CA2247128A1 - Vehicle navigation and route guidance system - Google Patents

Vehicle navigation and route guidance system

Info

Publication number
CA2247128A1
CA2247128A1 CA 2247128 CA2247128A CA2247128A1 CA 2247128 A1 CA2247128 A1 CA 2247128A1 CA 2247128 CA2247128 CA 2247128 CA 2247128 A CA2247128 A CA 2247128A CA 2247128 A1 CA2247128 A1 CA 2247128A1
Authority
CA
Canada
Prior art keywords
vehicle
system
invehicle
processing means
routing
Prior art date
Legal status (The legal status is an assumption and is not a legal conclusion. Google has not performed a legal analysis and makes no representation as to the accuracy of the status listed.)
Abandoned
Application number
CA 2247128
Other languages
French (fr)
Inventor
Ronald P. Knockeart
Janusz S. Sulich
Current Assignee (The listed assignees may be inaccurate. Google has not performed a legal analysis and makes no representation or warranty as to the accuracy of the list.)
Siemens Automotive Corp
Original Assignee
Siemens Automotive Corporation
Ronald P. Knockeart
Janusz S. Sulich
Siemens Automotive L.P.
Priority date (The priority date is an assumption and is not a legal conclusion. Google has not performed a legal analysis and makes no representation as to the accuracy of the date listed.)
Filing date
Publication date
Priority to US60564896A priority Critical
Priority to US605,648 priority
Application filed by Siemens Automotive Corporation, Ronald P. Knockeart, Janusz S. Sulich, Siemens Automotive L.P. filed Critical Siemens Automotive Corporation
Publication of CA2247128A1 publication Critical patent/CA2247128A1/en
Application status is Abandoned legal-status Critical

Links

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
    • G08G1/0968Systems involving transmission of navigation instructions to the vehicle
    • G08G1/096805Systems involving transmission of navigation instructions to the vehicle where the transmitted instructions are used to compute a route
    • G08G1/096811Systems involving transmission of navigation instructions to the vehicle where the transmitted instructions are used to compute a route where the route is computed offboard
    • GPHYSICS
    • G01MEASURING; TESTING
    • G01CMEASURING DISTANCES, LEVELS OR BEARINGS; SURVEYING; NAVIGATION; GYROSCOPIC INSTRUMENTS; PHOTOGRAMMETRY OR VIDEOGRAMMETRY
    • G01C21/00Navigation; Navigational instruments not provided for in preceding groups
    • G01C21/26Navigation; Navigational instruments not provided for in preceding groups specially adapted for navigation in a road network
    • G01C21/34Route searching; Route guidance
    • G01C21/36Input/output arrangements of navigation systems
    • G01C21/3605Destination input or retrieval
    • 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
    • G08G1/0968Systems involving transmission of navigation instructions to the vehicle
    • G08G1/096805Systems involving transmission of navigation instructions to the vehicle where the transmitted instructions are used to compute a route
    • G08G1/096811Systems involving transmission of navigation instructions to the vehicle where the transmitted instructions are used to compute a route where the route is computed offboard
    • G08G1/096822Systems involving transmission of navigation instructions to the vehicle where the transmitted instructions are used to compute a route where the route is computed offboard where the segments of the route are transmitted to the vehicle at different locations and times
    • 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
    • G08G1/0968Systems involving transmission of navigation instructions to the vehicle
    • G08G1/096833Systems involving transmission of navigation instructions to the vehicle where different aspects are considered when computing the route
    • G08G1/096844Systems involving transmission of navigation instructions to the vehicle where different aspects are considered when computing the route where the complete route is dynamically recomputed based on new data
    • 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
    • G08G1/0968Systems involving transmission of navigation instructions to the vehicle
    • G08G1/096855Systems involving transmission of navigation instructions to the vehicle where the output is provided in a suitable form to the driver
    • G08G1/096866Systems involving transmission of navigation instructions to the vehicle where the output is provided in a suitable form to the driver where the complete route is shown to the driver
    • 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
    • G08G1/0968Systems involving transmission of navigation instructions to the vehicle
    • G08G1/096855Systems involving transmission of navigation instructions to the vehicle where the output is provided in a suitable form to the driver
    • G08G1/096872Systems involving transmission of navigation instructions to the vehicle where the output is provided in a suitable form to the driver where instructions are given per voice
    • 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
    • G08G1/0968Systems involving transmission of navigation instructions to the vehicle
    • G08G1/096877Systems involving transmission of navigation instructions to the vehicle where the input to the navigation device is provided by a suitable I/O arrangement
    • G08G1/096894Systems involving transmission of navigation instructions to the vehicle where the input to the navigation device is provided by a suitable I/O arrangement where input is assisted by the navigation device, i.e. the user does not type the complete name of the destination, e.g. using zip codes, telephone numbers, progressively selecting from initial letters
    • GPHYSICS
    • G08SIGNALLING
    • G08GTRAFFIC CONTROL SYSTEMS
    • G08G1/00Traffic control systems for road vehicles
    • G08G1/123Traffic control systems for road vehicles indicating the position of vehicles, e.g. scheduled vehicles; Managing passenger vehicles circulating according to a fixed timetable, e.g. buses, trains, trams
    • G08G1/127Traffic control systems for road vehicles indicating the position of vehicles, e.g. scheduled vehicles; Managing passenger vehicles circulating according to a fixed timetable, e.g. buses, trains, trams to a central station ; Indicators in a central station

