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Warning System for Low-Tech Cars

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000177327D
Publication Date: 2008-Dec-08

Publishing Venue

The IP.com Prior Art Database

Abstract

Alert or warning systems and methods therefor, whereby a high-tech car may, among other accomplishments, provide alerts or warnings to the operator of another vehicle (e.g., a low-tech car) in danger of colliding with, or having an accident that involves, the high-tech car, are described.

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Warning System for Low-Tech Cars

Introduction

It is anticipated that newer vehicles will incorporate abilities to monitor their surroundings and to inform drivers and passengers of potential dangers. For example, newer cars may provide early warnings of potential collisions. Some vehicles may even take evasive action to avoid a collision. This evasive action may be coordinated between two or more vehicles.

However, many older cars, without such systems, will still be on the road. In order to reduce accidents, newer vehicles can incorporate warning systems that alert the drivers of these older low-tech cars.

Figure 1 - illustrates select components of a warning system utilizing certain aspects of the present disclosure; and

Figure 2 illustrates a flow chart for a warning system utilizing certain aspects of the present disclosure.

Beginning with Figure 1, key components involved are:

o View through a windshield on a low-tech car 100;
o Conceptual view of a high-tech car monitoring 200;
o A high-tech car 300 with the warning system ready; and o A high-tech car 400 with the warning system alerting.

Car 100 represents the view seen through the windshield of any low-tech car. While a car is depicted, the innovation may be applied to virtually any vehicle. The innovation is not limited to cars. As used herein a low-tech vehicle includes virtually any vehicle that does not have electronic monitoring systems that take safety actions, such as activating collision warnings, automatic breaking, automatic swerving, and/or some combination of warning, breaking, and/or swerving, etc., based on factors external to the vehicle.

Monitoring 200 represents a high-tech car scanning its surroundings for threats. The scanning system may be active or passive. An active system would transmit and receive signals. A passive system might merely receive signals. Scanning can be limited to a specific area or cone to the side, below, above, behind, and/or in front of the vehicle. Alternatively, scanning can include completely scanning all around the vehicle, to include each side, below, above, behind, and in front of the high-tech car 300.

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High-tech Car 300 is shown in Figure 1 as a modern car with alerting systems that are ready but not activated (i.e., such that alert lights are not flashing, and alert horns are not honking, etc., in the depiction). This is how many modern vehicles look, and, for a distracted driver, cars can blend into their surroundings unrecognized as a threat until it is too late to avoid an accident.

High-tech Car 400 shows the same vehicle with active alerts. The alerts may be any combination of visual and/or audible alerts. Visual alerts may include flashing the vehicle's lights, changing the color of one or more lights, and/or changing the intensity of one or more lights. Audible alerts may include usi...