US20100082179A1 - Methods for Linking Motor Vehicles to Reduce Aerodynamic Drag and Improve Fuel Economy - Google Patents

Methods for Linking Motor Vehicles to Reduce Aerodynamic Drag and Improve Fuel Economy Download PDF

Info

Publication number
US20100082179A1
US20100082179A1 US12/240,557 US24055708A US2010082179A1 US 20100082179 A1 US20100082179 A1 US 20100082179A1 US 24055708 A US24055708 A US 24055708A US 2010082179 A1 US2010082179 A1 US 2010082179A1
Authority
US
United States
Prior art keywords
vehicles
method
vehicle
linking
trailing
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
US12/240,557
Inventor
David Kronenberg
Original Assignee
David Kronenberg
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
Application filed by David Kronenberg filed Critical David Kronenberg
Priority to US12/240,557 priority Critical patent/US20100082179A1/en
Publication of US20100082179A1 publication Critical patent/US20100082179A1/en
Application status is Abandoned legal-status Critical

Links

Images

Classifications

    • BPERFORMING OPERATIONS; TRANSPORTING
    • B62LAND VEHICLES FOR TRAVELLING OTHERWISE THAN ON RAILS
    • B62DMOTOR VEHICLES; TRAILERS
    • B62D53/00Tractor-trailer combinations; Road trains
    • BPERFORMING OPERATIONS; TRANSPORTING
    • B62LAND VEHICLES FOR TRAVELLING OTHERWISE THAN ON RAILS
    • B62DMOTOR VEHICLES; TRAILERS
    • B62D12/00Steering specially adapted for vehicles operating in tandem or having pivotally connected frames
    • B62D12/02Steering specially adapted for vehicles operating in tandem or having pivotally connected frames for vehicles operating in tandem
    • BPERFORMING OPERATIONS; TRANSPORTING
    • B62LAND VEHICLES FOR TRAVELLING OTHERWISE THAN ON RAILS
    • B62DMOTOR VEHICLES; TRAILERS
    • B62D35/00Vehicle bodies characterised by streamlining
    • B62D35/001For commercial vehicles or tractor-trailer combinations, e.g. caravans

Abstract

Methods for linking two or more vehicles to achieve reduced aerodynamic drag while the vehicles are travelling on the road are disclosed. The disclosed methods utilize a dynamic linking system that not only physically connects the vehicles but also allows the driver of the leading vehicle to monitor and control essential functions of the trailing vehicles. Preferably, the driving mechanisms of the trailing vehicles, such as throttles, brakes, and gears, are fully operational so as not to put excessive burden on the driving mechanisms of the leading vehicle. Methods for linking individual vehicles as well as streamlining the operation of a fleet of vehicles are also disclosed.

