AU2008201729B2 - A system for controlling and recording a driver's usage of a vehicle - Google Patents

A system for controlling and recording a driver's usage of a vehicle Download PDF

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Publication number
AU2008201729B2
AU2008201729B2 AU2008201729A AU2008201729A AU2008201729B2 AU 2008201729 B2 AU2008201729 B2 AU 2008201729B2 AU 2008201729 A AU2008201729 A AU 2008201729A AU 2008201729 A AU2008201729 A AU 2008201729A AU 2008201729 B2 AU2008201729 B2 AU 2008201729B2
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Australia
Prior art keywords
vehicle
speed
processor
speed limit
driver
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AU2008201729A
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AU2008201729A1 (en
Inventor
Rahme Metnois
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A & A Rahme Pty Ltd
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A & A Rahme Pty Ltd
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Priority to AU2007902061 priority Critical
Priority to AU2007902061A priority patent/AU2007902061A0/en
Application filed by A & A Rahme Pty Ltd filed Critical A & A Rahme Pty Ltd
Priority to AU2008201729A priority patent/AU2008201729B2/en
Publication of AU2008201729A1 publication Critical patent/AU2008201729A1/en
Application granted granted Critical
Publication of AU2008201729B2 publication Critical patent/AU2008201729B2/en
Application status is Active legal-status Critical
Anticipated expiration legal-status Critical

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Classifications

    • GPHYSICS
    • G08SIGNALLING
    • G08GTRAFFIC CONTROL SYSTEMS
    • G08G1/00Traffic control systems for road vehicles
    • G08G1/09Arrangements for giving variable traffic instructions
    • G08G1/0962Arrangements for giving variable traffic instructions having an indicator mounted inside the vehicle, e.g. giving voice messages
    • G08G1/0967Systems involving transmission of highway information, e.g. weather, speed limits
    • G08G1/096708Systems involving transmission of highway information, e.g. weather, speed limits where the received information might be used to generate an automatic action on the vehicle control
    • G08G1/096725Systems involving transmission of highway information, e.g. weather, speed limits where the received information might be used to generate an automatic action on the vehicle control where the received information generates an automatic action on the vehicle control
    • GPHYSICS
    • G07CHECKING-DEVICES
    • G07CTIME OR ATTENDANCE REGISTERS; REGISTERING OR INDICATING THE WORKING OF MACHINES; GENERATING RANDOM NUMBERS; VOTING OR LOTTERY APPARATUS; ARRANGEMENTS, SYSTEMS OR APPARATUS FOR CHECKING NOT PROVIDED FOR ELSEWHERE
    • G07C5/00Registering or indicating the working of vehicles
    • G07C5/08Registering or indicating performance data other than driving, working, idle, or waiting time, with or without registering driving, working, idle or waiting time
    • G07C5/0841Registering performance data
    • G07C5/085Registering performance data using electronic data carriers
    • G07C5/0858Registering performance data using electronic data carriers wherein the data carrier is removable
    • GPHYSICS
    • G08SIGNALLING
    • G08GTRAFFIC CONTROL SYSTEMS
    • G08G1/00Traffic control systems for road vehicles
    • G08G1/01Detecting movement of traffic to be counted or controlled
    • G08G1/052Detecting movement of traffic to be counted or controlled with provision for determining speed or overspeed
    • GPHYSICS
    • G08SIGNALLING
    • G08GTRAFFIC CONTROL SYSTEMS
    • G08G1/00Traffic control systems for road vehicles
    • G08G1/09Arrangements for giving variable traffic instructions
    • G08G1/0962Arrangements for giving variable traffic instructions having an indicator mounted inside the vehicle, e.g. giving voice messages
    • G08G1/0967Systems involving transmission of highway information, e.g. weather, speed limits
    • G08G1/096733Systems involving transmission of highway information, e.g. weather, speed limits where a selection of the information might take place
    • G08G1/09675Systems involving transmission of highway information, e.g. weather, speed limits where a selection of the information might take place where a selection from the received information takes place in the vehicle
    • GPHYSICS
    • G08SIGNALLING
    • G08GTRAFFIC CONTROL SYSTEMS
    • G08G1/00Traffic control systems for road vehicles
    • G08G1/09Arrangements for giving variable traffic instructions
    • G08G1/0962Arrangements for giving variable traffic instructions having an indicator mounted inside the vehicle, e.g. giving voice messages
    • G08G1/0967Systems involving transmission of highway information, e.g. weather, speed limits
    • G08G1/096766Systems involving transmission of highway information, e.g. weather, speed limits where the system is characterised by the origin of the information transmission
    • G08G1/096775Systems involving transmission of highway information, e.g. weather, speed limits where the system is characterised by the origin of the information transmission where the origin of the information is a central station
    • GPHYSICS
    • G08SIGNALLING
    • G08GTRAFFIC CONTROL SYSTEMS
    • G08G1/00Traffic control systems for road vehicles
    • G08G1/09Arrangements for giving variable traffic instructions
    • G08G1/0962Arrangements for giving variable traffic instructions having an indicator mounted inside the vehicle, e.g. giving voice messages
    • G08G1/0967Systems involving transmission of highway information, e.g. weather, speed limits
    • G08G1/096766Systems involving transmission of highway information, e.g. weather, speed limits where the system is characterised by the origin of the information transmission
    • G08G1/096783Systems involving transmission of highway information, e.g. weather, speed limits where the system is characterised by the origin of the information transmission where the origin of the information is a roadside individual element

