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Title:
SYSTEM AND METHOD FOR MONITORING AND CONTROLLING A VEHICLE TO PREVENT DRUNK AND DRIVE
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/2021/064743
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
A system and method for monitoring and controlling a vehicle to prevent drunk and drive is provided. The method includes detecting the presence of a driver in a vehicle based on one or more inputs received from the vehicle control unit (110). Verifying the identity of the detected driver based on inputs received from a biometric sensor. Receiving one or more breath samples from the verified driver to determine a blood alcohol content level of the verified driver. Controlling, by the server (106) the access of the vehicle for the verified driver based on the determined blood alcohol content level of the verified driver.

Inventors:
BERIWAL NITIEN (IN)
BERIWAL MOHAN (IN)
Application Number:
PCT/IN2020/050060
Publication Date:
April 08, 2021
Filing Date:
January 21, 2020
Export Citation:
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Assignee:
BERIWAL NITIEN (IN)
BERIWAL MOHAN (IN)
International Classes:
G06Q90/00; B60K28/06; G06Q50/30
Foreign References:
CN108045227A2018-05-18
US9376090B22016-06-28
CN101698385A2010-04-28
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
BHUPATI RAJU, Pradeep Kumar (IN)
Download PDF:
Claims:
CLAIMS

I/we claim:

1. A method for monitoring and controlling a vehicle to prevent drunk and drive, the method comprises: in a server (106) communicably connected a vehicle control unit (110) positioned within the vehicle: detecting the presence of a driver in a vehicle based on one or more inputs received from the vehicle control unit (110); verifying the identity of the detected driver based on inputs received from a biometric sensor; receiving one or more breath samples from the verified driver to determine a blood alcohol content level of the verified driver; and controlling the access of the vehicle for the verified driver based on the determined blood alcohol content level of the verified driver, wherein, if the status of the vehicle is stationary, the vehicle is turned off in the event of the determined blood alcohol content level is greater than or equal to a pre-determined level; and wherein, if the status of the vehicle is moving, the speed of the vehicle is gradually reduced in the event of the determined blood alcohol content level is greater than or equal to a pre determined level.

2. The method according to claim 1, wherein the vehicle control unit (110) is powered by a dedicated battery (416) in the event the vehicle is turned OFF; and wherein the battery of the vehicle, which is different from the dedicated battery (416), is controlled by the vehicle control unit.

3. The method according to claim 1, wherein the identity of the detected driver is verified using at least one of a fingerprint scanner, a face recognition system or a retina scanning system. 4. The method according to claim 1, further comprising restricting, by the server

(106), the verified driver from entering a One Time Password (OTP), on an application running on a driver’s mobile unit (102), in the instance the blood alcohol content level is greater than or equal to the pre-determined level, whereby entering the OTP shall initiate a ride for driving a passenger to a destination.

5. The method according to claim 1, wherein the one or more breath samples from the verified driver are received at a regular interval of time to determine a blood alcohol content level of the verified driver.

6. The method according to claim 1, wherein the one or more breath samples from the verified driver are received based on one or more of the gender of a passenger or a time of the day.

7. The method according to claim 1, further comprising initiating a video call to a driver’s mobile device in the event of a suspicious activity to re- verify the identity of the driver.

8. The method according to claim 1, wherein the one or more inputs corresponding to the presence of a driver in the vehicle are received from at least one of a seat belt sensor, a door open sensor, a vehicle unlock sensor, a key insert sensor or a pressure sensor.

9. A system (100) for monitoring and controlling a vehicle to prevent drunk and drive, the system comprises: a vehicle control unit (110) positioned within the vehicle operable to control the one or more operations of the vehicle; and a server (106) communicably connected the vehicle control unit, the server comprises one or more processors (302) operable to: detect the presence of a driver in the vehicle based on one or more inputs received from the vehicle control unit; verify the identity of the detected driver based on inputs received from a biometric sensor; receive one or more breath samples from the verified driver to determine a blood alcohol content level of the verified driver; and control the access of the vehicle for the verified driver based on the determined blood alcohol content level of the verified driver, wherein, if the status of the vehicle is stationary, the vehicle is turned off in the event of the determined blood alcohol content level is greater than or equal to a pre-determined level; and wherein, if the status of the vehicle is moving, the speed of the vehicle is gradually reduced in the event of the determined blood alcohol content level is greater than or equal to a pre-determined level.

