US20110068954A1 - Method and apparatus to collect object identification data during operation of a vehicle and analysis of such data - Google Patents

Method and apparatus to collect object identification data during operation of a vehicle and analysis of such data Download PDF

Info

Publication number
US20110068954A1
US20110068954A1 US12942874 US94287410A US2011068954A1 US 20110068954 A1 US20110068954 A1 US 20110068954A1 US 12942874 US12942874 US 12942874 US 94287410 A US94287410 A US 94287410A US 2011068954 A1 US2011068954 A1 US 2011068954A1
Authority
US
Grant status
Application
Patent type
Prior art keywords
vehicle
object
data
container
object id
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
US12942874
Inventor
Charles Michael McQuade
Brett Brinton
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.)
Zonar Systems Inc
Original Assignee
Zonar Systems Inc
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

Links

Images

Classifications

    • GPHYSICS
    • G06COMPUTING; CALCULATING; COUNTING
    • G06KRECOGNITION OF DATA; PRESENTATION OF DATA; RECORD CARRIERS; HANDLING RECORD CARRIERS
    • G06K7/00Methods or arrangements for sensing record carriers, e.g. for reading patterns
    • G06K7/10Methods or arrangements for sensing record carriers, e.g. for reading patterns by electromagnetic radiation, e.g. optical sensing; by corpuscular radiation
    • G06K7/10544Methods or arrangements for sensing record carriers, e.g. for reading patterns by electromagnetic radiation, e.g. optical sensing; by corpuscular radiation by scanning of the records by radiation in the optical part of the electromagnetic spectrum
    • G06K7/10821Methods or arrangements for sensing record carriers, e.g. for reading patterns by electromagnetic radiation, e.g. optical sensing; by corpuscular radiation by scanning of the records by radiation in the optical part of the electromagnetic spectrum further details of bar or optical code scanning devices
    • G06K7/10861Methods or arrangements for sensing record carriers, e.g. for reading patterns by electromagnetic radiation, e.g. optical sensing; by corpuscular radiation by scanning of the records by radiation in the optical part of the electromagnetic spectrum further details of bar or optical code scanning devices sensing of data fields affixed to objects or articles, e.g. coded labels
    • GPHYSICS
    • G06COMPUTING; CALCULATING; COUNTING
    • G06FELECTRIC DIGITAL DATA PROCESSING
    • G06F17/00Digital computing or data processing equipment or methods, specially adapted for specific functions
    • G06F17/30Information retrieval; Database structures therefor ; File system structures therefor
    • G06F17/30241Information retrieval; Database structures therefor ; File system structures therefor in geographical information databases
    • GPHYSICS
    • G06COMPUTING; CALCULATING; COUNTING
    • G06FELECTRIC DIGITAL DATA PROCESSING
    • G06F17/00Digital computing or data processing equipment or methods, specially adapted for specific functions
    • G06F17/30Information retrieval; Database structures therefor ; File system structures therefor
    • G06F17/30286Information retrieval; Database structures therefor ; File system structures therefor in structured data stores
    • G06F17/30345Update requests
    • G06F17/30371Ensuring data consistency and integrity
    • GPHYSICS
    • G06COMPUTING; CALCULATING; COUNTING
    • G06FELECTRIC DIGITAL DATA PROCESSING
    • G06F17/00Digital computing or data processing equipment or methods, specially adapted for specific functions
    • G06F17/30Information retrieval; Database structures therefor ; File system structures therefor
    • G06F17/30861Retrieval from the Internet, e.g. browsers
    • G06F17/30876Retrieval from the Internet, e.g. browsers by using information identifiers, e.g. encoding URL in specific indicia, browsing history
    • GPHYSICS
    • G06COMPUTING; CALCULATING; COUNTING
    • G06KRECOGNITION OF DATA; PRESENTATION OF DATA; RECORD CARRIERS; HANDLING RECORD CARRIERS
    • G06K19/00Record carriers for use with machines and with at least a part designed to carry digital markings
    • G06K19/06Record carriers for use with machines and with at least a part designed to carry digital markings characterised by the kind of the digital marking, e.g. shape, nature, code
    • G06K19/06009Record carriers for use with machines and with at least a part designed to carry digital markings characterised by the kind of the digital marking, e.g. shape, nature, code with optically detectable marking
    • G06K19/06018Record carriers for use with machines and with at least a part designed to carry digital markings characterised by the kind of the digital marking, e.g. shape, nature, code with optically detectable marking one-dimensional coding
    • G06K19/06028Record carriers for use with machines and with at least a part designed to carry digital markings characterised by the kind of the digital marking, e.g. shape, nature, code with optically detectable marking one-dimensional coding using bar codes
    • GPHYSICS
    • G06COMPUTING; CALCULATING; COUNTING
    • G06KRECOGNITION OF DATA; PRESENTATION OF DATA; RECORD CARRIERS; HANDLING RECORD CARRIERS
    • G06K19/00Record carriers for use with machines and with at least a part designed to carry digital markings
    • G06K19/06Record carriers for use with machines and with at least a part designed to carry digital markings characterised by the kind of the digital marking, e.g. shape, nature, code
    • G06K19/06187Record carriers for use with machines and with at least a part designed to carry digital markings characterised by the kind of the digital marking, e.g. shape, nature, code with magnetically detectable marking
    • GPHYSICS
    • G06COMPUTING; CALCULATING; COUNTING
    • G06KRECOGNITION OF DATA; PRESENTATION OF DATA; RECORD CARRIERS; HANDLING RECORD CARRIERS
    • G06K19/00Record carriers for use with machines and with at least a part designed to carry digital markings
    • G06K19/06Record carriers for use with machines and with at least a part designed to carry digital markings characterised by the kind of the digital marking, e.g. shape, nature, code
    • G06K19/067Record carriers with conductive marks, printed circuits or semiconductor circuit elements, e.g. credit or identity cards also with resonating or responding marks without active components
    • G06K19/07Record carriers with conductive marks, printed circuits or semiconductor circuit elements, e.g. credit or identity cards also with resonating or responding marks without active components with integrated circuit chips
    • G06K19/0723Record carriers with conductive marks, printed circuits or semiconductor circuit elements, e.g. credit or identity cards also with resonating or responding marks without active components with integrated circuit chips the record carrier comprising an arrangement for non-contact communication, e.g. wireless communication circuits on transponder cards, non-contact smart cards or RFIDs
    • GPHYSICS
    • G08SIGNALLING
    • G08GTRAFFIC CONTROL SYSTEMS
    • G08G1/00Traffic control systems for road vehicles
    • G08G1/20Monitoring the location of vehicles belonging to a group, e.g. fleet of vehicles, countable or determined number of vehicles
    • GPHYSICS
    • G08SIGNALLING
    • G08BSIGNALLING OR CALLING SYSTEMS; ORDER TELEGRAPHS; ALARM SYSTEMS
    • G08B21/00Alarms responsive to a single specified undesired or abnormal operating condition and not elsewhere provided for
    • G08B21/18Status alarms

Abstract

System and method for collecting object identification data from a plurality of objects that interact with a vehicle during operation of the vehicle, where the vehicle interacts with specific objects at specific geographical positions. An identification sensor is coupled to a geographical position sensor, and whenever an object is identified a record is generated, the record including the identification of the object, the position of the vehicle when the interaction between the object and the vehicle occurs, and the time of the interaction. Exemplary objects include passengers, containers, and documents. Exemplary interactions include loading/unloading an object from the vehicle, boarding a passenger, unloading a passenger, transferring a bulk material from the vehicle into a specific container, and/or transferring a bulk material from a specific container to the vehicle. The record may also include additional data about a parameter of the object (such as the object's weight, volume, or temperature).

