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TRAILER LENGTH SENSOR

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000243536D
Publication Date: 2015-Sep-29
Document File: 2 page(s) / 186K

Publishing Venue

The IP.com Prior Art Database

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TRAILER LENGTH SENSOR

Description: The trailer length is a key value in the vehicle-trailer control algorithm. We have developed several methods that allow us to estimate this value by measuring other variables like steering angle and hitch angle. It is of course obvious that the driver could also directly measure this length and input the value into our controller. However, this action could introduce errors due to improper measurements or errors when typing in the measured value into the controller.

Our proposal provides another option: to the aforementioned two choices. It provides a means to allow flexibility for the deriver to "measure" the trailer length with a minimum risk of error and transparently inputting the value into the controller with the driver having to type in anything; thus avoiding input errors.

Please find below two simple sketches depicting the idea of our disclosure:

Figure1 Figure2

Figure 1 shows the concept of an encoder similar to an electronic tape measure device. It also shows a second way to measure the trailer length using a potentiometer, In both methods the user would pull a string from a fixed location in the back of the v3ehicle until it extends to the first axle of the trailer (which is hooked up to the vehicle).The electronic module for the trailer controller automatically reads and records the trailer length during the above process, To minimize errors in the input, this process can be restricted so it occurs only during calibration, After the user reaches the length of the first axle of the trailer, the string is released and it pulls back to its original resting position. If another trailer is hooked u[p, the process is again repeated during calibration only.

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