10. The system according to claim 9, wherein the one or more processors are further operable to restrict the verified driver from entering a One Time Password (OTP), on an application running on a driver’s mobile unit (102), in the instance the blood alcohol content level is greater than or equal to the pre-determined level, whereby entering the OTP shall initiate a ride for driving a passenger to a destination.

Description:
SYSTEM AND METHOD FOR MONITORING AND CONTROLLING A VEHICLE TO PREVENT DRUNK AND DRIVE

BACKGROUND

Field of invention:

[001] The subject matter in general relates to the field of safe driving. More particularly, the subject matter relates to a monitoring and controlling a vehicle to prevent drunk and drive.

Discussion of related art:

[002] Drunk and drive continues to be an issue for modern society. Authorities across the world have been working on bring in new regulations to penalise the drivers found to be guilty. Conversely, the number of accident due to drunk and drive have been observed to increase in the recent years, which may be corelated with the increase in number of young drivers.

[003] Meanwhile, with the upraise of global cab aggregators addressing this perennial problem has become even more important. As the reputation of these companies is at stake, gaining the support of their customers is of utmost importance for these cab aggregators, while inculcating responsible driving culture amongst their drivers. Aggregators are determined take this path even if it calls for penalising their drivers for not abiding with their safe driving initiatives.

[004] Conventional systems fail to address this issue as they utilize manual intervention to check the driver and additionally lack automated monitoring and control of the vehicle.

[005] In view of the foregoing discussion, there is a need for an improved technique to overcome the above problems and improve the passenger experience. It would also be desirable to have a solution that can be installed in all new vehicles. Additionally, it would be desirable to extend these solutions to other vehicles such as trucks, planes and boats. SUMMARY

[006] Accordingly, an improved technique to overcome the above problems is needed. To fulfil this need, a system and method for monitoring and controlling a vehicle to prevent drunken driving is provided. In an embodiment, the method includes detecting the presence of a driver in a vehicle based on one or more inputs received from the vehicle control unit. Further, verifying the identity of the detected driver based on inputs received from a biometric sensor. Furthermore, receiving one or more breath samples from the verified driver to determine a blood alcohol content level of the verified driver. Thereafter, controlling the access of the vehicle for the verified driver based on the determined blood alcohol content level of the verified driver. Additionally, if the status of the vehicle is stationary, the vehicle is turned off in the event of the determined blood alcohol content level is greater than or equal to a pre-determined level. Alternatively, if the status of the vehicle is moving, the speed of the vehicle is gradually reduced in the event of the determined blood alcohol content level is greater than or equal to a pre-determined level.

[007] In another embodiment, the vehicle control unit is powered by a dedicated battery in the event the vehicle is turned OFF; and wherein the battery of the vehicle is controlled by the vehicle control unit.

[008] In another embodiment, the identity of the detected driver is verified using at least one of a fingerprint scanner, a face recognition system or a retina scanning system. [009] In another embodiment, the method includes restricting, by the server, the verified driver from entering a One Time Password (OTP), on an application running on a driver’s mobile unit, in the instance the blood alcohol content level is greater than or equal to the pre-determined level, whereby entering the OTP shall initiate a ride for driving a passenger to a destination. [010] In another embodiment, the one or more breath samples from the verified driver are received at a regular interval of time to determine a blood alcohol content level of the verified driver.

[Oil] In another embodiment, the one or more breath samples from the verified driver are received based on one or more of the gender of a passenger or a time of the day.

[012] In another embodiment, the method further includes initiating a video call to a driver’s mobile device in the event of a suspicious activity to re-verify the identity of the driver.

[013] In another embodiment, the one or more inputs corresponding to the presence of a driver in the vehicle are received from at least one of a seat belt sensor, a door open sensor, a vehicle unlock sensor, a key insert sensor or a pressure sensor.

