US20170053459A9 - Apparatus, method and article for providing information regarding a vehicle via a mobile device - Google Patents

Apparatus, method and article for providing information regarding a vehicle via a mobile device Download PDF

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Publication number
US20170053459A9
US20170053459A9 US14/017,081 US201314017081A US2017053459A9 US 20170053459 A9 US20170053459 A9 US 20170053459A9 US 201314017081 A US201314017081 A US 201314017081A US 2017053459 A9 US2017053459 A9 US 2017053459A9
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Prior art keywords
vehicle
information
user
information regarding
mobile device
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US14/017,081
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US20140277844A1 (en
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Hok-Sum Horace Luke
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Gogoro Inc
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Gogoro Inc
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Priority to US14/017,081 priority patent/US20170053459A9/en
Publication of US20140277844A1 publication Critical patent/US20140277844A1/en
Assigned to GOGORO INC. reassignment GOGORO INC. ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST (SEE DOCUMENT FOR DETAILS). Assignors: LUKE, HOK-SUM HORACE
Publication of US20170053459A9 publication Critical patent/US20170053459A9/en
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    • GPHYSICS
    • G07CHECKING-DEVICES
    • G07CTIME OR ATTENDANCE REGISTERS; REGISTERING OR INDICATING THE WORKING OF MACHINES; GENERATING RANDOM NUMBERS; VOTING OR LOTTERY APPARATUS; ARRANGEMENTS, SYSTEMS OR APPARATUS FOR CHECKING NOT PROVIDED FOR ELSEWHERE
    • G07C5/00Registering or indicating the working of vehicles
    • G07C5/008Registering or indicating the working of vehicles communicating information to a remotely located station
    • BPERFORMING OPERATIONS; TRANSPORTING
    • B60VEHICLES IN GENERAL
    • B60LPROPULSION OF ELECTRICALLY-PROPELLED VEHICLES; SUPPLYING ELECTRIC POWER FOR AUXILIARY EQUIPMENT OF ELECTRICALLY-PROPELLED VEHICLES; ELECTRODYNAMIC BRAKE SYSTEMS FOR VEHICLES IN GENERAL; MAGNETIC SUSPENSION OR LEVITATION FOR VEHICLES; MONITORING OPERATING VARIABLES OF ELECTRICALLY-PROPELLED VEHICLES; ELECTRIC SAFETY DEVICES FOR ELECTRICALLY-PROPELLED VEHICLES
    • B60L3/00Electric devices on electrically-propelled vehicles for safety purposes; Monitoring operating variables, e.g. speed, deceleration or energy consumption
    • B60L3/12Recording operating variables ; Monitoring of operating variables
    • BPERFORMING OPERATIONS; TRANSPORTING
    • B60VEHICLES IN GENERAL
    • B60LPROPULSION OF ELECTRICALLY-PROPELLED VEHICLES; SUPPLYING ELECTRIC POWER FOR AUXILIARY EQUIPMENT OF ELECTRICALLY-PROPELLED VEHICLES; ELECTRODYNAMIC BRAKE SYSTEMS FOR VEHICLES IN GENERAL; MAGNETIC SUSPENSION OR LEVITATION FOR VEHICLES; MONITORING OPERATING VARIABLES OF ELECTRICALLY-PROPELLED VEHICLES; ELECTRIC SAFETY DEVICES FOR ELECTRICALLY-PROPELLED VEHICLES
    • B60L53/00Methods of charging batteries, specially adapted for electric vehicles; Charging stations or on-board charging equipment therefor; Exchange of energy storage elements in electric vehicles
    • B60L53/30Constructional details of charging stations
    • BPERFORMING OPERATIONS; TRANSPORTING
    • B60VEHICLES IN GENERAL
    • B60LPROPULSION OF ELECTRICALLY-PROPELLED VEHICLES; SUPPLYING ELECTRIC POWER FOR AUXILIARY EQUIPMENT OF ELECTRICALLY-PROPELLED VEHICLES; ELECTRODYNAMIC BRAKE SYSTEMS FOR VEHICLES IN GENERAL; MAGNETIC SUSPENSION OR LEVITATION FOR VEHICLES; MONITORING OPERATING VARIABLES OF ELECTRICALLY-PROPELLED VEHICLES; ELECTRIC SAFETY DEVICES FOR ELECTRICALLY-PROPELLED VEHICLES
    • B60L53/00Methods of charging batteries, specially adapted for electric vehicles; Charging stations or on-board charging equipment therefor; Exchange of energy storage elements in electric vehicles
    • B60L53/30Constructional details of charging stations
    • B60L53/305Communication interfaces
    • BPERFORMING OPERATIONS; TRANSPORTING
    • B60VEHICLES IN GENERAL
    • B60LPROPULSION OF ELECTRICALLY-PROPELLED VEHICLES; SUPPLYING ELECTRIC POWER FOR AUXILIARY EQUIPMENT OF ELECTRICALLY-PROPELLED VEHICLES; ELECTRODYNAMIC BRAKE SYSTEMS FOR VEHICLES IN GENERAL; MAGNETIC SUSPENSION OR LEVITATION FOR VEHICLES; MONITORING OPERATING VARIABLES OF ELECTRICALLY-PROPELLED VEHICLES; ELECTRIC SAFETY DEVICES FOR ELECTRICALLY-PROPELLED VEHICLES
    • B60L53/00Methods of charging batteries, specially adapted for electric vehicles; Charging stations or on-board charging equipment therefor; Exchange of energy storage elements in electric vehicles
    • B60L53/60Monitoring or controlling charging stations
    • B60L53/66Data transfer between charging stations and vehicles
    • B60L53/665Methods related to measuring, billing or payment
    • BPERFORMING OPERATIONS; TRANSPORTING
    • B60VEHICLES IN GENERAL
    • B60LPROPULSION OF ELECTRICALLY-PROPELLED VEHICLES; SUPPLYING ELECTRIC POWER FOR AUXILIARY EQUIPMENT OF ELECTRICALLY-PROPELLED VEHICLES; ELECTRODYNAMIC BRAKE SYSTEMS FOR VEHICLES IN GENERAL; MAGNETIC SUSPENSION OR LEVITATION FOR VEHICLES; MONITORING OPERATING VARIABLES OF ELECTRICALLY-PROPELLED VEHICLES; ELECTRIC SAFETY DEVICES FOR ELECTRICALLY-PROPELLED VEHICLES
    • B60L2240/00Control parameters of input or output; Target parameters
    • B60L2240/70Interactions with external data bases, e.g. traffic centres
    • BPERFORMING OPERATIONS; TRANSPORTING
    • B60VEHICLES IN GENERAL
    • B60LPROPULSION OF ELECTRICALLY-PROPELLED VEHICLES; SUPPLYING ELECTRIC POWER FOR AUXILIARY EQUIPMENT OF ELECTRICALLY-PROPELLED VEHICLES; ELECTRODYNAMIC BRAKE SYSTEMS FOR VEHICLES IN GENERAL; MAGNETIC SUSPENSION OR LEVITATION FOR VEHICLES; MONITORING OPERATING VARIABLES OF ELECTRICALLY-PROPELLED VEHICLES; ELECTRIC SAFETY DEVICES FOR ELECTRICALLY-PROPELLED VEHICLES
    • B60L2250/00Driver interactions
    • B60L2250/10Driver interactions by alarm
    • BPERFORMING OPERATIONS; TRANSPORTING
    • B60VEHICLES IN GENERAL
    • B60LPROPULSION OF ELECTRICALLY-PROPELLED VEHICLES; SUPPLYING ELECTRIC POWER FOR AUXILIARY EQUIPMENT OF ELECTRICALLY-PROPELLED VEHICLES; ELECTRODYNAMIC BRAKE SYSTEMS FOR VEHICLES IN GENERAL; MAGNETIC SUSPENSION OR LEVITATION FOR VEHICLES; MONITORING OPERATING VARIABLES OF ELECTRICALLY-PROPELLED VEHICLES; ELECTRIC SAFETY DEVICES FOR ELECTRICALLY-PROPELLED VEHICLES
    • B60L2250/00Driver interactions
    • B60L2250/12Driver interactions by confirmation, e.g. of the input
    • BPERFORMING OPERATIONS; TRANSPORTING
    • B60VEHICLES IN GENERAL
    • B60LPROPULSION OF ELECTRICALLY-PROPELLED VEHICLES; SUPPLYING ELECTRIC POWER FOR AUXILIARY EQUIPMENT OF ELECTRICALLY-PROPELLED VEHICLES; ELECTRODYNAMIC BRAKE SYSTEMS FOR VEHICLES IN GENERAL; MAGNETIC SUSPENSION OR LEVITATION FOR VEHICLES; MONITORING OPERATING VARIABLES OF ELECTRICALLY-PROPELLED VEHICLES; ELECTRIC SAFETY DEVICES FOR ELECTRICALLY-PROPELLED VEHICLES