Abstract

A vehicle navigation system (10) utilizing a wireless communications medium (74) for transmitting present position (77) and destination position (75) data to a central processing means (14) for generating a route. The central processing means generates a series of turn-by-turn routing vectors (82-87) comprising the route. The wireless communications medium transmits the turn-by-turn routing vectors to the vehicle for display either audibly or visually or both to the vehicle operator (34). A vehicle identification means can be used for updating the routing vectors upon subsequent transmissions.

Description

Vehicle Navigation and Route Guidance System This invention relates to data processing control systems in general and more particularly to motor vehicle navigation and route 5 guidance systems determining the destination address from a telephone number. US class 364/444 or Int. class G06F 15/50.

BRIEF SUMMARY C)F THE INVENTION
Rackground of the Invention There are fundamentally two different types of vehicle navigational systems. The first system makes use of stored map displays wherein the maps of a predetermined area are stored in the invehicle computer and displayed to the vehicle operator or driver. The maps, knowing the location where the vehicle started and where it is 15 to go, will highlight the d,irection and the driver will have to read the display and follow the route. One such stored map display system offered by General Motors on their 1994 Oldsmobile, uses Cilobal Positioning System (GPS) satellites and advanced dead reckoning techniques to determine a precise location. The driver enters details of 20 the desired destination into an on-board or invehicle, computer, in the form of specific address, a road intersection, etc. The stored map is displayed and the operator then pinpoints the desired destination. The on-board computer then calculates the most efficient route. The on-board computer then displays on a display unit, the distance to and the 25 direction of each turning maneuver in easy-to-read graphics and also includes a voice prompt.

The second system, such as the Siemens Ali-Scout system, requires that the driver key-in the destination address, in geodetic 3Q coordinates, into the invehicle computer. A compass means located in the vehicle then gives a "compass" direction to the destination address. Such a "compass" direction is shown in easy-to-read graphics as an arrow on a display unit indicating the direction the driver should go. Along the side of the road are several infrared beacon sites which 35 transmit data information to the properly equipped vehicle relative to W 097131241 PCT~US97/02073 the preferred routing to the next adjacent beacon sites. From ail of the data the invehicle computer receives, the invehicle computer selects the desired beacon data information to the next beacon along the route direction to the final destination and displays a graphic symbol for the 5 vehicle operator to follow and the distance to the desired destination.
There is no map to read, only a simple graphic symbol and a voice prompt telling the vehicle operator where to turn and when to continue in the same direction.

