Traitement en cours

Veuillez attendre...

Paramétrages

Paramétrages

Aller à Demande

1. WO2007108784 - PROCEDE ET SYSTEME D'ENREGISTREMENT DE CARACTERISTIQUES DE MOUVEMENT DE VEHICULES

Note: Texte fondé sur des processus automatiques de reconnaissance optique de caractères. Seule la version PDF a une valeur juridique

[ EN ]

A METHOD AND SYSTEM FOR RECORDING MOTION CHARACTERISTICS
OF VEHICLES

Technical Field

The present invention relates to satellite-based systems used to record or register the motion characteristics of vehicles.

Background of Invention

As is known, there are some systems available nowadays, which register the traveling information of vehicles, and by providing the processing of such traveling information, which ensure the reproduction or reconstruction of the traveling characteristics or behaviors of vehicles. Such systems are used particularly for the purposes of tracing the vehicles and reconstructing the moments of accidents. In such systems, generally such kind of sensors are provided in vehicles, which measure the parameters such as the vehicle's speed, brake status, balance etc., whereby the data received from such sensors are processed by means of a control unit in order to determine the respective vehicle's motion characteristic. Additionally, there are available camera-based systems, which cannot be considered as practical, as well.

In the patent WO2005045768, for instance, a system is disclosed, whereby the moments of an accident are recorded to a device like a "black box" by means of cameras, and the visual occurrence of the accident is almost identically reconstructed by sending the images of accident, captured by cameras, in a wireless manner to certain units. In this system, however, since a direct video-recording is performed, a quite large memory unit will be required to save the recorded video, and the wireless transfer of such data will necessitate a quite large period of time.

In the patent US6246933, another system is disclosed, whereby the moments of an accident are recorded to a device like a black box by means of images taken by cameras and of data acquired from the respective vehicle's operation parameters, and resultantly, the visual occurrence of the accident moments is reconstructed, along with some vehicle-specific critical parameters. Since this system also requires video recording, the memory-based problem is faced here as well. Additionally, such a system so as to process and record the data from many sensors shall have a substantially high cost as well. Furthermore, the analysis of recorded data is a quite time-consuming process and requires expensive systems.

In the patent US2004243368, a further system is disclosed, whereby many driving parameters of a vehicle, such as acceleration, braking, slipping, activation of ABS, activation of air bags, coordinates, impact zones etc., are continuously registered to a memory unit without making use of a camera, and whereby the accident moment is reconstructed by making use of such parameters. In this case too, the system's total cost is very high, resulting from the use of many sensors and a complex processor unit. Likewise, the recording of data of that many parameters will again require a very large memory unit. On the other hand, it is not possible with this system to visually reconstruct the vehicle's location, direction, and post-accident (i.e. post-collision) behaviors, since this system provides only some parameters of the accident moment.

This problem is solved in the patent US2002035422 by means of a method, which ensures much more frequent data-recording during and after an accident, than prior to such accident to save space on the memory unit.

In the patent EP1467321 , a system is disclosed that ensures a three-dimensional visual reconstruction of an accident moment, by making use of vehicle-specific parameters recorded during the accident moment.

Additionally, in some of the aforementioned patents, it is disclosed that the GPS data is used only with the purposes of determining a vehicle's geographical location and its speed during the accident moment.

Therefore, the background art does not provide a system whereby a full visual reconstruction can be produced of a relevant vehicle's behavior without making use of camera data. For this reason, such a system shall be a desired improvement in the relevant technical field particularly for tracing the vehicles, determining their driving characteristics during their travel, and reconstructing their accident moments, if any.

Brief Description of Invention

The present invention relates to a novel satellite-based system, recording the motion characteristics of relevant vehicles so as to eliminate all aforesaid drawbacks.

The objective of the present invention is to produce a system, which efficiently makes use of the current satellite-based geographical location systems or those systems which are under development; allows analyses to be made more rapidly with lower costs as compared to equivalent systems; and records the motion characteristics of vehicles with a relatively higher rate of accuracy.

Another objective of the present invention in accordance with the previous objective is to produce a system that ensures the three dimensional visual reconstruction of a vehicle with a relatively higher rate of accuracy without making use of any cameras.

In order to realize the aforesaid objectives and those objectives included in the following detailed description, the present invention provides a system for recording the motion characteristics of vehicles and optionally reconstructing their motion characteristics visually based on such records, said system characterized by comprising
a satellite group providing at least the geographical location information in an adequate frequency,
at least two satellite receivers, which are positioned on at least two different locations on the vehicle so as to sufficiently define the vehicle's shape, and which receive at least the respective vehicle's geographical location information from said satellite group with a frequency adequate enough to define said vehicle's motion behavior,
a control unit, recording at least the respective geographical location information of each individual receiver supplied from said satellite receivers by correlating said information with the correct receiver, and
optionally, a computer system at least reconstructing visually the vehicle's motion characteristic based on the geographical location information received from a memory unit.

