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Title:
INTERFACE FOR VEHICLE WITH AN ELECTRONIC DEVICE
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/2018/037319
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
The present invention relates to a communication system (100) for a vehicle with a client-server interface and a method (200) for maximizing engine efficiency through said system. The present invention describes an engagement of the user with a vehicle data by communicating riderDs driving performance in a personal digital assistant (PDA) (1) such as a smartphone by means of said interface with enhanced visual comfort. RiderDs performance level is calculated based on the user driving pattern and is provided as a result to the rider. The interface calculates driving performance by processing vehicle parameters that are captured over a distance using one or more sensors (4) fitted on the vehicle. The interface screen is displayed on the smartphone. The personal digital assistant (PDA) (1) such as the smartphone has a wireless communication link with the vehicle for transferring the vehicle information.

Inventors:
BALAGANESH, Selvarajan (Tvs Motor Company Limited, Jayalakshmi EstatesNo.29 Haddows,Road, Chennai, 60006, IN)
SIVAKUMAR, Arumugham (Tvs Motor Company Limited, Jayalakshmi EstatesNo.29 Haddows,Road, Chennai, 60006, IN)
Application Number:
IB2017/055011
Publication Date:
March 01, 2018
Filing Date:
August 18, 2017
Export Citation:
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Assignee:
TVS MOTOR COMPANY LIMITED (Jayalakshmi Estates, No.29 HaddowsRoad, Chennai, 60006, IN)
International Classes:
G08G1/09; B60Q1/00; G06F3/00; G07C5/00
Foreign References:
US20080319602A12008-12-25
US20020019703A12002-02-14
Download PDF:
Claims:
A communication system (100) for a vehicle with a client-server interface, said system (100) comprising: (a) a personal digital assistant (PDA) (1), (b) a Bluetooth protocol (2), (c) an instrument cluster (3), (d) one or more vehicle sensors (4), (e) data, and (f) an interface engine (19); i. The PDA (1) is mounted over the instrument cluster (3) acts as a client, communicating with a server through the Bluetooth protocol

(2); ii. The one or more vehicle sensors (4) includes a vehicle speed sensor (5), an engine speed sensor (6), a fuel level sensor (7), a tilt sensor and a gear position sensor, and are mounted across an engine and transmission points inside the vehicle; and iii. The instrument cluster (3) acts as a server and perceives the signals from the one or more sensors (4) and displays the status of vehicle speed (5), engine RPM (30), fuel level (7), gear position and odometer while the vehicle is in motion and idling.

The communication system (100) for a vehicle of claim 1, wherein communication with enhanced visual comfort is through a smartphone.

The communication system (100) for a vehicle of claim! , wherein communication with enhanced visual comfort is through a tablet PC.

The communication system (lOO)for a vehicle of claim 1, wherein the server measures driving performance and calculates the result (10) driver performance is evaluated with data from the one or more vehicle sensors (4) connected to the instrument cluster (3) that computes results and communicates to the client.

5. The communication system (100) for a vehicle of claim 1, wherein the PDA (1) displays the data as a graphical representation with enhanced visuals, and the result is communicated to a user visually through animations (16).

6. The communication system (100) for a vehicle of claim 1 , wherein analog sensors are used to measure vehicle speed (29), engine RPM (30), a level of fuel (7) inside a fuel tank, gear status and send signals to the instrument cluster (3) which converts analog signals into digital values.

7. The communication system (100) for a vehicle of claim 1, wherein the instrument cluster (3) works on a dedicated performance analysis means to measure driving performance over fuel consumption prediction for a period.

8. The communication system (100) for a vehicle of claim 1, wherein the server can be another electronic control unit in the vehicle such as an engine control unit (ECU), a client can be the PDA (1) such as said smartphone and said tablet PC.