U.S. Patent 4,3~0,970, assigned to Siemens AG and issued on September 21, 1982 to von Tomkewitsch and entitled "Method for Traffic Determination in a Routing and Information System for Individual Motor Vehicle Traffic" describes a method for traffic management in a routing and information system for motor vehicle 15 traffic. The system has a network of stationary routing stations, each located in the vicinity of the roadway, which transmit route information and local information concerning its position to passing vehicles. The route information which is transmitted is the preferred routing to all beacons and zones adjacent to the beacon site. The 20 vehicle navigation system then selects a route from all the routes transmitted by the beacon.

The trip destination address, via geodetic coordinates, is loaded by the vehicle operator into an onboard device, a navigation processor, 25 in the vehicle and by dead reckoning techniques a distance and direction graphic is displayed. The first routing station which the vehicle passes transmits a message to the vehicle with route data to all of the adjacent beacons one of which is the next routing station.
The vehicle receives the message and selects one of the recommended 3Q routes which will guide the vehicle towards its final destination. As it executes the travel to the next beacon, it accumulates time and distance traveled which it transmits to the second routing station when it is interrogated by passing the second routing station. In this manner, traffic management is updated in real time and the vehicles 3~ are always routed the "best way". Of course the best way may be the GES.VON~ MUENCHEN 03 ; 8~ A 02247128 1998-08-21 23994a60- t+~l22 7~U 1~ 3a;# 2/ 3 Shortest way, the less tra~ellcd wa~r7 the cheapest way or any combi~ation of these plu~ other ~iteria.
~ n J~r~nese publi~ation JP620869~, ~om S~l~it~rno Electric Ind. LTD, d~tcd July 26, 1994, a controllcr in a motor vehicle o~e.at~s an automotive telephoIle devicc through a modem alld a line cvml~-tion with a~ info~ ion center is l~e~ ~u~ ll~d. W~en the line is connected, the tele~h~ne numbe~ of thedestinahon }nputted by an ~ t~ is tr~ it~ to the infic)trn~tion center. The infor~nation center ~ansrnits a position coordinate cor~esp(~n~lin~ to the receivcd tGlcphone number which is then rcLL~ J..;~te~ d stored in the cont~oller. Ttle controller reads a m~p co~res~onding to the position coordinate fi~om a road mapmemory l:~y a memory device. A ~oad map is displayed on a display dev~ce in ~he ~est~nP~tion facility.
Sllmm~r of tlle ~n~v~n~ion I~ both of the af~ wllioned systemsl the vehicle C~lJC-~L llaS had to enter into the in~ehicle CO~ ltt;l, the geodetic coar~in~tes of the destination address.
These are la~tude aIld longitudG coor~in~t~. In e~ch case, the present systems require each co~ ~Le to be at least a six di~t number, degrees, {~ Utt S and seconds; thus, two six digit numb~rs must b~ entered. In order to get the ~oortlin~tes, the vehicle operator has to read a map or consult a look-up table and by mean~ of a data keyboard7 key in the nllml~ors In the Ali-Scout system, ~ese coor~ t~ would be inputted into the navigation computer and until the ~ehiclc passed thc fi~st beacon site, the ~ehicle display system indicates the corn~ lin~ to take. Once the vehicle passed the first beacon7 ~e vehicle w~ll ~en receiYe information about the best route tc~ take to the next adjace~t beacoIts and ~e c~ Lc.t knowing its present ~eodetic location and the geodetic locatio~ of itS ~.stin~tion address, will select the best -route in ~e ~i~ection of the destin~horl add~ess.

AMEI~O~D S~IEET

1- . a' 08/04 ' g8 WED 07: 57 [TX/RX No 9128]

