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Title:
WIRELESS VEHICULAR COMMUNICATIONS METHODS AND SYSTEM
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/2011/140592
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
This disclosure generally concerns wireless vehicular communications, and in particular, wireless vehicular communications methods, system, onboard equipment (OBE), wireless node and computer programs that are suitable for, but not limited to, road infrastructure protection. In one aspect, there is provided a wireless vehicular communications method performable by an OBE of a vehicle. The method comprises the steps of: (a) based on a message received from a wireless node remote to the vehicle, the message including data relating to remote detection of a property of the vehicle, determining whether the remotely detected property of the vehicle does not comply with a predetermined property-related requirement of an infrastructure; (b) delivering a warning and a recommended action to a driver of the vehicle if the determination is in the affirmative; and (c) intervening in the vehicle's control if the recommended action is not taken by the driver or if the vehicle travels within a predetermined distance of the infrastructure.

Inventors:
TEMPERLEY, Neil (C/- Level 5, 13 Garden StreetEveleigh, NSW 2015, AU)
NICOL, Chris (C/- Level 5, 13 Garden StreetEveleigh, NSW 2015, AU)
PRINGLE, Stuart (C/- Level 5, 13 Garden StreetEveleigh, NSW 2015, AU)
Application Number:
AU2011/000539
Publication Date:
November 17, 2011
Filing Date:
May 10, 2011
Export Citation:
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Assignee:
NATIONAL ICT AUSTRALIA LIMITED (Level 5, 13 Garden StreetEveleigh, NSW 2015, AU)
TEMPERLEY, Neil (C/- Level 5, 13 Garden StreetEveleigh, NSW 2015, AU)
NICOL, Chris (C/- Level 5, 13 Garden StreetEveleigh, NSW 2015, AU)
PRINGLE, Stuart (C/- Level 5, 13 Garden StreetEveleigh, NSW 2015, AU)
International Classes:
G08G1/16; B60R21/00
Foreign References:
US20080042815A12008-02-21
US7571029B22009-08-04
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
FB RICE (Level 23, 44 Market StreetSydney, NSW 2000, AU)
Download PDF:
Claims:
Claims:

L A wireless vehicular communications method performable by an onboard equipment (OBE) of a vehicle, the method comprising the steps of:

(a) based on a message received from a wireless node remote to the vehicle, the message including data relating to remote detection of a property of the vehicle, determining whether the remotely detected property of the vehicle does not comply with a predetermined property-related requirement of an infrastructure;

(b) delivering a warning and a recommended action to a driver of the vehicle if the determination is in the affirmative; and

(c) intervening in the vehicle's control if the recommended action is not taken by the dri ver or if the vehicle travels within a predetermined distance of the infrastructure.

2. The method of claim 1, wherein step (a) comprises determining whether, the vehicle is an intended recipient of the message by comparing the data in the message with corresponding data stored in a data store accessible by the OBE.

3. The method of claim 2, wherein the comparison involves correcting or accounting for estimation or measurement uncertainty in one or more data included in the message or stored in the data store accessible by the OBE.

4. The method of claim 1 , 2 or 3 , wherein the data in the message includes one or more of the following:

(i) data relating to the detection, comprising one or more of: time of the detection, and GPS location of one or more beams of a detection unit; and

(ii) data relating to the vehicle, comprising one or more of: the detected property, velocity, travelling direction, distance from a road kerb, distance from the infrastructure, dimension, weight, and vehicle type. 5. The method of claim 4, wherein the data in the message is provided by a detection unit in communication with the wireless node, the detection unit utilising multiple beams.

6. The method of claim 4 or 5, wherein the data in the message further includes one or more of the following: (iii) data relating to a road on which the vehicle is travelling, comprising one or more of: width, GPS location, number of lanes and lane width;

(iv) data relating to the infrastructure, comprising one or more of the infrastructure's: predetermined property-related requirement, dimension and GPS location

(v) data relating to a detour lane located before the infrastructure, including its GPS location; and

(vi) data relating to an intervention zone associated with the predetermined distance in step (c), comprising one or more of: GPS location of a start of the zone where intervention begins; and a desired GPS location relative to the infrastructure, road or detour lane where the vehicle is. brought to a halt or safe crawl.

7. The method of any one of the preceding claims, wherein intervening in the vehicle's control depends on one or more parameters associated with safe deceleration of the vehicle, including one or more of the vehicle's: speed; distance to the infrastructure; desired location for bringing the vehicle to a halt or safe crawl; vehicle type, mass, centre of gravity, dimension, configuration of one part of the vehicle; and one or more characteristics relating to the vehicle's brake, throttle and steering systems. 8. The method of any one of the preceding claims, wherein intervening in the vehicle's control includes at least one of the following:

controlling a throttle system of the vehicle to progressively slow down the vehicle as it approaches the infrastructure;

controlling a braking system of the vehicle to apply active braking;

controlling a steering system of the vehicle to steer to one side of a road on which the vehicle is travelling;

performing seat belt tensioning; and .

performing air bag arming. 9. The method of any one of the preceding claims, wherein the warning is delivered in audio, visual, and/or kinaesthetic form.