    • B60L2250/00Driver interactions
    • B60L2250/16Driver interactions by display
    • BPERFORMING OPERATIONS; TRANSPORTING
    • B60VEHICLES IN GENERAL
    • B60LPROPULSION OF ELECTRICALLY-PROPELLED VEHICLES; SUPPLYING ELECTRIC POWER FOR AUXILIARY EQUIPMENT OF ELECTRICALLY-PROPELLED VEHICLES; ELECTRODYNAMIC BRAKE SYSTEMS FOR VEHICLES IN GENERAL; MAGNETIC SUSPENSION OR LEVITATION FOR VEHICLES; MONITORING OPERATING VARIABLES OF ELECTRICALLY-PROPELLED VEHICLES; ELECTRIC SAFETY DEVICES FOR ELECTRICALLY-PROPELLED VEHICLES
    • B60L2250/00Driver interactions
    • B60L2250/20Driver interactions by driver identification
    • YGENERAL TAGGING OF NEW TECHNOLOGICAL DEVELOPMENTS; GENERAL TAGGING OF CROSS-SECTIONAL TECHNOLOGIES SPANNING OVER SEVERAL SECTIONS OF THE IPC; TECHNICAL SUBJECTS COVERED BY FORMER USPC CROSS-REFERENCE ART COLLECTIONS [XRACs] AND DIGESTS
    • Y02TECHNOLOGIES OR APPLICATIONS FOR MITIGATION OR ADAPTATION AGAINST CLIMATE CHANGE
    • Y02TCLIMATE CHANGE MITIGATION TECHNOLOGIES RELATED TO TRANSPORTATION
    • Y02T10/00Road transport of goods or passengers
    • Y02T10/60Other road transportation technologies with climate change mitigation effect
    • Y02T10/70Energy storage for electromobility
    • Y02T10/7005Batteries
    • YGENERAL TAGGING OF NEW TECHNOLOGICAL DEVELOPMENTS; GENERAL TAGGING OF CROSS-SECTIONAL TECHNOLOGIES SPANNING OVER SEVERAL SECTIONS OF THE IPC; TECHNICAL SUBJECTS COVERED BY FORMER USPC CROSS-REFERENCE ART COLLECTIONS [XRACs] AND DIGESTS
    • Y02TECHNOLOGIES OR APPLICATIONS FOR MITIGATION OR ADAPTATION AGAINST CLIMATE CHANGE
    • Y02TCLIMATE CHANGE MITIGATION TECHNOLOGIES RELATED TO TRANSPORTATION
    • Y02T10/00Road transport of goods or passengers
    • Y02T10/60Other road transportation technologies with climate change mitigation effect
    • Y02T10/70Energy storage for electromobility
    • Y02T10/7072Electromobility specific charging systems or methods for batteries, ultracapacitors, supercapacitors or double-layer capacitors
    • Y02T10/7088Charging stations
    • YGENERAL TAGGING OF NEW TECHNOLOGICAL DEVELOPMENTS; GENERAL TAGGING OF CROSS-SECTIONAL TECHNOLOGIES SPANNING OVER SEVERAL SECTIONS OF THE IPC; TECHNICAL SUBJECTS COVERED BY FORMER USPC CROSS-REFERENCE ART COLLECTIONS [XRACs] AND DIGESTS
    • Y02TECHNOLOGIES OR APPLICATIONS FOR MITIGATION OR ADAPTATION AGAINST CLIMATE CHANGE
    • Y02TCLIMATE CHANGE MITIGATION TECHNOLOGIES RELATED TO TRANSPORTATION
    • Y02T10/00Road transport of goods or passengers
    • Y02T10/60Other road transportation technologies with climate change mitigation effect
    • Y02T10/72Electric energy management in electromobility
    • Y02T10/7258Optimisation of vehicle performance
    • Y02T10/7291Optimisation of vehicle performance by route optimisation processing
    • YGENERAL TAGGING OF NEW TECHNOLOGICAL DEVELOPMENTS; GENERAL TAGGING OF CROSS-SECTIONAL TECHNOLOGIES SPANNING OVER SEVERAL SECTIONS OF THE IPC; TECHNICAL SUBJECTS COVERED BY FORMER USPC CROSS-REFERENCE ART COLLECTIONS [XRACs] AND DIGESTS
    • Y02TECHNOLOGIES OR APPLICATIONS FOR MITIGATION OR ADAPTATION AGAINST CLIMATE CHANGE
    • Y02TCLIMATE CHANGE MITIGATION TECHNOLOGIES RELATED TO TRANSPORTATION
    • Y02T90/00Enabling technologies or technologies with a potential or indirect contribution to GHG emissions mitigation
    • Y02T90/10Technologies related to electric vehicle charging
    • Y02T90/12Electric charging stations
    • Y02T90/121Electric charging stations by conductive energy transmission
    • YGENERAL TAGGING OF NEW TECHNOLOGICAL DEVELOPMENTS; GENERAL TAGGING OF CROSS-SECTIONAL TECHNOLOGIES SPANNING OVER SEVERAL SECTIONS OF THE IPC; TECHNICAL SUBJECTS COVERED BY FORMER USPC CROSS-REFERENCE ART COLLECTIONS [XRACs] AND DIGESTS
    • Y02TECHNOLOGIES OR APPLICATIONS FOR MITIGATION OR ADAPTATION AGAINST CLIMATE CHANGE
    • Y02TCLIMATE CHANGE MITIGATION TECHNOLOGIES RELATED TO TRANSPORTATION
    • Y02T90/00Enabling technologies or technologies with a potential or indirect contribution to GHG emissions mitigation
    • Y02T90/10Technologies related to electric vehicle charging
    • Y02T90/12Electric charging stations
    • Y02T90/128Energy exchange control or determination
    • YGENERAL TAGGING OF NEW TECHNOLOGICAL DEVELOPMENTS; GENERAL TAGGING OF CROSS-SECTIONAL TECHNOLOGIES SPANNING OVER SEVERAL SECTIONS OF THE IPC; TECHNICAL SUBJECTS COVERED BY FORMER USPC CROSS-REFERENCE ART COLLECTIONS [XRACs] AND DIGESTS
    • Y02TECHNOLOGIES OR APPLICATIONS FOR MITIGATION OR ADAPTATION AGAINST CLIMATE CHANGE
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    • Y02T90/00Enabling technologies or technologies with a potential or indirect contribution to GHG emissions mitigation
    • Y02T90/10Technologies related to electric vehicle charging
    • Y02T90/14Plug-in electric vehicles
    • YGENERAL TAGGING OF NEW TECHNOLOGICAL DEVELOPMENTS; GENERAL TAGGING OF CROSS-SECTIONAL TECHNOLOGIES SPANNING OVER SEVERAL SECTIONS OF THE IPC; TECHNICAL SUBJECTS COVERED BY FORMER USPC CROSS-REFERENCE ART COLLECTIONS [XRACs] AND DIGESTS
    • Y02TECHNOLOGIES OR APPLICATIONS FOR MITIGATION OR ADAPTATION AGAINST CLIMATE CHANGE
    • Y02TCLIMATE CHANGE MITIGATION TECHNOLOGIES RELATED TO TRANSPORTATION
    • Y02T90/00Enabling technologies or technologies with a potential or indirect contribution to GHG emissions mitigation
    • Y02T90/10Technologies related to electric vehicle charging
    • Y02T90/16Information or communication technologies improving the operation of electric vehicles
    • YGENERAL TAGGING OF NEW TECHNOLOGICAL DEVELOPMENTS; GENERAL TAGGING OF CROSS-SECTIONAL TECHNOLOGIES SPANNING OVER SEVERAL SECTIONS OF THE IPC; TECHNICAL SUBJECTS COVERED BY FORMER USPC CROSS-REFERENCE ART COLLECTIONS [XRACs] AND DIGESTS
    • Y02TECHNOLOGIES OR APPLICATIONS FOR MITIGATION OR ADAPTATION AGAINST CLIMATE CHANGE
    • Y02TCLIMATE CHANGE MITIGATION TECHNOLOGIES RELATED TO TRANSPORTATION
    • Y02T90/00Enabling technologies or technologies with a potential or indirect contribution to GHG emissions mitigation
    • Y02T90/10Technologies related to electric vehicle charging
    • Y02T90/16Information or communication technologies improving the operation of electric vehicles
    • Y02T90/163Information or communication technologies related to charging of electric vehicle
    • YGENERAL TAGGING OF NEW TECHNOLOGICAL DEVELOPMENTS; GENERAL TAGGING OF CROSS-SECTIONAL TECHNOLOGIES SPANNING OVER SEVERAL SECTIONS OF THE IPC; TECHNICAL SUBJECTS COVERED BY FORMER USPC CROSS-REFERENCE ART COLLECTIONS [XRACs] AND DIGESTS
    • Y02TECHNOLOGIES OR APPLICATIONS FOR MITIGATION OR ADAPTATION AGAINST CLIMATE CHANGE
    • Y02TCLIMATE CHANGE MITIGATION TECHNOLOGIES RELATED TO TRANSPORTATION
    • Y02T90/00Enabling technologies or technologies with a potential or indirect contribution to GHG emissions mitigation