Description

    RELATED APPLICATIONS
  • This application is a continuation-in-part of prior co-pending application Ser. No. 12/724,232, filed on Mar. 15, 2010, which itself is a continuation-in-part of prior co-pending application Ser. No. 11/675,502, filed on Feb. 15, 2007 and issued as U.S. Pat. No. 7,680,595 on Mar. 16, 2010, the benefit of the filing dates of which are hereby claimed under 35 U.S.C. §120. Prior co-pending application Ser. No. 11/675,502 itself is a continuation-in-part of prior co-pending application Ser. No. 11/425,222, filed on Jun. 20, 2006, and issued as U.S. Pat. No. 7,564,375 on Jul. 21, 2009, the benefit of the filing date of which is hereby claimed under 35 U.S.C. §120.
  • BACKGROUND
  • As the cost of sensors, communications systems and navigational systems has dropped, operators of commercial and fleet vehicles now have the ability to collect a tremendous amount of data about the vehicles that they operate, including geographical position data collected during the operation of the vehicle.
  • Vehicle fleet operators often operate vehicles along predefined and generally invariant routes. For example, buses frequently operate on predefined routes, according to a predefined time schedule (for example, along a route that is geographically, as well as temporally defined). Migrating route data from one software platform to another software platform can be a tedious task.
  • It would be desirable to provide such fleet operators with additional tools for moving data between different software platforms, and for collecting and analyzing data (such as Global Positioning System (GPS) data, as well as other route related data) collected from vehicles traversing a predefined route.
  • SUMMARY
  • One concept disclosed herein is the collection of object identification data during the operation of a vehicle, where the vehicle interacts with the object at a definable geographical position. An identification sensor is coupled to a geographical position sensor, and whenever an object is identified a record is generated, the record including the identification of the object, the position of the vehicle when the interaction between the object and the vehicle occurs, and the time of the interaction. Exemplary (but not limiting) objects that are identified include passengers, containers (such as pallets, packages, boxes, envelopes), and documents. Many different types of interactions are possible, including, but not limited to, loading an object (such as a parcel, document, or container) into the vehicle, unloading an object (such as a parcel, document, or container) from the vehicle, boarding a passenger (the object) onto the vehicle, unloading a passenger (once again, the passenger being the object) from the vehicle, transferring a bulk material (such as a solid, liquid or compressed gas) from the vehicle into a specific container (the container being the object), and/or transferring a bulk material (such as a solid, liquid or compressed gas) from a specific container (the container being the object) to the vehicle. The record may also include additional data about a parameter of the object (for example, in some embodiments, it will be useful to include the object's weight in the record, or the weight/volume of a material being transferred to or from the vehicle to a specific container). Such a data record is referred to herein and in the claims that follow as object identification (ID) and location data, and/or object ID encoded position data (encoded in the sense that the object data is combined with the position data). In some embodiments, the object ID and location data is stored at the vehicle for transfer to a remote computing device at a later time, and in other embodiments, the object ID and location data is wirelessly transmitted to a remote computing device during operation of the vehicle. The term “object identification data” is intended to refer to data that identifies an object with which a vehicle interacts. For example, for a passenger, object identification data can include the passenger's name, or a passenger number (or an alphanumeric code or other type of code) that uniquely identifies an individual. For other objects, the object identification data is generally a numeric or alphanumeric code that uniquely identifies the object.
  • Broadly speaking, position data from the vehicle is collected as the vehicle travels to the plurality of different locations, the position data identifying a specific geographical location of the vehicle at a specific point in time (thus, the vehicle position data is time indexed). Time indexed object identification data is collected as the vehicle interacts with objects at various locations visited by the vehicle. In some embodiments, the vehicle traverses a generally invariant route (such as a bus route), while in other embodiments the vehicle traverses a variable route (such as a parcel delivery vehicle). In an exemplary embodiment, the time indexing function is implemented by the geographical position sensing system. Periodically, the geographical position sensing system generates a record that documents the current time and current geographical position of the vehicle. Whenever the identification sensor identifies an object, the identification data is sent to the geographical position sensing system, which either appends the identification data to the most current record, or generates a new record that documents the identity of the object, the current time and the current geographical position, thereby generating the object ID and location data. It should thus be recognized that the set of location data collected by the geographical position sensing system during operation of the vehicle will also include object identification data at those points in time at which the vehicle interacts with an object that has been tagged in some way with a unique identifier that can be detected by the object identification sensor. Exemplary tags or tokens include optical codes (such as bar codes and other optically recognizable codes), radio frequency identification (RFID) tags, and magnetic tags/magnetic strips. It should be understood that the set of location data collected by the geographical position sensing system during operation of the vehicle (which at some time points includes only location data, and at other time points includes location data and object identification data) is collectively referred to herein as the object ID and location data. Such object ID and location data are conveyed to a remote computing device for storage/processing, either in real-time (i.e., while the vehicle is being operated, such that the vehicle requires a transmitter to convey the data to the remote computing device) or at some point after the vehicle has traversed a route and collected the different types of data (the position data and the object identification data). The term real-time is not intended to imply the data is transmitted instantaneously, rather the data is collected over a relatively short period of time (over a period of seconds or minutes), and transmitted to the remote computing device on a ongoing basis, as opposed to storing the data at the vehicle for an extended period of time (hour or days), and transmitting an extended data set to the remote computing device after the data set has been collected. Transmitting the object ID and location data at a later time, rather than in real time, is encompassed by the concepts disclosed herein, although real-time data transmission is likely to be popular with users. Note that transferring the object ID and location data at a later time can be achieved without requiring the vehicle to include a wireless transmitter (i.e., the object ID and location data can be transferred via a hardwire connection to either the remote computing device or an intermediate data collection device that is coupled to the vehicle to extract the object ID and location data, which is then conveyed to remote computing device).
  • With respect to the remote computing device, in a preferred but not limiting embodiment, the time indexed object ID and location data are available in a networked computing environment. In at least one embodiment, the object ID and location data are stored by a company offering data management services to its clients, and clients can access the object ID and location data for each of their vehicles.
  • The object ID and location data will have a number of uses. In the context of objects being passengers, the object ID and location data can be used by school bus operators to provide parents with data about when and where their children entered and exited a school bus. The object ID and location data can also be used to alert drivers when students attempt to get off the bus at some location other than their normal stop. The object ID and location data can be used to provide proof of delivery (or pick up) of parcels, documents, and other objects. Historical object ID and location data for generally invariant routes (such as refuse collection routes and school bus routes) can be used to train new drivers, where historical object ID and location data is loaded onto the vehicle before the route is traversed, and that data is used to alert the driver of what objects (such as refuse containers or students) are associated with specific geographical locations in the route.
  • In addition to being implemented as a method, the concepts disclosed herein can also be implemented as a non-transitory memory medium storing machine instructions that when executed by a processor implement the method, and by a system for implementing the method. In such a system, the basic elements include a vehicle that is to be operated by a vehicle operator, a position data collection unit (such as a GPS tracking device), an object identification sensor (such as a token reader), a data link (which can be integrated into the GPS unit), and a remote computing device. In general, the remote computing device can be implemented by a computing system employed by an entity operating a fleet of vehicles. Entities that operate vehicle fleets can thus use such computing systems to track and process data relating to their vehicle fleet. It should be recognized that these basic elements can be combined in many different configurations to achieve the exemplary method discussed above. Thus, the details provided herein are intended to be exemplary, and not limiting on the scope of the concepts disclosed herein.
  • Identification of objects can be accomplished by a using reader to scan a token attached to the object. Exemplary tokens include optical codes (such as bar codes), radio frequency identification tags (RFID), and magnetic strips. Readers can be handheld devices, or when appropriate can be attached to the vehicle. For example, RFID tags readers could be attached to the vehicle proximate a door used to load or unload the vehicle, to automatically interrogate each RFID tagged item loaded onto or unloaded from the vehicle. Generally it will be preferable to record both loading and unloading of an object, although the concepts disclosed herein encompass embodiments where data relating to only loading or unloading is collected. Where the object is a person (i.e., a passenger), the person will be issued a token to be carried with them as they enter (or exit) the vehicle. In some cases, it maybe desirable to identify a person that interacts with the vehicle even if the person is not a passenger (or is not entering or exiting the vehicle). Such a person might be tasked with delivering something to the vehicle or servicing the vehicle.
  • With respect to identifying passengers, a reader can be used to read a token (such as a ticket or rider pass) when a person enters or exits a vehicle. Generally it will be preferable to record both entry and exit, although the concepts disclosed herein encompass embodiments where data relating to only entry or exit is determined. In an exemplary but not limiting embodiment, a magnetic card reader is used to scan passenger cards as they enter or exit a vehicle. A particularly useful application of this type of object ID and position data tracking is to enable school bus operators to collect ridership data about students, tracking where and when students enter and exit a school bus. Such historical data can be used for training purposes whenever a driver is assigned a new route, as the historical data can be used to teach the driver which children get on and off at a particular stop. Once such historical data has been collected, if desired, the data can be used to prevent children from getting off at an incorrect stop (the token reader will automatically check the historical data, and if that child attempts to get off at a stop that is not part of the historical data for that child, an alert can be issued to the driver).
  • While the above noted method is preferably implemented by a processor (such as computing device implementing machine instructions to implement the specific functions noted above), note that such a method can also be implemented using a custom circuit (such as an application specific integrated circuit).
  • In addition to object identification data (i.e., data that uniquely identifies the object), many different types of object data can be collected. The following types of additional object data are intended to be exemplary, rather than limiting. Time indexing can be achieved by including a time stamp with the object data as the data is collected by the object identification sensor, or the time stamp can be provided by the position sensing system, generally as discussed above.
  • A first type of additional object data that can be collected during operation of the vehicle is a weight of the object. An exemplary embodiment of a vehicle collecting object ID and location data that includes weight is a refuse truck. In this embodiment, each refuse container serviced by the vehicle is tagged with a token that is detected by the identification sensor as the contents of the refuse container is loaded into the vehicle. In an exemplary but not limiting embodiment, the loading arms include an identification sensor that reads a token labeling each container as the containers are manipulated by the loading arms. The loading arms are also equipped with weight sensors, that determines the weight of the refuse emptied from the container. Thus, the object ID and location data in this embodiment can be used to identify when a container was emptied, where the container was located when it was emptied, and how much refuse was removed. That data is collected automatically, and can be used to provide proof of service, and the weight function maybe used for billing purposes if the client is to be billed by weight. Recycling containers can be tracked and weighed in a similar manner. Historical data about containers and position can be used for training purposes whenever a new driver is assigned to an existing route, as the historical data can be used to teach the new driver what containers are usually serviced at a particular location.
  • A second type of additional object data that can be collected during operation of the vehicle is volume. An exemplary embodiment of a vehicle collecting object ID and location data that includes volume is a liquid fuel or compressed gas delivery truck. In this embodiment, each fuel or gas container serviced by the vehicle is tagged with a token that is detected by the identification sensor as the contents of the truck is offloaded into the container. In an exemplary but not limiting embodiment, the connector used to fluidly couple the vehicle to the container includes an identification sensor that reads a token labeling each container. The identification sensor is coupled to a flow sensor or tank level in the vehicle which keeps track of how much product is delivered. That volume data, as well as the container identification data, is sent to the vehicle's geographical position sensing system as the container is filled. Thus, the object ID and location data in this embodiment can be used to identify when a container was filled, where the container was located when it was filled, and how much volume of product was delivered by the vehicle. That data is collected automatically, and can be used to provide proof of service, and the volume function may be used for billing purposes if the client is to be billed by volume. It should be noted that such liquid or compressed gas deliveries can also be tracked by weight. Related embodiments utilize data input devices to enable vehicle operators to manually enter container identifications and product weights/volumes into a processor or computing device that combines the weight/volume data and container ID data with the vehicle position data to generate the object ID and location data.
  • A third type of additional object data that can be collected during operation of the vehicle is object temperature. An exemplary embodiment of a vehicle collecting object ID and location data that includes temperature is a produce delivery truck. In an exemplary but not limiting embodiment, the temperature of each produce container delivered by the vehicle is measured as the container is loaded or unloaded from the vehicle. That temperature data, as well as the container identification data, is sent to the vehicle's geographical position sensing system as the container is loaded or unloaded. Thus, the object ID and location data in this embodiment can be used to identify when a container was loaded and/or unloaded, where the container/vehicle was located when the container was loaded and/or unloaded, and the temperature of the container. That data is collected, and can be used to provide proof of service, and the temperature function may be used for quality assurance purposes if the client asserts that poor product quality was caused by improper temperature conditions in transit. Related embodiments simply measure the temperature of the cargo area of the vehicle, rather than measuring the temperature of each container.
  • This Summary has been provided to introduce a few concepts in a simplified form that are further described in detail below in the Description. However, this Summary is not intended to identify key or essential features of the claimed subject matter, nor is it intended to be used as an aid in determining the scope of the claimed subject matter.
  • DRAWINGS
  • Various aspects and attendant advantages of one or more exemplary embodiments and modifications thereto will become more readily appreciated as the same becomes better understood by reference to the following detailed description, when taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings, wherein:
  • FIG. 1 is a high level logic diagram showing exemplary overall method steps implemented in accord with the concepts disclosed herein to collect time indexed object ID encoded position data;
  • FIG. 2 is an exemplary functional block diagram showing the basic functional components used to implement the method steps of FIG. 1;
  • FIG. 3 is a flow chart showing method steps implemented in an exemplary embodiment in which time indexed object ID encoded position data is analyzed to determine at least one parameter of an interaction between a uniquely labeled object and a vehicle;
  • FIG. 4 is a functional block diagram of an exemplary computing device that can be employed to implement some of the method steps disclosed herein;
  • FIG. 5 is a flow chart showing method steps implemented in an exemplary embodiment in which time indexed object ID encoded position data is used to help an operator of a vehicle manage interactions between the vehicle and objects at specified locations;
  • FIG. 6 is an exemplary functional block diagram showing the basic functional components used to implement the method steps of FIG. 5;
  • FIG. 7 schematically illustrates a school bus modified to implement the concepts disclosed herein, to collect and use object ID encoded position data;
  • FIG. 8 schematically illustrates a delivery truck modified to implement the concepts disclosed herein, to collect and use object ID encoded position data;
  • FIG. 9 schematically illustrates a refuse truck modified to implement the concepts disclosed herein, to collect and use object ID encoded position data;
  • FIG. 10 schematically illustrates a fuel truck modified to implement the concepts disclosed herein, to collect and use object ID encoded position data; and
  • FIG. 11 is a functional block diagram showing the basic functional components used to implement a handheld identification sensor, which can be used by a vehicle operator to collect object identification data.
  • DESCRIPTION Figures and Disclosed Embodiments are not Limiting
  • Exemplary embodiments are illustrated in referenced Figures of the drawings. It is intended that the embodiments and Figures disclosed herein are to be considered illustrative rather than restrictive. Further, it should be understood that any feature of one embodiment disclosed herein can be combined with one or more features of any other embodiment that is disclosed, unless otherwise indicated.
  • FIG. 1 is a high level flow chart showing the overall method steps implemented in accord with one aspect of the concepts disclosed herein, to collect object ID and location data (otherwise referred to herein as object ID encoded position data). In a block 10, a vehicle is equipped with geographical position sensors (such as a GPS unit), so that geographical position data can be collected when the vehicle is being operated. In a block 12, the vehicle is equipped with an object identification sensor capable of uniquely identifying labeled objects that interact with the vehicle during operation of the vehicle. In general, the object identification sensor detects or reads a token attached to the object (or carried by the object, where the object is a person). Exemplary, but not limiting, object identification sensors include bar code readers, optical code readers reading optical codes other than simple bar codes, RFID tag readers, and magnetically encoded data readers. Other technologies that enable tokens or unique object labels to be identified are encompassed by the concepts disclosed herein. The object identification sensor can be integrated into the vehicle, integrated into a portion of the vehicle that interacts with the object, or provided as a hand held unit to be operated by the vehicle operator, as well as any combinations thereof. In a block 14, objects that interact with the vehicle are labeled with a token, such as a bar code (or some other type of optical code), an RFID tag, or a magnetically encoded token (such as a magnetic strip used in credit cards). Preferably, the tokens are both unique and relatively inexpensive, such that large numbers of objects can be labeled, without undue expense. The objects can include objects that will be loaded onto or unloaded from the vehicle, such as container (including but not limited to parcels, packages, boxes, barrels, and drums), pallets, mail, letters, documents, and people (who will generally carry a token). The objects can also include objects disposed at locations the vehicle will visit, such as recycling containers, refuse containers, and bulk material storage containers (including but not limited to fuel storage tanks and compressed gas storage tanks).
  • In a block 16, location data (such as GPS data, recognizing that other location tracking systems are known, and the term GPS is intended to be exemplary of a position tracking system, and not limiting) is collected while the vehicle is in operation. The location data is time indexed, meaning that the location data being collected is the location of the vehicle at a particular point in time. While the vehicle is in operation, and when the object identification sensor detects a labeled object (as indicated by a decision block 18), the object ID data is added to the time indexed GPS data, as indicated by a block 20. In some embodiments, the object identification sensor is always enabled, and detection of labeled objects occurs automatically when the labeled object and the object identification sensor are proximate (or in the case of a magnetic card reader type sensor, when the card is swiped through the reader). In other embodiments, such as with a hand held object identification sensor, the object identification sensor must be enabled by the vehicle operator, and detection of labeled objects occurs when the vehicle operator brings the labeled object and the object identification sensor into proximity of one another.
  • FIG. 2 is a schematic block diagram of exemplary functional components that can be employed to implement the method steps of FIG. 1. The components include a GPS unit 22, a transmitter 24, which may also have a corresponding receiver—not shown (or other data link), an object ID sensor 26 and a remote computing device 28 (generally as described above). It should be recognized that many GPS units are available that already incorporate a transmitter, such that a separate transmitter may not be required. It should be understood that the concepts disclosed herein can be used with other types of geographical position sensors/systems, and the use of the term GPS is intended to be exemplary, rather than limiting. It should be understood that GPS unit 22 includes a processor that can accept object ID data from object ID sensor 26, and combine the object ID data with the GPS data, to generate the object ID encoded position data. While not specifically shown, it should be understood that a separate processor (i.e., a processor separate from the GPS unit) can be used to combine the object ID data to generate the object ID encoded position data before the object ID encoded position data is transmitted to the remote computing device with transmitter/data link 24.
  • Referring once again to FIG. 2, note that power components have not been specifically shown, although it should be understood that such components will be utilized to provide electrical power to the GPS, ID sensor, data link, and remote computer.
