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Smart Semaphore Start/Stop system Disclosure Number: IPCOM000227401D
Publication Date: 2013-May-06
Document File: 3 page(s) / 45K

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The Prior Art Database


Traffic lights (Semaphores) are part of our driving life experience. To save fuel and to reduce the pollution, some new cars are equipped with a mechanism which stops the engine when the car has stopped for a certain amount of time (for example when the car is stopped at a semaphore) and automatically restarts it when the driver needs the car to run again, based on a driver action (for example on the gear).The stop is automatic but not the restart time

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Smart Semaphore Start/Stop system
Hereafter is disclosed a system and a method to optimize the start/stop time of the car engine.

The decision to stop the engine and to restart it, is currently automatic, but:

1) The engine shut down is driven by a stop period time amount evaluation in which there is anyway useless fuel consumption and pollution.

2) The restart is demanded by an action performed by the driver (for example by pushing the gas, or by acting on the gear), which can be done some time in advance or before it is actually needed (for example when the first car stopped at the semaphore starts moving). This means anyway a useless fuel consumption and pollution.

The method and system described hereafter is based on smart semaphores which triggers the shut down of the engines and their restart in sequence.

1) The stop can be prompter without waiting for long time-outs, taken when needed.

2) The restart can be smoother, since the switch on of the vehicle engine is sequential, going car by car in queue sequence, with a little added delay when moving down from the first car stopped at semaphore, to the last car which can be handled by the semaphore.

No manual intervention in both the decisions is requested.

The advantages are evident in terms of:

1) Pollution and resources saving: switching off earlier and switching on after, requires less gas and reduces also the related pollution

2) Security: Automatically stopping the car at red light and switching back on, at green light will help to reduce car accidents at cross-roads, and also to reduce the possibility of pedestrian investment. Delaying the restarts of following vehicle rows would reduce the possibility that a following vehicle bumps on the preceding one.

The vehicles (cars, trucks, busses, scooters...) needs to be equipped with the engine start/stop device (which is already offered as optional or base equipment on most vehicle manufacturers) to get advantage from the proposed system.

The semaphores on the road need to be "smart", having communication capabilities with vehicles and sensors along the road in proximity of semaphore.

The cars need to be equipped with a communication device able to communicate with the "smart" semaphore system,
When a vehicle is approaching the semaphore a first sensor detects the vehicle, contacts the device on the car,
and p...