Description

AUSTRALIA FB RICE & CO Patent and Trade Mark Attorneys Patents Act 1990 A & A RAHME PTY LTD COMPLETE SPECIFICATION STANDARD PATENT Invention Title: A system for controlling and recording a driver's usage of a vehicle The following statement is a full description of this invention including the best method of performing it known to us:- 2 A system for controlling and recording a driver's usage of a vehicle Cross-Reference to Related Applications The present application claims priority from Australian Provisional Patent 5 Application No 2007902061 filed on 19 April 2007, the content of which is incorporated herein by reference. Field of the invention This invention relates to the safety of motorists and other users of roadways 10 through the use of an administration system for licensing users of motorised vehicles. More particularly, the invention relates to a system for controlling and recording a driver's usage of a vehicle. Background to the invention 15 Traffic authorities commonly establish a system for issuing licences to drivers of powered vehicles within their jurisdiction. This provides the issuing authority with a record of licensed drivers within their jurisdiction. The record may be maintained on a database of the traffic authority to record the type and status of a licence issued to a particular driver. 20 In order to increase the safety of drivers within their jurisdiction, traffic authorities commonly establish speed zones throughout their jurisdiction. In particular, a maximum speed limit is allocated for each speed zone. The maximum speed limit is set to a level which the traffic authority has determined is a speed at which motorists can maintain control of their vehicle within that zone. In setting the maximum speed 25 limit of a speed zone, a traffic authority will assess the condition and/or type of roads in a particular speed zone. For example, such an assessment may include a consideration of whether or not single lane roads or dual lane roads are within the zone, the degree of any curved sections within the zone and the amount of pedestrian use within the zone such as in the vicinity of schools. 30 To enforce maximum speed limits, traffic authorities often set up speed recording equipment, such as radar devices or cameras, to measure and record the speed of a vehicle travelling within a particular speed zone. However, only a certain number of radar devices or cameras are used at any particular time which leaves open many zones in which vehicles are not monitored for compliance with the associated 35 speed limit.

3 Furthermore, speeding infringement notices are commonly issued well after the motorist has failed to comply with the maximum speed limit. Accordingly, the safety of other users of the zone is put at risk by the motorist not complying with the maximum speed limit. 5 Summary of the Invention According to the invention, there is provided a system for controlling and recording a driver's usage of a vehicle, the system including: a sensing means for sensing a speed of the vehicle; 10 a portable storage device, including a memory, in communication with the sensing means for storing data relating at least to the speed of the vehicle in the memory of the storage device; a processor associated with the storage device and in communication with the sensing means; and 15 a restricting means in communication with the processor for restricting the speed at which the vehicle is able to travel, wherein the memory stores licence information of a licensed driver. The sensing means may be arranged within the vehicle and may sense the speed based on a measurement made within the vehicle. 20 The processor may be in communication with a database of a licensing authority and the data stored in the memory of the portable storage device may be transferable to the database of the licensing authority. Information contained in the database may be transferable to the memory of the portable storage device. A plurality of transmitters may be distributed, externally to the vehicle, in zones 25 through which the vehicle passes, the transmitters may transmit speed limit data to the processor for storing the speed limit data in the memory of the portable storage device. The signal may include time and date details and data which identify the associated zone. The signal may be a radio frequency signal transmitted at a particular frequency. The particular frequency of the signal may be associated with a particular speed limit. 30 In a preferred embodiment of the system, each transmitter is mounted to a speed sign indicating the speed limit. Each transmitter may be independently programmed with the speed limit to be transmitted. Instead, the plurality of transmitters may form a network controlled by a central computer such that each transmitter may be programmed with the speed limit by the central computer. 35 It will be appreciated that the speed limit of a particular zone may vary throughout a day. For example, the speed limit of a zone in the vicinity of a school 4 may be reduced at the start and end of a school day as a safety measure for the increased pedestrian usage in the zone at such time. Instead, the sensing means may determine the vehicle speed based on signals received from a satellite navigation system. The satellite navigation system may be 5 global positioning system. The processor may be configured to determine a position of the vehicle based on the signal received from the satellite navigation system. The system may further including software, containing data relating to speed limits in zones through which the vehicle passes, with which the processor interacts for storing speed limit data in the memory of the portable storage device. 10 The processor may be configured to compare the speed of the vehicle with the stored speed limit data for a particular zone and, when the speed of the vehicle is greater than the speed limit, an infringement may be recorded in the memory of the portable storage device. The processor may be configured to compare the speed of the vehicle with the 15 speed limit and, when the speed of the vehicle is greater than the speed limit, the processor may cause the restricting means to restrict the speed of the vehicle to a speed associated with the speed limit for the particular zone. The system may include a display for displaying to the driver the relevant speed limit and displaying to the driver a warning when the speed of the vehicle exceeds the 20 speed limit. The system may also include means for making an audible sound such as a beep to warn the driver when the speed of the vehicle exceeds the speed limit. The memory may include data relating to a restricted speed limit and, when a restricted speed limit is lower than the speed limit for the particular zone, the restricted speed limit data may apply and the processor may cause the restricting means to restrict 25 the speed of the vehicle to a speed not exceeding the restricted speed limit. When the speed of the vehicle is greater than the restricted speed limit, an infringement may be recorded in the memory. The restricted speed limit may be a particular speed limit allowed for a particular licence type such as a provisional licence. A restricted speed limit may also 30 be allocated to a driver who has previously been issued with an infringement. The restricted speed limit may be set at a fixed value. For example, the restricted speed limit may be set at 60 km per hour. Instead, the restricted speed limit may be set relative to and lower than the stored speed limit. For example, the restricted speed limit may be set to be 5 km less than the stored speed limit. In that case, the processor may 35 determine the restricted speed limit by subtracting 5 km from the stored speed limit.