    • Y02T90/10Technologies related to electric vehicle charging
    • Y02T90/16Information or communication technologies improving the operation of electric vehicles
    • Y02T90/167Systems integrating technologies related to power network operation and communication or information technologies for supporting the interoperability of electric or hybrid vehicles, i.e. smartgrids as interface for battery charging of electric vehicles [EV] or hybrid vehicles [HEV]
    • Y02T90/169Aspects supporting the interoperability of electric or hybrid vehicles, e.g. recognition, authentication, identification or billing
    • YGENERAL TAGGING OF NEW TECHNOLOGICAL DEVELOPMENTS; GENERAL TAGGING OF CROSS-SECTIONAL TECHNOLOGIES SPANNING OVER SEVERAL SECTIONS OF THE IPC; TECHNICAL SUBJECTS COVERED BY FORMER USPC CROSS-REFERENCE ART COLLECTIONS [XRACs] AND DIGESTS
    • Y04INFORMATION OR COMMUNICATION TECHNOLOGIES HAVING AN IMPACT ON OTHER TECHNOLOGY AREAS
    • Y04SSYSTEMS INTEGRATING TECHNOLOGIES RELATED TO POWER NETWORK OPERATION, COMMUNICATION OR INFORMATION TECHNOLOGIES FOR IMPROVING THE ELECTRICAL POWER GENERATION, TRANSMISSION, DISTRIBUTION, MANAGEMENT OR USAGE, i.e. SMART GRIDS
    • Y04S30/00Systems supporting specific end-user applications in the sector of transportation
    • Y04S30/10Systems supporting the interoperability of electric or hybrid vehicles
    • Y04S30/14Details associated with the interoperability, e.g. vehicle recognition, authentication, identification or billing

Abstract

A network of collection, charging and distribution machines collect, charge and distribute portable electrical energy storage devices (e.g., batteries, supercapacitors or ultracapacitors). Relevant information regarding vehicles that use the collection and distribution machines is communicated to or acquired by mobile devices of users associated with one or more of the vehicles. The vehicle information may include information regarding diagnostics or status of the vehicle and information regarding usage history of the vehicle received from different sources. This information is then processed and analyzed at the mobile device and such information is presented by the mobile device in a useful manner to the user and/or communicated to another device external to the mobile device, such as the vehicle, for further processing or communication of the data.

Description

    BACKGROUND
  • 1. Technical Field
  • The present disclosure generally relates to the distribution of rechargeable electrical power storage devices (e.g., secondary batteries, supercapacitors or ultracapacitors), which may be suitable for use in a variety of fields or applications, for instance transportation and non-transportation uses.
  • 2. Description of the Related Art
  • There are a wide variety of uses or applications for portable electrical power storage devices.
  • One such application is in the field of transportation. Hybrid and all electrical vehicles are becoming increasingly common. Such vehicles may achieve a number of advantages over traditional internal combustion engine vehicles. For example, hybrid or electrical vehicles may achieve higher fuel economy and may have little or even zero tail pipe pollution. In particular, all electric vehicles may not only have zero tail pipe pollution, but may be associated with lower overall pollution. For example, electrical power may be generated from renewable sources (e.g., solar, hydro). Also for example, electrical power may be generated at generation plants that produce no air pollution (e.g., nuclear plants). Also for example, electrical power may be generated at generation plants that burn relatively “clean burning” fuels (e.g., natural gas), which have higher efficiency than internal combustion engines, and/or which employ pollution control or removal systems (e.g., industrial air scrubbers) which are too large, costly or expensive for use with individual vehicles.
  • Personal transportation vehicles such as combustion engine powered scooters and/or motorbikes are ubiquitous in many places, for example in the many large cities of Asia. Such scooters and/or motorbikes tend to be relatively inexpensive, particularly as compared to automobiles, cars or trucks. Cities with high numbers of combustion engine scooters and/or motorbikes also tend to be very densely populated and suffer from high levels of air pollution. When new, many combustion engine scooters and/or motorbikes provide a relatively low polluting source of personal transportation. For instance, such scooters and/or motorbikes may have higher mileage ratings than larger vehicles. Some scooters and/or motorbikes may even be equipped with basic pollution control equipment (e.g., catalytic converter). Unfortunately, factory specified levels of emission are quickly exceeded as the scooters and/or motorbikes are used and either not maintained and/or as the scooters and/or motorbikes are modified, for example by intentional or unintentional removal of catalytic converters. Often owners or operators of scooters and/or motorbikes lack the financial resources or the motivation to maintain their vehicles.
  • It is known that air pollution has a negative effect on human health, being associated with causing or exacerbating various diseases (e.g., various reports tie air pollution to emphysema, asthma, pneumonia, cystic fibrosis as well as various cardiovascular diseases). Such diseases take large numbers of lives and severely reduce the quality of life of countless others.
  • BRIEF SUMMARY
  • Zero tail pipe pollution alternatives to combustion engines would greatly benefit air quality, and hence the health of large populations.
  • While the zero tail pipe emissions benefit of all-electric vehicles are appreciated, adoption of all-electric vehicles by large populations has been slow. One of the reasons appears to be the cost, particularly the cost of secondary batteries. Another one of the reasons appears to be the limited driving range available on a single charge of a battery, limited locations to recharge secondary batteries, and the relatively long time (e.g., multiple hours) necessary to recharge a secondary battery when depleted.
  • The approaches described herein may address some of the issues which have limited adoption of zero tail pipe emission technology, particularly in densely crowded cities, and in populations with limited financial resources.
  • For example, some of the approaches described herein employ collection, charging and distribution machines, which may otherwise be termed as kiosks or vending machines, to collect, charge and distribute electrical power storage devices (e.g., batteries, supercapacitors or ultracapacitors). Such machines may be distributed about a city or other region at a variety of locations, such as convenience stores or existing gas or petrol filling stations.
