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Systems and Methods to Read an Unreadable Traffic Light

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000226918D
Publication Date: 2013-Apr-24
Document File: 6 page(s) / 361K

Publishing Venue

The IP.com Prior Art Database

Abstract

This article describes a system and several techniques for a driver to know the status of an unreadable traffic light.

This text was extracted from a PDF file.
This is the abbreviated version, containing approximately 38% of the total text.

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Systems and Methods to Read an Unreadable Traffic Light

Enclosed is a system that allows a driver to know the status of a traffic light that is unreadable. Drivers may be unable to determine the state of an upcoming traffic signal due to several common causes:


1. Localized or widespread power outage has disabled the light


2. The sun is behind the traffic light, rendering it unreadable


3. The sun is behind the vehicle, washing out the traffic light's illumination


4. Another vehicle is blocking line-of-sight to the traffic light


5. Environmental colors and lights have effectively camouflaged the traffic signal

This invention integrates a set of related solutions to help drivers know the state of a traffic signal they cannot read.

Portions of this invention build on existing patents:

Enabling Art Sends a wireless signal to indicate the state of a traffic light

Another method to locally broadcast the light status

Another method to locally broadcast the light status

The system is implemented in three high-level steps:

A signal monitoring device in a vehicle reads the status of a nearby traffic light (Optional) A signal monitoring device uses the vehicle to display the traffic light status to nearby vehicles


Vehicles receiving a traffic light signal, either from a monitoring device or from nearby vehicles, non-intrusively communicate the light's status to the driver

Potentially unique aspects of this invention:

Reception a traffic signal from a centralized internet source Reception of a traffic signal from a GPS / satellite source Reception of a traffic signal from display on another vehicle Rebroadcasting a viewable traffic signal to nearby vehicles Cryptographic signing of the traffic signal to ensure validity Display of a traffic signal on the exterior of a vehicle using display screens Display of a traffic signal on the exterior of a vehicle using specialized brake lights Warning of lost visual line-of-sight to a nearby traffic signal

Relationship

US7466227

US6983172

US6989766


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Audio broadcast of a nearby traffic signal from a receiver Heads-up display representation of a nearby, unviewable traffic signal and its state


Alteration of the perceived state of a traffic signal from a centralized internet

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source


Virtual (or backup to physical) traffic lights implemented through centralized internet source


Elimination of physical traffic lights in areas fully enabled with traffic light receivers "Virtual" traffic lights on demand, for example to replace police officers from directing traffic


Self-driving cars using alternate methods of traffic light detection Cloud services / web services to provide traffic light data

In step one, a signal monitoring device picks up the status of a nearby traffic light. The signal monitoring device can be any of the following:

A radio or wireless receiver for traffic lights (leverages existing technology)

A GPS-enabled and internet-enabled smartpho...