[014] In yet another embodiment, a system for monitoring and controlling a vehicle to prevent drunken driving is provided. The system includes a vehicle control unit and a server communicably connected the vehicle control unit. The vehicle control unit positioned within the vehicle operable to control the operation of one or more vehicle operations. The server includes one or more processors operable to detect the presence of a driver in the vehicle based on one or more inputs received from the vehicle control unit. Further, verify the identity of the detected driver based on inputs received from a biometric sensor. Further, receive one or more breath samples from the verified driver to determine a blood alcohol content level of the verified driver. Thereafter, control the access of the vehicle for the verified driver based on the determined blood alcohol content level of the verified driver. Additionally, if the status of the vehicle is stationary, the vehicle is turned off in the event of the determined blood alcohol content level is greater than or equal to a pre-determined level. Alternatively, if the status of the vehicle is moving, the speed of the vehicle is gradually reduced in the event of the determined blood alcohol content level is greater than or equal to a pre determined level.

[015] Other objects, features, and advantages of the present invention will become apparent from the following detailed description. It should be however understood that the detailed description and specific examples, while indicating preferred embodiments of the present invention, are given by way of illustration only and various modifications may naturally be performed without deviating from the present invention.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF DIAGRAMS [016] This disclosure is illustrated by way of example and not limitation in the accompanying figures. Elements illustrated in the figures are not necessarily drawn to scale, in which like references indicate similar elements and in which:

[017] FIG. 1 is an exemplary architecture of a system 100 for monitoring and controlling a vehicle to prevent drunk and drive, in accordance with an embodiment; [018] FIG. 2 is an exemplary block diagram 200 of the driver mobile device

102 of the system 100, in accordance with an embodiment;

[019] FIG. 3 is an exemplary block diagram 300 of the server 106 of the system 100, in accordance with an embodiment;

[020] FIG. 4 is an exemplary block diagram 300 of the vehicle control unit 110 of the system 100, in accordance with an embodiment; and

[021] FIG. 5 is a flowchart of an exemplary method 500 for monitoring and controlling a vehicle to prevent drunk and drive, in accordance with an embodiment.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION [022] The following detailed description includes references to the accompanying drawings, which form part of the detailed description. The drawings show illustrations in accordance with example embodiments. These example embodiments are described in enough details to enable those skilled in the art to practice the present subject matter. However, it will be apparent to one of ordinary skill in the art that the present invention may be practised without these specific details. In other instances, well-known methods, procedures and components have not been described in detail so as not to unnecessarily obscure aspects of the embodiments. The embodiments can be combined, other embodiments can be utilized or structural and logical changes can be made without departing from the scope of the invention. The following detailed description is, therefore, not to be taken as a limiting sense.

[023] It should be understood that the capabilities of the invention described in the present disclosure and elements shown in the figures may be implemented in various forms of hardware, firmware, software, non-transitory computer readable medium or combinations thereof.

[024] The embodiments disclose techniques for monitoring and controlling a vehicle to prevent drunken driving. For example, a method includes detecting the presence of a driver in a vehicle based on one or more inputs received from the vehicle control unit. Verifying the identity of the detected driver based on inputs received from a biometric sensor. Receiving one or more breath samples from the verified driver to determine a blood alcohol content level of the verified driver.

Controlling the access of the vehicle for the verified driver based on the determined blood alcohol content level of the verified driver.

[025] FIG. 1 is an exemplary architecture of a system 100 for monitoring and controlling a vehicle to prevent drunken driving, in accordance with an embodiment. The system 100 includes a driver’s mobile device 102, a vehicle installed with a vehicle control unit 110, a server 106 connected to a database 108 and a communication network 104 to enable communication between the driver mobile device 102, vehicle control unit 110 and the server 106.

[026] The driver mobile device 102 (also referred to as a driver device) may include mobile phones, palmtops, smart watch, smart accessory, PDAs, tablet PCs, notebook PCs, laptops and computers, among other computing devices. In an embodiment, the driver device 102 may include any electronic device equipped with a browser to communicate with the server 106. The driver device 102 may be used by a driver to communicate with the server 102.

[027] FIG. 2 is an exemplary block diagram 200 of the driver device 102 of the system 100, in accordance with an embodiment. The driver device 102 may include a processing module 202, a memory module 204, an input/output module 206, a display module 208, a communication interface 210, an application module 214, and a bus 212 connecting all the modules of the driver device 102. It may also include a Subscriber Identity Module (SIM) card, a battery, input and output components such as a microphone, keypad/ touch pad, speaker and display, among others.