GES.VON:EPA-MUENCHEN ~)3 ; ~ ~ ~A 0224~7l28l l998-l0~8-2l 23994560~ ~t4122 7~0 1~ 3a;# 3 3a.'-~ ",~
Othe~ kno~rl ve~iicle navig~ n systems are described in Lhe f~llowin~
doc~ nt~
In patent application WO-A-96/00373 the~e is desc~bed a vehiele naviga~ion system which cornmllnic~tes with an external central processing system .~ia a comrmmications rnedium ~ glo~l positioning ~ystem provides CUl~lt posi~on data. Destination data is enteretl via keybo~d ~nd transmitted tothe ccnt~al co~ ul~r which calculates a route and ~ransmits the ro~te tc~ the invehicle system Patent application n~mb~r DE-A-43009~7 discloses a ~ehicle navigation system usi~ a communications ~edium for ~ccessin~ a central map rl~t~h~e ~rom whiGh the most fzLvourable route is computed.
PatenL application nllmhcr DE-A-413~5~1 discloses a navig~tion system ~hich Iedefines the route o~the ~fehicle in response to the detail~ o~
vehicle position.
I~ patent application nlmber WO-A-9~/0~526 there is descnbed a system wherein destina~ion data is transmiKed from the vehicle in ~e foml of a telephone number Yia a beacon interface ~vhich is llsed by the central proccssing sy~tem to identif~ the l?osition of the required destination.
One mcthod of introducing a ~n~ml~l coordinates of the rl~stin~tion address req~ires l:he vehicle to study a map, a m~n~ l o~

- ~MENDc~ r !

08/04 '98 WED 07:57 [TX/RX NO 9128]

W O 97/31241 PCT~US97/02073 some other data base means to determine the six digit word coordinates of the destination address and then enter or key in each word by means of a keyboard into the onboard memory. In the present invention, the vehicle operator enters the phone number of the 5 destination by means of a phone-type number keyboard pad. The onboard computer transmits this number to the central processing station having a data base subsystem wherein the correlation of the phone number, physical address and the geodetic coordinates such as latitude and longitude are stored. The central processor then transmits 1Q the geodetic coordinates back to the onboard vehicle computer and the destination address is automatically and correctly loaded into the onboard memory.

In another embodiment, the onboard computer receives the 1~ present position from a GPS receiver and transmits both the present position and the desired position to the central processing station by means of a wireless communication means. The central processing station computes a series of routing vectors which are transmitted back to the onboard computer for display in a turn-by-turn manner the 20 route for the vehicle to take to the destination position.

In addition, the invention herein provides for the entry of data input from various traffic functions to be put in the data base and such information is transmitted to the various beacon sites in the system by 2~ the central processing unit to provide better data to the vehicles concerning routing vectors.

It is therefore a principle advantage to have the operator load the destination address into the invehicle system by the simple means 30 of dialing the telephone number of the destination and not requiring the operator to refer to various maps or other data bases for such destination coordinates.

It is another advantage to have the beacon sites be updated 35 with traffic functional information such as travel conditions and road data, received from many sources and inputted into the central ....~

CA 02247l28 l998-08-2l W O 97/31241 PCTrUS97/02073 processing unit and which is transmitted to the beacon sites from the system central processing unit.

These and other advantages will become apparent from the following drawings and detailed description.

Brief Description of the Drawings In the drawings:
FIG. 1. is a system block diagram of the vehicle navigation and route guidance system;
FIG. 2 is a detailed block diagram of the preferred embodiment of the invention;
FIG. 3 is a driver interface device in the vehicle for transmitting the destination phone number and accepting or rejecting a system recommended route.;
FIG. 4 is a dashboard display in the vehicle to receive one form of the information from the navigation unit including a preview of the routing and alert by the system of an in-route change of routing;
FIG 5. is another embodiment of vehicle navigation and route guidance system;
FIG. 6. is a detail of the data base of FIG. 5; and FIG. 7 is a schematic of route vectors which are transmitted over the wireless communication medium from a present position to a destination position.
netailed Description of the Preferred Embodiment Referring to FIG. 1 by the characters of reference, there is illustrated in block diagrammatic form a vehicle navigational and routing system 10. As is known in the prior art, there are located along the sides of the roadway, several beacon sites 12, or fixed guide ~' beacons 13, each placed strategically in the area. In an urban area, such sites are within kilometers of each other and in the rural areas, ~ the beacon sites maybe spaced much, much farther apart.

