respect to a longitudinal axis of the equipped vehicle when positioned in front of said target adjustment stand, and vertically, and rotationally about a vertical axis.

24. The system of claim 22, wherein said target adjustment stand further includes a pair of spaced apart imager panels, wherein projected light passing through said apertures is projected onto respective ones of said imager panels to form a light pattern on each said imager panel, and wherein said imagers are configured to image said light patterns.

25. The system of claim 24, wherein said imager panels are translucent, and wherein projected light passing through said aperture plates is directed onto a front surface of said imager panels with said imagers configured to image said light pattern from a back surface of said imager panels.

26. The system of claim 25, further including a pair of imager housings, wherein each said imager housing includes one of said imager panels and wherein one of each said imagers is mounted within a respective one of said imager housings.

27. The system of any one of claims 22 to 26, wherein a pair of opposed wheel clamps selected from said plurality of wheel clamps each further include a distance sensor configured to obtain distance information of said opposed wheel clamps relative to spaced apart portions of said target adjustment stand, and wherein said computer system is operable to determine the orientation of the equipped vehicle relative to said target adjustment stand based at least in part on the distance information from each said distance sensor.

28. The system of claim 22, wherein said computer system comprises a controller, and wherein said controller is configured to selectively actuate said actuators.

29. The system of claim 28, wherein said computer system further comprises a remote computing device, wherein said remote computing device is configured to determine the orientation of the equipped vehicle relative to said target adjustment stand and transmit control signals to said controller for selectively actuating said actuators.