10. The method of claim 9, wherein the kinaesthetic warning includes slowing down the vehicle by a noticeable amount or vibrating a vehicle part, or both.

1 1. The method of any one of the preceding claims, wherein step (b) is repeated until the recommended action is taken.

12. The method of any one of the preceding claims, further comprising collecting data related to the vehicle and transmitting the data to the wireless node or a computer associated with a Traffic Management Centre, or both, to allow tracking of the vehicle.

13. The method of claim 12, wherein the data related to the vehicle includes the vehicle's speed or location, or both.

14. The method of any one of the preceding claims, wherein the property of the vehicle is one or more of the following:

height of vehicle;

width of vehicle;

weight of vehicle;

speed of vehicle; and

whether the vehicle is carrying a predetermined type of goods.

15. The method of any one of the preceding claims, wherein the recommended action is to take a detour lane, or to pull over to one side of the road.

16. The method of any one of the preceding claims, wherein the message is sent using Dedicated Short Range Communications (DSRC) protocol. 17. Computer program to perform the method of one of claims 1 to 16.

18. An onboard equipment (OBE) operable to perform the method of any one of claims 1 to 16. 19. A wireless vehicular communications method performable by a wireless node remote to a vehicle, the method comprising the steps of:

(a) remotely detecting a property of the vehicle;

(b) determining whether the remotely detected property does not comply with a predetermined property-related requirement of an infrastructure; and

(c) if the determination is in the affirmative, sending a message including data relating to remote detection of the property to an onboard equipment of the vehicle such that the onboard equipment (OBE) is operable to deliver a warning to the vehicle's driver and a recommended action to a driver of the vehicle and to intervene in the vehicle's control if the recommended action is not taken by the driver or if the vehicle travels within a predetermined distance of the infrastructure.

20. The method of claim 19, wherein the data in the message includes one or more of the following detection parameters:

(i) data relating to the detection, comprising one or more of: time of the detection, and GPS location of one or more beams of a detection unit; and

(ii) data relating to the vehicle, comprising one or more of: the detected property, velocity, travelling direction, distance from a road kerb, distance from the infrastructure, dimension, weight, and vehicle type.

21. The method of claim 20, wherein the data in the message is provided by a detection unit in communication with the wireless node, the detection unit utilising multiple beams.

22. The method of claim 20 or 21, wherein the data in the message further includes one or more of the following:

(iii) data relating to a road on which the vehicle is travelling, comprising one or more of: width, GPS location, number of lanes and lane width;

(iv) data relating to the infrastructure, comprising one or more of the infrastructure's: predetermined property-related requirement, dimension, weight and GPS location;

(v) data relating to a detour lane located before the infrastructure, including its

GPS location; and

(vi) data relating to an intervention zone associated with the intervention in step (c), comprising one or more of: GPS location of where intervention begins; and a desired GPS location relative to the infrastructure, road or detour lane where the vehicle is brought to a halt or safe crawl.

23. The method of any one of claims 19 to 22, further comprising tracking the vehicle based on data received from the OBE via a wireless communications network.

24. The method of any one of claims 19 to 23, further comprising reporting the vehicle to a computer associated with a Traffic Management Centre such that a response team can be dispatched.

5 25. The method of any one of claims 19 to 24, wherein sending the .message to the OBE of the vehicle comprises broadcasting the message.

26. A wireless node operable to perform the method of any one of claims 19 to 25.

10 27. Computer program to perform the method of one of claims 19 to 25.

28. A wireless vehicular communications system comprising an onboard equipment of any one of claims 1 to 16 and a wireless node of any one of claims 19 to 25.

Description:
Wireless vehicular communications methods and system Technical Field

This disclosure generally concerns wireless vehicular communications, and in particular, a wireless vehicular communications method performable by an onboard equipment (OBE) of a vehicle and a wireless vehicular communications method performable by a wireless node remote to a vehicle. The methods are suitable for, but not limited to, road infrastructure protection. This disclosure also concerns computer program to perform the methods, a wireless node, an onboard equipment and a wireless vehicular communications system.

Background

In the state of New South Wales in Australia, approximately one overheight vehicle per week collides with an overhead infrastructure such as an enclosed bridge, tunnel and overpass. Although visual warning signs are provided to warn drivers of an overhead infrastructure ahead, these signs are sometimes missed or ignored by drivers. Repair of damaged infrastructure is costly and causes lengthy traffic disruptions. Similar problems are caused by overweight trucks that might cost millions of dollars in repeat repair works.