9. A method (200) for maximizing engine efficiency, said method (200) comprising: (a) a personal digital assistant (PDA) (1), (b) a Bluetooth protocol (2), (c) an instrument cluster (3), (d) vehicle sensors (4), (e) data, and (f) an interface engine (19), comprising the steps of:

(i) Calculating (300) predicted load by sensing current engine speed (29) and throttle position (8);

(ii) Calculating (300) optimum vehicle speed (32) with respect to a terrain selected by a rider, drive cycle parameters (31) and predicting the optimum vehicle speed;

(iii) Comparing current vehicle speed with calculated optimum vehicle speed with tolerance; (iv) Checking three conditions of various scenarios (33), (35), (37) and manipulating results best (34), moderate (36), and poor (38) which indirectly represents a riderDs driving performance to maximize engine efficiency that also improves fuel economy;

(v) Comparing riderDs driving pattern against an optimum drive cycle

pattern for calculating result which varies with terrain selected by the riderDs input on the client side;

(vi) Logging result at definite time and manipulating average of the result at the client side and displaying in a result screen that presents report of a driving performance;

(vii) Updating best result achieved in engine memory and sending an SMS with the riderDs name and riderDs number for a very good result to the display (28) in various areas; and

(viii) Rewarding rider by the display if the result is found to be the best

(34).

Description:
FORM 2

THE PATENT ACT 1970

(39 of 1970)

&

The Patents Rules, 2003

COMPLETE SPECIFICATION

(See section 10 and rule 13)

TITLE OF THE INVENTION - D INTERFACE FOR VEHICLE WITH AN ELECTRONIC DEVICED

APPLICANT

NAME TVS MOTOR COMPANY LTD.

NATIONALITY : AN INDIAN COMPANY

ADDRESS : NO. 29, HADDOWS ROAD

CHENNAI -600006,

TAMILNADU INDIA.

THE FOLLOWING SPECIFICATION PARTICULARLY DESCRIBES THE INVENTION AND THE MANNER IN WHICH IT IS TO BE PERFORMED. FIELD OF THE INVENTION

The present invention relates to a vehicle communication system with a client-this invention applies an interface between a vehicle and a personal digital assistant such as a smartphone with benefits like enhancing the driving skill of a rider, better fuel efficiency, and vehicle maintenance.

BACKGROUND

Instrument cluster in a vehicle is used as a display unit to communicate to the user about vehicle parameters like the speed of the vehicle, fuel level, engine RPM, distance traveled, time, gear position, mode of driving and mileage. The instrument clusters are conventionally manufactured as an analog type or digital type or a combination of both. Traditional analog gauges and dials are being digitalized and demanding the highest levels of fidelity. Simultaneously, the information displayed in the center stack and instrument cluster starts to merge, placing very high demands on the cluster graphics system. The existing instrument cluster design displays vehicle data like fuel level, and distance traveled only when the user starts the vehicle. The multi-color display also adds cost to the vehicle. If more vehicle parameters can be communicated to the user including the benefit of providing whether he/she is away from the vehicle. For example, the user might want to know the fuel level remaining or state of charge of battery before deciding to go for a ride.

Personal Digital Assistants like a smartphone, tablets, etc., are used widely nowadays. These devices consist of many applications developed using software such as Android and iOS. A smartphone is widely used because of a better user interface and portability with many features including internet connectivity that helps the user to stay connected always.

DISCUSSION OF THE PRIOR ART

Indian Patent Application 3203/CHE/2009 titled D Cell phone as an instrument clusterW discloses a cell phone mounting between the handlebars of a two- wheeled or three-wheeled vehicles wherein a digital communication link exists between a vehicle control unit and the cell phone for allowing the phone to function as an instrument cluster. Vehicle information such as vehicle speed and fuel level is displayed on the cell phone. The cell phone has an attractive color display and a powerful processor which can help in displaying a lot of vehicle information to the rider.

Indian Patent Application 904/CHE/2013 titled D Information display system for vehicle and information display method for vehicle, vehicle and mounting memberW discloses an information display system for a vehicle comprising an instrument cluster displaying vehicle information and a detachably mountable personal digital assistant acquiring vehicle information for displaying in its display portion such that information that becomes invisible on the instrument cluster will be displayed on the personal digital assistant.