Description

    BACKGROUND
  • 1. Technical Field
  • Methods for linking two or more vehicles to achieve reduced collective aerodynamic drag while the vehicles are travelling on the road are disclosed. The disclosed methods utilize a dynamic linking system that not only physically connects the vehicles but also allows the driver of the leading vehicle to monitor and control essential functions of the trailing vehicles. Preferably, the driving mechanisms of the trailing vehicles, such as throttles, brakes, and gears, are fully operational so as not to put excessive burden on the driving mechanisms of the leading vehicle. Methods for linking individual vehicles as well as streamlining the operation of a fleet of vehicles are also disclosed.
  • 2. Description of the Related Art
  • A significant portion of the energy expended by motor vehicles is to overcome aerodynamic drag. In order to improve fuel economy and conserve energy, a wide variety of devices and methods have been developed in the art to reduce aerodynamic drag of motor vehicles. For example, the vehicles may be provided with particularly shaped deflectors, spoilers, side ridges and/or side grooves. Alternatively, the shape of the vehicle or exterior component thereof may be streamlined or rounded. However, those devices or methods are generally directed to improve aerodynamic drag of a single operating vehicle or a tractor trailer assembly. The collective aerodynamic improvement of two or more motor vehicles, each of which independently operational, has yet to be disclosed.
  • Devices and assemblies for linking two motor vehicles are also known in the art. In particular, when one non-operating vehicle needs to be towed by an operating vehicle to a designated location, the two vehicles may be mechanically connected to each other by simple devices or assemblies, such as tow hitches or tow bars connected to the chassis of the vehicles. In some case, the tow hitches can take the form of a tow-ball to allow swivelling and articulation of a trailer, or a tow pin and jaw with a trailer loop, which are often used for large or agricultural vehicles. A further category is towing pintles used for military vehicles around the world with a hook and locking catch. However, as the non-operating vehicles are almost completely deactivated during towing, none of the known linking devices or assemblies involves the use of an active (e.g. extendable-retractable) member on the trailing vehicle that engages with a passive member on the leading vehicle. Nor is there a known linking mechanism purported to operate two or more motor vehicles to reduce their collective aerodynamic drag.
  • In addition, because the towed vehicles are generally deactivated during towing, the driving mechanisms of the towing vehicles, such as throttles, brakes, and gears, inevitably incur excessive wear and tear, which may adversely affect the overall performance and energy efficiency of the two connected vehicles.
  • As an improvement of the aforementioned deficiencies, self-propelled trailers have been developed in the art. The trailers may include a slave power source, such as an internal combustion engine, to supply driving force to its wheels. When coupled to a tractor, the self-propelled trailer improves the collective energy efficiency of the tractor-trailer tandem. However, the slave power source of the trailer may only operate to supplement the tractor and generally does not operate to drive the trailer alone without the tractor.
  • Hence, there is a need for a linking system or method that links two fully operational motor vehicles for reducing their collective aerodynamic drag. Moreover, there is a need for a linking system or method that allows the driver of the leading vehicle to monitor and control the essential driving mechanisms of the trailing vehicle. Further, there is a need for a linking system that can interconnect two or more motor vehicles, wherein the linking system can disconnect the linked vehicles in motion. Finally, there is a need for streamlining the operation of a fleet of vehicles by identifying vehicles with suitable itineraries that are compatible in route and timing so as to be able to utilize the linking system to reduce aerodynamic drag and optimize fuel economy.
  • SUMMARY OF THE DISCLOSURE
  • This disclosure is directed toward methods for linking two or more fully operational motor vehicles to reduce their collective aerodynamic drag while the vehicles are travelling on the road. The disclosed methods utilize a dynamic linking system that not only physically connects the vehicles but also allows the driver of the leading vehicle to monitor and control essential functions of the trailing vehicle. In one embodiment, the linking system may connect and disconnect the motor vehicles while they are in motion. In another embodiment, the linking system may disconnect, but may not connect, the motor vehicles in motion.
  • In a general embodiment, the disclosed method comprises the steps of providing a leading motor vehicle, providing a trailing motor vehicle, linking the two vehicles by using a dynamic linking system, and allowing the driver of the leading vehicle to simultaneously operate both the leading and trailing motor vehicles.
  • The linking system generally includes a linking assembly comprising an active member having an arm positioned on the trailing motor vehicle, a passive member having a receiving area positioned on the leading motor vehicle, and a control unit that monitors and controls the linking of the vehicles. In some embodiments, the active member may be positioned on the leading vehicle and the passive member may be positioned on the trailing vehicle.
  • In use, the arm of the active member may be vertically and/or horizontally aligned to the receiving area of the passive member by the operation of the control unit to form a mechanical connection between the leading and trailing vehicles. Numerous types of mechanical connections known in the art may be used in the disclosed methods without undue experimentation.
  • In order to control the driving mechanisms of the trailing vehicle, the linking system may also include a control member that operatively connects the driving mechanisms of the leading and trailing vehicles, wherein the operative connection may be one or various combinations of electrical, mechanical, wireless, and other operative connections known in the art. In one embodiment, the control member enables the driver of the leading vehicle to have full and simultaneous control of both the leading and the trailing vehicle.
  • Further, in order to monitor the operation of the linked vehicles, the linking system may also include a communication member that monitors essential driving parameters of the vehicles, wherein the monitoring member may be one or various combinations of sensors, detectors, processors, cameras, and other monitoring means known in the art.
  • In order to form the linkage between the leading and trailing vehicles, the driver of the vehicle equipped with the active member may extend the arm of the active member and engage the receiving area of the passive member of the other vehicle by using the control unit of the system.
  • Once the mechanical linkage is formed, the linking system allows the driver of the leading vehicle to monitor and control the essential functions of the trailing vehicle, such as throttle, brakes, gearing, signal indicator, etc. As a result, the driver of the leading vehicle operates the driving mechanisms of both the leading and trailing vehicles. In another embodiment, the linking system may also be used in a towing operation where the operation of the trailing vehicle is substantially deactivated.
  • The dynamic linkage between the leading and trailing vehicles may be disconnected by either driver as desired, especially when the operation conditions require individual manipulation of the vehicles such as in tight corners and weight stations or during emergency maneuvers. To disconnect, either driver may operate the control unit of the linking system to remove the arm of the active member from the receiving area of the passive member. Because both vehicles may still be fully operational at the time of disconnection, the drivers of both vehicles may continue their individual operation of the vehicle with minimum delay.
  • The disclosed method may also allow the linking of the leading and trailing vehicles while they are in motion. In order to accomplish this, the linking system is designed so that the leading and trailing vehicles do not need to be in perfect alignment when the mechanical connection therebetween is established. As a result, the linkage may be formed in motion when the speeds of the vehicles are moderate and the drivers of the vehicles are reasonably skilled in the linking process. Specifically, in a fully automated embodiment, the control unit is activated when the leading and trailing vehicles are in alignment and within an appropriate range, e.g. less than 100 meters. The control unit then operates both vehicles' cruise control systems to gradually bring the vehicles together to a suitable distance for the formation of the dynamic linkage.
  • The linking system may be used in a fleet of vehicles to streamline their operation and improve their collective energy efficiency. For example, a fleet dispatcher may identify vehicles of the fleet with overlapping routes before dispatching those vehicles so that the drivers of the vehicles can be provided with the time and location of the scheduled linking. At the end of the overlapping route, the dispatcher may instruct the drivers to disconnect the linked vehicle so that the individual vehicles can pursue their separate destinations.
  • The disclosed system may also be used by individual vehicles through a commonly accessible Central Information and Dispatch (CID) database. In use, individual drivers who wish to link up with other vehicles to reduce aerodynamic drag may upload their itineraries into the CID database, where the itineraries are matched by a processor. For example, the matching of the itineraries may be accomplished by a computer program or a human being. Upon identification of similar and overlapping routes and schedules, the CID database may inform the drivers about the time and location of the proposed link.
  • Other advantages and features will be apparent from the following detailed description when read in conjunction with the attached drawings. It will also be noted here and elsewhere that the methods and systems disclosed herein may be suitably modified to be used in a wide variety of motor vehicle combinations by one of ordinary skill in the art without undue experimentation.
  • BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
  • For a more complete understanding of the disclosed method, reference should be made to the embodiments illustrated in greater detail in the accompanying drawings, wherein:
  • FIG. 1 is a side plan view of one embodiment of the linking system in accordance with this disclosure, particularly illustrating the leading and trailing motor vehicles linked together by the disclosed linking system;
  • FIG. 2 is a front perspective view of the trailing motor vehicle of FIG. 1, particularly illustrating the active member of the linking system; and
  • FIG. 3 is a back plan view of the leading motor vehicle of FIG. 1, particularly illustrating the passive member of the linking system;
  • FIG. 4 is a schematic representation of a multi-vehicle management system in accordance with this disclosure;
  • FIG. 5 is a flow chart depicting one embodiment of the disclosed method; and
  • FIG. 6 is a flow chart depicting another embodiment of the disclosed method.
  • It should be understood that the drawings are not necessarily to scale and that the disclosed embodiments are sometimes illustrated diagrammatically and in partial views. In certain instances, details which are not necessary for an understanding of the disclosed linking system or which render other details difficult to perceive may have been omitted. It should be understood, of course, that this disclosure is not limited to the particular embodiments illustrated herein.
  • DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PRESENTLY PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS
  • A system 10 for linking a leading vehicle 11 and a trailing vehicle 12 to reduce their collective aerodynamic drag is shown in FIG. 1. The system 10 may include a dynamic linking assembly 13 that comprises an active member 14 having an arm 15 positioned on the trailing vehicle 12, a passive member 16 having a receiving area 17 positioned on the leading vehicle 11, and a control unit 18 coupled to the active member 14 for monitoring and controlling the linking of the vehicles. In one embodiment, the arm 15 of the active member 14 may be extended, retracted, or otherwise positioned by the control unit 18. Although FIG. 1 illustrates the active member 14 as being positioned on the trailing vehicle 12 and the passive member 16 as being positioned on the leading vehicle 11, it is understood that they may also be positioned vice versa within the scope of this disclosure.
  • Although illustrated in FIG. 1 as “semis” or “tractor-trailer” trucks, the leading and trailing vehicles (11, 12) may be any motor vehicles known in the art, including, but not limited to, sedans, coupes, convertibles, sports utility vehicles, wagons, minivans, personal trucks, commercial trucks, and the like. The leading and trailing vehicles (11, 12) may be of the same type and size, or they may be different, in which case the positioning of one vehicle in front of the other may offer more reduction of aerodynamic drag and energy efficiency than vice versa.
  • Turning to FIG. 2, the active member 14 and the control unit 18 coupled thereto is shown to be positioned on the lower section of the front of the trailing vehicle. In order to improve the structural rigidity of the linking system 10, the active member 14 may be directly connected to the front chassis of the trailing vehicle 12, such as by welding or other attachment procedures known in the art. In one embodiment, the arm 15 of the active member 14 is in a retracted position when the trailing vehicle 12 is not linked to the leading vehicle 11. As a result, the front end of the trailing vehicle 12 retains its smooth profile for better aerodynamics and safer operation. Although the arm 15 may be a scissors arrangement shown in FIG. 2, other arrangements, such as telescoping tubes, robotic arms, hydraulic cylinder and the like may be used as well.
  • Similarly, the passive member 16 may be positioned on the lower section of the back of the leading vehicle, as illustrated in FIG. 3. Again, the passive member 16 may be directly connected to the back chassis of the trailing vehicle 12 in order to improve the structural rigidity of the linking system 10. The passive member 16 further comprises a receiving area 17 that is adapted to receive the arm 15 of the active member 14 thereby forming a strong mechanical linkage between the leading and trailing vehicles (11, 12).