  • FIG. 3 is a high level flow chart showing the overall method steps implemented in accord with another exemplary embodiment for using object ID encoded position data collected during operation of a vehicle equipped with an object ID sensor and a GPS sensor. In a block 30, the object ID encoded position data is collected, generally as discussed above in connection with FIG. 1. In a block 32, the object ID encoded position data is transferred from the vehicle to a remote computing device via a data link (such as a hard wired data link, a wireless data link, or a portable memory media). As generally discussed above, other object data (such as weight, volume and/or temperature) can also be added to the object ID encoded position data. In a block 34, the remote computing device (or some other computing device that the object ID encoded position data is transferred to, or some other computing device that is provided access to the object ID encoded position data) is used determine at least one characteristic of an interaction between a labeled object and the vehicle. One such characteristic that can be determined is to identify at what time the vehicle and a specific labeled object interacted, by searching the object ID encoded position data as a function of the specific object. Another such characteristic that can be determined is to identify at what location the vehicle and a specific labeled object interacted, by searching the object ID encoded position data as a function of the specific object. Yet another such characteristic that can be determined is to identify any labeled object that interacted with the vehicle at a specific location, by searching the object ID encoded position data as a function of the specific location. The object ID encoded position data includes time, location, and object identity as minimum elements, and the artisan of ordinary skill will recognize that many different analyses of the object ID encoded position data can be performed by defining one or more of those minimum elements as fixed or variable search parameters. As noted above, in some embodiments the object ID encoded position data will also include additional object data (exemplary types of additional object data include weight, volume, and temperature), and where the object ID encoded position data includes such additional object data, additional search queries of the object ID encoded position data are possible. For example, a billing function could be implemented where weight or volume associated with a specific object are retrieved from the object ID encoded position data and used to bill a client.
  • In general, analysis of the object ID encoded position data will be carried out by a remote computing device. The remote computing device in at least one embodiment comprises a computing system controlled or accessed by the fleet operator. The remote computing device can be operating in a networked environment, and in some cases, may be operated by a third party under contract with the fleet operator to perform such services. FIG. 4 schematically illustrates an exemplary computing system 250 suitable for use in implementing the method of FIG. 3 (i.e., for executing block 34 of FIG. 3). Exemplary computing system 250 includes a processing unit 254 that is functionally coupled to an input device 252 and to an output device 262, e.g., a display (which can be used to output a result to a user, although such a result can also be stored). Processing unit 254 comprises, for example, a central processing unit (CPU) 258 that executes machine instructions for carrying out an analysis of the object ID encoded position data, generally as discussed above. The machine instructions implement functions generally consistent with those described above with respect to block 34 of FIG. 3. CPUs suitable for this purpose are available, for example, from Intel Corporation, AMD Corporation, Motorola Corporation, and other sources, as will be well known to those of ordinary skill in this art.
  • Also included in processing unit 254 are a random access memory (RAM) 256 and non-volatile memory 260, which can include read only memory (ROM) and may include some form of memory storage, such as a hard drive, optical disk (and drive), etc. These memory devices are bi-directionally coupled to CPU 258. Such storage devices are well known in the art. Machine instructions and data are temporarily loaded into RAM 256 from non-volatile memory 260. Also stored in the non-volatile memory are an operating system software and ancillary software. While not separately shown, it will be understood that a generally conventional power supply will be included to provide electrical power at voltage and current levels appropriate to energize computing system 250.
  • Input device 252 can be any device or mechanism that facilitates user input into the operating environment, including, but not limited to, one or more of a mouse or other pointing device, a keyboard, a microphone, a modem, or other input device. In general, the input device will be used to initially configure computing system 250, to achieve the desired processing (i.e., analysis of the object ID encoded position data). Configuration of computing system 250 to achieve the desired processing includes the steps of loading appropriate processing software into non-volatile memory 260, and launching the processing application (e.g., loading the processing software into RAM 256 for execution by the CPU) so that the processing application is ready for use. Output device 262 generally includes any device that produces output information, but will most typically comprise a monitor or computer display designed for human visual perception of output. Use of a conventional computer keyboard for input device 252 and a computer display for output device 262 should be considered as exemplary, rather than as limiting on the scope of this system. Data link 264 is configured to enable object ID encoded position data to be input into computing system 250 for subsequent analysis. Those of ordinary skill in the art will readily recognize that many types of data links can be implemented, including, but not limited to, universal serial bus (USB) ports, parallel ports, serial ports, inputs configured to couple with portable memory storage devices, FireWire ports, infrared data ports, wireless data communication such as Wi-Fi and Bluetooth™, network connections via Ethernet ports, and other connections that employ the Internet.
  • It should be recognized that processors can be implemented as general purpose processors, where the functions implemented by the processor are changeable or customizable using machine instructions (i.e., software). Processors can also be implemented as customized hardware circuits, where the functions implemented are fixed by the design of the circuit (such processors are sometimes referred to as application specific integrated circuits). The flexibility of software controlled processors often results in software based processors being selected over hardware based processors, although it should be understood that the concepts disclosed herein can be implemented using both software based processors and hardware based processors.
  • FIG. 5 is a high level logic diagram showing exemplary overall method steps implemented in accord with the concepts disclosed herein, and summarized in the Summary of Invention section above, to utilize object ID encoded position data to facilitate planned interactions between a vehicle and objects as specific geographical positions. Such a technique can be used to enhance such interactions, as well as to train new operators to understand vehicle/object interactions over predefined routes (such as school bus routes, refuse collection routes, and product delivery routes; such routes being exemplary, and not limiting). In a block 36, object ID encoded position data is provided, the object ID encoded position data correlating a specific object with a specific location (and if desired, to a specific time, although time is not a required element in this embodiment). The object ID encoded position data that is provided can be data collected by the vehicle generally as described above in connection with FIG. 1, or can be generated by combining predefined object ID data and position data together (for example, a dispatcher managing a school bus or delivery route could compile the data and ensure the data is provided to the vehicle). As discussed in greater detail below, the provided object ID encoded position data is stored in a memory accessible by the vehicle (or a processor associated with the vehicle) during operation of the vehicle. In a block 38, the current location of the vehicle is monitored (using a GPS unit or equivalent device). In a block 40, the current position of the vehicle is compared to the provided object ID encoded position data, and an indication (such as a display or audile alert, noting that such indications are exemplary, rather than limiting) is provided to the operator of the vehicle whenever the object ID encoded position data indicates that an interaction with a specific object is to occur at the current location of the vehicle. The artisan of ordinary skill will recognize that the indication can be provided as soon as the vehicle approaches an interaction location specified in the object ID encoded position data, to provide the operator of the vehicle reasonable advance notice. The indication will minimally identify the specific object that will interact with the vehicle at the specified location, and may include additional details as necessary to facilitate the interaction. For example, if the interaction is the delivery of a bulk material to a storage tank, the storage tank being the specified object, instructions as to a quantity of bulk material to deliver, or detailed instructions regarding material transfer or accessing the storage tank can be provided.
  • FIG. 6 is a functional block diagram of exemplary functional components included in a vehicle employed to implement the method steps of FIG. 5. A vehicle implementing the method includes a GPS unit 42 (which in at least some embodiments, includes a transmitter so that object ID encoded position data collected by the vehicle during its present operational state can be generated and conveyed to a remote computing device, generally as described in connection with FIG. 1, although it should be recognized that a GPS unit without a transmitter can be coupled with a transmitter or other data link to achieve similar functionality; as well as recognizing that the vehicle could be configured to only use object ID encoded position data stored in a memory 48 to facilitate interactions with objects, as being opposed to collecting object ID encoded position data during the current operation cycle of the vehicle as well). GPS unit 42 is coupled to processor 44 (noting that processor 44 may be part of the GPS unit itself, as opposed to a separate device). Processor 44 is also logically coupled to memory 48 (in which object ID encoded position data defining specific locations where interactions with specific objects are expected are stored), as well as a display 46 (or other output device, such as a speaker) used to alert the vehicle operator that the vehicle is approaching or has reached a geographical position where the object ID encoded position data stored in memory 48 indicates an interaction between the vehicle and a specific labeled object is to occur.
  • As discussed above, the expected interaction can encompass different interactions between the vehicle and a labeled object, including but not limited to, picking up a passenger (where the passenger is the labeled object, or rather carries with them a token that can be read by the identification sensor and thereby uniquely identifies them), dropping off a passenger (where the passenger is the labeled object, or rather carries with them a token that can be read by the identification sensor and thereby uniquely identifies them), picking up an object (such as a parcel, package, container, letter, or document), delivering an object (such as a parcel, package, container, letter, or document), and servicing an object (such as a container or piece of equipment) disposed at the specified location. In particular, servicing an object includes, but is not limited to, removing refuse from a labeled container, removing recyclables from a labeled container, removing refuse from a container at a location that is labeled (i.e., the token is attached to a location where the container is disposed, as opposed to being attached to the container itself), removing recyclables from a container at a location that is labeled (i.e., the token is attached to a location where the container is disposed, as opposed to being attached to the container itself), transferring a bulk material (such as a solid material, a liquid, or a compressed gas) to a labeled container, transferring a bulk material (such as a solid material, a liquid, or a compressed gas) to a container at a location that is labeled (i.e., the token is attached to a location where the container is disposed, as opposed to being attached to the container itself), transferring a bulk solid material to a location that is labeled (i.e., the token is attached to a location, and there is no container, the bulk solid material simply being delivered to the location), and having the vehicle operator perform a service call on a piece of equipment or a structure at the specified location, where either or both the object being serviced or the location is labeled with a token. Those of ordinary skill in the art will recognize that the servicing of structures and/or equipment encompasses services performed by skilled tradesmen, including, but not limited to, plumbers, electricians, carpenters, technicians specializing in servicing specific types of equipment (including but not limited to computers, heating and ventilation equipment, construction equipment, and vehicles), and technicians responsible for other types of repair and maintenance functions.
  • In an exemplary, but not limiting embodiment, display 46 is used to inform the vehicle operator that the vehicle is approaching or has arrived at a location where an interaction between the vehicle and a labeled object (or labeled location, as noted above) is expected. The display will minimally identify the object, and in some embodiments can be used to provide more detailed information about the interaction. For example, where the interaction is a service call, details about the specific service required may be provided (i.e., replace a faulty component in a piece of equipment, or perform a specific type of scheduled maintenance on a piece of equipment, such services being exemplary and not limiting).
  • A dashed block 50 around GPS 42, processor 44, and display 46 is intended to indicate that in some embodiments, those three elements will be combined into a single device. It should be recognized that the concepts disclosed herein encompass the use of individual devices to implement each of GPS 42, processor 44, and display 46, as well embodiments where the functions of one or more of GPS 42, processor 44, and display 46 (and memory 48) are implemented by a common device.
  • Referring once again to FIG. 6, data link and power components have not been specifically shown, although it should be understood that such components will be utilized to provided electrical power to the GPS, processor, display and memory, and some type of data link will be used to load the previously generated object ID encoded position data into the memory.
  • FIG. 7 schematically illustrates a school bus modified to implement the concepts disclosed herein, to collect and/or use object ID encoded position data, where the object interacting with the vehicle is a student (i.e., a passenger) carrying a token that can be detected by the object identification sensor. Where the bus is configured to collect object ID encoded position data during operation of the bus, then the bus will include the functional elements discussed in connection with FIG. 2 (except the remote computing device, which of course is remote from the bus). Where the bus is configured to use previously generated object ID encoded position data to facilitate transportation of students (such as training a new driver to understand which students get on and off at what stop), generally as discussed above in connection with FIG. 5, then the bus will include the functional elements discussed in connection with FIG. 6. It should be recognized that the concepts disclosed herein encompass buses that perform both the methods discussed above in connection with FIGS. 1 and 5, and such buses will include the functional components of both FIGS. 2 and 6 (again, except for the remote computing device).
  • Referring to FIG. 7, as shown, bus 52 is configured to implement the method of FIG. 1 (i.e., to collect object ID encoded position data), and thus bus 52 includes a GPS unit 54 and an object ID sensor 56. Not specifically shown are the data link and processor elements of FIG. 2, which as discussed above can be implemented by a GPS unit including such elements. As shown, ID sensor 56 is disposed proximate a door 58, so that ID sensor 56 can detect tokens carried by students as they board and exit the bus. Exemplary (but not limiting) tokens include RFID tags (which can be read automatically) and ID cards including a magnetic strip or optical data (which require the child to swipe the ID card through a reader as they enter the bus). If the bus is equipped with other doors that are used to board or disembark students, another ID sensor can be positioned at the other door. In an exemplary embodiment, once the boarding or disembarkation of students has occurred, the object ID encoded position data can be conveyed to the remote computing device of FIG. 2, and the remote computing device can make the boarding/disembarkation information available to school administrators or parents, either through a website accessible to the administrator/parent, or by sending the information in an email, a text message, a voice message, or an instant message. In an exemplary (but not limiting embodiment) administrators would have access to boarding/disembarkation data about all students, whereas parents would only be able to access such data about their child. Such boarding/disembarkation data would be generated from the object ID encoded position data collected at the vehicle, and would define the location and time a specific student boarded and/or exited the bus.
  • As noted above, the concepts disclosed herein also encompass bus 52 being configured to implement the method of FIG. 5 (i.e., to use previously generated object ID encoded position data to help the bus driver recognize what students should be boarding/exiting the bus at which stops). In such an embodiment, bus 52 will require GPS unit 54 (to track the current position of the bus, so a GPS processor or other processor can compare the current position of the bus with the previously generated object ID encoded position data, stored in a memory 48 as shown in FIG. 6). Bus 52 will also need to include the display/output device of FIG. 6, to provide a mechanism to inform the driver which students are associated with a specific bus stop.
  • If the bus configured to implement the method of FIG. 5 (using previously generated object ID encoded position data to help the bus driver recognize what students should be boarding/exiting the bus at which stops) is not intended to also implement the method of FIG. 1 (collecting object ID encoded position data while the bus is being currently operated), then the ID sensor and data link to the remote computing device shown in FIG. 2 are not required. Customers employing this technology will likely desire the flexibility of being able to perform both the method of FIG. 1 (collecting object ID encoded position data while the bus is being currently operated) and the method of FIG. 5 (using previously generated object ID encoded position data to help the bus driver recognize what students should be boarding/exiting the bus at which stops), and such buses will need to employ the components of both FIGS. 2 and 6 (i.e., the GPS unit, the ID sensor, the processor to combine the GPS data with the object ID data to generate the object ID encoded position data (which may be part of the GPS unit), the data link to convey the object ID encoded position data to the remote computing device, the memory storing the previously generated object ID encoded position data used to alert the driver which students are associated with which bus stops, the processor to monitor the current position of the bus and produce an indication/alert when the current position of the bus corresponds to a location correlated to one of the students (note the same processor combining the current GPS data with the object ID data can be used, or a separate processor can be used), and the display (or other output) used to alert the driver that the bus is at or approaching a location at which a particular student will get on or off.
  • FIG. 8 schematically illustrates a delivery truck modified to implement the concepts disclosed herein, to collect and/or use object ID encoded position data, where the object interacting with the vehicle is some type of cargo (including but not limited to a package, a document, an item of mail, a product, and a piece of equipment) including a token that can be detected by the object identification sensor. Once again, the delivery truck can be configured to implement one or both of the method of FIG. 1 (collecting object ID encoded position data while the delivery vehicle is delivering or picking up cargo) and the method of FIG. 5 (where the operator of the vehicle is using previously generated object ID encoded position data to help the delivery driver to deliver or pick up labeled cargo at specified locations). Where the delivery truck is configured to implement the method of FIG. 1 then the delivery truck will require the functional elements discussed in connection with FIG. 2 (except the remote computing device, which of course is remote from the delivery vehicle). Where the delivery vehicle is configured to use previously generated object ID encoded position data to facilitate delivery or pick up of cargo at specific locations (generally as discussed above in connection with FIG. 5), then the delivery vehicle will include the functional elements discussed in connection with FIG. 6. It should be recognized that the concepts disclosed herein encompass delivery vehicles that perform both the methods discussed above in connection with FIGS. 1 and 5, and such delivery vehicles will include the functional components of both FIGS. 2 and 6 (again, except for the remote computing device).
  • Referring to FIG. 8, as shown, delivery truck 60 is configured to implement the method of FIG. 1 (i.e., to collect object ID encoded position data about cargo being delivered or picked up), and thus delivery truck 60 includes a GPS unit 62 and one or more object ID sensors 64. Not specifically shown are the data link and processor elements of FIG. 2, which as discussed above can be implemented by a GPS unit including such elements. As shown, ID sensors 64 are disposed proximate a side door 66 and a rear door 68, so that ID sensors 64 can detect tokens attached to cargo 70 being picked up or delivered. As discussed above, many types of token/sensor combinations can be employed. In at least one embodiment, tokens are RFID tags that can automatically be read as the cargo passes through one of doors 66 and 68 (noting that some delivery vehicles have more or fewer doors, and the specific location of the door(s) can vary). This automatic sensing function should reduce the time required for loading and unloading, by eliminating any manual involvement in the object ID sensing function. Optical codes can also be employed, but the person loading/unloading the cargo would need to ensure the optical code can be scanned by the ID sensor (much in the way a grocery checker must ensure that products are read by the bar code scanner at checkout). As will be discussed below, the concepts disclosed herein also encompass the use of a handheld ID sensor 72, which though functional requires more effort on the part of the cargo handler.
  • If desired, a temperature sensor 69 can be included in the cargo area of the delivery truck, to measure the ambient temperature of the cargo area. The temperature measurement represents additional object data, that will be combined with the object ID and the time and GPS data, to generate the object ID encoded position data. The temperature sensor, if present, is configured to communicate its data to the GPS unit, or the processor responsible for combining the object ID data, the temperature data, and the GPS data together to generate the time indexed object ID encoded position data. The temperature data may be important for temperature sensitive cargo, and collecting such data and combining it with the object ID encoded position data will enable the delivery service to prove to the shipper that the cargo was maintained in the correct temperature controlled environment during transit. In a related embodiment, the temperature sensor can be incorporated into the object, and the temperature data can be manually entered into the GPS unit/processor during delivery, or acquired using a hand held sensor that logically communicates that data to the GPS unit/processor for incorporation into the object ID encoded position data.
  • In an exemplary embodiment, once the loading or unloading of cargo has occurred, the object ID encoded position data can be conveyed to the remote computing device of FIG. 2, and the remote computing device can make the loading/unloading information available to one or more of the delivery service, the cargo shipper, and the cargo recipient, either through a website accessible to the parties, or by sending the information in an email, a text message, a voice message, or an instant message. In an exemplary (but not limiting embodiment) the delivery service would have access to pick up/delivery data for all cargo, whereas shippers/recipients would only be able to access such data about their cargo. Such pick up/delivery data would be generated from the object ID encoded position data collected at the vehicle, and would define the location and time a item of cargo was loaded or unloaded from the delivery vehicle. This data can be used to assure shippers/recipients that their cargo was picked up/delivered, and may be used by the delivery service to bill their clients.
  • As noted above, the concepts disclosed herein also encompass delivery truck 60 being configured to implement the method of FIG. 5 (i.e., to use previously generated object ID encoded position data to help the delivery driver recognize what cargo should be loaded/unloaded from the delivery vehicle at which locations). In such an embodiment, delivery truck 60 will require GPS unit 62 (to track the current position of the vehicle, so a GPS processor or other processor can compare the current position of the vehicle with the previously generated object ID encoded position data, stored in a memory 48 as shown in FIG. 6). Delivery truck 60 will also need to include the display/output device of FIG. 6, to provide a mechanism to inform the driver which cargo is associated with a specific delivery or pick up location.