It is the function of the beacon sites 12 to transmit information received from a central processing means 14 including an information W O 97/31241 PCTrUS97/02073 processor 15 and a data base 16 concerning the best route to take to the adjacent beacon sites. The beacon sites 12 also receive information from a vehicle including among other information abou~ the elapsed travel time for links vehicle activity and other information to assist in determining the "best" route from that particular beacon site 12 to each adjacent beacon site 12 and beyond.

In the prior art systems, such as the Ali-Scout System as developed by Siemens Aktiengesellschaft, the vehicle operator has, in 10 his vehicle, an invehicle system 1 8 comprising a transmitter 20, a receiver 22, an information processing unit 24 including a position unit, a travel-time unit, a destination address processor and a memory and a display means 26 having a data entry means such as a keyboard 28, an arrow indicator guidance visual display 30 and an audio or 15 voice messaging system 32. The Ali-Scout System is an infrared communication system in that the medium for transmitting and receive data from a beacon 12 to the invehicle system 18 is by means of infrared waves.

In the prior art system, the vehicle operator had to input the particular geodetic destination address coordinates found on a map or some other data look-up means. These coordinates are typically the latitude and longitude of the destination address which, of necessity, ~3re long digital words. The operator must accurately read these numbers from his map and key them into the invehicle unit through the alpha numeric keyboard.

In the preferred embodiment, the operator 34 by knowing the phone number of his destination location does not have to read and copy unfamiliar numbers into a keyboard. The typical phone number in the United States is 7 digits long, not including the area code, and is probably a familiar number. Therefore, the error of entering such a number is much smaller. The invehicle system 18 transmits the phone number to the central processor 14 and data base 16 as a destination address request by conventional telecommunications methods such as W O 97/31241 PCTrUS97/02073 a cellar telephone network or spread spectrum telephone network. The central processor 14 and data base 16, has the street address and the geodetic coordinates corresponding to the phone number stored in the , data base 16 and coded in the proper form. This coded form is then transmitted from the central processor 14 to the invehicle unit 18 as a destination location address. Once the coordinates are located in the invehicle unit 18, the system then prepares to receive from the next beacon site 12 which it passes, the route information to the next adjacent beacon sites 1 2.
Another feature of the preferred embodiment is the information gathering capabilities of the central processor 1 4 and data base 16.
The information gathered is received from other sources such as special events data 36 regarding such as sporting or cultural events, 15 traffic events data 38 regarding such as accidents and road repairs, weather data 40, and other transient and incident data 42 which would affect the movement of vehicles along the highways and streets.

It is understood that the transmitters and receivers in the invehicle unit 18, the central processor 14 and the beacon sites 12, function to communicate and receive data between and among the several units as the IVHS system requires. As will be shown, the transmitter 20 can transmit data in the communication mode to the central process 14 and later communicate in the infrared range to the beacon sites 1 2.

Referring to FIG. 2, there is illustrated in block diagrammatic form, the preferred embodiment of the system of FIG. 1. FIG. 2 is a less detail block diagram which shows the invehicle system containing the dead reckoning navigational system which is a basic element of the system and the destination map 43 which is stored in the invehicle system. The dead reckoning navigational system gives the operator 34 a compass bearing on the direction to go to the destination location. In addition, the dead reckoning system maintains the proper compass headings in the vehicle in order to accurately show the direction the CA 02247l28 l998-08-2l W O97/31241 PCT~US97/02073 vehicie must travel to reach its destination location when the vehicle is in the autonomous mode of operation, that is before intercepting its first beacon site 12 or when off the course derived from the beacon.
Also the invehicle system 18 has the beacon interface which was 5 previously described incorporating an infrared communication system.
The operator display means 26 was also previous described and will be described in alternate embodiments with regard to FlGs. 3 and 4.