  • In one embodiment, the passive member 16 may be of a unique, proprietary configuration. In another embodiment, the passive member 16 may be an existing under-ride protection already installed on Class 7 trucks and all semi-trailers in the United States. It is noteworthy, however, that the under-ride protection may need to be reinforced to withstand the load of the trailing vehicles.
  • In the embodiment in which the passive member is the existing under-ride protection device discussed above, the active means may be constructed to engage with the passive member at the standard height of the under-ride protection device. In the embodiment in which the passive member is of a unique, proprietary configuration, both the active and passive members may be installed on the respective vehicles at the appropriate heights and locations to facilitate the engagement therebetween.
  • In one embodiment, the mechanical linkage may be a tow-ball and a ball joint type to allow swivelling and articulation of the trailing vehicle 12. In another embodiment, the linkage may take the form of a tow pin and jaw with a trailer loop. In another embodiment, a towing pintle with a hook and locking catch may be used. In yet another embodiment, the mechanical linkage is formed when one or more jaws grasps either an under-ride protection or a proprietary receiving member. To ensure proper mechanical strength of the linkage, either or both of the active and passive members of the linking assembly may be constructed of steel, aluminum, metal alloys or other sufficiently strong and rigid material to withstand the stresses of differential movement between the two vehicles, due to road conditions or otherwise.
  • The control unit 18 may include a power source (not shown) that is operatively associated with the arm 15 of the active member 14 to extend the arm 15 during linking operation and to retract the arm 15 when the vehicles are to be disconnected. The power source also operates to adjust the vertical and horizontal position of the arm 15. In one embodiment, the power source may be a power actuator that is operatively associated with an existing hydraulic system or compressed air system of the vehicle. In another embodiment, the power source may be an electric motor operatively associated with an electric system of the vehicle. In yet another embodiment, the power source maybe independent of the vehicle, e.g. a motor not operatively associated with the driving and/or electric systems of the vehicle.
  • In one embodiment, the power source may be manually controlled by the driver of the trailing vehicle 12 through a position device 20 operatively connected to the power source and a closed-circuit video camera 20′ showing the position of the arm 15 during the linking process. The positioning device may be one or more joysticks, buttons, switches, combinations thereof, or any other means known in the art. In another embodiment, the power source may be automatically controlled by an automatic alignment system comprising an RF signal generator attached to or embedded in the passive member 16, and an RF signal receiver and a microprocessor operatively connected to the power source and attached to or embedded in the active member 14. In another embodiment, the automatic alignment system may include an optical target with robotic control system to align the active and passive members (14, 16).
  • During the linking process, the arm 15 of the active member 14 extends from the retracted position towards the passive member 16. To ensure safety during the linking process, especially during linking when the vehicles are still in motion, the active member 14 may be extendable up to a desirable distance, such as from about 0 to about 20 feet and more preferably from about 6 to about 20 feet. This range is by way of example only and other ranges are certainly possible and within the scope of this disclosure. The position of the arm may be vertically and/or horizontally adjusted by the control unit 18 so that the arm 15 aligns with the receiving area 17 of the passive member 16, thereby forming a secure mechanical connection between the vehicles. Once the linkage is established, the linking assembly 13 may keep the linked vehicles at either a fixed or adjustable distance from each other. In a further embodiment, the linking assembly may include a suspension and damping device to limit the relative movement of the two linked vehicles.
  • Because the linking system is extendable and retractable, as well as vertically and horizontally adjustable, the leading and trailing vehicles (11, 12) do not have to be in perfect alignment during the linking process. Instead, any minor misalignment during the linking process may be self-corrected after the two vehicles are linked together. In order to facilitate the initial rough alignment of the two vehicle, the linking system 10 may further include an aiming device 19 provided on the vehicle that is equipped with the active member 14. The aiming device may be in the form of position marks provided on the windshield of the vehicle, or a video camera showing the vehicle to be aligned with and allowing the driver to locate the receiving area 17 of the passive member 16.
  • In order to control the driving mechanisms of the trailing vehicle(s), the linking system may also include a control member that operatively connects the driving mechanisms of the leading and trailing vehicles, wherein the operative connection may be one or various combinations of electrical, mechanical, wireless, and other operative connections known in the art. In one embodiment, the control member allows the driver of the leading vehicle to exert full and simultaneous control of the essential driving mechanisms of both the leading and trailing vehicles. The location and configuration of the control member would be apparent to one of ordinary skill in the art without undue experimentation.
  • In one embodiment, the control member includes one or more hard-wired control devices in operative association with the driving mechanisms of the two vehicles. In another embodiment, the hard-wired devices may be substituted with wireless devices and assemblies, such as bluetooth-type modules using RF, IR or other frequencies. In a preferred embodiment, the control member utilizes RF-bluetooth technology to effectuate the control of the driving mechanisms. As a result, the driver of the leading vehicle may exert full control of the driving mechanism, such as throttle 23, brake 24, gear 25, and signal system 26 of the trailing vehicle after the linkage is established.
  • It is noteworthy that the locations of the position device 20, camera 20′, throttle 23, brake 24, gear 25, and signal system 26 illustrated in FIG. 1 are for demonstration purpose only. Relocation of one or more of those structural elements would be apparent to one of ordinary skill in the art and should be considered as within the scope of this disclosure.
  • Further, in order to monitor the operation of the linked vehicle(s), the linking system may also include a communication member that monitors essential driving parameters of the vehicles, wherein the communication member may be one or various combinations of sensors, detectors, processors, cameras and other monitoring means known in the art. Again, the location and configuration of the communication member would be apparent to one of ordinary skill in the art without undue experimentation.
  • In one embodiment, the communication member includes one or more hard-wired communication devices such as video components that allows the drivers of the leading and trailing vehicles (11, 12) to monitor the road conditions and road signs, or audio components that allows both drivers to communicate with each other about the operation of the vehicles and other important information. In another embodiment, the hard-wired devices may be substituted with wireless devices and assemblies discussed above. In one embodiment, the mechanical engagement of the linking assembly 13 also activates the control and communication members of the linking system. In another preferred embodiment, the engagement of the control and communication members may independent of the engagement of the mechanical linkage. For example, the control and communication members may be engaged well before the mechanical linkage is established.
  • The dynamic linkage between the leading and trailing vehicles may be disconnected by either driver as desired. This function is particularly useful when the operating conditions require individual manipulation of the vehicle such as in tight corners and weigh stations. It is also useful during emergency maneuvers such as when road and/or traffic conditions require. Thus, both the leading and the trailing vehicles may be provided with a voluntary disengage switch that is operatively connected to the motor of the linking assembly 13. Upon activation, the switch operates the motor to move the arm 15 of the active member 14 out of the receiving areas 17 of the passive member 16, thereby disconnecting the two vehicles. Because both vehicles are still fully operational at the time of disconnection, the drivers of both vehicles may continue their individual operation of the vehicle with minimum delay.
  • In one embodiment, the linking system allows the connection of the vehicles while they are stationary. The driver of the trailing vehicle 12 positions the vehicle behind the leading vehicle 11 at a proper distance and in proper alignment. The arm 15 of the active member 14 is then activated to extend and engage the receiving area 17 of the passive member 16.
  • In another embodiment, the linking system may also allow the linking of the vehicles while they are in motion. In order to accomplish this, the linking system is designed so that the leading and trailing vehicles do not need to be in perfect alignment when the mechanical connection therebetween is established. Further, the linking system may include a programmable adaptive cruise control system to safely bring the vehicles to be linked to close proximity and alignment with each other before the activation of the arm 15. Of course, the speeds of the vehicles should be moderate and the drivers of the vehicles should be reasonably skilled in the linking process to ensure safety when two vehicles are linked in motion.
  • Turning to FIG. 4, the linking system 110 may be used in the operation of a fleet of vehicles (101, 102, 103) to streamline their logistical operation and improve their collective energy efficiency. In one embodiment, each vehicle of the fleet is equipped with an active member 114 in the front and a passive member 116 in the back. In operation, a fleet dispatcher is provided with the routes and itineraries of each vehicle of the fleet. The dispatcher then identifies vehicles of the fleet with maximized overlapping routes before dispatching those vehicles so that the drivers of the vehicles can be provided with the time and location of the scheduled linking. At the end of the overlapping route, the dispatcher may instruct the drivers to disconnect the linked vehicles so that the disconnected vehicles can continue pursuing their separate destinations. The communication between the dispatcher and the drivers as well as between the drivers (shown as double-headed arrows in FIG. 4) may be accomplished through a wide variety of communication means including, but not limited to, on-board computers, radios, cellphones, PDAs, etc.
  • The linking system 110 may also be used by individual vehicles through a commonly accessible Central Information and Dispatch (CID) database 111, as shown in FIG. 4. In one embodiment, the CID database 111 is in a form of a website or search engine on the Internet. In use, individual drivers who wish to link up with other vehicles to reduce aerodynamic drag may upload their itineraries and routes into the CID database 111, where the uploaded information is matched by a processor (not shown). Upon identification and maximizing the overlapping routes and itineraries, the CID database 111 may inform the drivers about the time and location of the proposed link. Again, the communication between the CID database 111 and the drivers as well as between the drivers (shown as double-headed arrows in FIG. 4) may be accomplished through a wide variety of communication means including, but not limited to, on-board computers, radios, cellphones, PDAs, etc.
  • Turning now to FIG. 5, which depicts a flow chart of an embodiment of the disclosed method for reducing the collective aerodynamic drag of two vehicles. The method may include the steps of: providing a leading motor vehicle 201; providing a trailing motor vehicle 202; linking the two motor vehicles by a linking system that forms a disconnectable mechanical and operational connection between the two motor vehicles 203; and allowing the driver of the leading vehicle to simultaneously operate both motor vehicles 204.
  • Further, a flow chart for a method of streamlining operation and collective energy efficiency of a fleet of vehicles is depicted in FIG. 6. The method may include the steps of: obtaining the itineraries and routes of each vehicle 301; identifying vehicles of the fleet with overlapping itineraries and routes 302; providing the drivers of the vehicles with the overlapping itinerary and routes 303; and allowing the identified vehicles to link with each other along at least one point of the overlapping route 304. In a refinement, the method may further include the optional step of allowing the linked vehicles to disconnect along at least one point of the overlapping route 305.
  • When linked, the distance between the two vehicles is sufficiently close for the trailing vehicle to receive significant benefit by reduction in aerodynamic drag. It is contemplated that the vehicles are close enough together that they function aerodynamically as similar to one vehicle, i.e. most of the air displaced by the lead vehicle continues over and around the trailing vehicle rather than impacting into the front of the trailing vehicle. To accomplish this reduction in aerodynamic drag, the extendable-retractable linkage allows the vehicles to be placed at the appropriate distance with respect to the configurations of the vehicles and the features of the roadway to be traveled.
  • By using the disclosed linking system, the trailing vehicle generally achieves both significantly reduced aerodynamic drag and substantially improved fuel economy when moving at relatively high speed. The leading vehicle may also achieve some reduction in aerodynamic drag and improvement in fuel economy, although not as dramatic as those achieved by the trailing vehicle.
  • Numerous modifications and variations of the present invention are possible in light of the above disclosure. It is therefore to be understood that, within the scope of the appended claims, the invention may be practiced otherwise than as specifically described herein. While only certain embodiments have been set forth, alternatives and modifications will be apparent from the above description to those skilled in the art. These and other alternatives are considered equivalents and within the spirit and scope of this disclosure and the appended claims.