  • If delivery truck 60 is configured to implement the method of FIG. 5 (using previously generated object ID encoded position data to help the driver recognize what cargo is loaded/unloaded at what location) and is not intended to also implement the method of FIG. 1 (collecting object ID encoded position data while the delivery vehicle is being currently operated), then the ID sensor and data link to the remote computing device shown in FIG. 2 are not required. Customers employing this technology will likely desire the flexibility of being able to perform both the method of FIG. 1 (collecting object ID encoded position data while the delivery truck being currently operated) and the method of FIG. 5 (using previously generated object ID encoded position data to help the delivery driver recognize what cargo should be loaded/unloaded from the vehicle at what location), and such delivery vehicles will need to employ the components of both FIGS. 2 and 6 (i.e., the GPS unit, the ID sensor, the processor to combine the GPS data with the object ID data to generate the object ID encoded position data (which may be part of the GPS unit), the data link to convey the object ID encoded position data to the remote computing device, the memory storing the previously generated object ID encoded position data used to alert the driver which cargo is associated with which location, the processor to monitor the current position of the delivery vehicle and produce an indication/alert when the current position of the delivery vehicle corresponds to a location correlated to an item of cargo (note the same processor combining the current GPS data with the object ID data can be used, or a separate processor can be used), and the display (or other output) used to alert the driver that the delivery vehicle is at or approaching a location at which a item of cargo will be delivered or collected.
  • As noted above, when the method of FIG. 1 is being implemented in the context of cargo shipping, instead of equipping the vehicle with ID sensors 64 proximate vehicle doors 66 or 68 to automatically collect object ID data from the cargo, handheld ID sensor 72 can be manually used by a cargo handler (such as the driver) when loading or unloading the cargo. The handheld sensor must at some point be logically coupled with GPS 62 so that the object ID encoded position data can be generated. This can be achieved by using a physical connection, or a wireless data link. This embodiment may be less expensive (providing a handheld unit may be more cost effective that adding ID sensors to the doors), but reduces efficiency by requiring the cargo handler to perform an additional function.
  • FIG. 9 schematically illustrates a refuse truck (or recycling truck) modified to implement the concepts disclosed herein, to collect and/or use object ID encoded position data, where the object interacting with the vehicle is a refuse or recycling container whose contents is transferred from the container to the refuse truck. In at least one embodiment, the token read by the ID sensor is attached to the container itself, although it should be understood that the concepts disclosed herein encompass embodiments in which the token being detected by the ID sensor is attached to some other physical object or structure at the location where the container is stored. Once again, the refuse truck can be configured to implement one or both of the method of FIG. 1 (collecting object ID encoded position data while the refuse truck is collecting refuse or recyclables) and the method of FIG. 5 (where the operator of the vehicle is using previously generated object ID encoded position data to help the refuse truck driver to recognize what containers at what locations need to be emptied).
  • Where the refuse truck is configured to implement the method of FIG. 1 the refuse truck will require the functional elements discussed in connection with FIG. 2 (except the remote computing device, which of course is remote from the refuse truck). Where the refuse truck is configured to use previously generated object ID encoded position data to facilitate collection of refuse/recyclables from specific containers at specific locations (generally as discussed above in connection with FIG. 5), then the refuse truck will include the functional elements discussed in connection with FIG. 6. It should be recognized that the concepts disclosed herein encompass refuse trucks that perform both of the methods discussed above in connection with FIGS. 1 and 5, and such refuse trucks will include the functional components of both FIGS. 2 and 6 (again, except for the remote computing device).
  • Referring to FIG. 9, as shown, refuse truck 74 is configured to implement the method of FIG. 1 (i.e., to collect object ID encoded position data about containers from which recyclables or refuse is collected), and thus refuse truck 60 includes a GPS unit 76 and an object ID sensors 78, which as shown is disposed on a container manipulator 86 (which lifts and rotates a container 82, such that the refuse falls into a cargo area 88). Note the container manipulator need not be mounted on the front of the vehicle, as other container manipulator positions (such as at the sides or rear of the vehicle) are known. Not specifically shown are the data link and processor elements of FIG. 2, which as discussed above can be implemented by a GPS unit including such elements. The position of ID sensors 78 is such that the ID sensor can detect a token 80 that uniquely identifies container 82 automatically as container manipulator 86 engages the container. As discussed above, many types of token/sensor combinations can be employed. In at least one embodiment, tokens are RFID tags that can automatically be read as container manipulator 86 engages the container. This automatic sensing function should reduce the time required for identifying the object, by eliminating any manual involvement in the object ID sensing function. Optical codes can also be employed, but such optical codes can become obscured by dirt and grime, and may be less suitable for this application. As noted above, other embodiments encompassed by the concepts herein will place the token on a structure or object near the container, rather than the container itself, and in such embodiments the ID sensor may be positioned differently. The concepts disclosed herein also encompass embodiments in which the vehicle operator uses a handheld ID sensor to read a token, which though functional requires more effort on the part of the operator. If desired, a weight sensor 84 can be included on container manipulator 86, to measure the full weight and emptied weight of the container, to enable the weight of the refuse unloaded from the container to be measured (note that such a weight sensor could also be included in cargo area 88, to measure the weight of the material in the cargo area before and after a container is emptied). The weight measurement represents additional object data, that will be combined with the object ID and the time and GPS data, to generate the object ID encoded position data.
  • In an exemplary embodiment, once the container has been emptied, the object ID encoded position data can be conveyed to the remote computing device of FIG. 2, and the remote computing device can make the container emptying information available to one or more of the refuse removal service and the client, either through a website accessible to the parties, or by sending the information in an email, a text message, a voice message, or an instant message. In an exemplary (but not limiting embodiment) the refuse removal service would have access to pick up data for all containers, whereas clients would only be able to access such data about their containers. Such pick up data would be generated from the object ID encoded position data collected at the vehicle, and would define the location and time a container was emptied, and the weight of the material removed, if the weight data was collected. This data can be used to assure clients that their refuse was picked up, and may be used by the refuse removal service to bill their clients.
  • As noted above, the concepts disclosed herein also encompass refuse truck 74 being configured to implement the method of FIG. 5 (i.e., to use previously generated object ID encoded position data to help the driver recognize what containers should be emptied at which locations). In such an embodiment, refuse truck 74 will require GPS unit 76 (to track the current position of the vehicle, so a GPS processor or other processor can compare the current position of the vehicle with the previously generated object ID encoded position data, stored in a memory 48 as shown in FIG. 6). Refuse truck 74 will also need to include the display/output device of FIG. 6, to provide a mechanism to inform the driver what containers are associated with a specific service location.
  • If refuse truck 74 is configured to implement the method of FIG. 5 (using previously generated object ID encoded position data to help the driver recognize what containers are emptied at what location) and is not intended to also implement the method of FIG. 1 (collecting object ID encoded position data while the refuse truck is being currently operated), then the ID sensor and data link to the remote computing device shown in FIG. 2 are not required. Customers employing this technology will likely desire the flexibility of being able to perform both the method of FIG. 1 (collecting object ID encoded position data while the refuse truck being currently operated) and the method of FIG. 5 (using previously generated object ID encoded position data to help the delivery driver recognize what containers should be emptied at what location), and such refuse trucks will need to employ the components of both FIGS. 2 and 6 (i.e., the GPS unit, the ID sensor, the processor to combine the GPS data with the object ID data to generate the object ID encoded position data (which may be part of the GPS unit), the data link to convey the object ID encoded position data to the remote computing device, the memory storing the previously generated object ID encoded position data used to alert the driver about which containers are associated with which locations, the processor to monitor the current position of the vehicle and produce an indication/alert when the current position of the refuse truck corresponds to a location correlated to a labeled container (note the same processor combining the current GPS data with the object ID data can be used, or a separate processor can be used), and the display (or other output) used to alert the driver that the refuse truck is at or approaching a location at which a container will be emptied.
  • FIG. 10 schematically illustrates a tanker truck modified to implement the concepts disclosed herein, to collect and/or use object ID encoded position data, where the object interacting with the vehicle is a bulk material storage container (such as a home heating oil storage tank, a propane gas fuel storage tank, or a compressed gas storage tank, understanding that such types of storage tanks are intended to be exemplary, rather than limiting), where a product or bulk material is transferred from the tanker truck to the storage tank. In at least one embodiment, the token read by the ID sensor is attached to the storage tank itself, although it should be understood that the concepts disclosed herein encompass embodiments in which the token being detected by the ID sensor is attached to some other physical object or structure at the location where the storage tank is stored. Once again, the tanker truck can be configured to implement one or both of the method of FIG. 1 (collecting object ID encoded position data while the tanker truck is out delivering bulk materials to storage tanks) and the method of FIG. 5 (where the operator of the tanker truck is using previously generated object ID encoded position data to help the tanker truck driver to recognize what storage tanks at which locations need to be filled).
  • Where the tanker truck is configured to implement the method of FIG. 1, the tanker truck will require the functional elements discussed in connection with FIG. 2 (except the remote computing device, which of course is remote from the tanker truck). Where the tanker truck is configured to use previously generated object ID encoded position data to facilitate delivery of a bulk material to a specific storage tank at specific locations (generally as discussed above in connection with FIG. 5), then the tanker truck will include the functional elements discussed in connection with FIG. 6. It should be recognized that the concepts disclosed herein encompass tanker trucks that perform both the methods discussed above in connection with FIGS. 1 and 5, and such tanker trucks will include the functional components of both FIGS. 2 and 6 (again, except for the remote computing device).
  • Referring to FIG. 10, as shown tanker truck 90 is configured to implement the method of FIG. 1 (i.e., to collect object ID encoded position data about storage tanks to which the tanker truck is delivering a bulk material), and thus tanker truck 90 includes a GPS unit 92 and an object ID sensor 94, which as shown is disposed on a distal end of a product delivery hose 96 (which is used to transfer the bulk material from the tanker truck to a storage tank 100, which is labeled with a token 98). Note as shown, the ID sensor (disposed on the distal end of the delivery hose) and the token on the storage tank (disposed proximate an inlet 102 to the storage tank) will be in close proximity to each other when the delivery hose is coupled to the tank inlet. Thus, the position of ID sensors 94 is such that the ID sensor can detect token 98 (which uniquely identifies storage tank 100 automatically as the delivery hose engages the tank inlet). As discussed above, many types of token/sensor combinations can be employed. In at least one embodiment, tokens are RFID tags that can automatically be read as the delivery hose engages the tank inlet. Because the bulk material may be flammable, care needs to be taken that the ID sensor/token interaction does not generate a spark or static electricity that could act as an ignition source. For bulk transfer of flammable material, grounding is routinely performed to minimize such risks. This automatic sensing function should reduce the time required for identifying the object, by eliminating any manual involvement in the object ID sensing function. Optical codes can also be employed, but such optical codes can become obscured by dirt and grime, and may be less suitable for this application. As noted above, other embodiments encompassed by the concepts herein will place the token on a structure or object near the storage tank, rather than the container itself, and in such embodiments the ID sensor may be positioned differently. The concepts disclosed herein also encompass embodiments in which the tank truck operator uses a handheld ID sensor to read a token, which though functional requires more effort on the part of the operator.
  • If desired, a volume delivery sensor 104 can be included on the tanker truck, to measure the volume of bulk material being delivered. The volume measurement represents additional object data, that will be combined with the object ID and the time and GPS data, to generate the object ID encoded position data. Referring to FIG. 10 and its relationship to the elements of FIG. 2, FIG. 10 does not specifically show the data link and processor elements of FIG. 2, which as discussed above can be implemented by a GPS unit including such elements.
  • In an exemplary embodiment, once the storage tank has been filled, the object ID encoded position data can be conveyed to the remote computing device of FIG. 2, and the remote computing device can make the tank filling information available to one or more of the tanker truck service and the client, either through a website accessible to the parties, or by sending the information in an email, a text message, a voice message, or an instant message. In an exemplary (but not limiting embodiment) the tanker truck service would have access to filling data for all storage tanks, whereas clients would only be able to access such data about their storage tanks. Such tank filling data would be generated from the object ID encoded position data collected at the tanker truck, and would define the location and time a storage tank was filled, and the volume of the material transferred, if the volume data was collected. This data can be used to assure clients that their tank was filled, and may be used by the tanker truck service to bill their clients.
  • As noted above, the concepts disclosed herein also encompass tanker truck 90 being configured to implement the method of FIG. 5 (i.e., to use previously generated object ID encoded position data to help the driver recognize what storage tanks at which locations should be filled). In such an embodiment, tanker truck 90 will require GPS unit 92 (to track the current position of the vehicle, so a GPS processor or other processor can compare the current position of the vehicle with the previously generated object ID encoded position data, stored in a memory 48 as shown in FIG. 6). Tanker truck 90 will also need to include the display/output device of FIG. 6, to provide a mechanism to inform the driver what storage tanks are associated with a specific service location.
  • If tanker truck 90 is configured to implement the method of FIG. 5 (using previously generated object ID encoded position data to help the driver recognize what storage tanks are filled at what location) and is not intended to also implement the method of FIG. 1 (collecting object ID encoded position data while the tanker truck is being currently operated), then the ID sensor and data link to the remote computing device shown in FIG. 2 are not required. Customers employing this technology will likely desire the flexibility of being able to perform both the method of FIG. 1 (collecting object ID encoded position data while the tanker truck being currently operated) and the method of FIG. 5 (using previously generated object ID encoded position data to help the tanker truck driver recognize what storage tanks should be filled at what location), and such tanker trucks will need to employ the components of both FIGS. 2 and 6 (i.e., the GPS unit, the ID sensor, the processor to combine the GPS data with the object ID data to generate the object ID encoded position data (which may be part of the GPS unit), the data link to convey the object ID encoded position data to the remote computing device, the memory storing the previously generated object ID encoded position data used to alert the driver about which storage tanks are associated with which locations, the processor to monitor the current position of the vehicle and produce an indication/alert when the current position of the tanker truck corresponds to a location correlated to a labeled storage tank (note the same processor combining the current GPS data with the object ID data can be used, or a separate processor can be used), and the display (or other output) used to alert the driver that the tanker truck is at or approaching a location at which a storage tank will be filled.
  • With respect to any of the embodiments of FIGS. 7-10, it should be recognized that the relative location of the GPS unit in the vehicle as shown in the Figure is intended to be exemplary, rather than limiting.
  • FIG. 11 is a functional block diagram showing the basic functional components used to implement a hand held identification sensor, which can be used by a vehicle operator to collect object identification data, as shown in FIG. 8. A hand held ID sensor 110 includes a plurality of functional components that are included in portable ID sensor 110, either on or inside a housing 112. A central processing unit (CPU) 120 comprises the controller for portable ID sensor 110 and is coupled bi-directionally to a memory 116 that includes both random access memory (RAM) and read only memory (ROM). Memory 116 is used for storing data in RAM and machine instructions in ROM that control the functionality of CPU 120 when executed by it. CPU 120 is also coupled to ID sensor 114, and is configured to receive operator input from user controls 122. In addition, CPU 120 provides text and graphics to display 124 for the prompts and other messages, and menu items and options from which the operator can select, using controls 122.
  • After the operator has used portable ID sensor 110 to identify each labeled object, the operator can transmit the object ID data that have been collected to the vehicle GPS or the processor that will combine the object ID data with the GPS data to generate the object ID encoded position data, using a data link 118 (in an exemplary embodiment the data link employs an RF transmission, though hardwired and other wireless type data links can be used).
  • As noted above, the tokens that are affixed to the objects to be identified can be of several different types, depending upon the type of sensor 114 that is included on portable ID sensor 110. In a preferred form of one of the concepts disclosed herein, the token that is preferably employed is an RFID tag that is attached with a fastener or an appropriate adhesive to the object (or is carried by a passenger, or is attached to a location proximate the object, generally as discussed above). One type of RFID tag that is suitable for this purpose is the WORLDTAG™ token that is sold by Sokymat Corporation. This tag is excited by an RF transmission from portable ID sensor 110 via an antenna in sensor 114. In response to the excitation energy received, the RFID tag modifies the RF energy that is received from the antenna in sensor 114 in a manner that specifically identifies the component associated with the RFID tag, and the modified signal is detected by sensor 46.
  • An alternative type of token that can also be used in one of the concepts disclosed herein is an IBUTTON™ computer chip, which is armored in a stainless steel housing and is readily affixed to an object or location. The IBUTTON chip is programmed with JAVA™ instructions to provide a recognition signal when interrogated by a signal received from a nearby transmitter, such as from an antenna in sensor 114. The signal produced by the IBUTTON chip is received by sensor 114, which determines the type of component associated with a token. This type of token is less desirable since it is more expensive, although the program instructions that it executes can provide greater functionality.
  • Yet another type of token that might be used is an optical bar code in which a sequence of lines of varying width or other optical patterns encode light reflected from the bar code tag. The encoded reflected light is received by sensor 114, which is then read by an optical detector. Bar code technology is well understood by those of ordinary skill in the art and readily adapted for identifying a particular type of component and location of the component on a vehicle or other system or apparatus. One drawback to the use of a bar code tag as a token is that the bar code can be covered with dirt or grime that must be cleaned before the sequence of bar code lines or other pattern can be properly read. If the bar code is applied to a plasticized adhesive strip, it can readily be mounted to any surface and then easily cleaned with a rag or other appropriate material.
  • Yet another type of token usable in one of the concepts disclosed herein is a magnetic strip in which a varying magnetic flux encodes data identifying the particular component associated with the token. Such magnetic strips are often used in access cards that are read by readers mounted adjacent to doors or in an elevator that provides access to a building. However, in this aspect of the concepts disclosed herein, the magnetic flux reader comprises sensor 114. The data encoded on such a token are readily read as the portable device is brought into proximity of the varying magnetic flux encoded strip comprising the token.
  • As yet another alternative, an active token can be employed that conforms to the BLUETOOTH™ specification for short distance data transfer between computing devices using an RF signal.
  • In at least one embodiment, the interaction between the vehicle and a labeled object is an inspection of the object. The vehicle is used to convey the inspector to the labeled object. A sensor attached to the vehicle or in a handheld device is used to collect the object ID data, which is combined with the position data collected by the vehicle to generate the object ID encoded position data, which can be used to verify that the inspector was proximate the specific object at a specific time. Objects that can be labeled for inspection include, but are not limited to, buildings, bridges, utility vaults, traffic signals, traffic signs, cell phone towers, transformers, pipelines, utility poles, and construction equipment.
  • In at least one embodiment, the interaction between the vehicle and a labeled object does not include loading the object onto the vehicle or removing the object from the vehicle. Thus, in the claims that follow, it should be recognized that support exists for a negative claim limitation to that effect. FIGS. 9 and 10 relate to embodiments where material is loaded from a container into the vehicle, or from the vehicle into the container, without the container (the labeled object) being loaded onto or being removed from the vehicle. Another type of interaction between a labeled object and the vehicle includes the vehicle being used to transport an inspector to the location of a labeled object that requires an inspection. In such an embodiment, inspection of the object will not result in the object being loaded onto or being removed from the vehicle. In each of these interactions, object ID data is collected from the object, which is combined with the position data collected by the vehicle to generate the object ID encoded position data.
  • In at least one embodiment, the interaction between the vehicle and a labeled object involves loading or unloading the object from a cargo area in the vehicle that is not suitable for passengers. Thus, in the claims that follow, it should be recognized that support exists for a negative claim limitation to that effect. FIG. 8 relates to an embodiment where objects are loaded or unloaded from a non-passenger cargo area.
  • Although the concepts disclosed herein have been described in connection with the preferred form of practicing them and modifications thereto, those of ordinary skill in the art will understand that many other modifications can be made thereto within the scope of the claims that follow. Accordingly, it is not intended that the scope of these concepts in any way be limited by the above description, but instead be determined entirely by reference to the claims that follow.