5 The restricted speed limit may be set based on data stored in the memory, that data being indicative of the past performance of the driver. The portable storage device may be an integrated circuit card. The integrated circuit card may have a microprocessor. Such cards are commonly referred to as 5 "smart cards" and will be referred to as such below. The system further may further include a first card reader arranged within the vehicle for removably receiving the smart card to enable electronic communication between the smart card and the processor. The processor may be arranged within the first card reader. Instead, the processor may be the microprocessor of the smart card. 10 A second card reader may be arranged remotely of the vehicle for removably receiving the smart card and reading the data from the memory of the smart card. The second card reader may be portable and may be carried by police or by an official of the licensing authority. The second card reader may be in communication with the database of the 15 licensing authority and the data stored in the memory may be transferable to the database of the licensing authority. Information contained in the database may be transferable to the memory of the portable storage device via the second card reader. The first card reader may include a security device for receiving an identification code unique to the driver prior to use of the vehicle and, when the unique 20 identification code for the driver has not been received, the processor may cause the restricting means to inhibit the vehicle from being driven. The identification code may be associated with the portable memory device to prevent unauthorized use of the portable memory device with the vehicle. The security device may be responsive to an identification code unique to the 25 vehicle to be received prior to use of the vehicle and, when the unique identification code for the vehicle has not been received, the processor causes the restricting means to inhibit the vehicle from being driven. The identification code may be associated with the first card reader of the vehicle to prevent unauthorized use of the vehicle. The security device may, for example, be a keypad or a scanning device 30 arranged to receive the identification code which may be, for example, a numeric code, an alphanumeric code or biometric data such as a fingerprint. The use of either identification code may also inhibit the vehicle from being stolen. The licence information of a licensed driver may include a status of the driver's 35 licence. The portable storage device may be the driver's licence.