Indian Patent Application 313/MUM/2014 titled W Real time driving pattern identification and alert system in vehiclesW discloses a real-time driving pattern identification and alert system wherein a bar graph representation is provided on the instrument cluster for indicating the real-time driving pattern of the rider. The instrument cluster also provides an D EcoscoreD rating indicating the economic driving pattern of the rider. The rider is also alerted to fuel wastage conditions such as prolonged idling, aggressive acceleration, aggressive braking, clutch override, gear RPM mismatch, over speeding, etc. The instrument cluster also transfers the vehicle information.

An interface between a vehicle and a personal digital assistant such as a smartphone or tablet PC is the purpose of this invention in order to provide an enhanced user interface to the user.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

This invention relates to an engagement of the user with a vehicle data by communicating riderDs driving performance in a personal digital assistant such as a smartphone by means of an interface with enhanced visual comfort. RiderDs performance level is calculated based on the user driving pattern and is provided as a result to the rider. The interface calculates driving performance by processing vehicle parameters that are captured over a distance using sensors fitted on the vehicle. The interface screen is displayed on the smartphone. The smartphone has

5 a wireless communication link with the vehicle for transferring the vehicle information.

This invention is a communication system for a vehicle with a client-server interface, said system comprising, a personal digital assistant (PDA), a Bluetooth protocol, an instrument cluster, one or more vehicle sensors, data, and an interface

10 engine. The PDA is mounted over the instrument cluster acts as a client, communicating with a server through the Bluetooth protocol. The one or more vehicle sensors includes a vehicle speed sensor, an engine speed sensor, a fuel level sensor, a tilt sensor and a gear position sensor, and are mounted across an engine and transmission points inside the vehicle. The instrument cluster acts as a

15 server and perceives the signals from the one or more sensors and displays the status of vehicle speed, engine RPM, fuel level, gear position and odometer while the vehicle is in motion and idling. The communication with enhanced visual comfort is through a smartphone. The communication with enhanced visual comfort is through a tablet PC. The server measures driving performance and

20 calculates the result driver performance is evaluated with data from the one or more vehicle sensors connected to the instrument cluster that computes results and communicates to the client. The PDA displays the data as a graphical representation with enhanced visuals, and the result is communicated to a user visually through animations. Analog sensors are used to measure vehicle speed,

25 engine RPM, a level of fuel inside a fuel tank, gear status and send signals to the instrument cluster which converts analog signals into digital values. The instrument cluster works on a dedicated performance analysis means to measure driving performance over fuel consumption prediction for a period. The server can be another electronic control unit in the vehicle such as an engine control unit 30 (ECU), a client can be the PDA such as said smartphone and said tablet PC. In this invention, a method for maximizing engine efficiency, said method comprising, a personal digital assistant (PDA), a Bluetooth protocol, an instrument cluster, vehicle sensors, (e) data, and an interface engine, comprising the steps of, calculating predicted load by sensing current engine speed and throttle position, calculating optimum vehicle speed with respect to a terrain selected by a rider, drive cycle parameters and predicting the optimum vehicle speed, comparing current vehicle speed with calculated optimum vehicle speed with tolerance, checking three conditions of various scenarios and manipulating results best, moderate, and poor which indirectly represents a riderDs driving performance to maximize engine efficiency that also improves fuel economy, comparing riderDs driving pattern against an optimum drive cycle pattern for calculating result which varies with terrain selected by the riderDs input on the client side, logging result at definite time and manipulating average of the result at the client side and displaying in a result screen that presents report of a driving performance, updating best result achieved in engine memory and sending an SMS with the riderDs name and riderDs number for a very good result to the display in various areas, and rewarding rider by the display if the result is found to be the best.

The interface offers more control over our emotional destiny towards a go green riding experience. The rider driving performance is categorized directly from the data sensed at transmission input and output side. The proposed design augments the driving skill of the rider over a period while the interfacing skills help the rider to be encouraged for an eco-friendly driving experience with challenging strategies. The rider experiences an enhanced visual comfort while riding with much clarity on updating his driving skills during the ride. The real-time strategy information improves the user to be more cautious in taking decision while riding and improves the riderDs multitasking skills.