Claims (21)

1. A method for reducing the collective aerodynamic drag of two vehicles, comprising the steps of:
providing a leading motor vehicle;
providing a trailing motor vehicle;
linking the two motor vehicles by a linking system that forms a disconnectable mechanical and operational connection between the two motor vehicles; and
allowing the driver of the leading vehicle to simultaneously operate both motor vehicles.
2. The method of claim 1, wherein the linking system comprises a linking assembly that mechanically connects the two motor vehicles, and a control member adapted to allow a driver to simultaneously control essential driving mechanisms of both of the motor vehicles.
3. The method of claim 2, wherein the essential driving mechanisms are selected from the group consisting of throttles, brakes, gears, signals, and combinations thereof.
4. The method of claim 2, wherein the linking assembly comprises:
an active member having an arm;
a passive member having a receiving area; and
a control unit operatively connected to the active member to position the arm, the receiving area of the passive member adapted to releaseably engage the arm of the active member to form a linkage between the leading and trailing motor vehicles.
5. The method of claim 4, wherein the active member is provided on the front of the trailing vehicle and the passive member is provided on the back of the leading vehicle.
6. The method of claim 4, wherein the active member is provided on the back of the leading vehicle and the passive member is provided on the front of the trailing vehicle.
7. The method of claim 4, wherein the active and passive members are formed of rigid material of high mechanical integrity.
8. The method of claim 4, wherein the control unit comprises:
a power source operatively associated to the arm of the active member and adapted to extend or retract the arm and to vertically and horizontally position the arm; and
a position device operatively associated with the motor.
9. The method of claim 8, wherein the position device manually operates the power source and is selected from the group consisting of buttons, switches, joysticks, and combinations thereof.
10. The method of claim 8, wherein the position device automatically operates the power source and comprises a signal generator operatively associated with the passive member, and a signal receiver and microprocessor operatively connected to the active member.
11. The method of claim 8, wherein the position device comprises an optical target with robotic control system.
12. The method of claim 1, further comprising the step of allowing the driver of the trailing vehicle to observe the road condition ahead of the leading vehicle.
13. The method of claim 1, further comprising the step of allowing the drivers of the leading and trailing vehicles to communicate with each other.
14. The method of claim 1, further comprising the step of allowing either driver of the vehicles to disconnect the linkage between the two vehicles.
15. The method of claim 1, wherein the two motor vehicles are in motion during linking.
16. A method of streamlining operation and collective energy efficiency of a fleet of vehicles, comprising:
obtaining the itineraries and routes of each vehicle;
identifying vehicles of the fleet with overlapping itineraries and routes;
providing the drivers of the vehicles with the overlapping itinerary and routes;
dispatching the fleet of vehicles; and
allowing the identified vehicles to link with each other along at least one point of the overlapping route.
17. The method of claim 16, further comprising the step of allowing the linked vehicles to disconnect along at least one point of the overlapping route.
18. The method of claim 16, wherein the identified vehicles are in motion during linking.
19. A method of linking individual vehicles, comprising the steps of:
providing a commonly accessible database;
uploading the itineraries and routes of a plurality of individual vehicles to the database;
allowing the database to match the itineraries and routes of the individual vehicles for maximum overlapping;
providing the drivers of vehicles with the maximized overlapping itineraries and routes; and
allowing the vehicles with the maximized overlapping itineraries and routes to link with each other along at least one point of the overlapping route.
20. The method of claim 19, wherein the database is in a form of an Internet website.
21. The method of claim 19, wherein the vehicles are in motion during linking.
US12/240,557 2008-09-29 2008-09-29 Methods for Linking Motor Vehicles to Reduce Aerodynamic Drag and Improve Fuel Economy Abandoned US20100082179A1 (en)

