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1. (WO1997017244) POSITION RECOGNITION APPARATUS FOR A PERSONAL RAPID TRANSIT CONTROL SYSTEM
Note: Text based on automatic Optical Character Recognition processes. Please use the PDF version for legal matters

WHAT IS CLAIMED IS :

1. A position recognition apparatus for personal rapid transit, including a vehicle guideway (10) which is aerial- installed at railways in downtown areas, and small vehicles (80) which travel along the vehicle guideway (10) at an interval of second units to provide passengers consisted of a small unit with rapid transit, the system comprising:
position designation means, consisting of bar-coded numerical strips (50a & 50b) attached to the communication ducts (21a & 21b) which are mounted on each side of the said guideways (10) and said vehicles (80) at a certain interval, for designating sections and respective corresponding positions of said guideway (10) as figures and letters, in order to catch passage positions where said vehicles (80) travel along said guideway (10);
position recognition means, installed opposite to said position designation means of said vehicles (80), for reading out and recognizing a current position of said vehicles (80) from bar codes input to said position designation means, and transmitting recognized position signals of said vehicles (80) to control means (70); and
control means (70), disposed adjacent to said position recognition means, for receiving the position signal supplied from said position recognition means of said vehicles (80), and controlling travelling speed of said vehicles (80) and intervals between previous vehicles on the guideway (10).

2. The position recognition apparatus as claimed in claim 1, wherein said position designation means comprises bar-code members (50a & 50b) arranged in a continuous band configuration on which the bar-codes (50) are printed by engravement, wherein said bar-code members (50a & 50b) are attached to the control ducts (21a & 21b) attached to both sides of said guideway (10) to be displayed towards said vehicles (80).

3. The position recognition apparatus as claimed in claim 2, wherein said bar code members (50a and 50b) are attached so that bar codes are positioned in the vertical direction.

4. The position recognition apparatus as claimed in claim 2, wherein said bar code members (50a and 50b) are attached so that bar codes are positioned in the horizontal direction.

5. The position recognition apparatus as claimed in claim 1, wherein said position recognition means comprises iaser scanners (60a and 60b) which are integrally fixed to the chassis (4) of said vehicles (80), for reading out the bar codes, wherein said scanners (60a and 60b) are disposed opposite to said bar code members (50a and 50b).

6. The position recognition apparatus as claimed in claim 3, wherein said position recognition means comprises a pair of sprung support linkages (63a & 64a) to support the scanner (60a) and another pair of linkages (63b and 64b) to support the scanner (60b) which linkages are extended horizontally from the chassis (40) of the said vehicles, and the linkages (63 & 64) are sprung and damped by spring/damper linkages (66a & 66b) respectively.

7. The position recognition apparatus as claimed in claim 1, wherein said control means (70) comprises network boards (71a & 71b) connected electrically to the said position recognition means and mounted on the vehicle chassis (40) of the said vehicles (80) for transmitting a position recognition signal supplied from the said position recognition means of the said vehicles (80), and duplicate redundant Computation Processing Units (CPU) (72a & 72b) coupled electrically with the said network boards (71a & 71b) and mounted to the vehicle chassis (40) which control the propulsion/braking linear motors by means of the VVVF inverters (74a & 74b) and the switches.

8. The position recognition apparatus as claimed in claim 1, wherein said guideway (10) further comprises a protective cover (13) and slot sealing strip (18) which prevent dust and debris from entering the guideway interior where they might interfere with the accurate scanning of the bar-codes (50a

& 50b).

9- The position recognition apparatus as claimed in claim 8, wherein the guideway cover is insulated acoustically to minimize noise from the vehicle (80) running gear and electrical equipment, and it is insulated to block internally generated electromagnetic, microwave and radio waves from interfering with the operation of the position recognition means as well as other equipment.

10. The position recognition apparatus as claimed in claim 5, wherein the position recognition scanners (60a & 60b) are shielded from externally generated electromagnetic fields, microwave and radio transmissions by the case enclosing the apparatus.

11. The position recognition apparatus as claimed in claim 5, wherein the position recognition scanners (60a & 60b) are insulated from temperature extremes by ventilation in summer and by an electrical heating pad inside the case in winter to maintain the laser scanners (60a & 60b) within specified operating temperatures and humidity limits.

12. The position recognition apparatus as claimed in claim 2, wherein the bar-codes (50a & 50b) are inspected daily by the guideway (10) inspection vehicle for cleanliness, and wherein the bar-codes (50a & 50b) are periodically cleaned by the guideway maintenance vehicle to ensure that the reading efficiency of the scanners (60a & 60b) is maintained at "a high level.

13. The position recognition apparatus as claimed in claim 5, wherein the bar-code scanner units (60a & 60b) are inspected daily at the maintenance/storage depot for cleanliness and correct functioning, and the automatic diagnostic and maintenance system required to maintain the scanners (60a & 60b) at a high level of efficiency.

14. The position recognition apparatus as claimed in claim 5, wherein the bar-code scanner units (60a & 60b) are duplicated to operate redundantly and failure monitored to immediately detect any malfunction in any individual scanner (60a & 60b).

15. The position recognition apparatus as claimed in claim 5, wherein the bar-code scanner units (60a & 60b) are equipped with autofocus which enables the bar-code (50) on the non-turn out side of the switch to be clearly read as the vehicle (80) passes through a switch causing the focal distance to vary from 100mm to 900mm; and
the raster scanning feature which enables the bar-code scanners (60a & 60b) to accurately read the bar-code (50a & 50b) at varying vehicle speeds with accompanying vehicle vibrations and with minor variations in scanning angle.