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Title:
ROTARY CONTROL DEVICE
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/2019/120801
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
The invention relates to a rotary control device (1) for a vehicle comprising a user interface surface (3) that is embodied to rotate with respect to a housing (5) of the device (1) around a rotational axis (X) of the device, further comprising a sensor unit for monitoring the orientation and/or rotational movement of the user interface surface (3) with respect to the housing, wherein the user interface surface is embodied to be displaceable along the rotational axis (X) of the device (1) from at least a first stable position to a second position, wherein at least a portion of the user interface surface (3) is embodied as a touch sensitive selection interface (7) that serves to generate a designation signal for designating an driveline Operation program (A, B, C, M, N) of the vehicle in accordance with a touch gesture of an Operator.

Inventors:
FRIBUS, Vitali (Helga-Schweinberger-Str. 3, Quakenbrück, 49610, DE)
RAKE, Ludger (Antoniusstraße 18, Steinfeld, 49439, DE)
Application Number:
EP2018/081665
Publication Date:
June 27, 2019
Filing Date:
November 19, 2018
Export Citation:
Click for automatic bibliography generation   Help
Assignee:
ZF FRIEDRICHSHAFEN AG (Löwentaler Straße 20, Friedrichshafen, 88046, DE)
International Classes:
F16H59/08; F16H59/02
Foreign References:
US20160378131A12016-12-29
US20040132498A12004-07-08
US20130220055A12013-08-29
US20160216762A12016-07-28
DE102016200030A12017-07-06
DE102009038895A12010-09-16
DE102007022527A12008-11-20
DE102007022526A12008-11-20
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Claims:
Patent Claims

1 . Rotary control device (1 ) for a vehicle comprising a user interface surface (3) that is embodied to rotate with respect to a housing (5) of the device (1 ) around a rotational axis (X) of the device, further comprising a sensor unit for monitoring the orientation and/or rotational movement of the user interface surface (3) with respect to the housing, a processing unit, and a communications interface for transmitting control signals according to an output from the processing unit, said output being generated by the processing unit on the basis of sensor data from the sensor unit, wherein the user interface surface is embodied to be displaceable along the rotational axis (X) of the device (1 ) from at least a first stable position to a second position, characterized in that at least a portion of the user interface surface (3) is embodied as a touch sensitive selection interface (7) that serves to generate a designation signal for designating an driveline operation program (A,

B, C, M, N) of the vehicle in accordance with a touch gesture of an operator, and in that the device is embodied to transmit control signals for initiating said desig- nated driveline operation program (A, B, C, M, N) when the user interface surface (3) is displaced from the first stable position (L1 ) to the second position (L2).

2. Rotary control device (1 ) according to claim 1 , characterized in that the user in- terface surface (3) is embodied to be rotatable around the rotational axis (X) to reach predetermined rotational orientations, and in that the device (1 ) transmits control signals for selecting an operational mode (P, R, N, D) of the vehicle ac- cording to the rotational orientation of the user interface surface (3).

3. Rotary control device (1 ) according to claim 1 or 2, characterized in that the touch sensitive selection interface (7) comprises a biometric sensor unit (9), in particular a fingerprint scanner, which serves to transduce a physical parameter of an operator of the rotary control device (1 ) into a measurement signal, and to generate authentication data on the basis of the measurement signal, and in that the touch sensitive selection interface (7) is embodied to generate a designation signal in dependence on the authentication data.

4. Rotary control device (1 ) according to at least one of the previous claims, char- acterized in that the touch sensitive selection interface (7) is embodied to gener- ate a unique designation signal for designating at least a startVstop driveline op- eration program (A), parking brake driveline operation program (B), an eco driveline operation program (E), a sport driveline operation program (S), and/or a comfort driveline operation program (C), respectively, each in accordance with a unique operator touch gesture predetermined to correspond to the respective driveline operation program (A, B, C, E, S).

5. Rotary control device (1 ) according to at least one of the previous claims, char- acterized in that the rotary control device (1 ) comprises a sensor system for monitoring a tensile force applied to the user interface surface (3) in a direction opposite the direction of displacement from the first stable position (L1 ) to the second position (L2), and in that the rotary control device (1 ) is embodied to transmit a control signal for initiating a parking brake driveline operation program (B) when the tensile force exceeds a predetermined threshold.

6. Rotary control device (1 ) according to at least one of the previous claims, char- acterized in that user interface surface (3) is embodied to be capable of tilting in a direction essentially perpendicular to the rotational axis (X), wherein the user interface surface (3) tilts under the application of an external force, and automatical- ly returns to a base position when the external force is removed.

7. Rotary control device (1 ) according to at least one of the previous claims, char- acterized in that the rotary control device (1 ) further comprises a magnetorheolog- ical actuator, wherein the magnetorheological actuator comprises a rotational el- ement that is mechanically connected to the user interface surface (3) and serves to interact with a magnetorheological fluid of the magnetorheological actuator, and wherein the magnetorheological actuator comprises an assembly for generating and/or manipulating properties of a magnetic field acting on the magnetorheo- logical fluid such that the magnetorheological actuator serves to modulate torque transmission between the user interface surface (3) and the housing (5).