Summary

According to a first aspect, there is provided a wireless vehicular communications method performable by an onboard equipment (OBE) of a vehicle, the method comprising the steps of:

(a) based on a message received from a wireless node remote to the vehicle, the message including data relating to remote detection of a property of the vehicle, determining whether the remotely detected property of the vehicle does not comply with a predetermined property-related requirement of an infrastructure;

(b) delivering a warning and a recommended action to a driver of the vehicle if the determination is in the affirmative; and

(c) intervening in the vehicle's control if the recommended action is not taken by the driver or if the vehicle travels within a predetermined distance of the infrastructure.

Using the method according to the first aspect, a driver of a noncompliant vehicle is first warned and recommended an action. However, if the recommended action is not taken or the vehicle travels within a predetermined distance of the infrastructure, an intervention operation is performed to override the driver's control and potentially reduce damage to the infrastructure. Unlike conventional methods of merely providing warning road signs, the intervention cannot be ignored by the driver. Advantageously, likelihood of accidents or infrastructure damage is reduced, if not eliminated.

The remote detection of the vehicle's property should be contrasted with systems that simply rely on onboard measurement or pre-stored data of the vehicle's property. These systems generally assume that the vehicle and/or its driver has accurate data about its property, and that the data is available on board. The inventors' investigations have shown that the assumption is flawed and deficient.

For example, the weight of a vehicle depends on its load, which might vary throughout the day. As such, it is simply inaccurate to use premeasured or pre-stored data such as the vehicle's dry weight or nominal load to determine whether the vehicle is overweight. Similarly, the height of a vehicle may depend on its load, and/or the position or configuration of one or more parts of the vehicle. For example, the height may depend on whether a truck-mounted crane is fully lowered, whether a semi-trailer's turntable coupling has been adjusted, or when a dump-truck tray is left in the up position.

Step (a) may comprise determining whether the vehicle is an intended recipient of the message by comparing the data in the message with corresponding data stored in a data store accessible by the OBE. In this case, the comparison may involve correcting or accounting for estimation or measurement uncertainty in one or more data included in the message or stored in the data store accessible by the OBE.

The data in the message may include one or more of the following:

(i) data relating to the detection, comprising one or more of: time of the detection, and GPS location of one or more beams of a detection unit; and

(ii) data relating to the vehicle, comprising one or more of: the detected property, velocity, travelling direction, distance from a road kerb, distance from the infrastructure, dimension, weight, and vehicle type.

The data in the message may be provided by a detection unit in communication with the wireless node, the detection unit utilising multiple beams. The data in the message may further include one or more of the following:

(iii) data relating to a road on which the vehicle is travelling, comprising one or more of: width, GPS location, number of lanes and lane width;

(iv) data relating to the infrastructure, comprising one or more of the infrastructure's: predetermined property-related requirement, dimension and GPS location

(v) data relating to a detour lane located before the infrastructure, including its GPS location; and

(vi) data relating to an intervention zone associated with the predetermined distance in step (c), comprising one or more of: GPS location of a start of the zone where intervention begins; and a desired GPS location relative to the infrastructure, road or detour lane where the vehicle is brought to a halt or safe crawl.

The message may be sent using Dedicated Short Range Communications (DSRC) protocol.

Intervening in the vehicle's control may depend on one or more parameters associated with safe deceleration of the vehicle, including one or more of the vehicle's: speed; distance to. the infrastructure; desired location for bringing the vehicle to a halt or safe crawl; vehicle type, mass, centre of gravity, dimension, configuration of one part of the vehicle; and one or more characteristics relating to the vehicle's brake, throttle and steering systems.

Intervening in the vehicle's control may include at least one of the following:

controlling a throttle system of the vehicle to progressively slow down the vehicle as it approaches the infrastructure;

controlling a braking system of the vehicle to apply active braking;

controlling a steering system of the vehicle to steer to one side of a road on which the vehicle is travelling;

performing seat belt tensioning; and

performing air bag arming.

The warning may be delivered in audio, visual, and/or kinaesthetic form. The kinaesthetic warning may include slowing down the vehicle by a noticeable amount or vibrating a vehicle part, or both. Step (b) may be repeated until the recommended action is taken.

Further, the method may comprise collecting data related to the vehicle and transmitting the data to the wireless node or a computer associated with a Traffic Management Centre, or both, to allow tracking of the vehicle. In this case, the data related to the vehicle includes the vehicle's speed or location, or both.

The method may be used in a variety of applications. For example, the property of the vehicle may be one or more of the following:

height of vehicle;

width of vehicle;

weight of vehicle;

speed of vehicle; and

whether the vehicle is carrying a predetermined type of goods.

The recommended action may be to take a detour lane, or to pull over to one side of the road.

According to a second aspect, there is provided computer program to perform the wireless vehicular communications method according to the first aspect. The computer program may be embodied in a computer-readable medium such that when code of the computer program is executed, causes an onboard equipment (OBE) to implement the method. According to a third aspect, there is provided an onboard equipment (OBE) operable to perform the method according to the first aspect.