In order to realize the aforesaid objectives and those objectives included in the following detailed description, the present invention provides also a method for recording the motion characteristics of vehicles and optionally reconstructing their motion characteristics visually based on such records, said method comprising the steps of
providing the satellite receivers at least with the geographical location information in an adequate frequency by a satellite group providing at least the geographical location information in an adequate frequency,
determining and recording in an adequate frequency the location information of at least two different points on the vehicle to adequately define the respective vehicle's shape, based on the geographical location information received from said satellite group, and
optionally, reconstructing the motion characteristic of said vehicle in a visual manner based on said location information.

In a preferred embodiment of the present invention, said satellite group provides the geographical location information preferably in a frequency of at least of one tenth (1/10) of a second and accordingly, said satellite receiver requests the location information in the same frequency.

In another preferred embodiment of the present invention, said satellite receivers are enclosed to prevent any damage to occur on the receivers during an accident.

In a further preferred embodiment of the present invention, each satellite receiver on the vehicle is spared with at least one more satellite receiver against the risk of becoming damaged during an accident.

Yet in a further preferred embodiment of the present invention, at least the front, rear, and upper side of the vehicle are provided with at least one satellite receiver respectively.

Still in a further preferred embodiment of the present invention, said satellite group provides also the speed information of the vehicle in an adequate frequency so that this information is received by said satellite receivers.

Structural and characteristic features and all advantages of the present invention shall be made clear by means of the annexed figure described here below and a detailed description written by making references to said figures; therefore the present invention must be evaluated by taking into consideration said figures and the detailed description.

Brief Description of Figures

Figure 1 is an illustration of a vehicle whereon the present invention is applied.

Reference Numbers
1. Car
1.1 Front bumper
1.2 Rear bumper
1.3 Side bars
2. Front satellite receivers
3. Rear satellite receivers
4. Side satellite receivers
5. Upper satellite receivers Detailed Description of Invention

In this detailed description, illustrative embodiments of the present invention are disclosed by making references to the attached figure. The protection scope of the present invention is determined in the claims, and this illustrative disclosure shall not impose any restrictive effect on the protection scope. Accordingly, this illustrative disclosure makes the assumption of applying the present invention's system on a car, without any scope-limiting intention. The present invention, however, shall be applicable to any kind of land, air, and marine vehicles, in other alternative embodiments.

The main requirement in the present invention is recording the geographical location information of a vehicle advancing with a high speed, in an adequate frequency and adequate accuracy. Thanks to this feature, it shall be possible to clearly record the entire motions of a relevant vehicle by means of coordinate information received from a satellite in an adequate frequency without requiring any other information.

As is known, there are 10 to 20 meter deviations in the version of the currently-employed GPS system that is open for public use. There are currently-available special systems; however, enabling to reduce this deviation down to 30 cm.

Referring back to the current GPS system, the update frequency of position data in this system is already lowered down to one update per second. Taking into consideration the efforts of the European Space Agency and the revision plans on the current GPS system, it is certain that the near future will provide us with much more accurate systems.

Under the light of the preliminary information given above, in the present invention, it is assumed that a satellite system, that enables the recording of geographical location information in a frequency that is as high as possible, is to be used. As a result of developments made on the current systems, the system's sensitivity and accuracy rates shall increase as high as this recording frequency is enhanced. Hence, in a system making 30 Hz frequency records, for instance, it shall be possible to record by 0.9 second intervals the entire motion characteristic of a vehicle advancing with a speed of 100 km per hour with a high reality without necessitating any additional sensors, and as a result, it shall also be possible to reproduce or reconstruct the accident moments with minimum errors, and to efficiently record the motion characteristics or behaviors of any traced vehicles (such as high speed, instant brakes/moves, slippages, etc.) while they perform during their traveling. This frequency can be increased as high as the satellite systems give this support.

According to the illustration in Figure 1, preferably 8 satellite receivers are used in this preferred embodiment of the present invention so as to provide one spare for each satellite receiver against the risk of any failures. The front satellite receivers (2), rear satellite receivers (3), and the side satellite receivers (4) are positioned respectively in the vehicle's (1) front bumper (1.1), rear bumper (1.2), and side bars (1.3), whereas the upper satellite receivers (5) and the lower satellite receivers (not shown in figure) are positioned respectively in the vehicle's (1) upper and lower sections, all in a hidden manner. In alternative embodiments of the present invention, the number of satellite receivers may be reduced to drop down the costs, or if necessary, this number may also be increased. In a minimum-cost embodiment, for example, one satellite receiver is positioned at the front, one at the rear, and one on the top of the vehicle. These three points shall ensure a satisfactorily-accurate reproduction of the entire motions of the vehicle, i.e. the entire motions on the horizontal axis such as brakes/moves, slippage etc., and the entire motions on the vertical axis such as turning over cases or flips. Said satellite receivers are preferably enclosed in a protective container in order to avoid any damage to occur thereon in any accident. Additionally, all receivers are preferably energized by the vehicle's battery or at least are charged by such battery.