Description:
Rotary Control Device

The invention relates to a rotary control device for a vehicle comprising a user inter- face surface that is embodied to rotate with respect to a housing of the device around a rotational axis of the device, further comprising a sensor unit for monitoring the orientation and/or rotational movement of the user interface surface with respect to the housing, a processing unit, and a communications interface for transmitting control signals according to an output from the processing unit, said output being generated by the processing unit on the basis of sensor data from the sensor unit, wherein the user interface surface is embodied to be displaceable along the rotational axis of the device from at least a first stable position to a second position.

Such rotary control devices are disclosed in the German patent publications

DE102009038895A1 , DE1 02007022527 A1 , and DE102007022526 A1 . These de- vices serve to operate multimedia systems comprising radios, navigational systems, and telephones. Other rotary control devices are known for use in selecting operational modes of a vehicle, such as a drive operational mode, a reverse operational mode, or a neutral operational mode.

Increasingly, modern vehicles are designed to incorporate various driveline operation programs in order to permit operators to personalize the driving experience according to their preferences. There are, for example, driveline operation programs that are generally referred to as sport, eco, eco +, comfort, etc. When such programs are initialized, various parameters of the vehicle that affect driving performance, handling, and energy expenditure are adapted according to driver preference. However, with increasing control over such vehicle parameters, multiple devices are required to provide the operator with an interface for initializing such preference selections.

The object of the invention is therefore to introduce a control device which simplifies the operational control of a vehicle. The object of the invention is achieved by a rotary control device defined by the subject matter of the independent claim. The dependent claims and the description de- fine advantageous embodiments of the device.

The object is therefore achieved by a rotary control device for a vehicle comprising a user interface surface that is embodied to rotate with respect to a housing of the de- vice around a rotational axis of the device, further comprising a sensor unit for moni- toring the orientation and/or rotational movement of the user interface surface with respect to the housing, a processing unit, and a communications interface for trans- mitting control signals according to an output from the processing unit, said output being generated by the processing unit on the basis of sensor data from the sensor unit, wherein the user interface surface is embodied to be displaceable along the rotational axis of the device from at least a first stable position to a second position, wherein at least a portion of the user interface surface is embodied as a touch sensitive selection interface that serves to generate a designation signal for designating an driveline operation program of the vehicle in accordance with a touch gesture of an operator, and wherein the device is embodied to transmit control signals for initiating said designated driveline operation program when the user interface surface is displaced from the first stable position to the second position.

The housing is essentially a frame and/or base that serves to mechanically connect the device with the vehicle. Generally, a rotary control device can be installed in the middle console of a vehicle. The communications interface for such rotary control devices can for example be a plug connection. The communications interface serves to create a communications pathway for the device to transmit and receive data from other components of the vehicle. The communications pathway can be a bus system, for example a CAN bus. The controls signals, which can be transmitted on the com- munications pathway, can be transmitted to a central processing unit of the vehicle. Alternatively, the rotary control device can transmit and receive data from individual components of the vehicle, such as a central display unit, for example.

The designation signals generated by the touch sensitive selection interface can be transmitted to the processing unit of the rotary control device for further processing, Altenatively, the processing unit of the rotary control device can be shared by the touch sensitive selection interface for the processing purposes. The processing unit of the rotary control device can, for example, comprise one or more processors, memory and one or more programs, wherein the one or more programs are stored in the memory and configured to be executed by the one or more processors, said programs including instructions for detecting contact with the surface of the touch sensitive user interface and outputting a designation signal, or even a control signal via the communication interface. The touch sensitive selection interface can for example be a touchscreen with a display for providing visual feedback to the operator.

Advantageously, the added functionality comprised in the touch sensitive selection interface permits a reduction in the number of individual control devices required in a vehicle.

In an embodiment of the rotary control device the user interface surface is embodied to be rotatable around the rotational axis to reach predetermined rotational orienta- tions, and the device transmits control signals for selecting an operational mode of the vehicle according to the rotational orientation of the user interface surface. An operational mode is, for example, an park operation mode, wherein a mechanical block is engaged in a transmission of a vehicle, a reverse operation mode, wherein a gear is engaged such that the vehicle can travel in a backwards direction, a neutral operation mode, wherein the torque transfer in the drive chain is interrupted, such that no torque can be transferred from a power unit of the vehicle to the wheels of a vehicle, and a drive operation mode, wherein a gear is engaged such that the vehicle can move in a forwards direction.

In an embodiment of the rotary control device the touch sensitive selection interface comprises a biometric sensor unit, in particular a fingerprint scanner, which serves to transduce a physical parameter of an operator of the rotary control device into a measurement signal, and to generate authentication data on the basis of the measurement signal, and in that the touch sensitive selection interface is embodied to generate a designation signal in dependence on the authentication data. The security of the vehicle is therefore increased, as only approved persons can operate the rota- ry control device. The biometric sensor unit can, for example, be located in the center of the touch sensitive selection interface. The measurement signal can be compared with a predetermined or stored measurement signal. For example, the vehicle can be activated in an initialization mode, wherein biometric data from an operator can be entered and stored. When the vehicle is activated in a running mode, the biometric data can be recalled by the processor for use in the comparison based on the measurement signal.