Priority Applications (1)

Application Number Priority Date Filing Date Title
US12/240,557 US20100082179A1 (en) 2008-09-29 2008-09-29 Methods for Linking Motor Vehicles to Reduce Aerodynamic Drag and Improve Fuel Economy

Applications Claiming Priority (2)

Application Number Priority Date Filing Date Title
US12/240,557 US20100082179A1 (en) 2008-09-29 2008-09-29 Methods for Linking Motor Vehicles to Reduce Aerodynamic Drag and Improve Fuel Economy
US13/165,010 US8738196B2 (en) 2008-09-29 2011-06-21 Methods for linking motor vehicles to reduce aerodynamic drag and improve fuel economy

Related Child Applications (1)

Application Number Title Priority Date Filing Date
US13/165,010 Division US8738196B2 (en) 2008-09-29 2011-06-21 Methods for linking motor vehicles to reduce aerodynamic drag and improve fuel economy

Publications (1)

Publication Number Publication Date
US20100082179A1 true US20100082179A1 (en) 2010-04-01

Family

ID=42058289

Family Applications (2)

Application Number Title Priority Date Filing Date
US12/240,557 Abandoned US20100082179A1 (en) 2008-09-29 2008-09-29 Methods for Linking Motor Vehicles to Reduce Aerodynamic Drag and Improve Fuel Economy
US13/165,010 Expired - Fee Related US8738196B2 (en) 2008-09-29 2011-06-21 Methods for linking motor vehicles to reduce aerodynamic drag and improve fuel economy

Family Applications After (1)

Application Number Title Priority Date Filing Date
US13/165,010 Expired - Fee Related US8738196B2 (en) 2008-09-29 2011-06-21 Methods for linking motor vehicles to reduce aerodynamic drag and improve fuel economy

Country Status (1)

Country Link
US (2) US20100082179A1 (en)

Cited By (5)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US20130231858A1 (en) * 2011-10-01 2013-09-05 Proxpro, Inc. Identifying future location and providing path crossing indications
US20150325120A1 (en) * 2014-05-12 2015-11-12 Lg Electronics Inc. Vehicle and control method thereof
US20160328973A1 (en) * 2014-04-30 2016-11-10 Mitsubishi Electric Corporation Surrounding area monitoring apparatus, surrounding area monitoring system and surrounding area monitoring method
US9828011B2 (en) 2013-12-18 2017-11-28 Thales Canada Inc Communication system for guideway mounted vehicle and method of using the same
WO2018162030A1 (en) * 2017-03-06 2018-09-13 Volvo Truck Corporation Method for transforming between a long vehicle combination and a platoon on the move

Families Citing this family (12)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US10474166B2 (en) 2011-07-06 2019-11-12 Peloton Technology, Inc. System and method for implementing pre-cognition braking and/or avoiding or mitigation risks among platooning vehicles
US8744666B2 (en) 2011-07-06 2014-06-03 Peloton Technology, Inc. Systems and methods for semi-autonomous vehicular convoys
WO2014145918A1 (en) 2013-03-15 2014-09-18 Peloton Technology, Inc. Vehicle platooning systems and methods
CN103308062A (en) * 2013-05-16 2013-09-18 曾庆波 Route planning and matching system and method as well as device and terminal of system
US9056535B2 (en) * 2013-07-30 2015-06-16 GM Global Technology Operations LLC Hitch detecting system
US9182764B1 (en) 2014-08-04 2015-11-10 Cummins, Inc. Apparatus and method for grouping vehicles for cooperative driving
KR20170133403A (en) * 2015-03-31 2017-12-05 넥스트 퓨처 트랜스포테이션 인코포레이티드 System and method for selectively coupling independent driving vehicles
US20180211544A1 (en) 2015-08-26 2018-07-26 Peloton Technology, Inc. Devices, systems, and methods for generating travel forecasts for vehicle pairing
JP2019519039A (en) 2016-05-31 2019-07-04 ぺロトン テクノロジー インコーポレイテッド Convoy travel controller state machine
US10369998B2 (en) 2016-08-22 2019-08-06 Peloton Technology, Inc. Dynamic gap control for automated driving
JP2019526859A (en) * 2016-08-22 2019-09-19 ぺロトン テクノロジー インコーポレイテッド Automatic continuous vehicle control system architecture
DE102016219991A1 (en) * 2016-10-13 2018-04-19 Audi Ag Method for operating a motor vehicle, motor vehicle and system with at least two motor vehicles