6 The memory may store log book information. The log book information may include details of rest periods taken and the speed of the vehicle. When the licence is to be renewed, the memory of the smart card may be read into the database of the licensing authority and the status of the licence will be updated 5 with consideration being given to any infringements stored in the memory. Instead, the memory of the smart card may be transmitted to the database within a specified time period after the infringement being recorded in the memory of the smart card. The time period may be, for example, thirty-six hours. An override transmitter may be located externally of the vehicle for transmitting 10 an override signal to be received by the processor. When the override signal has been received by the processor, the processor may cause the restricting means to operate. The processor may be operable to apply a delay before causing the restricting means to operate. For example, the delay may be 10 seconds. The override signal may be vehicle specific. The override signal may include a 15 vehicle identifier for making the override signal vehicle specific. For example, the vehicle identifier may be a registration number of the vehicle. The override transmitter may be portable. The override transmitter may be carried by an official vehicle such as a police car. It will be appreciated that the system may be used with any driven vehicle and 20 may, for example, be used in a rail system to record a driver's usage of a train. There is disclosed a system for controlling and recording a driver's usage of a vehicle, the system including: an override transmitter located externally of the vehicle for transmitting an override signal; 25 a receiving means carried by the vehicle for receiving the override signal; a processor associated with the receiving means; and a restricting means in communication with the processor, the restricting means configured to control a power source of the vehicle to restrict the power available from the power source when the override signal has been received. The processor may be 30 operable to apply a delay before causing the restricting means to operate. There is disclosed a system for controlling and recording a driver's usage of a vehicle, the system including: a sensing means arranged within the vehicle for sensing a speed of the vehicle; and 7 a portable storage device, including a memory, in communication with the sensing means for recording the speed of the vehicle in the memory of the storage device. 5 Brief Description of the Drawings An exemplary embodiment of a system for recording a driver's usage of a vehicle is now described by way of example with reference to the accompanying diagrammatic drawing in which: Figure 1 illustrates a schematic diagram of a system in accordance with an 10 embodiment of the invention. Figures 2A to 2G illustrate steps in the use of the system of the embodiment for an unrestricted driver of a vehicle in which the system is installed. Figures 3A to 3G illustrate steps in the use of the system of the embodiment for a provisional driver of a vehicle in which the system is installed. 15 Figures 4A to 4G illustrate steps in the use of the system of the embodiment for a truck driver of a vehicle in which the system is installed. Figures 5A to 5G illustrate steps in the use of the system of the embodiment to bring a vehicle driven by a speeding driver to rest (immobilise) using an override transmitter. 20 Figures 6A to 6D illustrate steps in the use of the system of the embodiment for a vehicle in which the system is installed travelling through a speed restricted zone. Detailed Description of the Exemplary Embodiment In Figure 1, reference numeral 10 generally designates an exemplary 25 embodiment of a system for controlling and recording a driver's usage of a vehicle (not shown). The system 10 includes a sensing means 12 for sensing a speed of the vehicle. The sensing means 12 is arranged within the vehicle. The system 10 also includes a portable storage device 14 which is in communication with the sensing means 12. The portable storage device 14 stores data relating to the speed of the vehicle in a memory 30 16 of the storage device 14. The system also includes a processor 18 which is associated with the storage device 14 and which is in communication with the sensing means 12. The system 10 further includes a restricting means 20 which is in communication with the processor 18 for restricting the speed at which the vehicle is 35 able to travel. The restricting means 20 interacts with a power source (not shown) of 8 the vehicle to restrict the power available from the power source. In this embodiment, the power source is a fuel injection system of the vehicle. The sensing means 12 senses the speed of the vehicle based on measurements made within the vehicle. The sensing means 12 digitally samples the speed of the 5 vehicle at certain times so that the sampled speed can be matched against speed limit data as described in more detail below. The portable storage device 14 is an integrated circuit card. The integrated circuit card has a microprocessor 22. Such cards are commonly referred to as "smart cards" and will be referred to as such below. 10 The system 10 includes a first card reader 24 arranged within the vehicle and in which the processor 18 is arranged. The first card reader 24 has an opening 26 for removably receiving the smart card 14 to enable electronic communication between the smart card 14, the processor 18 and the sensing means 12. In this embodiment, the processor 18 is arranged within the first card reader 24. However, the processor 18 15 could be the microprocessor 22 of the smart card 14. In that case, the first card reader 24 removable receives the smart card 14 to enable electronic communication between the smart card 14, the sensing means 12 and the restricting means 20. Preferably, the first card reader 24 is mounted to a dashboard (not shown) of the vehicle to allow a driver of the vehicle to insert their smart card 14 into the opening 26 20 of the first card reader 24. The smart card 14 is issued by a traffic and licensing authority (referred to as the "licensing authority" below) of a jurisdiction as a driver's licence. The issuing authority electronically stores licence information of the driver into the memory 16 of the smart card 14 from a database 28 operated by the licensing authority. The licence 25 information stored in the memory 16 of the smart card 14 includes particulars such as, for example, the driver's name, address, age, type of licence and current status of the licence. The processor 18 is in communication with the database 28 (e.g. via a wireless network) of the licensing authority and the data stored in the memory 16 of the smart 30 card 14 are transferable to the database 28 of the licensing authority. Information contained in the database 28 is transferable to the memory 16 of the smart card 14 and, thereby, the license information stored in the memory 16 of the smart card 14 including the status of the licence can be updated. A plurality of transmitters 30 is distributed, externally to the vehicle, in zones 35 through which the vehicle passes. Each transmitter 30 is positioned on a roadside of the jurisdiction of the licensing authority such that each transmitter 30 is located in the 9 vicinity of a speed sign (not shown) indicating a speed limit of the associated zone. Each transmitter 30 transmits a signal (indicated schematically by arrow 32) containing speed limit data to be received by the processor 18 for storing the speed limit data in the memory 16 of the smart card 14. The signal 32 is a radio frequency signal which 5 carries speed limit data and data which indicate the time and date and identify the zone in which the transmitter 30 is located. The signal 32 is transmitted at a frequency associated with a particular speed limit. The processor 18 communicates with an antenna 34 associated with the first card reader 24 and arranged to receive the signal 32 and communicate the signal 32 to the processor 18 for storing the speed limit data in 10 the memory 16 of the smart card 14. In this embodiment, each transmitter 30 is independently programmed with the speed limit to be transmitted. However, the plurality of transmitters 30 can form a network controlled by a central computer such that each transmitter 30 is programmed with the speed limit by the central computer. This feature is particularly advantageous 15 in a zone in which the speed limit varies throughout a day. For example, a reduced speed limit may be applied to a zone at the start and end of a school day in consideration of the increased pedestrian usage in the zone at such times. In this embodiment, the sensing means 12 senses the speed of the vehicle and the transmitters 30 transmit the speed limit data. However, in another embodiment of 20 the invention, the sensing means determines the vehicle speed based on signals received from a satellite navigation system (not shown), such as the global positioning system. The processor 18 is configured to determine a position of the vehicle based on the signal received from the satellite navigation system. In that embodiment, the system further includes software, containing data relating to speed limits in zones 25 through which the vehicle passes, with which the processor 18 interacts for storing speed limit data in the memory 16 of the smart card 14. The processor 18 includes a comparator (not shown) for comparing the speed of the vehicle with the stored speed limit data for a particular zone and, when the speed of the vehicle is greater than the speed limit, an infringement is recorded in the memory 30 16 of the smart card 14. In addition, when the speed of the vehicle is greater than the speed limit, the processor 18 may cause the restricting means 20 to restrict the speed of the vehicle to a speed associated with the speed limit for the particular zone. The restricting means 20 interacts with the fuel injection system to reduce the supply of fuel to the engine of the 35 vehicle and thereby restrict the speed of the vehicle.

