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System and method to avoid engine idling time at traffic signals or congestions

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000225120D
Publication Date: 2013-Jan-24
Document File: 5 page(s) / 100K

Publishing Venue

The IP.com Prior Art Database

Abstract

Vehicles that are at busy road intersections with dense obstructing vehicular traffic or stuck at the rear end of long traffic jams do not always have visibility of traffic signal. Disclosed is a technique to avoid engine idling time of such vehicles using Vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V) communication. Smart devices can monitor vital engine parameters and transmit a lightweight message to nearby vehicles using wireless protocols. Each vehicle can keep a count of the number of hops the message has travelled & using location information, it can compute the distance of the vehicle from the start of the road block. When the traffic starts to move, it can also compute the time remaining to switch on the engine. Network comminucation heuristics can be employed to filter out duplicate and incorrect messages.

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System and method to avoid engine idling time at traffic signals or congestions

Traffic in developing countries is very dense. In addition, there are various types of vehicles co-habiting on the streets. For example, in India, there are cars, motorbikes, auto-rickshaws, trucks, buses, tempos, tractors etc. The roads are often narrow when passing through crowded residential areas. Long queue of vehicles, road curvature and obstruction of view of traffic signal due to buses/trucks mean that vehicles don't have a glimpse of the traffic signal or the countdown counter that is common in cities at major intersections. Due to this uncertainty, many vehicles keep their engines running without knowing how long to keep their engines running. On the other hand, those who switch off after a certain waiting time, may have to start it instantly if the traffic starts to move. Vehicles with idling engines consume fuel and emit gases (10 seconds of idling consumes more fuel than stopping & restarting the car engine. Two minutes of idling equals fuel required to go a mile [1]). And although individual emission & consumption might
be less, when considered an entire city's or a nation's fuel wastage, it is enormous.

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Vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V) communication can be compared with peer-2-peer (P2P) networking in the computing world. A device in the vehicle, that can communicate messages from one vehicle to another over a wi-fi protocol, blue-tooth, dedicated short range communication (DSRC) protocol or similar other mechanism. This device can be embedded & connected with the vehicle's electronics, or it can be external with sensors to measure vehicle speed, detect engine state, location etc. or it can be an application running on a smart mobile phone with sensors such as accelerometer, GPS etc. or it can be an application running on a regular mobile

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phone which is connected, either wired or wirelessly, with the vehicle's on-board diagnostics interface. This device can monitor vehicle parameters like speed, direction, engine state (running/off) etc. and transmit a message to the surrounding devices. Each device in the neighborhood would receive this message, keep a count of the number of hops made by the message & derive an approximate distance from the first vehicle. It would then re-transmit the message with an incremented hop count. Distance between any two vehicles can then be estimated from the hop counts or can be worked out backwards using the signal strength. It can also be estimated using GPS coordinates. A trigger like start of an engine can then cause device to send a new message and using the distance, the time remaining to ignite the engine can be derived & suitably communicated to the driver. A countdown timer can also be initiated when such a trigger is received, so the driver would know how many minutes/seconds remain before the engine can be switched on. To avoid flooding of messages, the transmission can be we...