The new feature of the preferred embodiment is the phone 10 transmitter 44 which allows the destination location telephone number to be transmitted through the telecommunications structure or communications means 46 to the central processor 14. At the central processor 14, the destination location or address telephone number is converted to geodetic or map coordinates and transmitted by the 1 5 communications means 46 to the invehicle system 18. In the alternative, the central processor 14 can also identify a specific street address corresponding to the dialed telephone number. This information can also be used for navigational purposes, or as additional information for the operator. By means of the information provided by 20 the beacon site 12, the invehicle system 18 then operates to guide the vehicle from its present position or location to its destination address or location. In addition as previously indicated, the central processor 14 also transmits preferred routes to the beacon sites 12 based on its knowledge of area-wide traffic conditions.
Once the geodetic coordinates from the central processor 14 are inputted into the in vehicle system 18 the invehicle information processing unit 24 takes the information from its memory as to its present location, generates a direction indicator on the visual display 30 screen 30 directing the vehicle operator 34 as to the direction to go.
Once the vehicle is in position to communicate and does communicate with the first beacon site 12, the information processing unit 24 selects the "best" route using the beacon site 12 supplied information.
The beacon site 12 transmits information on how to go to each 35 adjacent beacon site 12 and it is the function of the invehicle information processing unit 24 is to select the appropriate direction information knowing its present location and the destination location.
All other information received from the beacon site 12 may not utilized. The routing ;s either audibly 32 or visuslly displayed 30 or both to the vehicle operator 34 and is updated each time the vehicle is 5 instructed to change course. The beacon site 12 receives information from the invehicie information processing unit 24 as to the amount of time and distance the car has traveled from a previous beacon so as to update the central processor 14 and data base 16 for potential new routing information. At no time does any part of the system, other 10 than the invehicle system 18 know where the vehicle is and where it is 0oing. ~his preserves the anonymity of each vehicle.

In FIG. 3, there is illustrated a keyboard 28 having a numeric keypad 48 similar to that found on a telephone. This promotes ease of 15 data entry since most are familiar with a touch-tone phone keyboard.
Since this is a telephone, there are selection buttons 50 and 52 which allow the operator 34 to indicate that the number being indexed into the keypad 48 is either for telecommunications 50 or for IVHS
communications 52. As with most telephone keypads, the number 20 entered into the keypad 48 is displayed on a display panel 54 before it transmitted. Once the correct number is displayed, the operator confirms and activates the telephone. When the destination address coordinates are returned to the invehicle system 18, the operator 34 indicates his or her acceptance by pushing the accept route button 56 25 and the vehicle is now able to function in the IVHS mode.

As soon as telecommunications such as a cellular phone is used, total anonymity is no longer available. Location of a vehicle can be established from the transmissions, but this is only implementable by 30 the central processor 14 having total access to the communications network. As to the message content, the destination and routing could be overheard, but the iocation and identification of the receiving vehicle would not be available to a casual listener. For example, a scanner will pick-up the data transmission, but not the location of the 35 receiving vehicle or person.

W O 97131241 PCT~US97/02073 One such method of communicating the route to the vehicle operator is by a visual display device 58 as illustrated in FIG. 4. This is intended to show a different mode of visual display to the operator 34;
i.e. after the invehicle information processing means 24 selects the 5 routing from the data received from the beacon 12, it can display the routing in the following manner.

In this example, the visual display 30 shows the several street names 60 that the vehicle will take to get to its destination location or 10 address. Next to each street name 60 is the compass direction 62 the vehicle should proceed on that particular street 60. Both the route time 64 and the route miieage 66 is or maybe shown to the vehicle operator 34.

Of key importance, is the data signal from the central processor 14 and data bank 16 to the beacon sites 12 that alerts the beacon sites to a change in the route because of information gathered by the system from the several beacons or other input means. Such information may show heavy traffic congestion or a sudden repair 20 problem such as a water main break. This information is transmitted by the central processor 14 and data base 16 to the site computer 68 at each beacon site 12 to alter the routes from each beacon site to the adjacent beacon sites. The end result may be to redirect the vehicle when it passes the next beacon site and thereby changing the display.
2~ The visual display device 58 may have a display 70 which alters the operator 34 to a route change.

Still other embodiments of the system may provide information in a package form to commercial vehicles such as trucks. In this case, 30 which is an example of a dedicated system, the anonymity is not an issue. The beacons are either owned or operated by the trucking company, or if there is a consortium of several companies, data from each company can be encrypted.