According to a fourth aspect, there is provided a wireless vehicular communications method performable by a wireless node remote to a vehicle, the method comprising the steps of:

(a) remotely detecting a property of the vehicle;

(b) determining whether the remotely detected property does not comply with a predetermined property-related requirement of an infrastructure; and

(c) if the determination is in the affirmative, sending a message including data relating to remote detection of the property to an onboard equipment of the vehicle such that the onboard equipment (OBE) is operable to deliver a warning to the vehicle's driver and a recommended action to a driver of the vehicle and to intervene in the vehicle's control if the recommended action is not taken by the driver or if the vehicle travels within a predetermined distance of the infrastructure. The data in the message may include one or more of the following detection parameters:

(i) data relating to the detection, comprising one or more of: time of the detection, and GPS location of one or more beams of a detection unit; and

(ii) data relating to the vehicle, comprising one or more of: the detected property, velocity, travelling direction, distance from a road kerb, distance from the infrastructure, dimension, weight, and vehicle type.

The data in the message may be provided by a detection unit in communication with the wireless node, the detection unit utilising multiple beams.

The data in the message may further include one or more of the following:

. (iii) data relating to a road on which the vehicle is travelling, comprising one or more of: width, GPS location, number of lanes and lane width;

(iv) data relating to the infrastructure, comprising one or more of the infrastructure's: predetermined property-related requirement, dimension, weight and

GPS location;

(v) data relating to a detour lane located before the infrastructure, including its GPS location; and

(vi) data relating to an intervention zone associated with the intervention in step (c), comprising one or more of: GPS location of where intervention begins; and a desired GPS location relative to the infrastructure, road or detour lane where the vehicle is brought to a halt or safe crawl.

The method may further comprise tracking the vehicle based on data received from the OBE via a wireless communications network. The method may further comprise reporting the vehicle to a computer associated with a Traffic Management Centre such that a response team can be dispatched.

Sending the message to the OBE of the vehicle may comprise broadcasting the message. According to a fifth aspect, there is provided a wireless node operable to perform the method according to the fourth aspect.

According to a sixth aspect, there is provided computer program to perform the method according to the fourth aspect. The computer program may be embodied in a computer- readable medium such that when code of the computer program is executed, causes a wireless node to implement the method.

According to a seventh aspect, there is provided a wireless vehicular communications system comprising an onboard equipment according to the first aspect, and a wireless node according to the fourth aspect.

Brief Description of Drawings,

Non-limiting example(s) of the method and system will now be described with reference to the accompanying drawings, in which:

Fig. 1 is a schematic diagram of a first exemplary wireless vehicular communications system.

Fig. 2 is a schematic diagram of an onboard equipment (OBE) in Fig. 1 and components connected to the OBE.

Fig. 3 is a flowchart of a wireless vehicular communications method performed by the system in Fig. 1.

Fig. 4(a) is a schematic diagram illustrating a beam break event detected using a single beam.

Fig. 4(b) is a schematic diagram illustrating a beam break event detected using a multiple beams.

Fig. 5 is a schematic diagram of a second exemplary wireless vehicular communications system.

Detailed Description

Referring first to Fig. 1, the wireless vehicular communications system 100 for road infrastructure protection comprises a road side equipment (RSE) 110 that is operable to communicate wirelessly with an onboard equipment (OBE) 142 equipped on a vehicle 140. The RSE 110 is also in communication with a computer 182 at a Traffic Management Centre 180 via a communications network 130. Depending on the distance between the TMC 180 and the RSE 110, the network 130 may be a wide area network (WAN) or a local area network (LAN). In one exemplary implementation, Dedicated Short Range Communication (DSRC) protocol is used to facilitate roadside-to-vehicle wireless communication between the RSE 110 and the OBE 142. Generally, the RSE 110 is a wireless node having a processor, a transmitter to transmit data to the OBE 142, and a receiver to receive data from the OBE 142. Data transmission between the OBE 142 and the RSE 110 can occur at frame rates up to 27 Mbps in a 5.9 GHz network, for example.

An infrastructure 160 is located some distance away, and has one or more predetermined requirements that must be complied with by the approaching vehicle 140. For example, low-clearance infrastructure such as a freeway overpass, tunnel or enclosed bridge has a predetermined height requirement that must not be exceeded. Tunnels generally have a predetermined speed limit that drivers should abide by and bridges have a predetermined requirement on the width and weight of a vehicle.

The system 100 detects vehicles .140 that do not comply with the predetermined requirements of the infrastructure. When a noncompliant vehicle 140 is detected, the OBE 142 delivers warning and one or more recommended actions to the driver. If the vehicle 140 enters into an intervention zone 164 within a predetermined safety distance from the infrastructure 160, the OBE 142 intervenes in the vehicle's control. Advantageously, the system 100 reduces, if not eliminates, the likelihood of infrastructure damage or accident due to the noncompliant vehicle 140.