Citations (63)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US3255837A (en) * 1963-04-22 1966-06-14 Gen Steel Ind Inc Motor vehicle control
US4771838A (en) * 1987-05-21 1988-09-20 Ketcham George M Obedient self-powered slave vehicles
US5243896A (en) * 1991-12-23 1993-09-14 General Electric Company Logistical support apparatus for weapons vehicles
US5263396A (en) * 1989-09-26 1993-11-23 Israel Aircraft Industries, Ltd. Remote control system for combat vehicle
US5558350A (en) * 1991-05-21 1996-09-24 University Of Utah Research Foundation Steering control system for trailers
US6286892B1 (en) * 1994-10-19 2001-09-11 The United States Of America As Represented By The Administrator Of The National Aeronautics And Space Administration Base passive porosity for drag reduction
US6286894B1 (en) * 1999-08-10 2001-09-11 D. James Kingham Reduced-drag trailer
US6309010B1 (en) * 1999-09-29 2001-10-30 W. David Whitten Collapsible streamlined tail for trucks and trailers
US6361061B1 (en) * 2000-11-16 2002-03-26 Rich A. Lea Boat protection system
US6402228B1 (en) * 2001-05-31 2002-06-11 Stanley C. Chaffin Moveable salt shield for snowmobile trailer
US6409252B1 (en) * 2001-09-24 2002-06-25 Paul Guy Andrus Truck trailer drag reducer
US6419037B1 (en) * 2000-07-19 2002-07-16 Meritor Heavy Vehicle Systems, Llc Multi-unit articulated road train propulsion system
US6419301B1 (en) * 2001-03-21 2002-07-16 Aero Industries, Inc. Bulkhead adapter for cargo truck
US6428084B1 (en) * 2001-04-24 2002-08-06 Richard M. Liss Fuel-efficient tractor-trailer system
US6457766B1 (en) * 2001-11-10 2002-10-01 Lee J. Telnack Vehicle streamlining structure
US6467833B1 (en) * 2001-09-27 2002-10-22 R. H. Travers Company Drag reducer
US6485087B1 (en) * 2001-11-16 2002-11-26 Maka Innovation Technologique Inc. Air drag reducing apparatus
US6584382B2 (en) * 2000-05-17 2003-06-24 Abraham E. Karem Intuitive vehicle and machine control
US6585312B2 (en) * 2001-08-09 2003-07-01 International Truck Intellectual Property Company, Llc Tractor trailer gap treatment
US6595578B1 (en) * 2002-09-05 2003-07-22 Kyril Calsoyds Truck after-body drag reduction device
US20030160428A1 (en) * 2002-02-27 2003-08-28 Lindell Heather M. System for detecting trailer instability
US6616218B2 (en) * 1994-10-19 2003-09-09 The United States Of America As Represented By The Administrator Of The National Aeronautics And Space Administration Base passive porosity for vehicle drag reduction
US6616188B1 (en) * 1999-08-30 2003-09-09 Stephen Jefferies Cable tensioned rock guard for a trailer
US6634700B1 (en) * 2002-08-02 2003-10-21 5 Star Product Design & Development Group, Inc. Aerodynamic trailer
US20030204300A1 (en) * 2002-04-25 2003-10-30 Hitachi, Ltd. Automatic vehicle speed control apparatus
US6644720B2 (en) * 2001-08-24 2003-11-11 Windyne Inc. Adjustable trailer underbody fairing
US6666498B1 (en) * 2001-10-04 2003-12-23 W. David Whitten Deployable airfoil for trucks and trailers
US6669270B1 (en) * 2002-09-05 2003-12-30 Loyd Ray Card Truck wind deflector
US6685256B1 (en) * 2002-12-23 2004-02-03 Carl L. Shermer Trailer drag reduction system
US6742616B2 (en) * 2000-06-20 2004-06-01 Michael F. Leban Hybrid air boost vehicle and method for making same
US6779834B1 (en) * 2003-09-10 2004-08-24 Russell D. Keller Drag reduction channel apparatus for roadway vehicles
US6789839B1 (en) * 2003-03-11 2004-09-14 Alan Samuelson Wind dam for use with tractor-trailers
US6793273B1 (en) * 2003-04-09 2004-09-21 Aero Industries, Inc. Bulkhead extension for cargo truck
US6799794B2 (en) * 2000-08-28 2004-10-05 Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Ltd. Body structure
US6799793B1 (en) * 2003-10-31 2004-10-05 Gordon Sladen Trailer wind bypass system
US6821007B1 (en) * 1999-04-28 2004-11-23 3M Innovative Properties Company Shallow depth back lit illuminated signage
US6837536B1 (en) * 2003-06-20 2005-01-04 Karl John Schwartz Aerodynamic underbody device for trailer (and box-truck)
US6845851B1 (en) * 2004-01-21 2005-01-25 Automatic Equipment Manufacturing Co. Braking control system for a vehicle being towed by another vehicle
US6854788B1 (en) * 2003-11-03 2005-02-15 Freight Wing Inc. Device for reducing vehicle aerodynamic resistance
US6877793B2 (en) * 2001-07-12 2005-04-12 George J. Cory Method and apparatus for reducing drag of blunt shaped vehicles
US6886882B2 (en) * 2002-06-06 2005-05-03 Paccar Inc Cab extender assembly method and apparatus
US6926345B2 (en) * 2002-09-20 2005-08-09 The Regents Of The University Of California Apparatus and method for reducing drag of a bluff body in ground effect using counter-rotating vortex pairs
US6959958B2 (en) * 2000-06-09 2005-11-01 Basford William C Aerodynamic combination for improved base drag reduction
US6974178B2 (en) * 2003-05-30 2005-12-13 The Regents Of The University Of California Aerodynamic drag reduction apparatus for wheeled vehicles in ground effect
US6986544B2 (en) * 2003-08-21 2006-01-17 Wood Richard M Cross flow vortex trap device and method for reducing the aerodynamic drag of ground vehicles
US7008004B2 (en) * 2002-09-20 2006-03-07 The Regents Of The University Of California Boattail plates with non-rectangular geometries for reducing aerodynamic base drag of a bluff body in ground effect
US7008005B1 (en) * 2004-09-07 2006-03-07 Freight Wing Inc. Device for reducing vehicle aerodynamic resistance
US7073845B2 (en) * 2003-05-30 2006-07-11 The Regents Of The University Of California Aerodynamic drag reduction apparatus for gap-divided bluff bodies such as tractor-trailers
US7093889B2 (en) * 2004-10-04 2006-08-22 Freight Wing Inc. Device for reducing vehicle aerodynamic resistance
US7147070B2 (en) * 2003-02-07 2006-12-12 Leclerc Gaetan Motorized semi-trailer
US7165804B2 (en) * 2004-07-01 2007-01-23 Khosrow Shahbazi Methods for reducing the aerodynamic drag of vehicles
US7168661B1 (en) * 2001-05-24 2007-01-30 Fox Richard B Guided vehicle and method for use with dual mode transportation system
US7207620B2 (en) * 2005-08-23 2007-04-24 Cosgrove William E Aerodynamic drag reducing system with retrofittable, selectively removable frame
US7216923B2 (en) * 2004-11-12 2007-05-15 Paccar Inc Systems and methods for reducing the aerodynamic drag on vehicles
US7226117B2 (en) * 2004-08-28 2007-06-05 Dr. Ing. H.C.F. Porsche Aktiengesellschaft Rear-end spoiler for a full-rear vehicle
US7234761B1 (en) * 2003-06-30 2007-06-26 Alfa Leisure, Inc. Side mounted awning assembly for recreational vehicles
US7240958B2 (en) * 2005-07-27 2007-07-10 Joseph Skopic Apparatus for reducing drag on unpowered vehicles
US7243980B2 (en) * 2005-08-03 2007-07-17 Philip Vala Vehicle drag reduction apparatus
US7261353B2 (en) * 2005-02-15 2007-08-28 Aerospacecomputing, Inc. Dividers for reduction of aerodynamic drag of vehicles with open cavities
US7277784B2 (en) * 2002-05-31 2007-10-02 Deere & Company Combination of a self-moving harvesting machine and a transport vehicle
US20080059007A1 (en) * 2006-06-09 2008-03-06 Whittaker William L System and method for autonomously convoying vehicles
US7593811B2 (en) * 2005-03-31 2009-09-22 Deere & Company Method and system for following a lead vehicle
US7793888B2 (en) * 2003-08-14 2010-09-14 Nir Padan Apparatus and method for air-to-air arming of aerial vehicles