[028] The processing module 202 is implemented in the form of one or more processors and may be implemented as appropriate in hardware, computer- executable instructions, firmware, or combinations thereof. Computer-executable instruction or firmware implementations of the processing module 202 may include computer-executable or machine-executable instructions written in any suitable programming language to perform the various functions described. Further, the processing module 202 may communicate with the other modules of the device 102 through the bus 212.

[029] The memory module 204 may be implemented in the form of a primary and a secondary memory. The memory module 204 may store additional data and program instructions that are loadable and executable on the processor 202, as well as data generated during the execution of these programs. Further, the memory module 204 may be volatile memory, such as random-access memory and/or a disk drive, or non-volatile memory. The memory module 204 may comprise of removable memory such as a Compact Flash card, Memory Stick, Smart Media, Multimedia Card, Secure Digital memory, or any other memory storage that exists currently or may exist in the future.

[030] The input/output module 206 may provide an interface for input devices such as keypad, touch screen, mouse, and stylus among other input devices; and output devices such as speakers, printer, and additional displays among other.

[031] The display module 208 may be configured to display content. The display module 208 may also be used to receive an input from a user. The display module 208 may be of any display type known in the art, for example, Liquid Crystal Displays (LCD), Light emitting diode displays (LED), Cathode Ray Tube Displays (CRT), Orthogonal Liquid Crystal Displays (OLCD) or any other type of display currently existing or which may exist in the future. [032] The communication interface 210 may provide an interface between the communication network 104 and the device 102. The communication network interface 210 may include an antenna and a communication port, among others. The communication network interface 210 may include devices supporting both wired and wireless protocols. Data in the form of electronic, electromagnetic, optical, among other signals may be transferred via the communication network interface 210. Further, the communication network interface 210 may be present for different technologies including WLAN, USB and GPS, among others.

[033] The application module 214 may be implemented as software. The server 106 is operable to configure and download an installer file that includes at least one application bundled with at least one configuration parameter to the plurality of driver device 102 via communication network 104.

[034] The application module 214 may be configured to interact with the processing module 202, the memory module 204, the input/output module 206, the display module 208 and the communication interface 210 in order to process the information received from other modules of the driver device 102 and server 106.

[035] The application module 214 may execute processes through the processing module 202 by using data stored in memory module 204. It may handle inputs and outputs by using the input/output module 206 and may display data through the display module 208.

[036] Referring to FIG. 1 the communication network 104 may include a wired network, a wireless network, or a combination of wired network and wireless network. For example, the communication network 104 may include local area network, wide area network, and metropolitan area network, among others.

[037] Referring to FIG. 1, the database 108 is external to the server 106. However, it is possible to implement the database 108 and the server 106 in a single system, or to have the database 108 and server 106 at a single location with wired or wireless communication there between. Further, the database 108 may be populated by receiving information from one or more external information sources. Further, multiple servers 106 and multiple databases 108 may be implemented to improve redundancy.

[038] FIG. 3 illustrates an exemplary block diagram 300 of the server 106, in accordance with an embodiment. The server 106 may include a processing module 302, a memory module 304, an input/output module 306, a communication interface 308, an application module 312, and bus 310. [039] The processing module 302, memory module 304, input/output module 306, communication interface 308 and bus 310 are similar to the processing module 202, memory module 204, input/output module 206, communication interface 210 and bus 212 of the driver device 102, respectively. Additionally, the memory module 304 may comprise of a database 108.

[040] The application module 312 may be configured to monitor and control operation of multiple vehicles through their respective vehicle control unit(s) 110, through the communication network 104. The control decisions may also be dependent on information received from the driver device 102 of the respective vehicle control unit 110, and information received from one or more external databases including database 108.

[041] The application module 312 may comprise an analysis module 314 (not shown) configured to receive, collect and analyze data from driver device 102, vehicle control unit 110 and database 108. Further, the analysis module 314 may also receive additional information from one or more external sources in the process of monitoring and controlling the operation of the vehicles.

[042] FIG. 4 illustrates an exemplary block diagram 300 of the vehicle control unit 110 positioned inside the vehicle, in accordance with an embodiment. The vehicle control unit 110 may include a processing module 402, a memory module 404, an input/output module 406, a communication interface 408, a GSM module 414, a battery 416, a bus 410, and an application module 412.