Referring also to Fig. 2, the OBE 142 is operable to collect data, such as speed and location, from various systems of the vehicle 140. The collected data is stored in a local data store 143 and sent to the RSE 110 to allow tracking by the RSE 110.

The OBE 142 is connected to the following:

Throttle system 144 via a Controller Area Network (CAN) bus interface to the vehicle's engine management system.

Vehicle measurement systems 145 such as a speedometer to measure vehicle speed and an odometer to measure distance travelled by the vehicle.

Steering system 146 via a CAN bus interface to a steering controller of the vehicle 140 (for vehicles with steer-by- wire capability).

Brake system 148 via a CAN bus interface to the vehicle's braking management system. For vehicles with air brakes, direct connection from the OBE 142 to the air lines may be used. This applies some truck trailers whose brakes can be activated by releasing air pressure via an electronic activated pressure control value. The brake system 148 can also be used to provide kinaesthetic warning by slowing the vehicle a modest amount immediately after detection.

Audio system 150 via a direct connection or broadcast to the vehicle's radio using a short range FM transmitter, or using speakers. Warnings may be vocal and delivered in the driver's preferred language.

Visual system 152 comprising an liquid crystal display (LCD) or similar screen. Information may be delivered via symbols and/or text delivered in the driver's preferred language.

Vibration devices 154 fitted to the vehicle's steering wheel, seat, and/or control pedals to provide kinaesthetic warning. And,

GPS system 156 that tracks the GPS location of the vehicle 140. Steps performed by the RSE 110 and the OBE 142 in the wireless vehicular communications system 100 for road infrastructure protection will now be described in further detail below.

Detection of Noncompliant Vehicles

Referring to Fig. 3, the RSE 110 first detects a property of the vehicle 140; see step 305. A property of a vehicle may include its height, weight, width, speed, whether the vehicle is carrying a specific type of goods and engine settings. The property may be detected using a detection unit 1 12 located at some distance form the infrastructure. In the exemplary application of detecting overheight vehicles in Fig. 1, the . detection unit 1 12 comprises two height detectors located in spaced apart positions on opposite side of the roads. The RSE 110 determines whether the property detected by the detection unit 1 12 complies with a corresponding predetermined height requirement of the infrastructure 160; see step 310. More specifically, the RSE 1 10 determines whether the detected height of the vehicle 140 is lower than a predetermined height limit of the infrastructure 160, such as whether the vehicle 140 breaks a beam 113 emitted by the detection unit to cause a "beam break event''; see also 115 and 115a in Fig. 4. If the determination is in the affirmative, that is the vehicle 140 complies with the height limit, no further action will be taken; see step 315. Otherwise, if the vehicle 140 is overheight and therefore noncompliant, the RSE 1 10 broadcasts a detection message to the OBE 142 and nearby vehicles (not shown for simplicity); see step 320. The detection message contains detection data relating to the detection of the property, including but not limited to:

(i) Data relating to the detection (such as of a beam break event), such as time of the detection, geometry of the detection unit 112 (such as its ends and direction) and GPS location of one or more detection beams. And,

(ii) Data relating to the vehicle, such as the detected property (height in this example), velocity, travelling direction, distance from a road kerb, and other properties such as length and weight.

Optionally, the detection message may also contain other data such as: 1

(iii) Data relating to a road on which the vehicle is travelling, comprising one or more of: width, GPS location, number of lanes and lane width;

(iv) Data relating to the infrastructure 160, such as its GPS location and one or more predetermined property-related requirements such as height or weight so that the driver may be informed of the nature of the noncompliance.

(iv) Data relating to the detour lane 162 (if present), such as its GPS location. And,

(v) Data relating to the intervention zone 164, such as GPS location of the start of the zone where intervention begins; and a desired GPS location relative to the infrastructure, road or detour lane where the vehicle is brought to a halt or safe crawl. For example, the desired halt location may be some distance from the infrastructure or from where the detour lane 162 ends.

It should be noted that the data relating to the infrastructure 160, detour lane 162 and intervention zone 164 may also be stored onboard, and as such, may not be included in the message broadcasted by the RSE 110. In this case, the data may be retrieved from maps stored in the data store 143 accessible by the OBE 142.

The detection message broadcasted by the RSE 1 10 is received and used by the OBE 142 to determine whether it was the intended recipient of the detection message, that is whether its vehicle 140 is noncompliant; see step 325. More specifically, the OBE 142 extracts the data from the detection message and compares the extracted data with corresponding data of the vehicle 140 stored by the OBE 142 in the data store 143. If there is no match, the OBE 142 is able to determine that it is not the intended recipient and takes no further action; see step 315.

It should be noted that any data included in the detection message or collected by the OBE 142 may include measurement or estimation uncertainty, which is generally probabilistic and accounts for incomplete knowledge of the data. For example, a measured value may has an associated uncertainty such as 95% confidence level. In this case, the comparison between data in the message and data stored by the OBE 142 may take into account the uncertainty to reduce the likelihood of both "false positive" and "false negative". Whenever possible, the measurement or estimation uncertainty is also corrected, such as when a value does not fall within an acceptable range for a particular vehicle type.