Claims (24)

  1. 1. A method for generating object identification (ID) encoded position data from a vehicle equipped with a geographical position system, the method comprising the steps of:
    (a) collecting geographical position data from the vehicle during vehicle operation, the geographical position data being time indexed;
    (b) collecting object ID data from an object interacting with the vehicle during operation of the vehicle, the object ID data uniquely identifying the object, wherein the step of collecting object ID data from an object interacting with the vehicle during operation of the vehicle comprises at least one of the following steps:
    (i) automatically scanning the object as it enters a cargo area of the vehicle not suitable for passengers using an identification sensor attached to the vehicle proximate an entry into the cargo area;
    (ii) automatically scanning the object as it exits the cargo area of the vehicle not suitable for passengers using an identification sensor attached to the vehicle proximate an entry into the cargo area;
    (iii) using an identification sensor attached to a material handling component used to manipulate the object;
    (iv) using an identification sensor attached to a material handling component used to interact with the object; and
    (v) scanning the object using a handheld device including an identification sensor and a wireless data link, the handheld device being configured to wirelessly transmit object ID data to a processor disposed in the vehicle, the processor being configured to combine the object ID data with the position data; and
    (c) automatically combining the object ID data and the geographical position data together at the vehicle to produce object ID encoded position data.
  2. 2. The method of claim 1, further comprising the step of conveying the object ID encoded position data to a remote computing device.
  3. 3. The method of claim 1, further comprising the steps of:
    (a) collecting additional object data from the object during operation of the vehicle; and
    (b) including the additional object data in the object ID encoded position data such that the additional object data is also time indexed.
  4. 4. The method of claim 3, wherein the object is a container, and the step of collecting the additional object data comprises the step of collecting at least one of:
    (a) a weight of material transferred into the container from the vehicle during the interaction between the container and the vehicle;
    (b) a weight of material transferred into the vehicle from the container during the interaction between the container and the vehicle;
    (c) a volume of material transferred into the container from the vehicle during the interaction between the container and the vehicle; and
    (d) a volume of material transferred into the vehicle from the container during the interaction between the container and the vehicle.
  5. 5. The method of claim 1, further comprising the steps of:
    (a) as the vehicle is operating, comparing the current position of the vehicle with an intended destination associated with each object on the vehicle; and
    (b) whenever the current position of the vehicle corresponds to the intended destination of an object on the vehicle, alerting the driver of the vehicle that the intended destination has been reached.
  6. 6. The method of claim 1, further comprising the steps of:
    (a) as the vehicle is operating, comparing the current position of the vehicle with a predefined location where an object the vehicle is to interact with is disposed; and
    (b) whenever the current position of the vehicle corresponds with the predefined location, alerting the driver of the vehicle that the predefined location has been reached.
  7. 7. A geographical position system for use in a vehicle, the geographical position system comprising:
    (a) a housing;
    (b) a position sensing component for collecting geographical position data from the vehicle during vehicle operation, the geographical position data being time indexed;
    (c) a first data port for receiving object identification (ID) data from an object interacting with the vehicle during operation of the vehicle, the object ID data uniquely identifying the object;
    (d) a processor for combining the object ID data and the geographical position data together to produce object ID encoded position data; and
    (e) a data link for conveying the object ID encoded position data to a remote computing device.
  8. 8. The system of claim 7, wherein the processor is configured to include additional object data in the object ID encoded position data such that the additional object data is also time indexed.
  9. 9. The system of claim 7, wherein the data link comprises a wireless data link, and the processor is configured to use the data link to convey the object ID encoded position data to the remote computer in real-time.
  10. 10. The system of claim 7, further comprising a memory storing a plurality of records, each record associating a uniquely labeled object with a specific location, and wherein the processor is configured to alert the driver of the vehicle whenever the vehicle arrives at a specific location associated with one of the uniquely identified objects.
  11. 11. A system for analyzing object identification (ID) encoded position data from a vehicle, the system comprising:
    (a) an object identification sensor for identifying a uniquely labeled object interacting with the vehicle during operation of the vehicle, and in response thereto generating object ID data; and
    (b) a geographical position system for use in the vehicle, the geographical position system including:
    (i) a position sensing component for collecting geographical position data from the vehicle during vehicle operation, the geographical position data being time indexed;
    (ii) a first data port for receiving object ID data from the object identification sensor during operation of the vehicle;
    (iii) a processor for combining the object ID data and the geographical position data together to produce object ID encoded position data; and
    (iv) a data link for conveying the object ID encoded position data to an external computing device.
  12. 12. The system of claim 11, further comprising a remote computing device spaced apart from the vehicle and configured to receive the object ID encoded position data via the data link, the remote computing device including a memory for storing machine instructions and a processor, the machine instructions, when implemented by a processor, enabling a user to access the object ID encoded position data for the vehicle, such that the object ID encoded position data can be analyzed to determine at least one characteristic of the interaction between the vehicle and the uniquely labeled object.
  13. 13. The system of claim 12, wherein the uniquely labeled object is a container, and the remote computing device is configured to use additional object data included in the object ID encoded position data to implement at least one of the following functions:
    (a) determine a volume of material transferred into the container from the vehicle during the interaction between the container and the vehicle;
    (b) determine a volume of material transferred into the vehicle from the container during the interaction between the container and the vehicle;
    (c) determine a weight of material transferred into the container from the vehicle during the interaction between the container and the vehicle; and
    (d) determine a weight of material transferred into the vehicle from the container during the interaction between the container and the vehicle.
  14. 14. A method for facilitating the interaction of a vehicle with a plurality of uniquely labeled objects during the operation of the vehicle, the method comprising the steps of:
    (a) providing a data set that correlates a specific geographical position with each uniquely labeled object;
    (b) determining a current geographical position of the vehicle as the vehicle is being operated; and
    (c) when the current geographical position of the vehicle corresponds to one of the specific geographical positions associated with one of the uniquely labeled objects, automatically providing an output to the operator of the vehicle, the output identifying the uniquely labeled object correlated with the vehicle's current geographical position.
  15. 15. The method of claim 14, wherein the step of automatically providing the output to the operator of the vehicle comprises at least one step selected from a group of steps consisting of:
    (a) providing the identity of a container that is to be serviced at the specific geographical position, the container being one of the uniquely labeled objects;
    (b) providing the identity of a container that is to be removed from the vehicle at the specific geographical position, the container being one of the uniquely labeled objects;
    (c) providing the identity of a container that is to be loaded onto the vehicle at the specific geographical position, the container being one of the uniquely labeled objects; and
    (d) displaying the identity of each uniquely labeled object correlated with the specific geographical position to the operator of the vehicle.
  16. 16. The method of claim 14, wherein the step of automatically providing the output to the operator of the vehicle comprises at least one step selected from a group of steps consisting of:
    (a) providing the identity of a passenger that is to be loaded onto the vehicle at the specific geographical position, the passenger being one of the uniquely labeled objects; and
    (b) providing the identity of a passenger that is to disembark from the vehicle at the specific geographical position, the passenger being one of the uniquely labeled objects.
  17. 17. A method for using object identification (ID) encoded position data from a vehicle equipped with a geographical position system and an object ID sensor to determine at least one characteristic of an interaction between a uniquely labeled object and the vehicle, the method comprising the steps of:
    (a) providing object ID encoded position data collected during operation of the vehicle, the object ID encoded position data including object ID data uniquely identifying each uniquely labeled object interacting with the vehicle during operation of the vehicle, additional object data collected with the object ID data, and geographical position data defining a relative location of the vehicle during operation of the vehicle, the object ID data and the geographical position data being time indexed; and
    (b) analyzing the object ID encoded position data using the additional object data collected with the object ID data to determine at least one element selected from a group of elements consisting of:
    (i) a volume of material transferred into a uniquely identifiable container from the vehicle during the interaction between that container and the vehicle;
    (ii) a volume of material transferred into the vehicle from the uniquely identifiable container during the interaction between that container and the vehicle;
    (iii) a weight of material transferred into the uniquely identifiable container from the vehicle during the interaction between that container and the vehicle;
    (iv) a weight of material transferred into the vehicle from the uniquely identifiable container during the interaction between that container and the vehicle;
    (v) a temperature of the object during the interaction between that object and the vehicle;
    (vi) a temperature of a cargo portion of the vehicle into which the object is deposited during the interaction between that object and the vehicle; and
    (vii) a temperature of a cargo portion of the vehicle from which the object is removed during the interaction between that object and the vehicle.
  18. 18. A method for generating object identification (ID) encoded position data from a vehicle equipped with a geographical position system, the method comprising the steps of:
    (a) collecting geographical position data from the vehicle during vehicle operation, the geographical position data being time indexed;
    (b) collecting object ID data from an object interacting with the vehicle during operation of the vehicle, the object ID data uniquely identifying the object, wherein the interaction between the object and the vehicle does not include loading the object onto the vehicle or removing the object from the vehicle; and
    (c) automatically combining the object ID data and the geographical position data together at the vehicle to produce object ID encoded position data.
  19. 19. A method for generating object identification (ID) encoded position data from a vehicle equipped with a geographical position system, the method comprising the steps of:
    (a) collecting geographical position data from the vehicle during vehicle operation, the geographical position data being time indexed;
    (b) collecting object ID data from an object interacting with the vehicle during operation of the vehicle, the object ID data uniquely identifying the object, wherein the interaction between the object and the vehicle comprises at least one interaction selected from a group of interactions consisting of:
    (i) a first interaction wherein a material is transferred from the vehicle into a container separate from the vehicle at a specific location, wherein the container remains at the specific location after the vehicle departs;
    (ii) a second interaction wherein a material is transferred from a container to the vehicle, the container being disposed at a specific location and being separate from the vehicle, wherein the container remains at the specific location after the vehicle departs; and
    (iii) a third interaction wherein an inspection of the object is performed at a specific location, the object being separate from the vehicle, wherein the object that was inspected remains at the specific location after the vehicle departs; and
    (c) automatically combining the object ID data and the geographical position data together at the vehicle to produce object ID encoded position data.
  20. 20. A method for training an operator of a vehicle that interacts with a plurality of uniquely labeled objects during the operation of the vehicle, the method comprising the steps of:
    (a) providing a data set that correlates a specific geographical position with each uniquely labeled object;
    (b) determining a current geographical position of the vehicle as the vehicle is being operated; and
    (c) when the current geographical position of the vehicle corresponds to one of the specific geographical positions associated with one of the uniquely labeled objects, automatically providing an output to the operator of the vehicle, the output identifying the uniquely labeled object correlated with the vehicle's current geographical position and the interaction required.
  21. 21. The method of claim 20, wherein the step of automatically providing the output to the operator of the vehicle comprises at least one step selected from a group of steps consisting of:
    (a) providing the identity of an object that is to be serviced at the specific geographical position, that object being one of the uniquely labeled objects;
    (b) providing the identity of a container that is to be removed from the vehicle at the specific geographical position, the container being one of the uniquely labeled objects;
    (c) providing the identity of a container that is to be loaded onto the vehicle at the specific geographical position, the container being one of the uniquely labeled objects;
    (d) displaying the identity of each uniquely labeled object correlated with the specific geographical position to the operator of the vehicle; and
    (e) providing the identity of an object that is to be inspected at the specific geographical position, that object being one of the uniquely labeled objects.
  22. 22. The method of claim 20, wherein the step of automatically providing the output to the operator of the vehicle comprises at least one step selected from a group of steps consisting of:
    (a) providing the identity of a passenger that is to be loaded onto the vehicle at the specific geographical position, the passenger being one of the uniquely labeled objects; and
    (b) providing the identity of a passenger that is to disembark from the vehicle at the specific geographical position, the passenger being one of the uniquely labeled objects.
  23. 23. A method for generating object identification (ID) encoded position data from a vehicle equipped with a geographical position system, the method comprising the steps of:
    (a) providing a position sensing component for collecting geographical position data from the vehicle during vehicle operation, the geographical position data being time indexed, the position sensing component comprising:
    (i) a position sensor configured to generate geographical position data during operation of the vehicle;
    (ii) a first data port for receiving object identification (ID) data from an object interacting with the vehicle during operation of the vehicle, the object ID data uniquely identifying the object;
    (iii) a processor for combining the object ID data and the geographical position data together to produce object ID encoded position data; and
    (iv) a data link for conveying the object ID encoded position data to a remote computing device;
    (b) collecting geographical position data from the vehicle during vehicle operation, the geographical position data being time indexed;
    (c) collecting object ID data from an object interacting with the vehicle during operation of the vehicle, the object ID data uniquely identifying the object;
    (d) introducing the object ID data into the position sensing component using the first data port; and
    (e) using the processor in the position sensing component to automatically combining the object ID data and the geographical position data together to produce object ID encoded position data.
  24. 24. The method of claim 23, wherein the first data port comprises a wireless data port.
US12942874 2001-09-11 2010-11-09 Method and apparatus to collect object identification data during operation of a vehicle and analysis of such data Abandoned US20110068954A1 (en)

Priority Applications (4)

Application Number Priority Date Filing Date Title
US11425222 US7564375B2 (en) 2001-09-11 2006-06-20 System and method to associate geographical position data collected from a vehicle with a specific route
US11675502 US7680595B2 (en) 2006-06-20 2007-02-15 Method and apparatus to utilize GPS data to replace route planning software
US12724232 US8972179B2 (en) 2006-06-20 2010-03-15 Method and apparatus to analyze GPS data to determine if a vehicle has adhered to a predetermined route
US12942874 US20110068954A1 (en) 2006-06-20 2010-11-09 Method and apparatus to collect object identification data during operation of a vehicle and analysis of such data

Applications Claiming Priority (7)

Application Number Priority Date Filing Date Title
US12942874 US20110068954A1 (en) 2006-06-20 2010-11-09 Method and apparatus to collect object identification data during operation of a vehicle and analysis of such data
US13159182 US8972097B2 (en) 2005-10-11 2011-06-13 System and method to enhance the utility of vehicle inspection records by including route identification data in each vehicle inspection record
PCT/US2011/059839 WO2012064789A1 (en) 2010-11-09 2011-11-08 Method and apparatus to collect object identification data during operation of a vehicle and analysis of such data
US14630371 US20150170521A1 (en) 2001-09-11 2015-02-24 System and method to enhance the utility of vehicle inspection records by including route identification data in each vehicle inspection record
US15083208 US9858462B2 (en) 2006-06-20 2016-03-28 Method and system for making deliveries of a fluid to a set of tanks
US15235853 US20160350567A1 (en) 2006-06-20 2016-08-12 Method and system for supervised disembarking of passengers from a bus
US15679435 US10013592B2 (en) 2006-06-20 2017-08-17 Method and system for supervised disembarking of passengers from a bus

Related Parent Applications (1)

Application Number Title Priority Date Filing Date
US12724232 Continuation-In-Part US8972179B2 (en) 2001-09-11 2010-03-15 Method and apparatus to analyze GPS data to determine if a vehicle has adhered to a predetermined route

Related Child Applications (2)

Application Number Title Priority Date Filing Date
US13159182 Continuation-In-Part US8972097B2 (en) 2001-09-11 2011-06-13 System and method to enhance the utility of vehicle inspection records by including route identification data in each vehicle inspection record
US15083208 Continuation US9858462B2 (en) 2001-09-11 2016-03-28 Method and system for making deliveries of a fluid to a set of tanks

Publications (1)

Publication Number Publication Date
US20110068954A1 true true US20110068954A1 (en) 2011-03-24

Family

ID=46051273

Family Applications (4)