The interface engine also helps the user to be well informed on the status of the vehicle with an animated display that helps to gather the information of the vehicle in a fraction of seconds. The user has more positive feel while riding the vehicle with an enhanced user experience by the engagement with the vehicle data and a result of driving performance in the form of animations. The interface is focused on driving the vehicle at maximum efficiency zone of the engine which leads the rider to have a better fuel efficiency. The interface ultimately encourages the rider to have a drive with better fuel economy and vehicle maintenance. The prize redemption strategy creates a positive feel to the user to achieve a better result.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS Figure 1 shows a communication system for a vehicle with a client-server interface in the present invention.

Figure 2 shows a instrument cluster as a server.

Figure 3 shows a Personal Digital Assistant as a client.

Figure 4 shows the communication system for a vehicle with the client-server interface in the present invention with one or more sensors integrated to the server.

Figure 5 shows a method of the system of this invention.

Figure 6 shows a flowchart illustrating a process of calculating the result.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS

System Operation and Flow

Figure 1 shows a communication system 100 for a vehicle with the client-server interface in the present invention. The interface process involves communication between a server and client. The instrument cluster 3 of the vehicle acts as a server, collecting all information from the vehicle. The personal digital assistant 1 mounted over the instrument cluster 3 acts as a client communicating with the server through a Bluetooth protocol 2. The server collects information from the vehicle while riding. One or more vehicle sensors 4 are integrated to the server to update the vehicle status in motion and idling, as in Figure 4. The server measures the driving performance and calculate the result 10. The driverDs performance is evaluated with the data from the one or more vehicle sensors 4 connected to the instrument cluster 3. The instrument cluster 3 calculates the result and communicates the information to the client. The personal digital assistant mounted over the vehicle displays the vehicle data in a graphical representation with enhanced visuals. The result is communicated to the user visually through animations 16. The animations vary based on the driving performance level, as shown in Figures 3-6.

Main Elements of Invention

Vehicle Sensors: The one or more vehicle sensors 4 include a vehicle speed sensor 5, an engine speed sensor 6, a fuel level sensor 7, a tilt sensor and a gear position sensor. These sensors 4 are connected to the instrument cluster 3 to send the analog signals. These sensors 4 are mounted across the engine and transmission points inside the vehicle. The analog sensors are used to measure the vehicle speed 29, engine RPM 30, the level of fuel 7 inside the fuel tank, gear status and send signals to the instrument cluster 3 which converts the analog signals into digital values.

Instrument Cluster: The instrument cluster 3 senses the signals from the sensors 4 and displays the status of the vehicle speed 5, engine RPM 30, fuel level 7, gear position and odometer. In addition, measures the driving performance level and calculates the result based on the riderDs driving pattern over the terrain. The instrument cluster 3 includes a Bluetooth feature for the data communication with the client 12. The main feature of the advanced instrument cluster includes all the conventional function of nominal clusters used in two-wheelers with the addition of the Bluetooth serial communication protocol 2. The instrument cluster 3 works on a dedicated performance analysis means to measure the driving performance over the fuel consumption prediction for a period.

Personal Digital Assistant: The personal digital assistant can be a Smartphone, which is the client. The client has interface engine that displays the vehicle information with enhanced graphics. The interface engine that runs over the client captures the data sent from the instrument cluster 3, which is the driving performance result. The client software stores the data sent from the server and displays the visuals, as shown in Figure 5. The user enters his preference of the riderDs name, riderDs number, the terrain used to ride on and theme of visual graphics in the client software. After the settings are updated, the Smartphone is mounted over the instrument cluster 3 and the main screen starts displaying the status of the vehicle and riding performance result with animated visuals.