The ability of the vehicle's OBE 142 to determine whether it was the intended recipient relies on the detection data in the message broadcasted by the RSE 1 10. Referring to the examples illustrated in Fig. 4, consider a scenario where a number of vehicles (140a, 140b, 140c) are travelling on a multi-lane road, the left-most 140a of which is overheight.

(a) In one example in Fig. 4(a), the detection unit 112 emits a single beam 113 to detect the overheight vehicle 140a when it crosses the beam 113 and causes a beam break event 1 15 (represented by an explosion shape for illustrative purposes only).

In this example, the RSE 1 10 will then broadcast a message including the detection data 114, such that the OBE 142a of the overheight vehicle 140a can deliver a warning to its driver and perform intervention if necessary. However, since two other compliant vehicles 140b and 140c are in close proximity to the overheight vehicle 140a, they will therefore receive the broadcasted message 114.

To reduce the likelihood of "false positive" where a compliant vehicle is inadvertently identified as being non-compliant, the vehicles' respective OBE (142a, 142b, 142c) estimates the location of the boundaries of the vehicle based on its GPS location, and then compares the estimated location with the detection data in the broadcasted message 1 14. To reduce the likelihood of "false negative" where a non-compliant vehicle 140a is identified as being compliant, the location estimation may factor in uncertainty in time measurement and GPS location, and if possible, correction based on one or more reference GPS locations, such as the RSE's 110. For example, the apparent boundaries of the vehicle (140a, 140b, 140c), as estimated by the detection unit 1 12 or stored by the OBE (142a, 142b, 142c) may also be increased based on calculations that include measurement or estimation uncertainty. The time measurement of the beam break event 1 15 is generally taken from GPS satellite time for the RSE 1 10, which will then be compared with corresponding GPS satellite time for the OBE (142a, 142b, 142c) to determine whether it was the intended recipient. ' . ' .

(b) In another example shown in Fig. 4(b), a "smart" beam break detection unit 112 using multiple crossed beams 113a may be used to gather additional data. In the example shown, two parallel and two crossed beams 1 13a are used to detect a beam break event 1 15a (represented by an explosion shape for illustrative purposes only). The beams 113a may be infrared light transmitted and received by respective detection unit 112 on either side of the road. In this case, the detection data in the broadcasted message 114 includes the time of the beam break event 115a and GPS location of the beams 113a as in the single beam case in (a), and one or more additional parameters such as:

The velocity and travelling direction of the noncompliant vehicle 140a causing the beam break event 1 15a.

Distance of the noncompliant vehicle 140a from the road kerb (lane) of the beam break event 1 15a. And, optionally

Dimension of the object or vehicle part causing the beam break, 1 15a such as the width of a highest point or section such as a vehicle's vertical exhaust pipe. The additional parameters may be estimated from the precise time the vehicle 140a passes each of the beams 113a, and optionally the time differences between the respective break of two beams 1 13a.

Each OBE (142a, 142b, 142c) then compares the velocity of the vehicle (140a, 140b, 140c) at a particular time with that of the beam break event 115a, and uses the distance from the kerb to decide whether it was the intended recipient of the broadcasted message 114. Since the compliant vehicles 140b and 140c are travelling in different lanes, and highly likely at different velocities, to that of the noncompliant vehicle 140a, they will determine that they are not the intended recipients and therefore disregard the message 1 14.

In some cases, it may be useful to externally measure the dimensions of the noncompliant vehicle 140a; see also Fig. 5. A second detection unit 117 may be installed at street level on opposite sides of the road to estimate the vehicle's width and length and/or to classify the vehicle using one or more beams 1 18. The estimation or classification may be based on the vehicle's wheel width, front to back wheel width ratio, number of axles and axle separation of the vehicle.

The detection units 112 may employ infrared light for the detection, or any other suitable technologies such as video shape recognition, ultrasonics, radar, lidar and light-slice. The OBE (142a, 142b, 142c) of each vehicle (140a, 140b, 140c) then compares the dimensions and/or classification estimated by the RSE 110 to determine whether it was the intended recipient of the broadcasted message 114.

Warning

If the detection parameters extracted from the detection message match with the actual parameters recorded in the data store 143, the OBE 142 is able to determine that it is the intended recipient of the detection message. In this case, the OBE 142 enters into a warning mode. In the warning mode, the OBE 142 delivers a warning and one or more recommended actions to the driver of the vehicle 140; see step 335. A recommended action may be to exit through the detour lane 162, to pull over, or to phone Traffic Management Control 180 for further instructions. Recommended actions vary depending on the vehicle's speed and distance to the infrastructure, as well as the vehicle's location relative to a detour lane 162.