Application Number Title Priority Date Filing Date
US12942874 Abandoned US20110068954A1 (en) 2001-09-11 2010-11-09 Method and apparatus to collect object identification data during operation of a vehicle and analysis of such data
US15083208 Active US9858462B2 (en) 2001-09-11 2016-03-28 Method and system for making deliveries of a fluid to a set of tanks
US15235853 Pending US20160350567A1 (en) 2001-09-11 2016-08-12 Method and system for supervised disembarking of passengers from a bus
US15679435 Active US10013592B2 (en) 2001-09-11 2017-08-17 Method and system for supervised disembarking of passengers from a bus

Family Applications After (3)

Application Number Title Priority Date Filing Date
US15083208 Active US9858462B2 (en) 2001-09-11 2016-03-28 Method and system for making deliveries of a fluid to a set of tanks
US15235853 Pending US20160350567A1 (en) 2001-09-11 2016-08-12 Method and system for supervised disembarking of passengers from a bus
US15679435 Active US10013592B2 (en) 2001-09-11 2017-08-17 Method and system for supervised disembarking of passengers from a bus

Country Status (2)

Country Link
US (4) US20110068954A1 (en)
WO (1) WO2012064789A1 (en)

Cited By (20)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US20100088163A1 (en) * 2008-09-09 2010-04-08 United Parcel Service Of America, Inc. Systems and Methods for Utilizing Telematics Data To Improve Fleet Management Operations
US20100253483A1 (en) * 2007-09-05 2010-10-07 Electronics And Telecommunications Research Institute Freight container cargo-working management system and method using rfid technology
US20110084825A1 (en) * 2009-09-08 2011-04-14 American Gardens Management Co. System and method for monitoring and communicating the actions of riders of group transportation
US20120169471A1 (en) * 2010-12-30 2012-07-05 Corbin Will H System and method for automated monitoring of students' work in an educational environment
US8645189B2 (en) * 2012-06-12 2014-02-04 International Business Machines Corporation Leveraging RFID generated consumer behavior through a web map service
US20140195453A1 (en) * 2012-12-04 2014-07-10 Shalewater Solutions, Inc. System, method, and apparatus for managing fluid transportation
US20140371950A1 (en) * 2011-06-15 2014-12-18 Joseph Michael Systems and methods for monitoring and managing transportation infrastructure and locations of vehicles therein
US20150292895A1 (en) * 2011-08-24 2015-10-15 Modular Mining Systems, Inc. Target destination selection for a mining vehicle
US9208626B2 (en) 2011-03-31 2015-12-08 United Parcel Service Of America, Inc. Systems and methods for segmenting operational data
US9296326B1 (en) * 2015-01-02 2016-03-29 Tim Young System and method for collecting recycling materials
US9494938B1 (en) 2014-04-03 2016-11-15 Google Inc. Unique signaling for autonomous vehicles to preserve user privacy
US9563893B2 (en) 2012-10-16 2017-02-07 Fleetcor Technologies Operating Company, Llc Method and system for detection of a fuel card usage exception
US9639909B2 (en) 2013-09-30 2017-05-02 At&T Intellectual Property I, L.P. Determining available storage capacity of a vehicle
US20170297836A1 (en) * 2016-04-14 2017-10-19 Richard S. Burns & Company, Inc. Debris carts and systems and methods of using same
US9805521B1 (en) 2013-12-03 2017-10-31 United Parcel Service Of America, Inc. Systems and methods for assessing turns made by a vehicle
US9842120B1 (en) * 2013-02-15 2017-12-12 United Parcel Service Of America, Inc. Standardization of addresses and location information
US9940615B2 (en) 2012-10-16 2018-04-10 Fleetcor Technologies Operating Company, Llc Automated pairing of payment products and mobile to mobile devices
US20180121875A1 (en) * 2015-01-05 2018-05-03 Amazon Technologies, Inc. Delivery prediction automation and risk mitigation
US9977935B1 (en) 2014-06-20 2018-05-22 Secured Mobility, Llc Student accountability system
US10013592B2 (en) 2006-06-20 2018-07-03 Zonar Systems, Inc. Method and system for supervised disembarking of passengers from a bus

Families Citing this family (1)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US20180080263A1 (en) * 2016-09-22 2018-03-22 Lenovo (Singapore) Pte. Ltd. Destination criteria for unlocking a vehicle door

Citations (11)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US20020089434A1 (en) * 2000-11-06 2002-07-11 Ohanes Ghazarian Electronic vehicle product and personnel monitoring
US20020104013A1 (en) * 2001-02-01 2002-08-01 Ohanes Ghazarian Electronic vehicle product and personal monitoring
US20030004644A1 (en) * 1999-08-06 2003-01-02 Telanon, Inc. Methods and apparatus for stationary object detection
US20030206133A1 (en) * 2001-05-22 2003-11-06 International Business Machines Corporation Geochronicle based identification for e-business
US20050203683A1 (en) * 2004-01-09 2005-09-15 United Parcel Service Of America, Inc. System, method, and apparatus for collecting telematics and sensor information in a delivery vehicle
US20060011721A1 (en) * 2004-07-14 2006-01-19 United Parcel Service Of America, Inc. Methods and systems for automating inventory and dispatch procedures at a staging area
US7080778B1 (en) * 2004-07-26 2006-07-25 Advermotion, Inc. Moveable object accountability system
US20080319665A1 (en) * 2007-05-31 2008-12-25 Eric Berkobin Methods, systems, and apparatuses for consumer telematics
US7523159B1 (en) * 2001-03-14 2009-04-21 Hti, Ip, Llc Systems, methods and devices for a telematics web services interface feature
US20090222200A1 (en) * 2007-05-03 2009-09-03 Link Ii Charles M Methods, systems, and apparatuses for telematics navigation
US7672763B1 (en) * 2004-04-26 2010-03-02 Hti Ip, Llc Method for coupling a telematics device to a vehicle using an in-vehicle wiring harness with multiple adaptors for an on-board diagnostic connector