10 The first card reader 24 includes a display 36 which is in communication with the processor 18. The display 36 displays to the driver the speed limit and also displays a warning when the speed of the vehicle exceeds the speed limit. The first card reader 24 also has a speaker 38 for making an audible sound, such as a beep, to warn the 5 driver when the speed of the vehicle exceeds the speed limit. The licensing authority establishes restricted speed limits allowed for a particular class of licence such as a provisional licence. A restricted speed limit may also be allocated to a driver who has previously been issued with an infringement or based on the driving history of a driver as indicated by the data stored in the memory 10 16 of the smart card 14, including any infringements. For example, the restricted speed limit can be a fixed maximum speed limit above which a driver is not authorized to drive. For example, the fixed maximum speed limit may be 80 km per hour. Instead, the restricted limit can be a relative limit set relative to and less than the speed limit transmitted by the transmitters and stored in the memory 16 of the smart card 14. For 15 example, the relative speed limit may be set to be 5 km per hour less than the stored speed limit. If a driver is subject to a restricted speed limit, the restricted speed limit is stored by the licensing authority in the memory 16 of the smart card 14. When the restricted speed limit is lower than the transmitted speed limit, the restricted speed limit overrides 20 the speed limit transmitted by the transmitters 30 such that the comparator of the processor 18 compares the restricted speed limit with the speed of the vehicle. When the comparator determines that the speed of the vehicle is greater than the restricted speed limit, the processor 18 causes the restricting means 20 to restrict the speed at which the vehicle is travelling to a speed not exceeding the restricted speed limit. The 25 processor 18 also records an infringement concerning the restricted speed limit in the memory 16 of the smart card 14. A warning is also displayed on the display 36. The system 10 includes a second card reader in the form of a portable card reader 40 carried by an official vehicle (not shown) or official of the licensing authority or a law enforcement authority such as a police official. The portable card reader 40 30 has an opening 42 for removably receiving the smart card 14. The data stored in the memory 16 the smart card 14 are displayed on a display 44 of the portable card reader 40 so that the official can read the data stored in the memory 16 of the smart card 14. The portable card reader 40 also has a keypad 43 for input of data. The portable card reader 40 communicates with the database 28 (e.g. via a 35 wireless network) of the licensing authority and the data stored in the memory 16 of the smart card 14 is transferred to the database 28 of the licensing authority. In addition, I1 information contained in the database 28 is transferred to the portable card reader 40 for display to the official. At this time, the licence information of the driver stored in the memory 16 of the smart card 14 can be updated. The official can check the status of the licence and other details stored in the database 28. Such a status check will give 5 due consideration to any infringements stored on the smart card 14. For example, based on the data stored in the memory 16 of the smart card 14, including any infringements, and/or on data stored in the database 28, the official may allocate a restricted speed limit to the driver or reduce a restricted speed limit further. The new restricted speed limit is stored in the memory 16 of the smart card 14 and applies 10 immediately. The official can also cancel the licence by changing the status of the licence stored in the memory 16 of the smart card 14. To enhance security, the first card reader 24 includes a security device 46 which is in communication with the processor 18. The security device 46 is used to receive an driver identification code unique to the driver. The driver identification code is entered 15 by the driver prior to use of the vehicle to confirm that the driver is the holder of the driver's licence. The received driver identification code is compared with a stored identification code contained in the memory 16 of the smart card 14 and if the entered identification code and the stored identification code match, use of the licence to drive the vehicle is permitted. 20 The security device 46 is also responsive to a vehicle identification code unique to the vehicle. The vehicle identification code is stored in a memory 48 associated with the processor 18. The vehicle identification code is entered by the driver prior to use of the vehicle to confirm that the driver is authorized to drive the vehicle. The received vehicle identification code is compared with the stored vehicle identification code 25 contained in the memory 48 and if the entered vehicle identification code and the stored vehicle identification code match, use of the vehicle is permitted. In the embodiment illustrated in Figure 1, the security device 46 has a keypad 47 arranged to receive the identification codes which may be a numeric code or an alphanumeric code. However, it will be appreciated that the identification code may be 30 any other suitable code for identifying a vehicle or a driver. For example, the driver identification code may be a fingerprint of the driver, in which case, the security device 48 may be a scanning device (not shown) for reading the fingerprint of the driver. Instead of the keypad 47, the security device 46 may be in communication with the display 36 which may be a touch screen and identification codes may be input via the 35 touch screen (as illustrated in Fig. 2D).