The OBE 142 delivers the warning and recommended actions in audio, visual or kinaesthetic form. For example, an audio warning can be played through the vehicle's internal audio system 150. Warning can also be delivered visually via the vehicle's visual system 152, such as by displaying a text message on an onboard screen or head- up display, and flashing light and screen. Kinaesthetic feedback to the driver can be used as a warning reinforcement. Examples include the OBE 142 controlling the vehicle's throttle system 144 and brake system 148 to slow down the vehicle by a noticeable amount. The OBE 142 may also vibrate the vibration devices 154 fitted onto the vehicle's steering wheel, control pedals and driver's seat.

While in the warning mode, the OBE 142 also transmits tracking data to the RSE 110 at predetermined intervals such that the RSE 1 10 can track the progress of the vehicle 140. Examples of tracking data include the speed and location of the vehicle 140.

Intervention

If the driver of the vehicle 140 ignores the warning and recommended actions, the vehicle 140 will proceed within the intervention zone 164 of the infrastructure 160; see Fig. 1. When the OBE 142 detects that the vehicle 140 has travelled within the intervention zone 164, the OBE 1 2 enters into an intervention mode; see step 340. In the intervention mode, the OBE 142 intervenes in the vehicle's control in an attempt to reduce the likelihood of an accident and damage to the infrastructure 160. There are several ways how the OBE 142 is able to determine the location of the intervention zone 164 and thereby detects the presence of the vehicle 140 within the zone 164. The location may be determined using one of the following methods:

Extracted from the detection message broadcasted by the RSE 110.

Retrieved from the data store 143 of the OBE 142. '

Calculated by the OBE 142 based on the speed of the vehicle 140 and the location of the infrastructure 160. Other parameters may also be used, such as vehicle type, nominal mass, centre of gravity, suspension configuration and trailer configuration (where applicable).

Calculated by the OBE 142 based on the location of the vehicle 140 as determined using the vehicle's GPS system 156.

The intervention is then performed by the OBE 142; see step 345. Intervention may include progressively slowing down the vehicle 140 as the distance to the infrastructure 160 reduces, such as by controlling the throttle system 144 to limit throttle or controlling the brake system 148 to apply active braking. During the intervention, the OBE 142 may consider one or more parameters associated with safe deceleration of the vehicle, such as vehicle speed, distance to infrastructure 160, a desired location relative to the infrastructure 160, detour lane 162 or road where the vehicle is brought to a halt or safe crawl, and other parameters such as vehicle type, dimension, nominal mass, centre of gravity, suspension configuration, trailer configuration (where applicable) and characteristics of various systems of the vehicle as shown in Fig. 2, such as its brake 142, throttle 144 and steering 146 systems.

Intervention may also include steering the vehicle 140 to one side of the road by controlling the vehicle's steering system 146. Pre-crash safety measures such as tensioning seat belt and arming air bags are also performed by the OBE 142 to minimise driver's injury should a crash be imminent.

Intervention also depends on whether a detour lane 162 is available, which can be determined by the OBE 142 from the detection message received from the RSE 110; see step 350.

If a detour lane 162 is available, the OBE 142 determines whether the vehicle 140 taken the detour lane 162 by comparing the location of the vehicle 140 with the location of the detour lane 162. Once the vehicle 140 has taken the detour lane 162, intervention, driver warnings and regular transmission of tracking data to RSE 110, 120 are ceased; see step 375.

The RSE 1 10 is able to track the progress of the vehicle 140 based on tracking data sent by the OBE 142 to the RSE 110 at predetermined intervals. If the vehicle 140 does not enter the detour lane 162, the RSE 110 will automatically report the vehicle 140 to the Traffic Management Centre 180 such that a response team can be dispatched to move the vehicle; see step 365. A traffic ticket may also be issued by the Centre 180 based on the report; see step 370. At locations where a detour lane 182 is not available, the RSE 110 automatically informs the Traffic Management Centre 180 to dispatch a response team to move the vehicle 140; see step 365. The OBE 142 can be manually reset by the response team such that the OBE 142 the intervention ceases. Variations

It will be appreciated by persons skilled in the art that numerous variations and or modifications may be made to the invention as shown in the specific embodiments without departing from the scope of the invention as broadly described. The present embodiments are, therefore, to be considered in all respects as illustrative and not restrictive.

Referring to Fig. 5, a second RSE 120 can be optionally used to extend wireless coverage of the RSE 110. For example, the second RSE 120 may be fitted with a GPS unit and located at the detour lane 162. This provides a means for RSE 1 10 to record the location of the detour lane 162. A second detection unit 1 17 is also installed at street level to measure the dimensions of the noncompliant vehicle 140a, such as its width and length. RSEs 110 and 120 may be connected by a backhaul network 130, which may be also be wireless.

Although an overheight detection unit 112 is used in the example described, the OBE 142 may be operable to automatically inform the first RSE 110 of a property of the vehicle 140. Apart from a vehicle's size, weight and speed, the property may be as follows.