  • The collection, charging and distribution machines may maintain a stock of fully charged or almost fully charged electrical storage devices for use by end users. The collection, charging and distribution machines may collect, receive or otherwise accept depleted electrical storage devices, for example as returned by end users, recharging such for reuse by subsequent end users.
  • Thus, as a battery or other electrical power storage device reaches or approaches the end of its stored charge, an end user may simply replace, exchange or otherwise swap batteries or other electrical power storage devices at the collection, charging and distribution machines. This may address issues related to cost, as well as limited range and locations to recharge electrical power storage devices, and relatively long recharging times.
  • As previously noted, secondary batteries and other electrical power storage devices are relatively expensive. Thus, it is beneficial to stock the least number of electrical power storage devices possible at a particular collection, charging and distribution machine, while still ensuring that demand for such is satisfied.
  • For these reasons, the ability to have electrical power storage devices available and the management of the availability of such devices and systems for making such devices available, including wireless communication of information to manage such systems and regarding the vehicle's that use such systems is important to commercial success of any such endeavor. Thus, a number of approaches are described herein that make electrical power storage devices available, manage the availability of such devices, manage systems for making such devices available and provide information regarding a vehicle via a mobile device.
  • A method in a system for providing information regarding a vehicle may be summarized as including receiving, by one or more computer processors of a user mobile device of the system for providing information regarding a vehicle, first information regarding diagnostics or status of the vehicle; receiving, by one or more computer processors of the user mobile device of the system for providing information regarding a vehicle, second information regarding usage history of the vehicle; in response to the receiving the first information regarding diagnostics or status of the vehicle and the second information regarding usage history of the vehicle, processing, by one or more computer processors of the user mobile device of the system for providing information regarding a vehicle, the received first information and the received second information; and based on the received first information and the received second information being processed, communicating to a user authenticated as associated with the vehicle, by one or more computer processors of the user mobile device of the system for providing information regarding a vehicle, processed information that is based at least in part on the received first information and the received second information.
  • The vehicle may be an electrically powered vehicle or a hybrid electrically powered vehicle. The first information regarding diagnostics or status of the vehicle and the second information regarding usage history of the vehicle may each include at least some information regarding one or more of: status or condition of the vehicle, status or condition of one or more systems of the vehicle, a number of vehicles owned by a user, customizable features of the vehicle, settings of customizable features of the vehicle, condition or status of an engine or motor of the vehicle, one or more electrical systems of the vehicle, health of the vehicle, security of the vehicle, locks of the vehicle, transmission system of the vehicle, maintenance of the vehicle, recommended maintenance of the vehicle, scheduled maintenance of the vehicle, brake pad condition of the vehicle, status of one or more vehicle lights, engine temperature of the vehicle, mileage of the vehicle, one or more wheels of the vehicle, one or more tires of the vehicle, tire wear of one or more tires of the vehicle, tire pressure of one or more tires of the vehicle, speed of the vehicle, statistics regarding different speeds of the vehicle over time, one or more fluid levels of the vehicle, condition or status of an electrical energy storage device of the vehicle, a dashboard of the vehicle, a dashboard display of the vehicle, a current state of a dashboard display of the vehicle, configurable settings of a customizable dashboard display of the vehicle, information stored on a computer readable medium coupled to a portable electrical energy storage device of the vehicle, configurable vehicle lighting, configurable vehicle lighting status, configurable vehicle lighting settings, current odometer reading of the vehicle, historical usage statistics of the vehicle, historical usage statistics regarding a electrical energy storage device of the vehicle, historical usage statistics regarding a motor of the vehicle, historical usage statistics regarding efficiency of the vehicle, geographic travel statistics of the vehicle, a current location of the vehicle, previous locations of the vehicle, target efficiency of the vehicle, recommended settings of the vehicle, user account settings of a user associated with the vehicle, portable electrical energy storage devices for the vehicle, available portable electrical energy storage devices for the vehicle, locations of one or more available portable electrical energy storage devices for the vehicle, one or more collection, charging and distribution machines for portable electrical energy storage devices for the vehicle, portable electrical energy storage device exchange history at one or more collection, charging and distribution machines for portable electrical energy storage devices for the vehicle, and locations of one or more collection, charging and distribution machines for portable electrical energy storage devices for the vehicle. The receiving the first information regarding diagnostics or status of the vehicle may include receiving the first information regarding diagnostics or status of the vehicle from a different remote source than that from which the second information regarding usage history of the vehicle is received. The receiving the first information regarding diagnostics or status of the vehicle and the receiving the second information regarding usage history of the vehicle may include receiving either the first information or the second information over a short range wireless connection between the vehicle and the user mobile device or over a different wireless connection to the user mobile device from a remote vehicle data information management system. The processing the received first information and the received second information may include: preparing received data regarding portable electrical energy storage device exchange history associated with the user or the vehicle for presentation on a display of the mobile device; and preparing data for presentation on the display of the mobile device to alert the user of offers regarding, or availability of, vehicle portable electrical energy storage devices based at least in part on the received data regarding portable electrical energy storage device exchange history associated with the user or the vehicle. The data regarding portable electrical energy storage device exchange history may be data received via a short range wireless connection between the vehicle and the user mobile device from a memory module attached to a portable electrical energy storage device that powers a motor of the vehicle. The data regarding portable electrical energy storage device exchange history may be data received from the remote vehicle data information management system via a wireless connection to the user mobile device. The data regarding portable electrical energy storage device exchange history may be data received originating from one or more collection, charging and distribution machines for portable electrical energy storage devices for the vehicle. The processing the received first information and the received second information may include: selecting first data from the first information regarding diagnostics or status of the vehicle; selecting second data from the second information regarding usage history of the vehicle based on the selected first data from the first information regarding diagnostics or status of the vehicle; and generating third information based on the selected first data and the selected second data to be presented to the user via the user mobile device. The selected first data from the first information regarding diagnostics or status of the vehicle may include data regarding a current charge level of a portable electrical energy storage device of the vehicle and the selected second data from the second information regarding usage history of the vehicle includes data regarding driving behavior associated with the user, and wherein the generating third information based on the selected first data and the selected second data may include generating information regarding an estimate of how far in terms of distance, or how long in terms of time, the current charge level of the portable electrical energy storage device will last based on the data regarding driving behavior associated with the user. The method may further include presenting, by one or more computer processors of the user mobile device, the generated third information on the mobile device. The method may further include communicating, by one or more computer processors of the user mobile device one or more of: the selected first data from the first information regarding diagnostics or status of the vehicle, and the selected second data from the second information regarding usage history of the vehicle, to a memory module attached to a portable electrical energy storage device that powers a motor of the vehicle. The receiving the first information regarding diagnostics or status of the vehicle or the receiving the second information regarding usage history of the vehicle may include receiving either the first information or the second information over a short range wireless connection between the vehicle and the user mobile device from a memory module attached to a portable electrical energy storage device that powers a motor of the vehicle. The method may further include communicating, by one or more computer processors of the user mobile device, one or more of: the first information, the second information, and the processed information that is based at least in part on the received first information and the received second information, over a short range wireless connection between the vehicle and the user mobile device to a memory module attached to a portable electrical energy storage device that powers a motor of the vehicle. The communicating to the user may include presenting information on a display or via speakers of the user mobile device based on the processed information. The method may further include receiving, by one or more computer processors of the mobile device, input from the user related to one or more of: first information regarding diagnostics or status of the vehicle and the second information regarding usage history of the vehicle; and in response to the input received, selecting based on the input received, by one or more computer processors of the mobile device, data from one or more of: the received first information regarding diagnostics or status of the vehicle, and the received second information regarding usage history of the vehicle; preparing the selected data for presentation via the user mobile device based on specifications of or capabilities of the user mobile device; and presenting the prepared selected data on the display or via speakers of the user mobile device. The method may further include receiving, by one or more computer processors of the mobile device, input related to a change to a setting or a configuration of the vehicle; and wirelessly communicating to the vehicle, by one or more computer processors of the user mobile device, a change to a setting or a configuration of the vehicle based on the received input from the user related to the change to the setting or the configuration of the vehicle. The wirelessly communicating to the vehicle the change to the setting or the configuration may include wirelessly communicating to the vehicle, by one or more computer processors of the user mobile device, the change to the setting or the configuration of the vehicle based additionally on the received first information regarding diagnostics or status of the vehicle or the received second information regarding usage history of the vehicle. The receiving the input related to a change to a setting or a configuration of the vehicle may include receiving the input from a remote vehicle data information management system. The receiving the input related to a change to a setting or a configuration of the vehicle may include receiving the input via a wireless connection to the mobile device and from a memory module attached to a portable electrical energy storage device that powers a motor of the vehicle. The change to the setting or the configuration of the vehicle may be regarding one or more of: a selection regarding a customizable lighting pattern of lights of the vehicle and a selection regarding a customizable dashboard display of the vehicle.