Family Cites Families (19)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US4590739A (en) 1980-06-16 1986-05-27 Abatti C Alex Field crop harvesting system
US6748320B2 (en) * 1993-05-18 2004-06-08 Arrivalstar, Inc. Advance notification systems and methods utilizing a computer network
JPH07200991A (en) 1993-11-30 1995-08-04 Sconick Joseph Cooperative driving system for not less than two vehicles
US7085775B2 (en) * 1997-04-09 2006-08-01 Sidewinder Holdings Ltd. Database method and system for conducting integrated dispatching
US6523629B1 (en) 1999-06-07 2003-02-25 Sandia Corporation Tandem mobile robot system
US6611755B1 (en) * 1999-12-19 2003-08-26 Trimble Navigation Ltd. Vehicle tracking, communication and fleet management system
JP2002318844A (en) * 2001-02-15 2002-10-31 Hitachi Ltd Method for managing vehicle
US6799791B2 (en) 2002-12-19 2004-10-05 Aerotail, Llc. Deployable vehicle fairing structure
US7195267B1 (en) 2004-07-07 2007-03-27 Thompson Curtis C Trailer hitch video alignment system
US8075484B2 (en) * 2005-03-02 2011-12-13 Martin Moore-Ede Systems and methods for assessing equipment operator fatigue and using fatigue-risk-informed safety-performance-based systems and methods to replace or supplement prescriptive work-rest regulations
FR2901233B1 (en) * 2006-05-17 2009-02-27 Eurolum Soc Par Actions Simpli Wheel vehicle, coupling method, damaging method, method of managing the vehicle and train of resulting vehicles
US20080042399A1 (en) 2006-08-17 2008-02-21 Smith Fred P Towable trailer assembly
US7725216B2 (en) * 2006-09-14 2010-05-25 Qualcomm Incorporated Critical event reporting
US7760077B2 (en) * 2007-06-05 2010-07-20 Qualcomm Incorporated Establishing and securing a unique wireless RF link between a tractor and a trailer using a wired connection
US20090055091A1 (en) * 2007-08-24 2009-02-26 Jeffery Scott Hines Method, Apparatus, and Computer Program Product for Intelligently Selecting Between the Utilization of Geo-Fencing and Map Matching in a Telematics System
US20090157461A1 (en) * 2007-12-12 2009-06-18 Honeywell International Inc. Vehicle deployment planning system
US8131456B2 (en) * 2008-09-23 2012-03-06 Honeywell International Inc. Vehicle management system
US8100426B2 (en) * 2008-09-29 2012-01-24 David Kronenberg Systems for positioning and linking motor vehicles to reduce aerodynamic drag
US8275508B1 (en) * 2011-03-03 2012-09-25 Telogis, Inc. History timeline display for vehicle fleet management

Patent Citations (66)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US3255837A (en) * 1963-04-22 1966-06-14 Gen Steel Ind Inc Motor vehicle control
US4771838A (en) * 1987-05-21 1988-09-20 Ketcham George M Obedient self-powered slave vehicles
US5263396A (en) * 1989-09-26 1993-11-23 Israel Aircraft Industries, Ltd. Remote control system for combat vehicle
US5558350A (en) * 1991-05-21 1996-09-24 University Of Utah Research Foundation Steering control system for trailers
US5243896A (en) * 1991-12-23 1993-09-14 General Electric Company Logistical support apparatus for weapons vehicles
US6286892B1 (en) * 1994-10-19 2001-09-11 The United States Of America As Represented By The Administrator Of The National Aeronautics And Space Administration Base passive porosity for drag reduction
US6616218B2 (en) * 1994-10-19 2003-09-09 The United States Of America As Represented By The Administrator Of The National Aeronautics And Space Administration Base passive porosity for vehicle drag reduction
US6821007B1 (en) * 1999-04-28 2004-11-23 3M Innovative Properties Company Shallow depth back lit illuminated signage
US6286894B1 (en) * 1999-08-10 2001-09-11 D. James Kingham Reduced-drag trailer
US6616188B1 (en) * 1999-08-30 2003-09-09 Stephen Jefferies Cable tensioned rock guard for a trailer
US6309010B1 (en) * 1999-09-29 2001-10-30 W. David Whitten Collapsible streamlined tail for trucks and trailers
US6584382B2 (en) * 2000-05-17 2003-06-24 Abraham E. Karem Intuitive vehicle and machine control
US6959958B2 (en) * 2000-06-09 2005-11-01 Basford William C Aerodynamic combination for improved base drag reduction
US6742616B2 (en) * 2000-06-20 2004-06-01 Michael F. Leban Hybrid air boost vehicle and method for making same
US6419037B1 (en) * 2000-07-19 2002-07-16 Meritor Heavy Vehicle Systems, Llc Multi-unit articulated road train propulsion system
US6799794B2 (en) * 2000-08-28 2004-10-05 Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Ltd. Body structure
US6361061B1 (en) * 2000-11-16 2002-03-26 Rich A. Lea Boat protection system
US6419301B1 (en) * 2001-03-21 2002-07-16 Aero Industries, Inc. Bulkhead adapter for cargo truck
US6428084B1 (en) * 2001-04-24 2002-08-06 Richard M. Liss Fuel-efficient tractor-trailer system
US7168661B1 (en) * 2001-05-24 2007-01-30 Fox Richard B Guided vehicle and method for use with dual mode transportation system
US6402228B1 (en) * 2001-05-31 2002-06-11 Stanley C. Chaffin Moveable salt shield for snowmobile trailer
US6877793B2 (en) * 2001-07-12 2005-04-12 George J. Cory Method and apparatus for reducing drag of blunt shaped vehicles
US6585312B2 (en) * 2001-08-09 2003-07-01 International Truck Intellectual Property Company, Llc Tractor trailer gap treatment
US6644720B2 (en) * 2001-08-24 2003-11-11 Windyne Inc. Adjustable trailer underbody fairing
US6409252B1 (en) * 2001-09-24 2002-06-25 Paul Guy Andrus Truck trailer drag reducer
US6467833B1 (en) * 2001-09-27 2002-10-22 R. H. Travers Company Drag reducer
US6666498B1 (en) * 2001-10-04 2003-12-23 W. David Whitten Deployable airfoil for trucks and trailers
US6457766B1 (en) * 2001-11-10 2002-10-01 Lee J. Telnack Vehicle streamlining structure
US6485087B1 (en) * 2001-11-16 2002-11-26 Maka Innovation Technologique Inc. Air drag reducing apparatus
US20030160428A1 (en) * 2002-02-27 2003-08-28 Lindell Heather M. System for detecting trailer instability
US20030204300A1 (en) * 2002-04-25 2003-10-30 Hitachi, Ltd. Automatic vehicle speed control apparatus
US7277784B2 (en) * 2002-05-31 2007-10-02 Deere & Company Combination of a self-moving harvesting machine and a transport vehicle
US6886882B2 (en) * 2002-06-06 2005-05-03 Paccar Inc Cab extender assembly method and apparatus
US6634700B1 (en) * 2002-08-02 2003-10-21 5 Star Product Design & Development Group, Inc. Aerodynamic trailer
US6595578B1 (en) * 2002-09-05 2003-07-22 Kyril Calsoyds Truck after-body drag reduction device
US6669270B1 (en) * 2002-09-05 2003-12-30 Loyd Ray Card Truck wind deflector
US6979049B2 (en) * 2002-09-20 2005-12-27 The Regents Of The University Of California Apparatus and method for reducing drag of a bluff body in ground effect using counter-rotating vortex pairs
US6926345B2 (en) * 2002-09-20 2005-08-09 The Regents Of The University Of California Apparatus and method for reducing drag of a bluff body in ground effect using counter-rotating vortex pairs
US7008004B2 (en) * 2002-09-20 2006-03-07 The Regents Of The University Of California Boattail plates with non-rectangular geometries for reducing aerodynamic base drag of a bluff body in ground effect
US6685256B1 (en) * 2002-12-23 2004-02-03 Carl L. Shermer Trailer drag reduction system
US7147070B2 (en) * 2003-02-07 2006-12-12 Leclerc Gaetan Motorized semi-trailer
US6789839B1 (en) * 2003-03-11 2004-09-14 Alan Samuelson Wind dam for use with tractor-trailers
US6793273B1 (en) * 2003-04-09 2004-09-21 Aero Industries, Inc. Bulkhead extension for cargo truck
US6974178B2 (en) * 2003-05-30 2005-12-13 The Regents Of The University Of California Aerodynamic drag reduction apparatus for wheeled vehicles in ground effect
US7073845B2 (en) * 2003-05-30 2006-07-11 The Regents Of The University Of California Aerodynamic drag reduction apparatus for gap-divided bluff bodies such as tractor-trailers
US6837536B1 (en) * 2003-06-20 2005-01-04 Karl John Schwartz Aerodynamic underbody device for trailer (and box-truck)
US7234761B1 (en) * 2003-06-30 2007-06-26 Alfa Leisure, Inc. Side mounted awning assembly for recreational vehicles
US7234760B1 (en) * 2003-06-30 2007-06-26 Alfa Leisure, Inc. Top-mounted awning assembly for recreational vehicles
US7793888B2 (en) * 2003-08-14 2010-09-14 Nir Padan Apparatus and method for air-to-air arming of aerial vehicles
US6986544B2 (en) * 2003-08-21 2006-01-17 Wood Richard M Cross flow vortex trap device and method for reducing the aerodynamic drag of ground vehicles
US6779834B1 (en) * 2003-09-10 2004-08-24 Russell D. Keller Drag reduction channel apparatus for roadway vehicles
US6799793B1 (en) * 2003-10-31 2004-10-05 Gordon Sladen Trailer wind bypass system
US6854788B1 (en) * 2003-11-03 2005-02-15 Freight Wing Inc. Device for reducing vehicle aerodynamic resistance
US6845851B1 (en) * 2004-01-21 2005-01-25 Automatic Equipment Manufacturing Co. Braking control system for a vehicle being towed by another vehicle
US7165804B2 (en) * 2004-07-01 2007-01-23 Khosrow Shahbazi Methods for reducing the aerodynamic drag of vehicles
US7185944B2 (en) * 2004-07-01 2007-03-06 Khosrow Shahbazi Pressure drag reduction system with an internal duct
US7226117B2 (en) * 2004-08-28 2007-06-05 Dr. Ing. H.C.F. Porsche Aktiengesellschaft Rear-end spoiler for a full-rear vehicle
US7008005B1 (en) * 2004-09-07 2006-03-07 Freight Wing Inc. Device for reducing vehicle aerodynamic resistance
US7093889B2 (en) * 2004-10-04 2006-08-22 Freight Wing Inc. Device for reducing vehicle aerodynamic resistance
US7216923B2 (en) * 2004-11-12 2007-05-15 Paccar Inc Systems and methods for reducing the aerodynamic drag on vehicles
US7261353B2 (en) * 2005-02-15 2007-08-28 Aerospacecomputing, Inc. Dividers for reduction of aerodynamic drag of vehicles with open cavities
US7593811B2 (en) * 2005-03-31 2009-09-22 Deere & Company Method and system for following a lead vehicle
US7240958B2 (en) * 2005-07-27 2007-07-10 Joseph Skopic Apparatus for reducing drag on unpowered vehicles
US7243980B2 (en) * 2005-08-03 2007-07-17 Philip Vala Vehicle drag reduction apparatus
US7207620B2 (en) * 2005-08-23 2007-04-24 Cosgrove William E Aerodynamic drag reducing system with retrofittable, selectively removable frame
US20080059007A1 (en) * 2006-06-09 2008-03-06 Whittaker William L System and method for autonomously convoying vehicles