Family Cites Families (242)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
GB1165051A (en) 1967-05-31 1969-09-24 Horstman Gear Company Ltd Watchman Location System.
US4092718A (en) 1974-03-21 1978-05-30 Wendt Hans J Computerized dispatching system
CA1060113A (en) * 1974-05-13 1979-08-07 Howard S. White Monitoring system for vehicles
US3990067A (en) 1974-09-30 1976-11-02 Sentry Technology Incorporated Electronic security tour system
US4025791A (en) 1975-08-12 1977-05-24 Kilo Corporation Object identification system
US4258421A (en) 1978-02-27 1981-03-24 Rockwell International Corporation Vehicle monitoring and recording system
US4263945A (en) 1979-06-20 1981-04-28 Ness Bradford O Van Automatic fuel dispensing control system
US4325057A (en) 1980-06-30 1982-04-13 Bishop-Hall, Inc. School bus approach notification method and apparatus
GB2100705B (en) 1981-06-23 1985-01-30 Monitronix Syst Monitored delivery systems
US4658371A (en) 1981-12-16 1987-04-14 Art Systems, Inc. Fuel dispensing and vehicle maintenance system with on-board computer
US4602127A (en) 1984-03-09 1986-07-22 Micro Processor Systems, Inc. Diagnostic data recorder
US4814711A (en) 1984-04-05 1989-03-21 Deseret Research, Inc. Survey system and method for real time collection and processing of geophysicals data using signals from a global positioning satellite network
US4651157A (en) 1985-05-07 1987-03-17 Mets, Inc. Security monitoring and tracking system
NL8501581A (en) 1985-06-03 1987-01-02 Nedap Nv A method for selectively filling or emptying of the storage or stock tanks.
US4713661A (en) * 1985-08-16 1987-12-15 Regency Electronics, Inc. Transportation vehicle location monitor generating unique audible messages
EP0219859B1 (en) 1985-10-25 1993-10-06 Mitsubishi Denki Kabushiki Kaisha Route bus service controlling system
US4763356A (en) 1986-12-11 1988-08-09 AT&T Information Systems, Inc. American Telephone and Telegraph Company Touch screen form entry system
US4804937A (en) 1987-05-26 1989-02-14 Motorola, Inc. Vehicle monitoring arrangement and system
DE3828725C2 (en) 1987-09-29 1991-03-21 Pioneer Electronic Corp., Tokio/Tokyo, Jp
GB8815584D0 (en) 1988-06-30 1988-08-03 Analytical Instr Ltd Fleet data monitoring system
US4935195A (en) 1988-08-29 1990-06-19 Westinghouse Electric Corp. Corrosion-erosion trend monitoring and diagnostic system
US5120942A (en) 1989-02-02 1992-06-09 Computer Systems Design Inc. Portable tour monitor device, report generating system and programming device therefor
US5058044A (en) 1989-03-30 1991-10-15 Auto I.D. Inc. Automated maintenance checking system
US5021780A (en) * 1989-09-29 1991-06-04 Richard F. Fabiano Bus passenger alerting system
DE3942070A1 (en) 1989-12-20 1991-06-27 Deutsche Lufthansa A device for managing a variety of motor vehicles
US5321629A (en) 1990-01-11 1994-06-14 Kabushiki Kaisha Toshiba Facility inspection support apparatus
US5359522A (en) 1990-05-09 1994-10-25 Ryan Michael C Fluid delivery control apparatus
US5072380A (en) 1990-06-12 1991-12-10 Exxon Research And Engineering Company Automatic vehicle recognition and customer billing system
US5204819A (en) 1990-08-27 1993-04-20 Ryan Michael C Fluid delivery control apparatus
US5068656A (en) 1990-12-21 1991-11-26 Rockwell International Corporation System and method for monitoring and reporting out-of-route mileage for long haul trucks
US5128651A (en) 1991-01-02 1992-07-07 Heckart Daniel School bus alarm system
US5247160A (en) * 1991-03-21 1993-09-21 Gte Mobile Communications Service Corporation Method for transmitting creditcard information for a group of bus passengers
US7650210B2 (en) 1995-06-07 2010-01-19 Automotive Technologies International, Inc. Remote vehicle diagnostic management
US5479479A (en) 1991-10-19 1995-12-26 Cell Port Labs, Inc. Method and apparatus for transmission of and receiving signals having digital information using an air link
JP3273800B2 (en) 1991-11-11 2002-04-15 茂 近藤 Driving analysis and diagnosis method and apparatus
US5243323A (en) 1991-12-20 1993-09-07 Rogers Telecom Products, Inc. School bus alarm system
US5223844B1 (en) 1992-04-17 2000-01-25 Auto Trac Inc Vehicle tracking and security system
US7103460B1 (en) 1994-05-09 2006-09-05 Automotive Technologies International, Inc. System and method for vehicle diagnostics
US7672756B2 (en) 1995-06-07 2010-03-02 Automotive Technologies International, Inc. Vehicle communications using the internet
WO1993026062A1 (en) 1992-06-16 1993-12-23 Dill Systems Corp. Magnetic circuits for communicating data
US5428546A (en) 1992-10-16 1995-06-27 Mobile Information Systems Method and apparatus for tracking vehicle location
US5585552A (en) 1992-11-09 1996-12-17 The Technician's Company Method and apparatus for diagnosing automotive engine problems using oxygen
US5442553A (en) 1992-11-16 1995-08-15 Motorola Wireless motor vehicle diagnostic and software upgrade system
CA2110025A1 (en) 1992-12-16 1994-06-17 Gerard Joseph Hughes Automatic vehicle recognition and customer automobile diagnostic system
US5337003A (en) 1992-12-28 1994-08-09 Carmichael Edward W Self-contained, clip-on engine operating time log
US5623258A (en) 1993-01-05 1997-04-22 Dorfman; Bertrand Multi-station data capture system
US5399844A (en) 1993-01-12 1995-03-21 Facility Management Systems, Inc. Inspection prompting and reading recording system
US5719771A (en) 1993-02-24 1998-02-17 Amsc Subsidiary Corporation System for mapping occurrences of conditions in a transport route
GB9308426D0 (en) 1993-04-23 1993-06-09 Roster Control Syst Ltd Watchmans clock system
US5623260A (en) * 1993-05-18 1997-04-22 Global Research Systems, Inc. Advance notification system and method utilizing passenger-definable notification time period
US6683542B1 (en) * 1993-05-18 2004-01-27 Arrivalstar, Inc. Advanced notification system and method utilizing a distinctive telephone ring
US5400020A (en) * 1993-05-18 1995-03-21 Global Research Systems, Inc. Advance notification system and method
US6700507B2 (en) * 1993-05-18 2004-03-02 Arrivalstar, Inc. Advance notification system and method utilizing vehicle signaling
US5657010A (en) * 1993-05-18 1997-08-12 Global Research Systems, Inc. Advance notification system and method utilizing vehicle progress report generator
US6952645B1 (en) 1997-03-10 2005-10-04 Arrivalstar, Inc. System and method for activation of an advance notification system for monitoring and reporting status of vehicle travel
US6748318B1 (en) 1993-05-18 2004-06-08 Arrivalstar, Inc. Advanced notification systems and methods utilizing a computer network
US5668543A (en) * 1993-05-18 1997-09-16 Global Research Systems, Inc. Advance notification system and method utilizing passenger calling report generator
US6278936B1 (en) 1993-05-18 2001-08-21 Global Research Systems, Inc. System and method for an advance notification system for monitoring and reporting proximity of a vehicle
FR2706934B1 (en) 1993-06-21 1995-10-13 Valeo Electronique
US5394136A (en) 1993-08-30 1995-02-28 Rockwell International Corporation Satellite communication and truck driver bonus notification and awards system
FR2711821B1 (en) 1993-10-22 1995-12-29 Cogema an industrial plant monitoring system.
US5557254A (en) 1993-11-16 1996-09-17 Mobile Security Communications, Inc. Programmable vehicle monitoring and security system having multiple access verification devices
US5459660A (en) 1993-12-22 1995-10-17 Chrysler Corporation Circuit and method for interfacing with vehicle computer
US5572192A (en) 1994-03-17 1996-11-05 Detection Systems, Inc. Personal security system with guard tour features
GB2290631B (en) 1994-06-24 1998-11-11 Fuji Heavy Ind Ltd Diagnosis system for motor vehicle and the method thereof
US5541845A (en) 1994-08-02 1996-07-30 Trimble Navigation Limited Monitoring of route and schedule adherence
US5459304A (en) 1994-09-13 1995-10-17 At&T Ipm Corp. Smart card techniques for motor vehicle record administration
US6128959A (en) 1994-11-07 2000-10-10 Eaton Corporation Driveline vibration analyzer
DE4441101B4 (en) 1994-11-18 2005-01-27 Robert Bosch Gmbh Method and apparatus for determination of Diagnoseschwellwerten for a particular type of motor vehicle in the field
US5499182A (en) 1994-12-07 1996-03-12 Ousborne; Jeffrey Vehicle driver performance monitoring system
US5839112A (en) 1994-12-28 1998-11-17 Automatic Data Processing Method and apparatus for displaying and selecting vehicle parts
US5629678A (en) 1995-01-10 1997-05-13 Paul A. Gargano Personal tracking and recovery system
FI99071C (en) 1995-02-15 1997-09-25 Nokia Mobile Phones Ltd Method for using applications in a mobile station and the mobile station
WO1996027513A1 (en) 1995-03-03 1996-09-12 Qualcomm Incorporated Method and apparatus for monitoring parameters of vehicle electronic control units
EP1398293A3 (en) 1995-03-10 2005-02-09 Michael C. Ryan Fluid delivery control nozzle
US5729452A (en) 1995-03-31 1998-03-17 Envirotest Acquisition Co. Method and system for diagnosing and reporting failure of a vehicle emission test
US5680328A (en) 1995-05-22 1997-10-21 Eaton Corporation Computer assisted driver vehicle inspection reporting system
US5809437A (en) 1995-06-07 1998-09-15 Automotive Technologies International, Inc. On board vehicle diagnostic module using pattern recognition
DE19526148C2 (en) 1995-07-07 1997-06-05 Mannesmann Ag Method and system for forecasting traffic flows
US5596501A (en) 1995-07-19 1997-01-21 Powerplant Fuel Modules, Llc System for dispensing fuel at remote locations, and method of operating same
US5884202A (en) 1995-07-20 1999-03-16 Hewlett-Packard Company Modular wireless diagnostic test and information system
US5745049A (en) 1995-07-20 1998-04-28 Yokogawa Electric Corporation Wireless equipment diagnosis system
US5700999A (en) 1995-07-28 1997-12-23 Streicher; Stanley H. Bar code based refueling system
US20020069017A1 (en) * 1995-08-14 2002-06-06 Schmier Kenneth J. Public transit vehicle arrival information system
WO1998008206A3 (en) 1996-08-13 1998-04-23 Kenneth J Schmier Public transit vehicle arrival information system
US6006159A (en) * 1995-08-14 1999-12-21 Schmier; Kenneth J. Public transit vehicle arrival information system
DE19532067C1 (en) 1995-08-31 1996-10-24 Daimler Benz Ag Programming system for vehicle electronic key
US6043661A (en) 1995-09-07 2000-03-28 Gutierrez; Alejandro School bus and trailer systems tester
US5671158A (en) 1995-09-18 1997-09-23 Envirotest Systems Corp. Apparatus and method for effecting wireless discourse between computer and technician in testing motor vehicle emission control systems
US5758299A (en) 1995-11-03 1998-05-26 Caterpillar Inc. Method for generating performance ratings for a vehicle operator
US6064299A (en) 1995-11-09 2000-05-16 Vehicle Enhancement Systems, Inc. Apparatus and method for data communication between heavy duty vehicle and remote data communication terminal
US6744352B2 (en) 1995-11-09 2004-06-01 Vehicle Enhancement Systems, Inc. System, apparatus and methods for data communication between vehicle and remote data communication terminal, between portions of vehicle and other portions of vehicle, between two or more vehicles, and between vehicle and communications network
US5794164A (en) 1995-11-29 1998-08-11 Microsoft Corporation Vehicle computer system
US6169938B1 (en) 1995-12-08 2001-01-02 Marconi Commerce Systems Inc. Transponder communication of ORVR presence
US5956259A (en) 1995-12-08 1999-09-21 Gilbarco Inc. Intelligent fueling
US5742915A (en) 1995-12-13 1998-04-21 Caterpillar Inc. Position referenced data for monitoring and controlling
US7640185B1 (en) 1995-12-29 2009-12-29 Dresser, Inc. Dispensing system and method with radio frequency customer identification
US5732074A (en) 1996-01-16 1998-03-24 Cellport Labs, Inc. Mobile portable wireless communication system
US5890061A (en) 1996-02-09 1999-03-30 Ford Motor Company Vehicular emergency message system with call restriction defeating
US5808565A (en) 1996-02-20 1998-09-15 E-Systems, Inc. GPS triggered automatic annunciator for vehicles
US5731893A (en) 1996-02-21 1998-03-24 Dominique; Jeffrey M. Portable microscope for inspecting fiber optic cable
US5867404A (en) 1996-04-01 1999-02-02 Cairo Systems, Inc. Method and apparatus for monitoring railway defects
US5923572A (en) 1996-04-02 1999-07-13 Pollock; Stephen F. Fuel dispensing control, authorization and accounting system
DE19625002B4 (en) 1996-06-22 2005-03-10 Daimler Chrysler Ag Vehicle communication system
US6084870A (en) 1996-07-22 2000-07-04 Qualcomm Incorporated Method and apparatus for the remote monitoring and configuration of electronic control systems
US6278921B1 (en) 1996-09-16 2001-08-21 Minorplanet Limited Transferring accumulated data from vehicles
US5922037A (en) 1996-09-30 1999-07-13 Vlsi Technology, Inc. Wireless system for diagnosing examination and programming of vehicular control systems and method therefor
EP0934858B1 (en) 1996-11-13 2009-07-08 Toyota Jidosha Kabushiki Kaisha Vehicle information communication device and vehicle information communication system
US5995898A (en) 1996-12-06 1999-11-30 Micron Communication, Inc. RFID system in communication with vehicle on-board computer
WO1998030920A3 (en) 1997-01-09 1998-10-08 Roadtrac Llc Personal vehicle tracking system having cd-rom storing street map data
US6240365B1 (en) 1997-01-21 2001-05-29 Frank E. Bunn Automated vehicle tracking and service provision system
US6009355A (en) 1997-01-28 1999-12-28 American Calcar Inc. Multimedia information and control system for automobiles
US5942753A (en) 1997-03-12 1999-08-24 Remote Sensing Technologies Infrared remote sensing device and system for checking vehicle brake condition
US6253129B1 (en) 1997-03-27 2001-06-26 Tripmaster Corporation System for monitoring vehicle efficiency and vehicle and driver performance
US6405111B2 (en) 1997-05-16 2002-06-11 Snap-On Technologies, Inc. System and method for distributed computer automotive service equipment
US5874891A (en) 1997-05-22 1999-02-23 Child Check-Mate Systems, Inc. Alarm system for use on a bus
DE19725916A1 (en) 1997-06-19 1999-01-28 Daimler Benz Ag Computer=aided diagnosis device for electronically-controlled systems in motor vehicle
JPH1136911A (en) 1997-07-14 1999-02-09 Unisia Jecs Corp Fuel injection volume control device
US6680694B1 (en) 1997-08-19 2004-01-20 Siemens Vdo Automotive Corporation Vehicle information system
JP2002506197A (en) 1997-08-19 2002-02-26 シーメンス オートモーティヴ コーポレイション Vehicle information system
US5890520A (en) 1997-09-26 1999-04-06 Gilbarco Inc. Transponder distinction in a fueling environment
US6070156A (en) 1997-09-26 2000-05-30 Gilbarco Inc. Providing transaction estimates in a fueling and retail system
US6061614A (en) 1997-10-17 2000-05-09 Amtech Systems Corporation Electronic tag including RF modem for monitoring motor vehicle performance
US6092021A (en) 1997-12-01 2000-07-18 Freightliner Corporation Fuel use efficiency system for a vehicle for assisting the driver to improve fuel economy
EP0926020A3 (en) 1997-12-22 2002-09-18 Delphi Technologies, Inc. Vehicle control using fm subcarrier messaging
US6054950A (en) 1998-01-26 2000-04-25 Multispectral Solutions, Inc. Ultra wideband precision geolocation system
US6664897B2 (en) 1998-03-09 2003-12-16 William R. Pape Method and system for livestock data collection and management
JP3800794B2 (en) 1998-03-09 2006-07-26 株式会社デンソー Vehicle diagnosis system
US6202024B1 (en) 1998-03-23 2001-03-13 Kabushikikaisha Equos Research Communicatory navigation system
US6202927B1 (en) 1998-04-03 2001-03-20 On Track Innovations Ltd. Dual mode proximity and in-range smart card data transaction system
CA2237415C (en) 1998-05-13 2007-08-14 B.M.R. Mfg. Inc. System and method for prompting inspection of a multi-passenger vehicle
DE19826059B4 (en) 1998-06-12 2006-04-06 Zf Friedrichshafen Ag A method for controlling an automatic transmission
US6078255A (en) 1998-06-23 2000-06-20 The Gleason Agency, Inc. System for logging premises hazard inspections
US6024142A (en) 1998-06-25 2000-02-15 Micron Communications, Inc. Communications system and method, fleet management system and method, and method of impeding theft of fuel
US6128551A (en) 1998-07-02 2000-10-03 Megatronics International Corp. Method and apparatus for management of automated fuel delivery system
US6311162B1 (en) 1998-07-25 2001-10-30 Ernst F. Reichwein Interactive symptomatic recording system and methods
US6339745B1 (en) 1998-10-13 2002-01-15 Integrated Systems Research Corporation System and method for fleet tracking
US6107917A (en) 1998-10-16 2000-08-22 Carrender; Curtis L. Electronic tag including RF modem for monitoring motor vehicle performance with filtering
CA2651878A1 (en) 1998-11-05 2000-05-11 International Truck And Engine Corporation Land vehicle communications system and process for providing information and coordinating vehicle activities
US6295492B1 (en) 1999-01-27 2001-09-25 Infomove.Com, Inc. System for transmitting and displaying multiple, motor vehicle information
US6199099B1 (en) 1999-03-05 2001-03-06 Ac Properties B.V. System, method and article of manufacture for a mobile communication network utilizing a distributed communication network
US6396413B2 (en) 1999-03-11 2002-05-28 Telephonics Corporation Personal alarm monitor system
US20020057212A1 (en) * 1999-04-20 2002-05-16 Lula Renee Hamilton Multimodal multimedia transportation information system
US6236911B1 (en) 1999-04-20 2001-05-22 Supersensor (Proprietary) Limited Load monitoring system and method utilizing transponder tags
DE60038114D1 (en) * 1999-05-12 2008-04-03 Connexionz Invest Ltd Communication system for buse
US6317668B1 (en) 1999-06-10 2001-11-13 Qualcomm Incorporated Paperless log system and method
US6754183B1 (en) 1999-06-14 2004-06-22 Sun Microsystems, Inc. System and method for integrating a vehicle subnetwork into a primary network
US6507810B2 (en) 1999-06-14 2003-01-14 Sun Microsystems, Inc. Integrated sub-network for a vehicle
US6362730B2 (en) 1999-06-14 2002-03-26 Sun Microsystems, Inc. System and method for collecting vehicle information
US20020150050A1 (en) 1999-06-17 2002-10-17 Nathanson Martin D. Automotive telemetry protocol
US6529723B1 (en) 1999-07-06 2003-03-04 Televoke, Inc. Automated user notification system
US7181409B1 (en) 1999-07-07 2007-02-20 The Regents Of The University Of California Shared vehicle system and method involving reserving vehicles with highest states of charge
US6256579B1 (en) 1999-07-13 2001-07-03 Alpine Electronics, Inc. Vehicle navigation system with road link re-costing
US6169943B1 (en) 1999-07-14 2001-01-02 Eaton Corporation Motor vehicle diagnostic system using hand-held remote control
DE19933638A1 (en) 1999-07-17 2001-01-18 Bosch Gmbh Robert Navigation method for a means of transportation
US6330499B1 (en) 1999-07-21 2001-12-11 International Business Machines Corporation System and method for vehicle diagnostics and health monitoring
US7783507B2 (en) 1999-08-23 2010-08-24 General Electric Company System and method for managing a fleet of remote assets
CA2386135C (en) 1999-10-01 2010-01-26 General Electric Railcar Services Corporation Method and arrangement for inspection and requalification of lined vehicles used for transporting commodities and/or hazardous materials
US7027955B2 (en) 1999-10-15 2006-04-11 Timekeeping Systems, Inc. Guard tour system incorporating a positioning system
US6834259B1 (en) 1999-10-15 2004-12-21 Timekeeping Systems, Inc. Guard tour system
WO2001030632A9 (en) 1999-10-28 2002-06-27 Gen Electric Diagnosis and repair system and method
US6727818B1 (en) 1999-10-29 2004-04-27 Hill-Rom Services, Inc. Hygiene monitoring system
WO2001035679A3 (en) 1999-10-29 2002-01-10 Gelco Corp Method and system for tracking equipment usage information
US6259358B1 (en) 1999-11-16 2001-07-10 Paul Fjordbotten School bus safety device
US20010047283A1 (en) 2000-02-01 2001-11-29 Melick Bruce D. Electronic system for identification, recording, storing, and retrieving material handling equipment records and certifications
US6370454B1 (en) 2000-02-25 2002-04-09 Edwin S. Moore Iii Apparatus and method for monitoring and maintaining mechanized equipment
US6594621B1 (en) 2000-03-06 2003-07-15 James H. Meeker System and method for determining condition of plant
US6876642B1 (en) 2000-03-27 2005-04-05 Delphi Technologies, Inc. In-vehicle wireless local area network
US6697730B2 (en) * 2000-04-04 2004-02-24 Georgia Tech Research Corp. Communications and computing based urban transit system
US6856820B1 (en) 2000-04-24 2005-02-15 Usa Technologies, Inc. In-vehicle device for wirelessly connecting a vehicle to the internet and for transacting e-commerce and e-business
US20030183697A1 (en) * 2000-05-11 2003-10-02 Porter Jeffrey Wayne System and method for automated, wireless short range reading and writing of data for interconnected mobile systems, such as reading/writing radio frequency identification (RFID) tags on trains
US6924750B2 (en) 2000-05-17 2005-08-02 Omega Patents, L.L.C. Vehicle tracking unit for controlling operable vehicle devices using a vehicle data bus and related methods
WO2002001508A1 (en) 2000-06-23 2002-01-03 Automated Car Rental, L.L.C. System and method for the automated release of vehicles from a moter pool
US20020111725A1 (en) 2000-07-17 2002-08-15 Burge John R. Method and apparatus for risk-related use of vehicle communication system data
US6604033B1 (en) 2000-07-25 2003-08-05 Networkcar.Com Wireless diagnostic system for characterizing a vehicle's exhaust emissions
US7228211B1 (en) 2000-07-25 2007-06-05 Hti Ip, Llc Telematics device for vehicles with an interface for multiple peripheral devices
US6636790B1 (en) 2000-07-25 2003-10-21 Reynolds And Reynolds Holdings, Inc. Wireless diagnostic system and method for monitoring vehicles
US20020016655A1 (en) 2000-08-01 2002-02-07 Joao Raymond Anthony Apparatus and method for processing and/or for providing vehicle information and/or vehicle maintenance information
CA2386080A1 (en) 2000-08-07 2002-02-14 General Electric Company Computerized method and system for guiding service personnel to select a preferred work site for servicing transportation equipment
WO2002023403A3 (en) 2000-09-11 2003-03-13 Pinotage Llc System and method for obtaining and utilizing maintenance information
US6700506B1 (en) * 2000-09-14 2004-03-02 Everyday Wireless, Inc. Bus arrival notification system and methods related thereto
JP3657185B2 (en) * 2000-09-21 2005-06-08 三菱電機株式会社 Cargo collection and delivery management system, delivery vehicles, an electronic tag
US6909947B2 (en) 2000-10-14 2005-06-21 Motorola, Inc. System and method for driver performance improvement
US6556903B2 (en) * 2000-11-20 2003-04-29 Andrew M. Chinigo Safety system for school buses
US8280682B2 (en) 2000-12-15 2012-10-02 Tvipr, Llc Device for monitoring movement of shipped goods
US6502030B2 (en) 2001-01-25 2002-12-31 Labarge, Inc. Web based vehicle tracking and user on-board status system
US20020107873A1 (en) 2001-02-07 2002-08-08 Bandag Licensing Corporation System and method for data collection, reporting, and analysis of fleet vehicle information
US7627546B2 (en) 2001-02-14 2009-12-01 General Electric Railcar Services Corporation Railcar condition inspection database
US6801841B2 (en) 2001-02-15 2004-10-05 Joseph A. Tabe Standard transportation excellent maintenance solutions
US6768994B1 (en) 2001-02-23 2004-07-27 Trimble Navigation Limited Web based data mining and location data reporting and system
US6611740B2 (en) 2001-03-14 2003-08-26 Networkcar Internet-based vehicle-diagnostic system
US6954689B2 (en) 2001-03-16 2005-10-11 Cnh America Llc Method and apparatus for monitoring work vehicles
US6609082B2 (en) 2001-03-22 2003-08-19 David S. Wagner Machine control device
US6879894B1 (en) 2001-04-30 2005-04-12 Reynolds & Reynolds Holdings, Inc. Internet-based emissions test for vehicles
US6919804B1 (en) * 2001-05-08 2005-07-19 Vultron Incorporated Passenger detection system for vehicles
WO2002093438A1 (en) 2001-05-15 2002-11-21 Akzo Nobel N.V. Fleet servicing method
US7343252B2 (en) 2001-06-01 2008-03-11 Scientronix Inc. Method, system and apparatus for passively monitoring the maintenance and distribution of fluid products to heavy work vehicles
US20030030550A1 (en) 2001-06-08 2003-02-13 Talbot Douglas C. Child safety device for buses
DE10130279B4 (en) 2001-06-26 2005-04-21 Btt Bahn Tank Transport Gmbh Deutsche Bahn Gruppe A method for a computer-controlled transport management system with pre-calculation of the time behavior of product values
DE60218090T2 (en) 2001-07-17 2007-10-25 Flightman Research Ltd., Malahide Electronic Service Directory and maintenance system for an aircraft
US6594579B1 (en) 2001-08-06 2003-07-15 Networkcar Internet-based method for determining a vehicle's fuel efficiency
US6587768B2 (en) 2001-08-08 2003-07-01 Meritor Heavy Vehicle Technology, Llc Vehicle inspection and maintenance system
US7564375B2 (en) 2001-09-11 2009-07-21 Zonar Systems, Inc. System and method to associate geographical position data collected from a vehicle with a specific route
JP2003085471A (en) * 2001-09-11 2003-03-20 Nec Corp Cargo management system and cargo managing method
US6671646B2 (en) 2001-09-11 2003-12-30 Zonar Compliance Systems, Llc System and process to ensure performance of mandated safety and maintenance inspections
US7680595B2 (en) 2006-06-20 2010-03-16 Zonar Systems, Inc. Method and apparatus to utilize GPS data to replace route planning software
US7362229B2 (en) 2001-09-11 2008-04-22 Zonar Compliance Systems, Llc Ensuring the performance of mandated inspections combined with the collection of ancillary data
US20110068954A1 (en) 2006-06-20 2011-03-24 Zonar Systems, Inc. Method and apparatus to collect object identification data during operation of a vehicle and analysis of such data
US8972179B2 (en) * 2006-06-20 2015-03-03 Brett Brinton Method and apparatus to analyze GPS data to determine if a vehicle has adhered to a predetermined route
US7117121B2 (en) 2001-09-11 2006-10-03 Zonar Compliance Systems, Llc System and process to ensure performance of mandated inspections
US6880390B2 (en) 2001-11-07 2005-04-19 Bell Sea Marine Systems Fuel meter for outboard engines
GB0127730D0 (en) * 2001-11-20 2002-01-09 Hewlett Packard Co Alerting users to impending events
US7174243B1 (en) 2001-12-06 2007-02-06 Hti Ip, Llc Wireless, internet-based system for transmitting and analyzing GPS data
US6614392B2 (en) 2001-12-07 2003-09-02 Delaware Capital Formation, Inc. Combination RFID and GPS functionality on intelligent label
JP3719659B2 (en) 2001-12-26 2005-11-24 株式会社日立製作所 Information receiving system and the information receiving terminal
WO2003077073A3 (en) 2002-03-08 2004-07-22 Fleettrakker L L C Equipment tracking system and method
GB0208099D0 (en) * 2002-04-09 2002-05-22 Syltone Plc Fluid supply system
US6529808B1 (en) 2002-04-22 2003-03-04 Delphi Technologies, Inc. Method and system for analyzing an on-board vehicle computer system
US6894617B2 (en) 2002-05-04 2005-05-17 Richman Technology Corporation Human guard enhancing multiple site integrated security system
JP2004044779A (en) 2002-05-21 2004-02-12 Aisin Seiki Co Ltd Drive device
US6946953B2 (en) 2002-05-30 2005-09-20 Vehicle Enhancement Systems, Inc. Apparatus and method for enhanced data communications and control between a vehicle and a remote data communications terminal
US6958701B1 (en) * 2002-06-05 2005-10-25 Storkamp John D Transportation monitoring system for detecting the approach of a specific vehicle
US7102506B2 (en) * 2002-09-24 2006-09-05 Sergio Oscar Szulanski Means arrangement capable of selecting and signal a public transportation means to stop at its stopping place, and to detect said stopping place of said transportation means, particularly apt to be used by handicapped people, more particularly still, by people with visual incapacities
CA2408979A1 (en) 2002-10-18 2004-04-18 Richard Egon Schauble Tamper-evident use-indicating odometer and engine-timer
US7604169B2 (en) 2003-01-21 2009-10-20 Pump-On Llc Methods and systems for customer validation using any of a plurality of identification documents and identification document readers
US20040236596A1 (en) 2003-02-27 2004-11-25 Mahesh Chowdhary Business method for a vehicle safety management system
US6957133B1 (en) 2003-05-08 2005-10-18 Reynolds & Reynolds Holdings, Inc. Small-scale, integrated vehicle telematics device
US7113127B1 (en) 2003-07-24 2006-09-26 Reynolds And Reynolds Holdings, Inc. Wireless vehicle-monitoring system operating on both terrestrial and satellite networks
JP4351919B2 (en) * 2004-01-21 2009-10-28 株式会社ケンウッド For feeding bus management device, meet the management apparatus, the management method and welcomed management method for feeding bus
US20050273250A1 (en) 2004-05-18 2005-12-08 Bruce Hamilton System and method for dynamic navigational route selection
US6899151B1 (en) 2004-06-07 2005-05-31 Delaware Capital Formation, Inc. Lighted supervisory system for a fuel dispensing nozzle
US20060095277A1 (en) * 2004-10-29 2006-05-04 Noonan Eric D Tracking system
US7254516B2 (en) 2004-12-17 2007-08-07 Nike, Inc. Multi-sensor monitoring of athletic performance
EP1852680A4 (en) 2005-01-19 2012-09-19 Jvc Kenwood Corp Guiding route generation device and guiding route generation method
US20060232406A1 (en) 2005-04-13 2006-10-19 American Research And Technology Use of rf-id tags for tracking a person carrying a portable rf-id tag reader
US7880767B2 (en) * 2005-08-22 2011-02-01 Andrew Chinigo Security system for mass transit and mass transportation
US8024114B2 (en) 2006-02-01 2011-09-20 Qualcomm Incorporated Navigation data quality feedback
US8006677B2 (en) 2006-02-02 2011-08-30 Immixt, LLC Fuel control system and associated method
KR101833739B1 (en) 2006-12-13 2018-03-02 크라운 이큅먼트 코포레이션 Fleet management system
US9792632B2 (en) 2007-02-23 2017-10-17 Epona Llc System and method for processing vehicle transactions
US7580808B2 (en) 2007-09-11 2009-08-25 Gm Global Technology Operations, Inc. Onboard trip computer for emissions subject to reduction credits
EP2116968A1 (en) 2008-05-06 2009-11-11 Airmax Remote Limited Method and apparatus for rating how a vehicle is driven