  • A system for providing information regarding a vehicle may be summarized as including at least one computer processor; and at least one memory coupled to the computer processor, wherein the at least one computer processor is configured to: receive one or more of: first information regarding diagnostics or status of the vehicle and second information regarding usage history of the vehicle, the received information originating from a device of a user associated with the vehicle or a memory module attached to a portable electrical energy storage device that is configured to power a motor of the vehicle; and based on the received information, communicating third information that is based at least in part on the received first information or the received second information to a remote device.
  • The remote device may be a mobile device associated with the user or the vehicle. The remote device may be a collection, charging and distribution machine for portable electrical energy storage devices.
  • A non-transitory computer readable storage medium may be summarized as including computer executable instructions thereon that, when executed by one or more computer processors, cause the one or more computer processors to: receive information regarding status of a vehicle including a software or firmware update for updating a current status of software or firmware of the vehicle; and communicate the software or firmware update to the vehicle via one or more of: a module attached to a portable electrical energy storage device that powers a motor of the vehicle and a mobile device associated with the vehicle or a user of the vehicle.
  • The computer executable instructions thereon, when executed by one or more computer processors, may further cause the one or more computer processors to: receive, by one or more computer processors of the user mobile device of the system for providing information regarding a vehicle, information regarding usage history of the vehicle; in response to the receiving the information regarding usage history of the vehicle, processing the information regarding usage history of the vehicle to be presented on a user mobile device with other information regarding the vehicle received from a remote source different than a source of the information regarding usage history of the vehicle.
  • BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE SEVERAL VIEWS OF THE DRAWINGS
  • In the drawings, identical reference numbers identify similar elements or acts. The sizes and relative positions of elements in the drawings are not necessarily drawn to scale. For example, the shapes of various elements and angles are not drawn to scale, and some of these elements are arbitrarily enlarged and positioned to improve drawing legibility. Further, the particular shapes of the elements as drawn, are not intended to convey any information regarding the actual shape of the particular elements, and have been solely selected for ease of recognition in the drawings.
  • FIG. 1 is a schematic view of a collection, charging and distribution machine along with a number of electrical power storage devices according to one non-limiting illustrated embodiment, along with an electric scooter or motorbike, and an electrical service provided via an electrical grid.
  • FIG. 2 is a block diagram of the collection, charging and distribution machine of FIG. 1, according to one non-limiting illustrated embodiment.
  • FIG. 3 is a block diagram of a system for providing information regarding a vehicle via a mobile device which shows collection, charging and distribution machines, such as that of FIG. 1, within the system, according to one non-limiting illustrated embodiment.
  • FIG. 4 is a schematic view of the vehicle data information management system of FIG. 3, according to one non-limiting illustrated embodiment.
  • FIG. 5A is an example user interface of a user mobile device presenting information regarding diagnostics or status of the vehicle based on information regarding usage history of the vehicle, according to one non-limiting illustrated embodiment.
  • FIG. 5B is an example user interface of a user mobile device presenting information regarding diagnostics or status of the vehicle along with information regarding usage history of the vehicle, according to one non-limiting illustrated embodiment.
  • FIG. 6 is a flow diagram showing a method of providing information regarding a vehicle via a user mobile device, according to one non-limiting illustrated embodiment.
  • FIG. 7 is a flow diagram showing a method of providing information regarding a vehicle from a perspective of the vehicle data information management system of FIG. 3 and FIG. 4, according to one non-limiting illustrated embodiment.
  • FIG. 8 is a flow diagram showing method of providing information regarding a vehicle involving a software or firmware update for updating a current status of software or firmware of the vehicle, according to one non-limiting illustrated embodiment.
  • FIG. 9 is an example user interface of a user mobile device presenting an example initial menu providing menu choices regarding portable electrical power storage device locations; user account and vehicle information; and other useful information for a user, according to one non-limiting illustrated embodiment.
  • FIG. 10 is an example user interface of a user mobile device presenting an example user menu providing menu choices regarding vehicle setup options, according to one non-limiting illustrated embodiment.
  • FIG. 11 is an example user interface of a user mobile device presenting an example user menu providing menu choices regarding further vehicle setup options for a selected portion of the vehicle, according to one non-limiting illustrated embodiment.
  • FIG. 12 is an example user interface of a user mobile device presenting an example user menu providing menu choices regarding further vehicle setup options for a selected option regarding changing user configurable colors vehicle of the vehicle dashboard, according to one non-limiting illustrated embodiment.
  • FIG. 13 is an example user interface of a user mobile device presenting an example user menu providing menu choices regarding further diagnostics or vehicle status information options, according to one non-limiting illustrated embodiment.
  • FIG. 14 is an example user interface of a user mobile device presenting an example user menu providing a diagnostic reports and menu choices regarding the diagnostic report, according to one non-limiting illustrated embodiment.
  • FIG. 15 is an example user interface of a user mobile device presenting an example user menu providing further information regarding an interactive vehicle diagnostics report based on user menu selection on the interactive vehicle diagnostics report, according to one non-limiting illustrated embodiment.
  • FIG. 16 is an example user interface of a user mobile device presenting an example user menu providing an interactive map indicating current user location and portable electrical power storage device collection and distribution machine locations, according to one non-limiting illustrated embodiment.
  • FIG. 17 is an example user interface of a user mobile device presenting an example user menu providing an interactive map indicating current user location and further information regarding a selected portable electrical power storage device collection and distribution machine location on the map, according to one non-limiting illustrated embodiment.
  • FIG. 18 is an example user interface of a user mobile device presenting an example interactive list of portable electrical power storage device collection and distribution machine locations, and vehicle service and repair locations in order of distance from a current location of the user, according to one non-limiting illustrated embodiment.
  • DETAILED DESCRIPTION
  • In the following description, certain specific details are set forth in order to provide a thorough understanding of various disclosed embodiments. However, one skilled in the relevant art will recognize that embodiments may be practiced without one or more of these specific details, or with other methods, components, materials, etc. In other instances, well-known structures associated with vending apparatus, batteries, supercapacitors or ultracapacitors, power converters including but not limited to transformers, rectifiers, DC/DC power converters, switch mode power converters, controllers, and communications systems and structures and networks have not been shown or described in detail to avoid unnecessarily obscuring descriptions of the embodiments.
  • Unless the context requires otherwise, throughout the specification and claims which follow, the word “comprise” and variations thereof, such as, “comprises” and “comprising” are to be construed in an open, inclusive sense that is as “including, but not limited to.”
  • Reference throughout this specification to “one embodiment” or “an embodiment” means that a particular feature, structure or characteristic described in connection with the embodiment is included in at least one embodiment. Thus, the appearances of the phrases “in one embodiment” or “in an embodiment” in various places throughout this specification are not necessarily all referring to the same embodiment.
  • The use of ordinals such as first, second and third does not necessarily imply a ranked sense of order, but rather may only distinguish between multiple instances of an act or structure.