12 When the driver identification code or the vehicle identification code is not correct or not received, the processor 18 communicates with the restricting means 20 to inhibit the vehicle from being driven. It will be appreciated that the processor 18 may be configured to communicate with other systems of the vehicle to prevent 5 unauthorized use of the vehicle, for example, the processor 18 may be configured to communicate with the ignition system (not shown) of the vehicle to inhibit the vehicle from being started. The system 10 includes an override transmitter in the form of portable override transmitter 50 for transmitting an override signal (indicated schematically by arrow 52). 10 The portable override transmitter has a keypad 54 and a display 56 for the input and display of data. The portable override transmitter 50 is carried by an official of the licensing authority or a law enforcement official such as a police officer, for example, travelling in a police car (not shown). The override transmitter 50 is used to slow or stop a vehicle. The override signal 52 is received by the antenna 34 and communicated 15 to the processor 18. When the processor 18 receives the override signal 52, the processor 18 causes the restricting means 20 to operate. The override signal 52 applies regardless of the speed limit. Depending on the type of override signal 52, the processor 18 will cause the restricting means 20 to slow the vehicle or to bring the vehicle to rest. In this embodiment, the portable override transmitter 50 and the 20 portable card reader 40 are separate devices. However, the functions and features of the override transmitter 50 could be incorporated into the portable card reader 40 so that the official need only carry one device. The override signal 52 is vehicle specific and includes a vehicle identifier for making the override signal 52 vehicle specific. The vehicle identifier is a registration 25 number of the vehicle. The registration number of the vehicle is displayed on the number plates of the vehicle and is also stored in the memory 48 associated with the processor 18. When a vehicle is not complying with a speed limit or with other traffic or safety regulations, a police officer can use the override transmitter 50 to transmit an 30 override signal 52 specific to the vehicle and thereby cause the processor 18 to cause the restricting means 20 to operate to slow the vehicle or bring the vehicle to rest. When the police officer wants to stop a vehicle, the police officer inputs the vehicle registration of the vehicle (for example, as displayed on the number plates of the vehicle) (Figures 5A to 5G) into the override transmitter 50 via the keypad 54 and 35 transmits from the override transmitter 50 an override signal 52 which carries data indicating the vehicle registration and that the signal is an override signal for stopping 13 the vehicle. When the processor 18 receives such an override signal 52 carrying data identifying the vehicle registration corresponding to the vehicle registration stored in the memory 48 associated with the processor 18, the processor 18 causes the restricting means 20 to operate to bring the vehicle to rest (that is to immobilise the vehicle). 5 In emergency situations, the processor 18 can apply a delay before causing the restricting means 20 to restrict the speed of the vehicle in order to bring the vehicle to rest. The delay may be, for example, 10 seconds. The memory 16 of the smart card 14 may store log book information. The log book information may include details such as are required to be kept by drivers of 10 trucks and commercial vehicles. The information may include details of rest periods taken and the speed of the vehicle. When the smart card 14 is inserted into the portable card reader 40, the official can inspect the log book information stored in the memory 16 of the smart card 14 and give consideration to any failures of the driver to comply with driving regulations. Based on the log book information stored in the memory 16 15 of the smart card 14, the official may issue the driver of the vehicle with an infringement or allocate a restricted speed limit to the driver. When the licence is to be renewed, the smart card 14 is taken to an office of the issuing licensing authority where the memory 16 of the smart card 14 is read into the database 28 of the licensing authority. The renewal of the licence will include updating 20 the status of the licence based on a consideration of any infringements stored in the memory 16 of the smart card 14 or the database 28. In one embodiment, when the smart card 14 has been inserted into the first card reader 24 and the driver identification code has been input, the processor 18 communicates with the database 28 and transmits the data stored in the memory 16 of 25 the smart card 14 such as information identifying the driver and the licence, in response, information contained in the database 28 is transferred to the memory 16 of the smart card 14 to update the licence information and other data, such as a restricted speed limit, stored in the memory 16 of the smart card 14. The processor 18 may periodically (for example, every 12 hours) communicate with the database 28 to 30 transmit data to and receive data from the database 28. In another embodiment, within a specified time period after an infringement of a speed limit is recorded in the memory 16 of the smart card 14, the processor 18 communicates with the database 28 so that data stored in the memory 16 of the smart card 14 including data related to the infringement is transferred to the database 28. The 35 time period may be, for example, thirty-six hours.

