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Method for facilitating the safe pick up of children and seniors with driverless cars Disclosure Number: IPCOM000240837D
Publication Date: 2015-Mar-05
Document File: 5 page(s) / 106K

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The Prior Art Database


For a future with driverless vehicles, the article proposes a system for consolidating into one device the ability to reliably open and close multiple vehicles. Such a system allows caregivers to ensure the safe pick up and transport of children and seniors.

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Method for facilitating the safe pick up of children and seniors with driverless cars

In a future with driverless vehicles, the vehicles will commonly be dispatched on errands without any driver behind the wheel.

One such errand will be picking the kids up from school or day care. In such a circumstance, how can the parent enable the teacher to open the vehicle? Ideally a system can prevent both inadvertent confusion and deliberate foul play.

The same solution could be applied to situations where the vehicle is picking up an elderly parent or other senior whose caregiver needs assurance that he or she is putting the right people into the right vehicles.

The closest thing to a known solution would be for a child or senior to carry a keyless entry fob - or for the caregiver to be in charge of a large set of such keyless entry fobs. Those present several problems.

- They are bulky and difficult to keep track of. If the child or senior is entrusted with them, there is a chance that the fob will get lost, broken, or inadvertently traded with a different person. If the caregiver is entrusted with them, they become a difficult and inefficient mess, especially for a caregiver in a potentially hectic pick-up environment when a line of driverless vehicles might arrive all at once to pick up their designated passengers. One can imagine a caregiver with a large basket of fobs, desperately trying to locate the one that corresponds to Susie or Bertrand.

- They're not clearly identified with the corresponding person. Unless the caregiver deliberately attaches some label or identifier to the fob, it's difficult to know which person belongs to which fob. They tend to look very similar.

- They're not clearly identified with the corresponding vehicle. When the caregiver sees a car arriving, how does he or she know which fob will open that vehicle?

- A large amount of fobs can be a security problem, because a person must assure that one or two don't go missing out of potentially 30 or 40 fobs.

- As the reader might know, keyless fobs for cars use a sophisticated synchronization scheme to prevent one signal accidentally opening the wrong car - and to prevent a thief from capturing a signal and replaying it to open a vehicle. Car manufacturers will be very reluctant to offer their sthece code so that the keyless entry can be aggregated.

A solution is required that allows a caregiver to centralize all information (including pictures of children or seniors, pictures and license numbers of vehicles, expected arrival times, etc) in one interface that runs on a mobile device such as a tablet. The interface must allow the caregivers to understand at a glance which vehicles correspond to which people - and must allow them to unlock the vehicles from the interface itself.

The same solution allows the caregiver to open the vehicle to let the child or senior get out. As described later, parents and those lookin...