  • Reference to portable electrical power storage device means any device capable of storing electrical power and releasing stored electrical power including but not limited to batteries, supercapacitors or ultracapacitors. Reference to batteries means chemical storage cell or cells, for instance rechargeable or secondary battery cells including but not limited to nickel cadmium alloy or lithium ion battery cells.
  • The headings and Abstract of the Disclosure provided herein are for convenience only and do not interpret the scope or meaning of the embodiments.
  • FIG. 1 shows an environment 100 including a collection, charging and distribution machine 102, according to one illustrated embodiment.
  • The collection, charging and distribution machine 102 may take the form of a vending machine or kiosk. The collection, charging and distribution machine 102 has a plurality of receivers, compartments or receptacles 104 a, 104 b-104 n (only three called out in FIG. 1, collectively 104) to removably receive portable electrical energy storage devices (e.g., batteries, supercapacitors or ultracapacitors) 106 a-106 n (collectively 106) for collection, charging and distribution. As illustrated in FIG. 1, some of the receivers 104 are empty, while other receivers 104 hold portable electrical energy storage devices 106. While FIG. 1 shows a single portable electrical energy storage device 106 per receiver 104, in some embodiments each receiver 104 may hold two or even more portable electrical energy storage devices 106. For example, each of the receivers 104 may be sufficiently deep to receive three portable electrical energy storage devices 106. Thus, for example, the collection, charging and distribution machine 102 illustrated in FIG. 1 may have a capacity capable of simultaneously holding 40, 80 or 120 portable electrical energy storage devices 106.
  • The portable electrical energy storage devices 106 may take a variety of forms, for example batteries (e.g., array of battery cells) or supercapacitors or ultracapacitors (e.g., array of ultracapacitor cells). For example, the portable electrical energy storage devices 106 z may take the form of rechargeable batteries (i.e., secondary cells or batteries). The portable electrical energy storage devices 106 z may, for instance, be sized to physically fit, and electrically power, personal transportation vehicles, such as all-electric scooters or motorbikes 108. As previously noted, combustion engine scooters and motorbikes are common in many large cities, for example in Asia, Europe and the Middle East. The ability to conveniently access charged batteries throughout a city or region may allow the use of all-electric scooters and motorbikes 108 in place of combustion engine scooters and motorbikes, thereby alleviating air pollution, as well as reducing noise.
  • The portable electrical energy storage devices 106 (only visible for portable electrical energy storage device 106 z) may include a number of electrical terminals 110 a, 110 b (two illustrated, collectively 110), accessible from an exterior of the portable electrical energy storage device 106 z. The electrical terminals 110 allow charge to be delivered from the portable electrical energy storage device 106 z, as well as allow charge to be delivered to the portable electrical energy storage device 106 z for charging or recharging the same. While illustrated in FIG. 1 as posts, the electrical terminals 110 may take any other form which is accessible from an exterior of the portable electrical energy storage device 106 z, including electrical terminals positioned within slots in a battery housing.
  • The collection, charging and distribution machine 102 is positioned at some location 112 at which the collection, charging and distribution machine 102 is conveniently and easily accessible by various end users. The location may take any of a large variety of forms, for example, a retail environment such as a convenience store, supermarket, gas or petrol station, or service shop. Alternatively, the collection, charging and distribution machine 102 may stand alone at a location 112 not associated with an existing retail or other business, for example in public parks or other public places.
  • Thus, for example, collection, charging and distribution machines 102 may be located at each store of a chain of convenience stores throughout a city or region. Such may advantageously rely on the fact that convenience stores are often sited or distributed based on convenience to the target population or demographic. Such may advantageously rely on pre-existing leases on storefronts or other retail locations to allow an extensive network of collection, charging and distribution machines 102 to be quickly developed in a city or region. Quickly achieving a large network which is geographically well distributed to serve a target population enhances the ability to depend on such a system and likely commercial success of such an effort. Providing a system in which users who use the collection, charging and distribution machines (e.g., such as collection, charging and distribution machine 102) can be presented, on their mobile device, with information regarding their vehicle, the ability to change vehicle setting or configurations, and to receive alerts regarding maintenance of the vehicle and/or information regarding portable electrical energy storage devices or collection, charging and distribution machines, also enhances the ability to depend on such a system and likely commercial success of such an effort. The ability to present to users, on their mobile devices, information regarding their vehicle, the ability to change vehicle setting or configurations, and to receive alerts regarding maintenance of the vehicle and/or information regarding portable electrical energy storage devices or collection, charging and distribution machines is addressed herein.
  • The location 112 may include an electrical service 114 to receive electrical power from a generating station (not shown) for example via a grid 116. The electrical service 114 may, for example, include one or more of an electrical service meter 114 a, a circuit panel (e.g., circuit breaker panel or fuse box) 114 b, wiring 114 c, and electrical outlet 114 d. Where the location 112 is an existing retail or convenience store, the electrical service 114 may be an existing electrical service, so may be somewhat limited in rating (e.g., 120 volts, 240 volts, 220 volts, 230 volts, 15 amps).
  • Neither the operator of the retail location 112, nor the owner, distributor or operator of the collection, charging and distribution machine 102 may wish to bear the costs of upgrading the electrical service 114. Yet, quick charging is desired in order to maintain an adequate supply of portable electrical energy storage devices 106 available for use by end users. The ability to quickly charge while maintaining existing or otherwise limited rated electrical service is addressed in U.S. provisional patent application Ser. No. 61/511,900, entitled “APPARATUS, METHOD AND ARTICLE FOR COLLECTION, CHARGING AND
  • DISTRIBUTING POWER STORAGE DEVICES, SUCH AS BATTERIES” and filed Jul. 26, 2011 (Atty. Docket No. 170178.401P1).
  • Optionally, the collection, charging and distribution machine 102 may include or be coupled to a source of renewable electrical power. For example, where installed in an outside location the collection, charging and distribution machine 102 may include an array of photovoltaic (PV) cells 118 to produce electrical power from solar insolation. Alternatively, the collection, charging and distribution machine 102 may be electrically coupled to a microturbine (e.g., wind turbine) or PV array positioned elsewhere at the location 112, for instance on a roof top or pole mounted at a top of a pole (not shown).
  • The collection, charging and distribution machine 102 may be communicatively coupled to one or more remotely located computer systems, such as back end or back office systems (only one shown) 120. The back end or back office systems 120 may collect data from and/or control a plurality of collection, charging and distribution machine 102 distributed about an area, such as a city. The communications may occur over one or more communications channels including one or more networks 122, or non-networked communications channels. Communications may be over one or more wired communications channels (e.g., twisted pair wiring, optical fiber), wireless communications channels (e.g., radio, microwave, satellite, 801.11 compliant). Networked communications channels may include one or more local area networks (LANs), wide area networks (WANs), extranets, intranets, or the Internet including the Worldwide Web portion of the Internet.
  • The collection, charging and distribution machine 102 may include a user interface 124. The user interface may include a variety of input/output (I/O) devices to allow an end user to interact with the collection, charging and distribution machine 102. Various I/O devices are called out and described in reference to FIG. 2, which follows.
  • FIG. 2 shows the collection, charging and distribution machine 102 of FIG. 1, according to one illustrated embodiment.
  • The collection, charging and distribution machine 102 includes a control subsystem 202, a charging subsystem 204, a communications subsystem 206, and a user interface subsystem 208.
  • The control subsystem 202 includes a controller 210, for example a microprocessor, microcontroller, programmable logic controller (PLC), programmable gate array (PGA), application specific integrated circuit (ASIC) or another controller capable of receiving signals from various sensors, performing logical operations, and sending signals to various components. Typically, the controller 210 may take the form of a microprocessor (e.g., INTEL, AMD, ATOM). The control subsystem 202 may also include one or more non-transitory processor- or computer-readable storage media, for example read only memory (ROM) 212, random access memory (RAM) 214, and data store 216 (e.g., solid-state storage media such as flash memory or EEPROM, spinning storage media such as hard disk). The non-transitory processor- or computer-readable storage media 212, 214, 216 may be in addition to any non-transitory storage medium (e.g., registers) which is part of the controller 210. The control subsystem 202 may include one or more buses 218 (only one illustrated) coupling various components together, for example one or more power buses, instruction buses, data buses, etc.