Patent Citations (17)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US20030004644A1 (en) * 1999-08-06 2003-01-02 Telanon, Inc. Methods and apparatus for stationary object detection
US20020089434A1 (en) * 2000-11-06 2002-07-11 Ohanes Ghazarian Electronic vehicle product and personnel monitoring
US20020104013A1 (en) * 2001-02-01 2002-08-01 Ohanes Ghazarian Electronic vehicle product and personal monitoring
US7523159B1 (en) * 2001-03-14 2009-04-21 Hti, Ip, Llc Systems, methods and devices for a telematics web services interface feature
US20090177350A1 (en) * 2001-03-14 2009-07-09 Htiip, Llc. Systems, methods and devices for a telematics web services interface feature
US20030206133A1 (en) * 2001-05-22 2003-11-06 International Business Machines Corporation Geochronicle based identification for e-business
US20050203683A1 (en) * 2004-01-09 2005-09-15 United Parcel Service Of America, Inc. System, method, and apparatus for collecting telematics and sensor information in a delivery vehicle
US20060055564A1 (en) * 2004-01-09 2006-03-16 United Parcel Service Of America, Inc. System, method, and apparatus for capturing telematics data with an active RFID tag
US7672763B1 (en) * 2004-04-26 2010-03-02 Hti Ip, Llc Method for coupling a telematics device to a vehicle using an in-vehicle wiring harness with multiple adaptors for an on-board diagnostic connector
US7778752B1 (en) * 2004-04-26 2010-08-17 Hti Ip, Llc System for connecting a telematics device to a vehicle using a wireless receiver configured to transmit diagnostic data
US20060011721A1 (en) * 2004-07-14 2006-01-19 United Parcel Service Of America, Inc. Methods and systems for automating inventory and dispatch procedures at a staging area
US20060208075A1 (en) * 2004-07-26 2006-09-21 Advermotion, Inc. Moveable object accountability system
US20060208087A1 (en) * 2004-07-26 2006-09-21 Advermotion, Inc. Moveable object accountability system
US7080778B1 (en) * 2004-07-26 2006-07-25 Advermotion, Inc. Moveable object accountability system
US20060202030A1 (en) * 2004-07-26 2006-09-14 Advermotion, Inc. Moveable object accountability system
US20090222200A1 (en) * 2007-05-03 2009-09-03 Link Ii Charles M Methods, systems, and apparatuses for telematics navigation
US20080319665A1 (en) * 2007-05-31 2008-12-25 Eric Berkobin Methods, systems, and apparatuses for consumer telematics

Cited By (34)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US10013592B2 (en) 2006-06-20 2018-07-03 Zonar Systems, Inc. Method and system for supervised disembarking of passengers from a bus
US20100253483A1 (en) * 2007-09-05 2010-10-07 Electronics And Telecommunications Research Institute Freight container cargo-working management system and method using rfid technology
US8896430B2 (en) 2008-09-09 2014-11-25 United Parcel Service Of America, Inc. Systems and methods for utilizing telematics data to improve fleet management operations
US9704303B2 (en) 2008-09-09 2017-07-11 United Parcel Service Of America, Inc. Systems and methods for utilizing telematics data to improve fleet management operations
US8416067B2 (en) 2008-09-09 2013-04-09 United Parcel Service Of America, Inc. Systems and methods for utilizing telematics data to improve fleet management operations
US9472030B2 (en) 2008-09-09 2016-10-18 United Parcel Service Of America, Inc. Systems and methods for utilizing telematics data to improve fleet management operations
US9324198B2 (en) 2008-09-09 2016-04-26 United Parcel Service Of America, Inc. Systems and methods for utilizing telematics data to improve fleet management operations
US20100088163A1 (en) * 2008-09-09 2010-04-08 United Parcel Service Of America, Inc. Systems and Methods for Utilizing Telematics Data To Improve Fleet Management Operations
US20110084825A1 (en) * 2009-09-08 2011-04-14 American Gardens Management Co. System and method for monitoring and communicating the actions of riders of group transportation
US20120169471A1 (en) * 2010-12-30 2012-07-05 Corbin Will H System and method for automated monitoring of students' work in an educational environment
US9858732B2 (en) 2011-03-31 2018-01-02 United Parcel Service Of America, Inc. Systems and methods for assessing vehicle and vehicle operator efficiency
US9613468B2 (en) 2011-03-31 2017-04-04 United Parcel Service Of America, Inc. Systems and methods for updating maps based on telematics data
US9208626B2 (en) 2011-03-31 2015-12-08 United Parcel Service Of America, Inc. Systems and methods for segmenting operational data
US9256992B2 (en) 2011-03-31 2016-02-09 United Parcel Service Of America, Inc. Systems and methods for assessing vehicle handling
US9903734B2 (en) 2011-03-31 2018-02-27 United Parcel Service Of America, Inc. Systems and methods for updating maps based on telematics data
US9799149B2 (en) 2011-03-31 2017-10-24 United Parcel Service Of America, Inc. Fleet management computer system for providing a fleet management user interface displaying vehicle and operator data on a geographical map
US20140371950A1 (en) * 2011-06-15 2014-12-18 Joseph Michael Systems and methods for monitoring and managing transportation infrastructure and locations of vehicles therein
US20150292895A1 (en) * 2011-08-24 2015-10-15 Modular Mining Systems, Inc. Target destination selection for a mining vehicle
US9644978B2 (en) * 2011-08-24 2017-05-09 Modular Mining Systems, Inc. Target destination selection for a mining vehicle
US8738423B2 (en) * 2012-06-12 2014-05-27 International Business Machines Corporation Leveraging RFID generated consumer behavior through a web map service
US8645189B2 (en) * 2012-06-12 2014-02-04 International Business Machines Corporation Leveraging RFID generated consumer behavior through a web map service
US9940615B2 (en) 2012-10-16 2018-04-10 Fleetcor Technologies Operating Company, Llc Automated pairing of payment products and mobile to mobile devices
US9576291B2 (en) 2012-10-16 2017-02-21 Fleetcor Technologies Operating Company, Llc Method and system for detection of a fuel card usage exception
US9563893B2 (en) 2012-10-16 2017-02-07 Fleetcor Technologies Operating Company, Llc Method and system for detection of a fuel card usage exception
US20140195453A1 (en) * 2012-12-04 2014-07-10 Shalewater Solutions, Inc. System, method, and apparatus for managing fluid transportation
US9842120B1 (en) * 2013-02-15 2017-12-12 United Parcel Service Of America, Inc. Standardization of addresses and location information
US9936341B1 (en) 2013-02-15 2018-04-03 United Parcel Service Of America, Inc. Geographic representations of geographic areas
US9639909B2 (en) 2013-09-30 2017-05-02 At&T Intellectual Property I, L.P. Determining available storage capacity of a vehicle
US9805521B1 (en) 2013-12-03 2017-10-31 United Parcel Service Of America, Inc. Systems and methods for assessing turns made by a vehicle
US9494938B1 (en) 2014-04-03 2016-11-15 Google Inc. Unique signaling for autonomous vehicles to preserve user privacy
US9977935B1 (en) 2014-06-20 2018-05-22 Secured Mobility, Llc Student accountability system
US9296326B1 (en) * 2015-01-02 2016-03-29 Tim Young System and method for collecting recycling materials
US20180121875A1 (en) * 2015-01-05 2018-05-03 Amazon Technologies, Inc. Delivery prediction automation and risk mitigation
US20170297836A1 (en) * 2016-04-14 2017-10-19 Richard S. Burns & Company, Inc. Debris carts and systems and methods of using same

Also Published As

Publication number Publication date Type
WO2012064789A1 (en) 2012-05-18 application
US20160210370A1 (en) 2016-07-21 application
US10013592B2 (en) 2018-07-03 grant
US20160350567A1 (en) 2016-12-01 application
US20170351890A1 (en) 2017-12-07 application
US9858462B2 (en) 2018-01-02 grant

Similar Documents

Publication Publication Date Title
US6898493B2 (en) Fully automated vehicle rental system
US7486181B2 (en) System, method, and apparatus for capturing telematics data with an active RFID tag
US7341186B2 (en) Proof of presence and confirmation of parcel delivery systems and methods
US20040010430A1 (en) Method and apparatus for providing a personal item drop off/return service at security checkpoints
US20020188702A1 (en) Database method and system for conducting integrated dispatching
Jaselskis et al. Radio-frequency identification applications in construction industry
US7299125B2 (en) In-transit package location tracking and reporting
US6003010A (en) Apparatus and method for improved airborne transportation of small packages
US20050080520A1 (en) Waste recovery and material handling process to replace the traditional trash transfer station and landfil by extracting reusable material and energy from joined refuse streams to include; office waste, dry waste, wet garbage and the special hazardous material handling of biological, chemical, and nuclear waste
US6879962B1 (en) Logistics system and method
US7624024B2 (en) Systems and methods for dynamically updating a dispatch plan
US20050023347A1 (en) Inspection data recording apparatus and method
US20070273514A1 (en) Method and System for Assisting the Passage of an Entity Through Successive Zones to a Destination
US8179238B2 (en) Information transmission and processing systems and methods for freight carriers
US20030120509A1 (en) Rental equipment business system and method
US5072400A (en) Mail delivery system with package integrity monitoring
US20050288947A1 (en) Method and system for tracking assets in a transportation network
US20070219862A1 (en) System and method for identifying and processing recyclables
US7176800B2 (en) Electronic security system for monitoring and recording activity and data relating to persons or cargo
US20070198174A1 (en) Systems and methods for creating on-demand routes for powered industrial vehicles
US20010042055A1 (en) Parcel self-servicing machine
US20010034608A1 (en) Shipping method and system
US7080778B1 (en) Moveable object accountability system
US7454315B2 (en) System and method for automatic redirection of a product under transport using an environmental sensor
US7278568B2 (en) Mail sorting systems and methods

Legal Events

Date Code Title Description
AS Assignment

Owner name: ZONAR SYSTEMS, INC., WASHINGTON

Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST;ASSIGNORS:MCQUADE, CHARLES MICHAEL;BRINTON, BRETT;REEL/FRAME:025458/0359

Effective date: 20101124

AS Assignment

Owner name: BANK OF AMERICA, N.A., CALIFORNIA

Free format text: PATENT SECURITY AGREEMENT;ASSIGNOR:ZONAR SYSTEMS, INC.;REEL/FRAME:034274/0129

Effective date: 20141023

AS Assignment

Owner name: ZONAR SYSTEMS, INC., WASHINGTON

Free format text: RELEASE BY SECURED PARTY;ASSIGNOR:BANK OF AMERICA, N.A.;REEL/FRAME:040512/0099

Effective date: 20161028