Cited By (9)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US20130231858A1 (en) * 2011-10-01 2013-09-05 Proxpro, Inc. Identifying future location and providing path crossing indications
US9562783B2 (en) * 2011-10-01 2017-02-07 Proxpro, Inc. Identifying future location and providing path crossing indications
US9828011B2 (en) 2013-12-18 2017-11-28 Thales Canada Inc Communication system for guideway mounted vehicle and method of using the same
US20160328973A1 (en) * 2014-04-30 2016-11-10 Mitsubishi Electric Corporation Surrounding area monitoring apparatus, surrounding area monitoring system and surrounding area monitoring method
US10380895B2 (en) * 2014-04-30 2019-08-13 Mitsubishi Electric Corporation Surrounding area monitoring apparatus, surrounding area monitoring system and surrounding area monitoring method
US20150325120A1 (en) * 2014-05-12 2015-11-12 Lg Electronics Inc. Vehicle and control method thereof
US9679477B2 (en) * 2014-05-12 2017-06-13 Lg Electronics Inc. Vehicle and control method thereof
US10347130B2 (en) 2014-05-12 2019-07-09 Lg Electronics Inc. Vehicle and control method thereof
WO2018162030A1 (en) * 2017-03-06 2018-09-13 Volvo Truck Corporation Method for transforming between a long vehicle combination and a platoon on the move

Also Published As

Publication number Publication date
US8738196B2 (en) 2014-05-27
US20110270520A1 (en) 2011-11-03

Similar Documents

Publication Publication Date Title
US7338335B1 (en) Hybrid electric heavy-duty vehicle drive system
US6419037B1 (en) Multi-unit articulated road train propulsion system
US6059058A (en) Modular vehicle construction and transportation system
EP2021227B1 (en) Wheeled vehicle, hitching method, unhitching method, method for managing said vehicles and resulting train of vehicles
US7225891B2 (en) Control system for a vehicle
US7451020B2 (en) Vehicle control system
US20100198491A1 (en) Autonomic vehicle safety system
EP0315210A1 (en) Computerized electrical vehicle
DE102016105382A1 (en) Steering angle control for multiple characteristics
EP2481673B1 (en) Towbarless airplane tug
DE102009057397B4 (en) Active suspension system for a vehicle and method of operating the same
US8256553B2 (en) Electric vehicles
CA2192408C (en) Fairing
JP2013224144A (en) Towbarless airplane tug
US5332052A (en) Detachable all terrain trailer
US6932419B1 (en) Aerodynamic guiding arrangements for vehicles
EP1513389B1 (en) Combination of a self-moving harvesting machine and a transport vehicle
EP1658211A1 (en) Maneuvering assistance system for a motor vehicle
US8376450B1 (en) Apparatus and method for mounting an aerodynamic add-on device onto a transport vehicle
EP1730014A1 (en) Control system for a tractor trailer
US20070090688A1 (en) Control system for a vehicle combination
EP1531117B9 (en) Tractor vehicle and trailer having in particular two axles
US8702152B1 (en) Deployable front air dam
CN101628594A (en) Trailer connection assist system
EP1538888B1 (en) Upper hitch link

Legal Events

Date Code Title Description
STCB Information on status: application discontinuation

Free format text: ABANDONED -- FAILURE TO RESPOND TO AN OFFICE ACTION