[043] The processing module 402, memory module 404, input/output module 406, communication interface 408 and bus 410 are similar to the processing module 202, memory module 204, input/output module 206, communication interface 210 and bus 212 of the driver device 102, respectively. Additionally, the Global System for Mobile communication (GSM) module 304 may allow the vehicle control unit 110 to communicate via the communication network to the server 106.

[044] A battery 416 is a standalone battery to power the vehicle control unit 110, when the vehicle is turned off. The battery 416 is different from the battery in the vehicle to power various accessories. Further, when the vehicle is turned on the vehicle control unit 110 may draw its power from the battery in the vehicle.

[045] The input-output module 406, may be additionally connected to one or more devices like cameras, biometric scanners, fingerprint scanner, face recognition systems or retina scanning system positioned inside the vehicle. The information received for all the above devices may be timely communicated to the server 106 upon processing as per the rules defined in the application module 412. Further the vehicle control unit 110 may be connected to the Engine control unit (ECU), Powertrain control Module (PCM), battery, seat belt locking system, door and window locking systems, among other sensors positioned inside the vehicle.

[046] In an embodiment an application running on the driver mobile device 102 may correspond to a driver side application of a cab aggregator system operated by the server 106. The server 106 communicates the ride information, passenger information, among other details to the driver through the driver side application. Once the ride is booked by a passenger, the information of the driver along with a One Time Password is shared with the passenger. Thereafter for the driver to initiate the ride, the OTP details from the customer must be inputted through the driver side application by the driver.

[047] Referring to Fig. 1, the driver mobile device 102 is held with the driver of the vehicle which is equipped with the vehicle control unit 110. Both the driver mobile device 102, vehicle control unit 110 along with a passenger mobile device and the server 106 are communicably connected through the communication network 104. The details of the one or more drivers, their corresponding vehicles, along with the details of passengers are stored in the database 108, which may at least be validated or accessed by the server 106 when required. [048] The vehicle equipped with the vehicle control unit 110 may include one or more breath analysers and/or blood alcohol content level indicators positioned close to the driver seat. These devices are communicably connected to the vehicle control unit 110. In an embodiment, there may be one or more cameras positioned to capture the driver’s face in order to verify the drivers identify before allowing access to the vehicle and during an authorised ride in order to make the system fool-proof.

[049] FIG. 5 depicts a flowchart of an exemplary method 500 for monitoring and controlling a vehicle to prevent drunken driving, in accordance with an embodiment. The method 500 may be implemented by a server 106 to monitor and control a vehicle in order to prevent drunk and drive. At step 502, the presence of the driver in the vehicle is detected by the server 106 through at least one of the vehicle control unit 110 and the driver mobile device 102 by the server 106.

[050] Further at step 504, the identity of the detected driver is verified by receiving information pertaining to the driver through one or more devices positioned internal to the vehicle via the vehicle control unit 110 and/or through the driver mobile device 102, by the server 106. The information thus received may be validated against the information of the driver pre-stored in the database 108, during the process of verification. In the instant embodiment, the driver details, and vehicle details, among other information is pre-registered and made available for the server 106 to access and/or validate. [051] Further at step 506, breath samples result information is received from the driver by the server 106 through the vehicle control unit 110. The server 106 determines the eligibility of the verified driver to drive the vehicle by comparing the result of the breadth samples against a pre-determined acceptable level.

[052] Further at step 508, if it is determined that the blood alcohol content level/ alcohol consumption level is greater than or equal to the pre-determined acceptable level, then the server 106 may restrict the driver from turning ON the vehicle or drive the vehicle via the vehicle control unit 110. the Alternatively, if it is determined that the blood alcohol content level/ alcohol consumption level is less than to the pre-determined acceptable level, then the server 106 may allow the driver access to the vehicle or to drive the vehicle via the vehicle control unit 110.