Driver-related: driver's name, driver diary, driver behaviour, and time until next fatigue stop.

Load-related: types of goods, condition of goods and destination.

Route-related: location and destination, and current speed.

Specification-related: maintenance status, power, fuel consumption, fuel efficiency and toxic gas emission.

Safety-related: seat belt tension and, air bags status.

In addition to detecting overheight vehicles, the system 100 can also be used for ^ various other applications such as:

(a) Preventing, or at least reducing the risk of, a vehicle 140 carrying dangerous goods from using a tunnel 160. In this case, the property of whether the vehicle 140 is carrying a predetermined type of goods is stored at the OBE 142 and sent to the first RSE 110 to perform the steps in Fig. 3. (b) Preventing, or at least reducing the risk of, an overwidth or overweight truck 140 from using a culvert or bridge 160. In this case; the width or weight property of a vehicle 140 is remotely measured by a width detection unit or a weighing station, respectively. Data stored at the OBE 142 may also be sent to the first RSE 110 to perform the steps in Fig. 3. Drivers may be instructed to allow one truck to use the culvert or bridge 160 at one time. In some scenarios, the speed of the vehicle may also be measured such that speeding vehicle can be detected and intervention can be performed by the OBE 142 to limit the vehicle's speed. The weight and/or speed of the vehicle may also be determined based on data stored in the OBE 142.

(c) Preventing, or at least reducing the risk of, a vehicle 140 crossing a railway crossing when a train is approaching. In this case, the speed of the vehicle 140 can either be measured using a speed sensor remote to the vehicle, or sent from the OBE 142 to the first RSE 110 to perform the steps in Fig. 3.

(d) Preventing, or at least reducing the risk of, a vehicle 140 entering into danger zones such as during bush fires or when a tsunami warning is active. In this case, the presence (and optionally speed) of the vehicle 140 can either be measured using a speed sensor remote to the vehicle, or sent from the OBE 142 to the first RSE 1 10 to perform the steps in Fig. 3.

(e) Preventing, or .at least reducing the risk of, a vehicle 140 crossing an intersection 160 against a red light. Again, the presence and speed of the vehicle 140 can either be measured using a speed sensor remote to the vehicle or sent from the OBE 142 to the first RSE 110 to perform the steps in Fig. 3.

(f) Synchronising traffic movement of multiple vehicles 140 at intersections, heavy vehicle checking stations or ports to control traffic flow, to alleviate congestion and/or reduce emissions. A multiplicity of OBE 142 fitted vehicles in communication with traffic flow control infrastructure (e.g. traffic lights fitted with RSE 110 devices) enables the Traffic Management Centre 180 to determine traffic control strategies and instruct vehicles (via RSE 110s to vehicle OBE 142s) on routes and advisory speed.

The OBE 142s may use a combination of: traffic light status and when they will change; local terrain (e.g. downhill slope) provided by infrastructure or from internally stored map data; and movements of surrounding vehicles provided directly from vehicle OBEs 142 or via the RSE 110; to determine a strategy to reduce emissions by smoothing traffic flow and/or dynamic engine tuning, e.g. coast downhill or travel at an particular speed to avoid stopping at the next lights. The strategy could involve switching off the engine in stopped flow and restarting just in time based oh knowledge of impending traffic movement.

Although a detour lane 162 has been illustrated and described, it will be appreciated that a cross traffic turn, turnaround arid on ramp metering may be provided. The vehicle 142 may be an unmanned robot.

It should also be understood that, unless specifically stated otherwise as apparent from the following discussion, it is appreciated that throughout the description, discussions utilizing terms such as "providing", "intervening", "delivering", "sending", "receiving", "processing", "retrieving", "selecting", "calculating", "determining", "displaying", "delivering", "intervening" or the like, refer to the action and processes of a computer system, or similar electronic computing device, that processes and transforms data represented as physical (electronic) quantities within the computer system's registers and memories into other data similarly represented as physical quantities within the computer system memories or registers or other such information storage, transmission or display devices. Unless the context clearly requires otherwise, words using singular or plural number also include the plural or singular number respectively.

It should also be understood that the techniques described might be implemented using a variety of technologies. For example, the methods described herein may be implemented by a series of computer executable instructions residing on a suitable computer readable medium. Suitable computer readable media may include volatile (e.g. RAM) and/or non-volatile (e.g. ROM, disk) memory, carrier waves and transmission media (e.g. copper wire, coaxial cable, fibre optic media). Exemplary carrier waves may take the form of electrical, electromagnetic or optical signals conveying digital data steams along a local network or a publically accessible network such as the Internet. The term "wireless" refers to any method of communication that does not occur through a physical transmission medium such as a cable or fibre optic. Wireless data transmission techniques may include, but not limited to, electromagnetic techniques such as radio frequency, optical techniques such as infrared, acoustic techniques and the like.