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System for aiding drivers to travel together

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000227920D
Publication Date: 2013-May-29
Document File: 2 page(s) / 25K

Publishing Venue

The IP.com Prior Art Database

Abstract

A system for aiding drivers to drive together, where one driver leads and the other drivers follow. The system helps them stay close to each other by providing information on the relative speed, the distance between them and signal when the other driver has the left / right turn signal on. The system uses location information from a GPS device and communicates the information to the other car(s). The system also connects to the car's onboard diagnostic interface, to get speed information, and the status of the turn signals. The speed information from the car allows the system to continue tracking the cars during periods where GPS service is not available.

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System for aiding drivers to travel together

A car follows another car -- This is not necessarily a scene from a spy movie. It happens often in daily life. For example, a group of friends traveling together in two or more cars, or a driver guiding another driver to a destination. Anyone that has tried it

knows how difficult it may get, both as a "leader" and a "follower". Difference in driving styles and speed make it difficult to stay close to each other. Cars keep getting between the follower and the leader, causing them to get out of sight of each other. Traffic signal can cause separation between the leader and the follower in case the leader crosses the signal, but the follower is stopped at the red light. Unexpected turns may cause the follower to miss a turn, and so on. The problem is not only that the drivers may fail to follow each other; The effort of staying together may also cause the drivers to be less concentrated in the driving itself thus increasing the hazard of traffic accidents.

A system that aids two or more drivers to travel together by tracking and displaying the position of the other driver(s), the relative speed and distance, and the other cars left/right turning signals. The system is based on and extends a navigation system with a map display. It provides the driver with information that is collected from the other car(s),and displayed on the navigation screen. The information may include the following:

The location on the map of the other car (in addition to self location)

The distance from the other car (driving distance along the track - not the aerial

distance)

The speed of the other car relative to this car (difference in speeds) and / or the

absolute speed.

Indication that the other car is stopping / stopped


Indication that the other driver has turned on the left / right turn signal.

This information can be very helpful for both the leader and the follower, especially

when they lose sight of each other. Displaying the distance and the relative speed helps them know when they need to slow down or drive faster in order to keep together. The display of the left / right signal tells the follower in advance that the leader is about to turn, reducing the chance of missing a turn. It also helps the leader, for example when the follower is signaling a turn, indicating for example, that the follower intends to stop at a gas station ahead.

    In addition to using a GPS device, the system will also track the car's speed by continuously getting the current speed from the car's On-board diagnostics interface (explained in part 3 below). This will allow to system to keep providing information to the other driver(s) in places where GPS is not available, such as inside tunnels. When dri...