14 It will be appreciated that the system 10 may be used with any driven vehicle and may, for example, be used in a rail system to record a driver's usage of a train. In the following, examples of the system 10 in use are explained. In order for the driver of the vehicle to start the vehicle, the driver first inserts 5 the smart card 14 into the first card reader 24. Via the display 36, the driver is prompted to input the driver identification code. The driver inputs the driver identification code via the keypad 47. The security device 46 communicates the driver identification code to the processor 18. The processor 18 reads the driver identification code stored in the driver's licence and compares the input driver identification code and 10 the stored driver identification code. If the input driver identification code and the stored driver identification code match, the driver is permitted to use the licence with the vehicle. Next, the driver is prompted via the display 36 to input the vehicle identification code. The driver inputs the vehicle identification code. The processor 18 compares the input vehicle identification code with the vehicle identification code 15 stored in the memory 48 associated with the processor 18. If the input vehicle identification code and the stored vehicle identification code match, then the driver is permitted to drive the vehicle. Both the driver identification code and the vehicle identification code are required to be input correctly in order for the vehicle to be operated. After the driver has correctly input the identification codes, the vehicle can 20 be operated in the usual manner. As the vehicle is driven through zones, the processor 18 receives signals 32 from the transmitters 30. The speed limit data for the particular zone contained in the signal 32 are received by the processor 18 and stored in the memory 16 of the smart card 14. In addition, the speed limit is displayed to the driver by the display 36 of the 25 first card reader 24. If the vehicle exceeds the speed limit for the particular zone, the processor 18 records an infringement in the memory 16 of the smart card 14 including details of the date, time, zone, speed limit and speed of the vehicle. In addition, a warning is displayed to the driver on the display 36 of the first card reader 24. An audible warning is also produced by the speaker 38 to warn the driver that the vehicle is 30 exceeding the speed limit. In addition, the processor 18 may cause the restricting means 20 to operate to restrict the speed of the vehicle to a speed associated with the speed limit of the particular zone through which the vehicle is passing. It will be appreciated that the processor 18 may perform some or all of these actions, may perform the actions in a 35 sequence, or may only perform the actions after the vehicle has continued to exceed the speed limit for a predetermined period of time. For example, if the driver has an 15 unrestricted licence (for example, a restricted speed limit is not recorded in the memory 16 of the smart card 14) (Figures 2A to 2G - unrestricted driver) and the vehicle is exceeding the speed limit, the processor 18 may cause the display 36 to display a warning to the driver and, thereafter, if the vehicle continues to exceed the speed limit, 5 then the processor 18 may record an infringement in memory 16 of the smart card 14. In this case, the processor 18 may not cause the restricting means 20 to restrict the speed of the vehicle. In another example, if the driver has a restricted licence (for example, a restricted speed limit is recorded in the memory 16 of the smart card 14) such as a provisional license (Figures 3A to 3G - provisional driver), when the vehicle 10 is exceeding the speed limit, the processor 18 may cause the display 36 to display a warning to the driver and, thereafter, if the vehicle continues to exceed the restricted speed limit, the processor 18 may record an infringement in the memory 16 of the smart card 14 and cause the restricting means 20 to restrict the speed of the vehicle to a speed not exceeding the restricted speed limit. Instead, the processor 18 may perform 15 all these actions simultaneously, causing the display 36 to display a warning, causing the restricting means 20 to operate, and recording an infringement in the memory 16 of the smart card 14. It will also be appreciated that the system 10 may be configured such that the processor 18 only records an infringement after the speed has been exceeded for a specified period of time, for example, 20 seconds, in order for the driver 20 to have time to respond to a warning displayed on the display 36. Police carrying the portable card reader 40 may stop a driver in order to check the data stored in the memory 16 of the smart card 14 which reflect the driving history of the driver. The smart card 14 is inserted in the portable card reader 40 and details of the driver and any infringements are displayed on the display 44 of the portable card 25 reader 40 (Fig. 2F). The portable card reader 40 can also send the data stored in the memory 16 of the smart card 14 including any infringements to the database 28 of the licensing authority where the data are stored. In addition, information stored in the database 28 concerning the driver, the status of the licence, past infringements by the driver can be transmitted from the database 28 to the portable card reader 40 for 30 consideration by the police officer. In light of any infringements stored in the memory 16 of the smart card 14, the police officer may issue the driver with an infringement notice (Fig 2G). In addition, the police officer can input via the keypad 43 a restricted speed limited into the memory 16 of the smart card 14. Thereafter, the driver will have to comply with the 35 restricted speed limit in order to avoid having further infringements recorded in the memory 16 of the smart card 14.

16 When the smart card 14 is carried by a driver of a truck or a commercial vehicle who is required to keep log book information, the memory 16 of the smart card 14 can be configured to store log book information (Figures 4A to 4G). For example, data indicating vehicle usage, dates and times, rest periods, vehicles speeds, speed limits, 5 zones through which the vehicle has travelled, etc, are stored in the memory 16 of the smart card 14. The police or an official of the relevant agency can inspect the log book data stored in the memory 16 of the smart card 14 to check for compliance with the relevant regulations. If the driver has not complied with the regulations, an infringement can be issued and, for example, a restricted speed limit may be allocated 10 to the driver and stored in the memory 16 of the smart card 14. It will be appreciated by persons skilled in the art that numerous variations and/or modifications may be made to the invention as shown in the specific embodiments without departing from the scope of the invention as broadly described. The present embodiments are, therefore, to be considered in all respects as illustrative 15 and not restrictive.