The dispatching department of the a freight company can access the central processor and data base with a routing for a given W O 97131241 PCTrUS97/~2073 truck that is entering the area. This routing coincides with the delivery points where the truck is to stop and discharge its load or a partial load. As an example, ABC Cartage Company knows that its truck, having a particular identification, will be arriving in the area with a load 5 of goods that is to be delivered to five different stops. The disp~tching or similar department enters the destination address information of the different stops into the central processor. When the beacon site picks up the truck for the first time, it pulls the information of the five stops from the data bank and transmits that information to the invehicle 10 information processing means 24 as a destination address message.
The invehicle system 18 processes the best route for the driver from the normal beacon information. In the alternative, if the dispatcher deems the order of the stops is important l~ecause of the vehicle loading, the dispatcher develops the required destination address 15 message and adds any other information so that the driver follows the best route.

There has thus been described an IVI IS system wherein the geodetic coordinates of the destination location are transmitted over a 20 communications system to the invehicle system by means of standard telephone communications. The telephone number of the destination location is transmitted from the vehicle operator 34 to a central processor 14 where it addresses a data base 16 to extract the geodetic coordinates of the location having that phone number. The 25 central processor 14 then transmits those coordinates via the communications medium to the invehicle information processing means 24. Thus, the information processing means 24 develops the direction that the vehicle is to take from its present location to the destination with information being received from the several beacon 30 sites 12 which the vehicle passes.
, Referring to FIG 5., there is illustrated another embodiment of the vehicle navigational and routing system 10 as illustrated in FIG 1.
In this system, the invehicle system or computer 18 is essentially a 3~ "dumb" terminal in that there is very little processing capability other than to direct the flow of information to and from system 18.

W O 97/31241 PCTrUS97/02~73 The system of FIG. 5 includes a transmitter 20, a receiver 22, an information processing unit 24, a keyboard 28, an audio 32 and visual 30 display unit, and a GPS receiver 72. The invehicle computer 18 is connected to wireless communications medium 74 to a central processing means 14 having a receiver 76, information processor 15, a transrnitter 78 and a map data base 79. Coupled to the data base 79 are severai inputs such as a cyclic and special event traffic data unit 36, a transients and incidents unit 40, a road attributes and conditions 10 unit 38, and other units 42 having information about vehicle travel such as weather.

The operator 34 activates his invehicle system 18 by accessing the wireless communications medium 74 and dialing up the central 15 processing means 14. Once the communication link is established, the operator 34 dials in the telephone number of his destination position 75 or a short character description of the destination position. The GPS receiver 72 outputs the geodetic coordinates of the present position 77 of the invehicle system 18 to the information processing 20 means 24 creating a transmission message and if desired, a vehicle identification description can be automatically or manually entered into the message. Once the messa~e is complete, the central processor means 14 receives the destination position telephone number or description, the geodetic coordinates of the present position and the 25 vehicie identification if available.

In the map data base 79 is a look-up table correlating telephone numbers with geodetic coordinates, and short character descriptions of locations with geodetic coordinates. The size of the look-up table, 3Q determines the amount of information which can be addressed. The central processor means 14 uses the telephone number or short character description to determine the geodetic coordinates of the destination position 75. Both the coordinates of the destination position 75 and the present position 77 are supplied to the information 3~ processor 15 wherein a routing algorithm 80 generates routing vectors 82-87 along with distance (km) as illustrated in FIG. 7. The vectors W O 97/31241 PCT~US97/~2073 t3 82-87 comprise direction and distance for the vehicle operator 34 to follow, in a turn by turn mode, from his present position 77 to the destination position . If a vehicle ID is present, the vehicle ID is appended to the particular routing vectors for updating.