Server Functions The instrument cluster 3 of the vehicle acts as a server which collects the data from the one or more vehicle sensors 4 that are mounted across the engine and transmission systems. The data fetched from the sensors are manipulated by the instrument cluster 3 and calculation of all vehicle level information is done. The cluster software calculates the driverDs performance level over the riding pattern of the user. A dedicated performance analysis means is used here to measure the driving performance depends on the inputs from the vehicle speed sensor 5, an engine speed sensor 6, throttle position sensor 8 and fuel level sensor 7 as depicted in Figure 4. The processing of the result is based on the user inputs from the client side for the terrain chosen by the rider. Feedback from the client side is given to the server to start the interface. After the result is processed, the data is stored in memory. Encryption of all the vehicle level data 11 and result of driverDs performance is initialized, and an asynchronous communication event is triggered through Bluetooth serial communication protocol 2, as shown in Figure 2.

Client Functions The main functions of client interface engine include getting user inputs like name, phone number, and terrain, enabling the Bluetooth communication and start the search for the server. Further, the client interface engine establishes asynchronous serial communication with the server, acknowledges the server connection and handshake with RFCOMM profile. The decryption of vehicle data and result 14 from the received data 13, displaying the visuals based on updation of data sent from the server and animation of results with enhanced visual comfort are also part of main tasks performed by the client interface engine.

At the end of the ride, the application stores the best result and sends the data to the monitor for the prize redemption, if the user result is high compared to others as in Figure 5. The level of driving skills is updated based on the result. The interface also includes options to set the difficulty level so that the rider challenges himself for the next interface to have a better and efficient driving experience by exhibiting his skill, as shown in Figure 3.

Interface Strategy Maximum efficiency of the engine is obtained when the rider follows a drive cycle optimum to the selected terrain 33. The current engine speed 29 and throttle position 8 is sensed and predicted load is calculated. The optimum vehicle speed is calculated 32 with respect to the terrain selected by the rider. The drive cycle parameters 31 predict the optimum vehicle speed. The current vehicle speed is compared with the computed optimum vehicle speed as shown in Figure 6 with tolerance. Three conditions of various scenarios are checked 33, 35, 37, and the result is manipulated accordingly. The result indirectly represents the riderDs driving performance to maximize engine efficiency which can also improve fuel economy. The result focuses towards the usage of the engine in maximum efficiency region. The riderDs driving pattern with a timely shifting of gears and good maintenance of engine leads to achieving a good driving performance. An optimum driving pattern is incorporated within the drive cycle curve for the selected terrain. The riderDs driving pattern is compared against the optimum drive cycle pattern to calculate the result (300). The result varies with terrain selection given by the riderDs input in client side. The result is logged at a definite time, and an average of the result is manipulated at the client side and displayed at the result screen that shows the report of the driving performance. The best result achieved so far is updated in memory of engine. When the result is found be very good, the riderDs name and riderDs number is sent as SMS to the monitor 28 in various areas. If the result is found to be the best result 34, the rider will be rewarded by the monitor.

The server can also be another electronic control unit in the vehicle such as an engine control unit (ECU). The client can be a personal digital assistant such as Smartphone or tablet PC. In addition to the client displaying the result and related details, the instrument cluster 3 in the vehicle can also display the related parameters. Hence, the client need not be always mounted on the vehicle. These and other modifications are possible without departing from the spirit and scope of the invention. The invention can be applied to any two- wheelers or three-wheelers with advanced instrument cluster which is powered with Smartphone connectivity feature. The invention can be deployed across four wheeler and other

automobiles. This invention can be further stratified across many industries to encourage the user with an interface for positive movement towards a go green world.

The interface to measure the driving performance of the rider can be further optimized if we use the sensors assisted with the Personal Digital Assistant. The motion sensor, tilt sensors, light ambient sensors, barometer sensor can be interfaced with the server to get the real-time condition of the riderDs environment to measure the driverDs performance level, with addition of Smartphone sensor interface the riderDs pattern recognition can be further optimized, and decision can be taken vehicle level to improve the fuel efficiency.

Advantageously, the proposed design for the communication system and the method thereof augments the driving skill of the rider over a period while the interfacing skills help the rider to be encouraged for an eco-friendly driving experience with challenging strategies.