Browse Prior Art Database

Original Publication Date: 2000-Nov-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2003-Jun-19

Publishing Venue



Disclosed is the use of a foot switch to activate an automotive computer system having voice recognition capability. The foot switch is used to bring the computer system to a state of alert, in which an attempt is made by the computer system to match spoken words with predetermined voice commands. A driver-actuated indication of this type is needed to prevent confusion of ordinary conversation within the vehicle with a structure of vocal commands intended for the computer system. The foot switch is preferably mounted to the floor of a vehicle in the position formerly used to mount a dimmer switch in many vehicles, before the establishment of a convention of operating a dimmer switch by moving the turn indicator lever to the front and rear. This floor mounted position has advantages of allowing operation without requiring visual attention, and without interfering with the normal use of the hands and of the right foot to control the vehicle. Furthermore, this type of switch can be easily mounted to retrofit an existing vehicle, in a procedure creating a minimal impact on the appearance of the inside of the vehicle. This procedure is also simpler than the alternative of mounting a switch to operate among the various levers and electrical wiring on the steering column. The use of a foot switch also has an advantage of preventing confusion with other control functions by requiring a completely different type of motion on the part of the driver. 1