  • As illustrated, the ROM 212, or some other one of the non-transitory processor- or computer-readable storage media 212, 214, 216, stores instructions and/or data or values for variables or parameters. The sets of data may take a variety of forms, for example a lookup table, a set of records in a database, etc. The instructions and sets of data or values are executable by the controller 110. Execution of the instructions and sets of data or values causes the controller 110 to perform specific acts to cause the collection, charging and distribution machine 102 to collect, charge, and distribute portable energy storage devices. Specific operation of the collection, charging and distribution machine 102 is described herein and also below with reference to various flow diagrams (FIGS. 14-16).
  • The controller 210 may use RAM 214 in a conventional fashion, for volatile storage of instructions, data, etc. The controller 210 may use data store 216 to log or retain information, for example telemetric information related to collection, charging and/or distribution or collection of the portable electric power storage devices 106 and/or operation of the collection, charging and distribution machine 102 itself. The instructions are executable by the controller 210 to control operation of the collection, charging and distribution machine 102 in response to end user or operator input, and using data or values for the variables or parameters.
  • The control subsystem 202 receives signals from various sensors and/or other components of the collection, charging and distribution machine 102 which include information that characterizes or is indicative of operation, status, or condition of such other components. Sensors are represented in FIG. 2 by the letter S appearing in a circle along with appropriate subscript letters.
  • For example, one or more position sensors SP1-SPN may detect the presence or absence of portable electrical power storage device 106 at each of the receivers 104. The position sensors SP1-SPN may take a variety of forms. For example, the position sensors SP1-SPN may take the form of mechanical switches that are closed, or alternatively opened, in response to contact with a portion of a respective portable electrical power storage device 106 when the portable electrical power storage device 106 is inserted into the receiver 104. Also for example, the position sensors SP1-SPN may take the form of optical switches (i.e., optical source and receiver) that are closed, or alternatively opened, in response to contact with a portion of a respective portable electrical power storage device 106 when the portable electrical power storage device 106 is inserted into the receiver 104. Also for example, the position sensors SP1-SPN may take the form of electrical sensors or switches that are closed, or alternatively opened, in response to detecting a closed circuit condition created by contact with the terminals 110 of a respective portable electrical power storage device 106 when the portable electrical power storage device 106 is inserted into the receiver 104, or an open circuit condition that results from the lack of a respective portable electrical power storage device 106 in the receiver 104. These examples are intended to be non-limiting, and it is noted that any other structures and devices for detecting the presence/absence, the availability, or even the insertion of the portable electrical power storage devices 106 into receivers may be employed.
  • For example, one or more charge sensors SC1-SCN may detect charge of the portable electrical power storage devices 106 at each of the receivers 104. Charge sensors SC1-SCN may detect the amount of charge stored by the portable electrical power storage devices 106. Charge sensors SC1-SCN may additionally detect an amount of charge and/or rate of charging being supplied to ones of the portable electrical power storage devices 106 at each of the receivers 104. Such may allow assessment of current (i.e., temporal) charge condition or status of each portable electrical power storage device 106, as well as allow feedback control over charging of same, including control over rate of charging. Charge sensors SC1-SCN may include any variety of current and/or voltage sensors.
  • For example, one or more charge sensors ST1 (only one shown) may detect or sense a temperature at the receivers 104 or in the ambient environment.
  • The control subsystem 202 provides signals to various actuators and/or other components responsive to control signals, which signals include information that characterizes or is indicative of an operation the component is to perform or a state or condition in which the components should enter. Control signals, actuators or other components responsive to control signals are represented in FIG. 2 by the letter C appearing in a circle along with appropriate subscript letters.
  • For example, one or more engine control signals CA1-CAN may affect the operation of one or more actuators 220 (only one illustrated). For instance, a control signal CA1 may cause movement of an actuator 220 between a first and a second position or change a magnetic field produced by the actuator 220. The actuator 220 may take any of a variety of forms, including but not limited to a solenoid, an electric motor such as a stepper motor, or an electromagnet. The actuator 220 may be coupled to operate a latch, lock or other retainer mechanism 222. The latch, lock or other retainer mechanism 222 may selectively secure or retain one or more portable electrical power storage devices 106 (FIG. 1) in the receiver 104 (FIG. 1). For instance, the latch, lock or other retainer mechanism 222 may physically couple to a complimentary structure that is part of a housing of the portable electrical power storage devices 106 (FIG. 1). Alternatively, the latch, lock or other retainer mechanism 222 may magnetically couple to a complimentary structure that is part of a housing of the portable electrical power storage devices 106 (FIG. 1). Also for instance, the latch, lock or other mechanism may open a receiver 104 (FIG. 1), or may allow a receiver 104 to be opened, to receive a partially or fully discharged portable electrical power storage device 106 for charging. For example, the actuator may open and/or close a door to the receiver 104 (FIG. 1), to selectively provide access to a portable electrical power storage device 106 (FIG. 1) received therein. Also for example, the actuator may open and/or close a latch or lock, allowing an end user to open and/or close a door to the receiver 104 (FIG. 1), to selectively provide access to a portable electrical power storage device 106 (FIG. 1) received therein.
  • The control subsystem 202 may include one or more ports 224 a to provide control signals to one or more ports 224 b of the charging subsystem 206. The ports 224 a, 224 b may provide bi-directional communications. The control subsystem 202 may include one or more ports 226 a to provide control signals to one or more ports 226 b of the user interface subsystem 208. The ports 226 a, 226 b may provide bi-directional communications.
  • The charging subsystem 102 includes various electrical and electronic components to charge portable electrical power storage devices 106 when positioned or received in the receivers 104. For example, the charging subsystem 102 may include one or more power buses or power bus bars, relays, contactors or other switches (e.g., insulated gate bipolar transistors or IGBTs, metal oxide semiconductor transistors or MOSFETs), rectifier bridge(s), current sensors, ground fault circuitry, etc. The electrical power is supplied via contacts that can take any of a variety of forms, for instance terminals, leads, posts, etc. The contacts allow electrical coupling of various components. Some possible implementations are illustrated in FIG. 2. Such is not intended to be exhaustive. Additional components may be employed while other components may be omitted.
  • The illustrated charging subsystem 102 includes a first power converter 230 that receives electrical power from the electrical service 114 (FIG. 1) via a line or cord 232. The power will typically be in the form of single, two or three phase AC electrical power. As such, the first power converter 230 may need to convert and otherwise condition the electrical power received via the electrical services 114 (FIG. 1), for example for rectifying an AC waveform to DC, transforming voltage, current, phase, as well as reducing transients and noise. Thus, the first power converter 230 may include a transformer 234, rectifier 236, DC/DC power converter 238, and filter(s) 240.
  • The transformer 234 may take the form of any variety of commercially available transformers with suitable ratings for handling the power received via the electrical service 114 (FIG. 1). Some embodiments may employ multiple transformers. The transformer 234 may advantageously provide galvanic isolation between the components of the collection, charging and distribution machine 102 and the grid 116 (FIG. 1). The rectifier 236 may take any of variety of forms, for example a full bridge diode rectifier or a switch mode rectifier. The rectifier 236 may be operated to transform AC electrical power to DC electrical power. The DC/DC power converter 238 may be any of a large variety of forms. For example, DC/DC power converter 238 may take the form a switch mode DC/DC power converter, for instance employing IGBTs or MOSFETs in a half or full bridge configuration, and may include one or more inductors. The DC/DC power converter 238 may have any number of topologies including a boost converter, buck converter, synchronous buck converter, buck-boost converter or fly-back converter. The filter(s) 240 may include one or more capacitors, resistors, Zener diodes or other elements to suppress voltage spikes, or to remove or reduce transients and/or noise.
