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1. GB2291244 - Vehicle safety systems

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[ EN ]
CLAIMS
1. A safety system for a vehicle comprising a controller which operably determines the safe stopping distance of the vehicle at a given velocity if its brakes were applied, means for generating a signal representative of true velocity of the vehicle which is operably communicated to the controller, a proximity sensor which operably produces a signal representative of the distance of separation of a trailing vehicle which signal is operably communicated to the controller, the controller being operable to determine if the trailing vehicle is within the safe stopping distance in which case the controller actuates an output device to provide a warning to the driver of the trailing vehicle.
2. A safety system for a vehicle comprising a controller operable to determine the safe relative separation and speeds of a subject vehicle and a trailing vehicle for a given subject vehicle velocity, means for providing a signal representation of the true velocity of the subject vehicle which is operably communicated to the controller and means for providing a signal representative of the relative separation and velocities of the subject vehicle and a trailing vehicle which signal is operably communicated to the controller which operably calculates unsafe relative separation and/or relative speeds prevail for the subject vehicle speed, and wherein the controller communicates to means which warns a driver of the unsafe conditions.
3. A safety system for a vehicle comprising a controller operable to determine relative closing speeds of a subject vehicle and a trailing vehicle and to compare this with a safe value, and a sensor operable to provide a signal representative of the relative speed of the subject vehicle and a trailing vehicle which is communicated to the controller which actuates an output device to provide a warning if the closing speed of the vehicles is above the safe value.
4. A warning system according to any preceding claim wherein the safe values are determined from prerecorded data.
5. A warning system according to any preceding claim having means for communicating a signal representation of the condition of the traction surface to the controller which operably uses this information in determining the safe values.
6. A system according to claim 5 wherein the condition communication means is a user operable interface such as a keypad.
7. A system according to any preceding claim wherein the warning is terminated after the measured value reaches a safe value.
8. A system according to any preceding claim wherein the warning is provided by a display operably carried by the subject vehicle and positioned for viewing by the driver of the trailing vehicle.
9. A system according to claim 8 wherein the display comprises a row of lights.
10. A system according to any preceding claim further comprising means for warning that the subject vehicle is stationary.
11. A system according to any preceding claim further comprising means for providing warning of different levels of deceleration of the subject vehicle.
12. A system according to claim 10 and/or 11 wherein the warning means comprises an orange light display for the relative speed and/or relative separation conditions and a red light display for the vehicle stationary and/or levels of deceleration conditions.
13. A system according to claim 11 or 12 wherein the relative separation and/or relative speed warning is overridden by the level of deceleration warning.
14. A safety system for a vehicle according to any preceding claim or independent thereof comprising a radar device having two receiver antenna which device operably communicates with a controller which is able thereby to determine the direction of motion of the vehicle, and warning means which is automatically actuated by the controller to provide a warning when the vehicle moves.
15. A system according to claim 14 wherein the warning means is automatically activated when the vehicle reverses.
16. A system according to claim 13 or 14 wherein the warning means comprises an array of lights and/or means for generating sound.
17. A system for vehicles according to any preceding claim or independent thereof having means for determining the magnitude of acceleration and deceleration of the vehicle and output means enabling the magnitude of acceleration and deceleration to be interpreted by a third party remote from the vehicle.
18. A system according to claim 17 wherein the output means comprises a visible display having a first form of representation for acceleration and a second form of representation for deceleration.
19. A system according to claim 18 wherein the display comprises an array of lights mountable on the side of a vehicle.
20. A system according to claim 19 wherein a first coloured array represents acceleration and a second coloured array represents deceleration and preferably the number and/or intensity of actuated lights of a given colour represents the magnitude of the acceleration or deceleration.
21. A racing car or racing bike having a system according to any one of claims 17 to 21.
22. A management system for a vehicle comprising a ground speed sensor having means for determining the true speed and direction of travel of the vehicle and means for communicating the speed and direction of travel of the vehicle to a controller which operably controls a second vehicle device in response to the speed or direction information.
23. A management system according to claim 22 adapted to perform any one, or any combination of the following functions: active sensing for cruise control, or comparison with actual wheel speeds for anti-lock braking systems and/or active traction control, provision of any one of the following: driving speed over ground display, distance covered, fuel economy measurement, elapsed journey time and estimating time of arrival at destination, average fuel economy over journey; automatic triggering of airbags; change gear in electronic automatic transmission vehicles.
24. A system according to claim 22 or 23 incorporating any of the features of claims 1 to 21.
25. An anti-lock braking system for a vehicle comprising a ground speed sensor having means for accurately determining low vehicle speeds thereby to enable locking of a wheel or wheels when braking at such low speeds.
26. A system according to claim 25 comprising any of the features of claims 1 to 24.
27. An airbag deployment system for a vehicle having an airbag positionable between a person in the vehicle and a given direction of possible impact and a controller which operably communicates with a sensor operable to determine changing proximity of any objects in the given direction thereby enabling the controller to determine whether to deploy the airbag.
28. An airbag deployment system for a vehicle according to claim 27 or independent thereof comprising an airbag which deploys outside the interior shell of the vehicle cabin.
29. A vehicle having an airbag deployment system according to claims 27 or 28.
30. A vehicle according to claim 29 wherein the airbag is positioned in one or both sides of the vehicle, and/or in the front and/or in the rear of the vehicle.
31. An impact-energy absorbing device for a vehicle safety system comprising two or more inflatable chambers.
32. An airbag according to claim 31 having means to enable deflation of a chamber at a predetermined pressure level.
33. An airbag according to claim 32 wherein the deflation means causes the different chambers to deflate at different predetermined pressure levels.
34. An airbag according to claim 33 wherein a first chamber is provided to be deployed in an outermost position with respect to a second chamber of the airbag and the vehicle.
35. An airbag according to claim 34 wherein the predetermined pressure level for deflation of the first chamber is lower than for the second chamber.
36. An airbag according to claim 34 or 35 comprising a series of chambers are provided such as three.
37. An airbag according to any of claims 31 to 36 wherein the deflation means comprises a rupturable membrane which forms part of the wall defining each chamber.
38. A safety system for vehicles comprising a ground speed measuring device and/or input detection means and a controller operable to activate a spraying device to release safety chemicals such as foams when an accident is likely.
39. An antenna for a radar system comprising means for coupling the antenna to a radar system to enable electromagnetic radiation from the radar to be transmitted through the antenna and for reflected radiation to be passed back to the radar through the antenna, said antenna further comprising a body portion which is wedge-shaped.
40. An antenna according to claim 40 wherein the wedge tapers to a tip of less than imm thickness.
41. An antenna according to claim 39 or 40 made at least partially of PTFE.
42. A housing for a radar system having means for communicating electromagnetic radiation into a waveguide which directs the radiation along two paths in two separate directions each leading to an output, the housing being adapted to accommodate receiving antennas in each of the radiation paths, the housing further comprising wedge-shaped antenna at the outputs for transmitting and collecting reflected radiation.
43. A housing according to claim 42 wherein the receiving antenna accommodation is separated by half a wavelength of the radiation.
44. A housing for a radar system having an inlet for electromagnetic radiation which leads to a waveguide which directs the radiation along two paths to two separate outlet/inlet horns wherein the horns taper along their length in one transverse dimension relative to their longitudinal axis.
45. A housing according to claim 44 wherein the horns taper outwardly.
46. A housing according to claim 44 or 45 wherein the horns are turned inwardly such that radiation from one horn is directed to intersect with the radiation from the other.
47. A housing according to claims 44, 45, or 46 adapted to accommodate two receiving dipoles equidistantly spaced from a point where the two paths meet.