In an embodiment of the rotary control device the touch sensitive selection interface is embodied to generate a unique designation signal for designating at least a start- /stop driveline operation program, parking brake driveline operation program, an eco driveline operation program, a sport driveline operation program, and/or a comfort driveline operation program, respectively, each in accordance with a unique operator touch gesture predetermined to correspond to the respective driveline operation pro- gram. A startVstop driveline operation program can serve to start and stop a power unit of the vehicle in order to optimize power usage, for example. A parking brake driveline operation program can serve to engage and/or disengage an electric brak- ing device for the vehicle, for example. An eco-driveline operation program can serve to optimize energy usage of the vehicle during operation, by limiting the power output for example. A sport driveline operation program can serve to control parameters of the vehicle to increase acceleration, for example. A comfort driveline operation program can serve to control parameters of the vehicle to avoid sudden acceleration, for example.

In an embodiment of the rotary control device the rotary control device comprises a sensor system for monitoring a tensile force applied to the user interface surface in a direction opposite the direction of displacement from the first stable position to the second position, and in that the rotary control device is embodied to transmit a control signal for initiating a parking brake driveline operation program when the tensile force exceeds a predetermined threshold. The operator of the vehicle therefore can pull on the user interface surface, i.e. knob, in order to engage the parking brake.

This advantageously provides a simple and intuitive means of applying the parking brake. In an embodiment of the rotary control device the user interface surface is embodied to be capable of tilting in a direction essentially perpendicular to the rotational axis, wherein the user interface surface tilts under the application of an external force, and automatically returns to a base position when the external force is removed. The rotary control device is therefore mimics the functionality of a mono-stable joystick, re- turning to its original position without the application of an external force.

In an embodiment of the rotary control device the rotary control device further corn- prises a magnetorheological actuator, wherein the magnetorheological actuator comprises a rotational element that is mechanically connected to the user interface sur- face and serves to interact with a magnetorheological fluid of the magnetorheological actuator, and wherein the magnetorheological actuator comprises an assembly for generating and/or manipulating properties of a magnetic field acting on the magnetorheological fluid such that the magnetorheological actuator serves to modulate torque transmission between the user interface surface and the housing.

Certain embodiments of the invention will next be explained in detail with reference to the following figures. They show:

Fig. 1 : a schematic representation of an embodiment of a rotary control device according to the invention; and

Fig. 2: a schematic representation of an embodiment of the operating device and a top view of a touch sensitive selection interface according to an embodiment of the invention.

Fig. 1 shows a schematic representation of an embodiment of a rotary control device 1 according to the invention. The device 1 has a user interface surface 3, which is a knob for turning the rotary control device 1 . The user interface surface 3 is connected with a housing 5 of the device 1 . The housing 5 serves to mount the device to a vehicle, and contains sensors, a processing unit and a communications interface (not shown). Part of the surface of the user interface surface 3 comprises a touch sensitive selection interface 7. The touch sensitive selection interface 7 can comprises a biometric sensor unit 9 for scanning the fingerprint of an operator of the vehicle in order to determine whether the operator is authorized to operate the vehicle. The touch sensitive selection interface 7 can be used to input operator commands for control the driving program of the vehicle. For example, an operator can swipe the touch sensitive selection interface 7 in a predetermined direction to preselect a comfort driving program, and then finalized the selection be pushing the entire user interface surface 3 towards the housing 5. The user interface surface 3 can be displaced towards the housing 5 along the direction defined by the rotation axis X of the device 1 . When the user interface surface 3 is displaced from its normal resting position L1 to a position closer to the housing L2 and released, the user interface surface 3 returns to its original position L1 . The return force can be provided through a spring mechanism or by a latching pin corresponding contour on the rotational shaft, for example.

The user interface surface 3 can be tilted by applying a force perpendicular to the axis of rotation X.

Fig. 2 shows a schematic representation of an embodiment of the operating device and a top view of a touch sensitive selection interface 7 according to an embodiment of the invention. The touch sensitive selection interface 7 shown in the bottom half of Fig. 2 can be operated by multi-touch swiping, for example. This reduces the risk of an accidental operation of the device. It is further possible to preselect a drive chain operation program by swiping around the circumference of the touch sensitive selection interface 7.

The upper part of Fig. 2 shows the user interface surface 3 in a displaced condition. The surface 3 has been displaced along the rotational axis X to a second, non-stable position L2. When the user interface surface is released, it will return to the first position L1 . Reference Characters

1 Rotary control device

3 user interface surface

5 housing

7 touch sensitive selection interface

9 biometric sensor unit

A start-/stop driveline operation program

B parking brake driveline operation program

C comfort driveline operation program

E eco driveline operation program

S sport driveline operation program

P Park operation mode

R Reverse operation mode

N Neutral operation mode

D Drive operation mode

L1 ,L2 first and second position

X rotational axis