On the other hand, a control unit is positioned in the vehicle to record any information sent from said satellite receivers by correlating the information to the individual receiver that sent this specific information. Thanks to this feature, both the control unit and any external system reading the records on the memory can determine which location information belongs to which receiver (bottom, top, or side receivers), i.e. to which zone of the vehicle.

Said control unit may be equipped with some additional functions to provide the system with a healthy operation. Accordingly, in an alternative embodiment of the present invention, said control unit increases and decreases the recording frequency, respectively, with the vehicle accelerating and decelerating, provided that the desired recording interval is maintained (such as making one record in 1 meter). The speed information here may be taken from a tachometer provided in the vehicle or from the satellite data.

In another alternative embodiment, the control unit detects the accident moment or makes an estimate of a probable accident, and subsequently increases the recording frequency to at least 30 times per second, independently from the vehicle's speed. In this case, the control unit can detect the accident moment according to many data. Examples of such data include, but are not limited to, the data received from the impact sensors on the vehicle, instantaneous speed variations of the vehicle, the data received from a radar on the vehicle comparing the distance to a front-traveling or approaching vehicle with the current vehicle's speed, activation status of ABS, activation status of air bags, malfunctioning of at least one of satellite receivers, data from the gyroscopes on the vehicle, or any abnormal alteration of the relative position of at least two of the satellite receivers on the vehicle.

Yet in another alternative embodiment of the present invention, the control unit may maintain the records older than a certain period by a relatively lower frequency (e.g. 1 minute) or may completely erase such data, when there are no accidents in order to gain space in memory.

Still in another preferred embodiment of the present invention, said control unit is enabled to record the data from some terminal sensors in the vehicle by correlating such data to the geographical location data supplied by the satellite receivers to keep records of the vehicle's traveling data. Said terminal sensors can be selected from a group comprising the devices determining the information on vehicle instantaneous speed, braking moments, impacts status, following distance to a front-traveling vehicle, any red light violation status, vehicle's balance status, and lane changes. As exemplary devices for this category, mention may be made on tachographs providing speed information, impact sensors, at least one gyroscope, digital cameras and electronic image processing units for analyzing the images supplied by these cameras for determining lane changes and for red light violations. In an alternative embodiment of the present invention, any traffic lane change can also be determined by making use of the GPS location information. Accordingly, since the vehicle's motion behavior on the road shall be produced in a probable reproduction effort, it may be possible to determine any such lane altering circumstances.

Still in a further alternative embodiment, some measures are also taken in the control unit against the risk of erroneous measurements the satellite receivers may make. Accordingly, at least those data on the respective vehicle's size, the position of such receivers on the vehicle, and the relative distances between the receivers are set in the control unit along with certain tolerances, so that the control unit makes comparison on the data received from the satellite receivers in order to make records of any extraordinary circumstances deviating from such definitions kept on the memory. This recording operation can also be made automatically by means of a calibration scan to be carried out by the control unit, while it is installed for the first time. In other words, if the distance between two rear satellite receivers is defined on the memory as 2 meters and the respective erroneous measurement tolerance as 30 cm, for instance, the control unit can calculate the difference between the location information of two satellite receivers, and if the result of such calculation is 1 meter, for example, it can attribute this value to an erroneous measurement if there is not occurred any accident, and keeps the record together with this information.

In a further preferred embodiment of the present invention, said computer system makes use as reference of the location information received from the satellite receivers, and reproduces visually the vehicle's motion behavior. This reproduction function can be used to reconstruct the accident moments, and to determine the driving characteristics of the driver during a travel (such as improper overtaking, slipping, instantaneous brakes/moves, excessive speed, etc). In an alternative embodiment, three-dimension images of an adequate amount of vehicle models and roads are recorded on said computer system, and the system is capable to reproduce any accident moment on a 3D medium in accordance with such reference data. In other words, in a vehicle comprising one each satellite receivers on its rear, front, two sides, and its top, the geographical location data of 5 points of the vehicle are recorded during each sampling. Thus, the computer system visually reproduces the motion behavior of the vehicle according to this location information.

In another alternative embodiment of the computer system, said computer system comprises a digital map, and correlates the geographical location information received from the vehicle to said digital map. On said digital map, the traffic rules of each road is kept recorded, whereas the computer system compares the records on the geographical location information and on the traveling information received from the vehicle to the digital map so as to determine any rule violations. Said computer system is preferably positioned on certain police headquarters.

The protection scope of the present invention is set forth in the annexed Claims and cannot be restricted to the illustrative disclosures given above, under the detailed description. It is because a person skilled in the relevant art can obviously produce similar embodiments under the light of the foregoing disclosures, without departing from the main principles of the present invention.