[053] Additionally, in case the vehicle is moving and the vehicle control unit 110 identifies that the blood alcohol content level/ alcohol consumption level of the driver is greater than or equal to the pre-determined acceptable level, then the server 106 may gradually reduce the speed of the vehicle to allow the driver to park to the vehicle. A notification indicating the same may be provided by the vehicle control unit 110 to the driver. In an embodiment the vehicle control unit may continuously monitor the blood alcohol content level/ alcohol consumption level of the driver through one or more devices positioned close to driver, in the vehicle. Alternatively, the breath samples/ the blood alcohol content level from the verified driver may be received based on at least one of the gender of a passenger, and a time of the day, among other factors. [054] Further at step 510, where the driver is required to input a One Time

Password (OTP) provided by a passenger to initiate a ride, in case if it is determined that that the driver’s blood alcohol content level/ alcohol consumption level of the driver is greater than or equal to the pre-determined acceptable level, then the server restricts the verified driver from inputting the OTP on the driver mobile device 102, through the server 106. Thereby, the driver is not allowed to initiate the ride.

[055] Additionally, at step 512, in case of a driver failing the test of blood alcohol content level/ alcohol consumption level, a notification may be sent to the passenger either to a passenger mobile device or in-vehicle alert system. Further, the server 106 may reassign a new driver or cab to the passenger by communicating all the ride details to the new driver or cab.

[056] Additionally, the identity of the driver may be verified through a fingerprint scanner or face detection application on the driver mobile device 102. Where, the information captured through the driver mobile device 102 along with the Global Positioning System (GPS) information of the mobile device 102 may be used by the server 106 to verify the identity of the driver. [057] In an embodiment, the one or more inputs corresponding to the presence of a driver in the vehicle are received from at least one of a seat belt sensor, a door open sensor, a vehicle unlock sensor, a key insert sensor and a pressure sensor, among other sensors.

[058] In an embodiment, the presence of the driver in the vehicle may be verified based on seat belt sensor. In the instance the driver fastens the seat belt it may act as a trigger for the vehicle control unit 110 to initiate the verification of driver details. Additionally, even for a driver whose identity is verified and access to the initiate a ride is approved, in case the driver unfastens the seat belt, the driver may be required to re-verify driver’s identity and the blood alcohol content level/ alcohol consumption level tests are preformed again by the vehicle control unit 110. The drive may not be allowed to continue the ride unless the instant process is cleared for continuing the ride.

[059] In an embodiment, the verification of the driver’s identify may be performed through a face recognition system. Further, in case of a pre-determined number of failures to identify face recognition, either the driver or the server 106 may initiate a video call to the driver mobile device.

[060] In an embodiment, the server 106 may restrict the driver from inputting the OTP received from a passenger into the driver mobile device 102 until a list of operations are performed as by the driver, as detected by the vehicle control unit 110. The list of operations may include one or more of fastening the seatbelts, closing all the doors and the windows, and checking the fuel level, among others to ensure a safe ride. In the instant embodiment, the OTP input may be restricted by disabling the OTP screen (user interface) on the driver mobile device 102.

[061] The forgoing disclosure overcomes the drawbacks of the conventional systems, by improve the passenger experience and enabling a safe ride for both the driver and the passengers. Thus, the present invention as discussed in this document with respect to different embodiments will be advantageous at least automatically restricting a drunk and drive to prevent accidents. Furthermore, the proposed solution can be extended to trucks, planes and boats, with minor changes in the process. Additional advantages not listed may be understood by a person ordinary skilled in the art in view of the embodiments disclosed above.

[062] In the foregoing detailed description, numerous specific details, examples, and scenarios are explained in order to facilitate a thorough understanding of the present disclosure. However, the embodiments of the disclosure may be practiced without such specific details. Further, such examples and scenarios are provided for illustration, and are not intended to limit the disclosure in any way. Those of ordinary skill in the art, with the included descriptions, should be able to implement appropriate functionality without undue experimentation. Thus, the scope of the invention should be determined by the appended claims and their legal equivalents rather than by details, examples, and scenarios provided.

[063] It shall be noted that the processes described above are described as sequence of steps; this was done solely for the sake of illustration. Accordingly, it is understood that some steps may be added, some steps may be omitted, the order of the steps may be re-arranged, or some steps may be performed simultaneously.

[064] Although embodiments have been described with reference to specific example embodiments, it will be evident that various combinations, modifications, additions, and omissions may be made to these embodiments without departing from the broader spirit and scope of the foregoing disclosure and appended claims. Accordingly, the specification and drawings are to be regarded in an illustrative sense rather than a restrictive sense.

[065] It is to be understood that the phraseology or terminology employed herein is for the purpose of description and not of limitation.