The transmitter 78 in the central processor means 14 transmits, by the wireless medium 74 which has been held open by the invehicie system 18, the calculated routing vectors 82-87 back to the invehicle system. The receiver 22 in the invehicle system 18 receives the 10 calculated routing vectors 82-87 and stores them in the information processor unit 24 in the invehicle system. Each vector 82-87 is sequentially displayed, in a turn by turn display on the visual display 30 and each turn is audibly announced to the operator 34 through the audio unit 32. As the invehicle system 18, which measures distance 15 and direction, becomes aware of the vehicle responding to the end of the present routing vector 82-86, it causes the next sequential routing vector 83-87 to be displayed. If the operator 34 ignores a routing vector by not turning, or turns incorrectly at the proper distance, the information processing unit 24 through the audio unit 32 audibly tells 20 the operator 34 that he/she has left the route and is capable of displaying certain prestored error messages on the visual display 30.

If the vehicle ID is stored with the route request in the central processing means 14, the operator 34 can dial-up the central 25 processing means and with the same information such as destination position 75 and vehicle ID, but with the updated present GPS location, which is now the present location, the central processing means can interrogate the various updates to the map data base 79 and notify the operator 34 of any change in the routing vectors. Depending upon the 30 complexity of the central processing means 14, a new set of routing vectors from this new present location to the destination position 75 can be transmitted to the invehicle system 18 which will replace the information in the information processing means 24 in the invehicle system 18.

CA 02247l28 l998-08-2l W O 97/31241 PCT~US97/02073 If the beacon sites 12 are available, the present position can be determined from the beacons as described above.

There has thus been shown and described a second embodiment 5 wherein the system uses a wireiess communication medium 74 between an invehicle system 18 and a central processing means 14, for the transmission of the destination location 75 in one direction ~transmittingJ and for generating and the transmission of routing vectors 82 in the second direction ~receiving) that are generated by the 10 map data base and routing algorithm 80. The invehicle system 18 has no map data base or any need to reinterpret the signals received from the wireless communication medium 74. Map data is not communicated along the wireless communication medium 74.

1~ Also if such an embodiment is used in a commercial system, the vehicle operator or truck driver can communicate via the wireless communications medium to the dispatcher for the next set of route vectors from his present position, a stop, to the next destination position, the next stop.

Claims (4)

1. A vehicle navigation system (10) for directing a vehicle from its present position to a destination position having a central processing means (14) adapted to receive input data from an invehicle system (18) and to generate updated routing vectors and for transmitting routing vectors to the invehicle system (18), the system comprising:
a keyboard means (28) located in said vehicle and adapted to receive a description of the destination position from the vehicle operator (34), said description being the telephone number of the destination position;
a GPS receiver means (22) in said vehicle for generating the geodetic coordinates of the present position of said vehicle;
invehicle information processing means (24) for receiving said geodetic coordinates of the present position of the vehicle and said description of the destination position and generating a transmission message therefrom;
a central processing means (14) having a receiver, information processor (15), a transmitter, a map data base (16) and a routing algorithm; characterised by;
wireless communications means operatively coupled to said invehicle information processing means (24) and operable to transmit said transmission message to said central processing means (14) for generating routing vectors containing both direction and distance data from said present position to said destination position and to transmit said routing vectors to said invehicle information processing means (24); and display means (30) operatively connected to said invehicle information processing means (24) and responsive to audibly and visually display said routing vectors, in turn by turn format to the destination location.
2. In a vehicle navigation system according to claim 1 wherein said wireless communication means is a cellular telephone network.
3. In a vehicle navigation system (10) according to claim 1 wherein said invehicle information processing means (24) inserts a vehicle identification into said transmission message.
4. In a vehicle navigation system (10) according to claim 3 wherein said central processing means (14) responds to said vehicle identification to store said routing vectors for recalling said routing vectors in response to a subsequent transmission message having a different present position and the identical destination position and to update said routing vectors from said different present position to said destination position.
CA 2247128 1996-02-22 1997-02-13 Vehicle navigation and route guidance system Abandoned CA2247128A1 (en)

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US605,648 1996-02-22

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BR9707640A (en) 1999-07-27
JP2000505197A (en) 2000-04-25
EP0883796A1 (en) 1998-12-16
WO1997031241A1 (en) 1997-08-28
AU716420B2 (en) 2000-02-24
AU2120097A (en) 1997-09-10

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