Claims (22)

1. A system for controlling and recording a driver's usage of a vehicle, the system including: 5 a sensing means for sensing a speed of the vehicle; a portable storage device, including a memory, in communication with the sensing means for storing data relating at least to the speed of the vehicle in the memory of the storage device; a processor associated with the storage device and in communication with the 10 sensing means; and a restricting means in communication with the processor for restricting the speed at which the vehicle is able to travel, wherein the memory stores licence information of a licensed driver. 15
2. The system according to claim 1, wherein the sensing means is arranged within the vehicle and senses the speed based on a measurement made within the vehicle.
3. The system according to claim I or claim 2, wherein the processor is in communication with a database of a licensing authority and the data stored in the 20 memory of the portable storage device are transferable to the database of the licensing authority.
4. The system according to claim 3, wherein information contained in the database is transferable to the memory of the portable storage device. 25
5. The system according to any one of the preceding claims, which includes a plurality of transmitters distributed, externally to the vehicle, in zones through which the vehicle passes, the transmitters transmitting speed limit data to the processor for storing the speed limit data in the memory of the portable storage device. 30
6. The system according to claim 5, wherein each transmitter is independently programmed with the speed limit data to be transmitted.
7. The system according to claim 5, wherein the plurality of transmitters form a 35 network controlled by a central computer such that each transmitter is programmed with the speed limited data by the central computer. 18
8. The system according to claim 1, wherein the sensing means determines the vehicle speed based on signals received from a satellite navigation system. 5
9. The system according to claim 8, wherein the processor is configured to determine a position of the vehicle based on the signal received from the satellite navigation system, the system further including software, containing data relating to speed limits in zones through which the vehicle passes, with which the processor interacts for storing speed limit data in the memory of the portable storage device. 10
10. The system according to any one of claims 5 to 9, wherein the processor is configured to compare the speed of the vehicle with the stored speed limit data for a particular zone and, when the speed of the vehicle is greater than the speed limit, an infringement is recorded in the memory of the portable storage device. 15
11. The system according to claim 10, wherein the processor is configured to compare the speed of the vehicle with the speed limit and, when the speed of the vehicle is greater than the speed limit, the processor causes the restricting means to restrict the speed of the vehicle to a speed associated with the speed limit for the 20 particular zone.
12. The system according to claim 10 or claim 11, wherein the memory includes data relating to a restricted speed limit and, when a restricted speed limit is lower than the speed limit for the particular zone, the restricted speed limit data applies and the 25 processor causes the restricting means to restrict the speed of the vehicle to a speed not exceeding the restricted speed limit.
13. The system according to any one of the preceding claims, wherein the portable storage device is a smart card, the system further including a first card reader arranged 30 within the vehicle for removably receiving the smart card to enable electronic communication between the smart card and the processor.
14. The system according to claim 13, further including a second card reader arranged remotely of the vehicle for removably receiving the smart card and reading 35 the data from the memory of the smart card. 19
15. The system according to claim 14, wherein the second card reader is in communication with the database of the licensing authority and the data stored in the memory are transferable to the database of the licensing authority. 5
16. The system according to any one of claims 13 to 15, wherein the first card reader includes a security device for receiving an identification code unique to the driver prior to use of the vehicle and, when the unique identification code for the driver has not been received, the processor causes the restricting means to inhibit the vehicle from being driven. 10
17. The system according to claim 16, wherein the security device is responsive to an identification code unique to the vehicle to be received prior to use of the vehicle and, when the unique identification code for the vehicle has not been received, the processor causes the restricting means to inhibit the vehicle from being driven. 15
18. The system according to any one of the preceding claims, wherein the licence information includes a status of the driver's licence.
19. The system according to any one of the preceding claims, wherein the portable 20 storage device is the driver's licence.
20. The system according to one of the preceding claims, further comprising an override transmitter located externally of the vehicle for transmitting an override signal; and 25 a receiving means carried by the vehicle for receiving the override signal, the receiving means being in communication with the processor, wherein, when the override signal has been received by the receiving means, the processor causes the restricting means to operate. 30
21. The system according to claim 20, wherein the processor is operable to apply a delay before causing the restricting means to operate.
22. A system for controlling and recording a driver's usage of a vehicle substantially as hereinbefore described with reference to the drawing. 35
AU2008201729A 2007-04-19 2008-04-21 A system for controlling and recording a driver's usage of a vehicle Active AU2008201729B2 (en)

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Citations (3)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
JPH01278209A (en) * 1988-04-30 1989-11-08 Toshiba Corp Vehicle travel control system
US6166658A (en) * 1999-11-22 2000-12-26 Testa; David P. Speed limit control system
US6606033B1 (en) * 1999-10-11 2003-08-12 Last Mile Communications/Tivis Limited Information system

Patent Citations (3)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
JPH01278209A (en) * 1988-04-30 1989-11-08 Toshiba Corp Vehicle travel control system
US6606033B1 (en) * 1999-10-11 2003-08-12 Last Mile Communications/Tivis Limited Information system
US6166658A (en) * 1999-11-22 2000-12-26 Testa; David P. Speed limit control system

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