  • The illustrated charging subsystem 102 may also receive electrical power from a renewable power source, for example the PV array 118 (FIG. 1). Such may be converted or conditioned by the first power converter 230, for example being supplied directly to the DC/DC power converter 238, bypassing the transformer 236 and/or rectifier 236. Alternatively, the illustrated charging subsystem 102 may include a dedicated power converter to convert or otherwise condition such electrical power.
  • The illustrated charging subsystem 102 may optionally include second power converter 242 that receives electrical power from one or more portable electrical power storage devices 106 (FIG. 1) via one or more lines 244, for charging other ones of the portable electrical power storage devices 106. As such, the second power converter 242 may need to convert and/or otherwise condition the electrical power received from portable electrical power storage devices 106, for example optionally transforming voltage or current, as well as reducing transients and noise. Thus, the second power converter 242 may optionally include a DC/DC power converter 246 and/or filter(s) 248. Various types of DC/DC power converters and filters are discussed above.
  • The illustrated charging subsystem 102 includes a plurality of switches 250 responsive to the control signals delivered via ports 224 a, 224 b from the control subsystem 202. The switches may be operable to selectively couple a first number or set of portable electrical power storage devices 106 to be charged from electrical power supplied by both the electrical service via the first power converter 230 and from electrical power supplied by a second number or set of portable electrical power storage devices 106. The first number or set of portable electrical power storage devices 106 may include a single portable electrical power storage device 106, two, or even more portable electrical power storage devices 106. The second number or set of portable electrical power storage devices 106 may include a single portable electrical power storage device 106, two, or even more portable electrical power storage devices 106. The portable electrical power storage devices 106 are represented in FIG. 2 as loads L1, L2-LN.
  • The communications subsystem 206 may additionally include one or more communications modules or components which facilitate communications with the various components of a back end or back office system 120 (FIG. 1). The communications subsystem 206 may, for example, include one or more modems 252 or one or more Ethernet or other types of communications cards or components 254. A port 256 a of the control subsystem 202 may communicatively couple the control subsystem 202 with a port 256 b of the communications subsystem 206. The communications subsystem 206 may provide wired and/or wireless communications. The communications subsystem 206 may include one or more ports, wireless receivers, wireless transmitters or wireless transceivers to provide wireless signal paths to the various remote components or systems. The remote communications subsystem 206 may include one or more bridges or routers suitable to handle network traffic including switched packet type communications protocols (TCP/IP), Ethernet or other networking protocols.
  • The user interface system 208 includes one or more user input/output (I/O) components. For example, user interface system 208 may include a touch screen display 208 a, operable to present information and a graphical user interface (GUI) to an end user and to receive indications of user selections. The user interface system 208 may include a keyboard or keypad 208 b, and/or a cursor controller (e.g., mouse, trackball, trackpad) (not illustrated) to allow an end user to enter information and/or select user selectable icons in a GUI. The user interface system 208 may include a speaker 208 c to provide aural messages to an end user and/or a microphone 208 d to receive spoken user input such as spoken commands.
  • The user interface system 208 may include a card reader 208 e to read information from card type media 209. The card reader 208 e may take a variety of forms. For instance, the card reader 208 e may take the form of, or include, a magnetic stripe reader for reading information encoded in a magnetic stripe carried by a card 209. For instance, the card reader 208 e may take the form of, or include, a machine-readable symbol (e.g., barcode, matrix code) card reader for reading information encoded in a machine-readable symbol carried by a card 209. For instance, the card reader 208 e may take the form of, or include, a smart card reader for reading information encoded in a non-transitory medium carried by a card 209. Such may, for instance, include media employing radio frequency identification (RFID) transponders or electronic payment chips (e.g., near filed communications (NFC) chips). Thus, the card reader 208 e may be able to read information from a variety of card media 209, for instance credit cards, debit cards, gift cards, prepaid cards, as well as identification media such as drivers licenses.
  • The user interface system 208 may include a bill acceptor 208 f and a validator and/or coin acceptor 208 g to accept and validate cash payments. Such may be highly useful in servicing populations who lack access to credit. Bill acceptor and validator 208 f and/or coin acceptor 208 g may take any variety of forms, for example those that are currently commercially available and used in various vending machines and kiosks.
  • FIG. 3 is a block diagram of a system 300 for providing information regarding a vehicle via a mobile device 313 which shows example collection, charging and distribution machines 308 a, 308 b, 308 c and 308 d, such as collection, charging and distribution machine 102 of FIG. 1, within the system, according to one non-limiting illustrated embodiment.
  • Shown is a vehicle data information management system 302 for providing information regarding a vehicle via a mobile device, such as, for example, mobile device 313. For example, the vehicle data information management system 302 may provide information regarding diagnostics or status of the vehicle 310 a; regarding subcomponents or subsystems of vehicle 310 a; regarding a user or a user account; regarding selection or preferences associated with a user, a user account and/or a profile of a user; regarding usage history of the vehicle 310 a or another vehicle, number of vehicles owned by the user, etc. This information may be received from one or any combination of the items shown in FIG. 3, including the example collection, charging and distribution machines 308 a, 308 b, 308 c and 308 d, the mobile device 313 itself, the vehicle data information management system 302, and/or the vehicle (e.g., electric scooter 310 a or 310 b). This may include information received from a memory module attached to the portable electrical energy storage device of the electric scooter 310 a or 310 b. This also may include information received from a memory module attached to or associated with the vehicle 310 a or 310 b, (e.g., a memory module of a subsystem or control system of vehicle 310 a or 310 b that stores or is configured to store diagnostic, status, settings, control information, historical driving habits or routes regarding the vehicle or other vehicles associated with a user, an account and/or a profile of a user, etc.). For example, this may include information received from or stored in any memory module storing or configured to store at least some information regarding one or more of: status or condition of a vehicle, status or condition of one or more systems of the vehicle, number of vehicles owned by a user, customizable features of the vehicle, settings of customizable features of the vehicle, condition or status of an engine or motor of the vehicle, one or more electrical systems of the vehicle, health of the vehicle, security of the vehicle, locks of the vehicle, transmission system of the vehicle, maintenance of the vehicle, recommended maintenance of the vehicle, scheduled maintenance of the vehicle, brake pad condition of the vehicle, status of one or more vehicle lights, engine temperature of the vehicle, mileage of the vehicle, one or more wheels of the vehicle, one or more tires of the vehicle, tire wear of one or more tires of the vehicle, tire pressure of one or more tires of the vehicle, speed of the vehicle, statistics regarding different speeds of the vehicle over time, one or more fluid levels of the vehicle, condition or status of an electrical energy storage device of the vehicle, a dashboard of the vehicle, a dashboard display of the vehicle, a current state of a dashboard display of the vehicle, configurable settings of a customizable dashboard display of the vehicle, information stored on a computer readable medium coupled to a portable electrical energy storage device of the vehicle, configurable vehicle lighting, configurable vehicle lighting status, configurable vehicle lighting settings, current odometer reading of the vehicle, historical usage statistics of the vehicle, historical usage statistics regarding an electrical energy storage device of the vehicle, historical usage statistics regarding a motor of the vehicle, historical usage statistics regarding efficiency of the vehicle, geographic travel statistics of the vehicle, a current location of the vehicle, previous locations of the vehicle, target efficiency of the vehicle, recommended settings of the vehicle, user account settings of a user associated with the vehicle, portable electrical energy storage devices for the vehicle, available portable electrical energy storage devices for the vehicle, locations of one or more available portable electrical energy storage devices for the vehicle, one or more collection, charging and distribution machines for portable electrical energy storage devices for the vehicle, portable electrical energy storage device exchange history at one or more collection, charging and distribution machines for portable electrical energy storage devices for the vehicle, and locations of one or more collection, charging and distribution machines for portable electrical energy storage devices for the vehicle, etc.
  • This information above may be received directly or indirectly from such a memory module described above. For example, this information may be received by a memory module attached to the portable electrical energy storage device of the electric scooter 310 a from one or more systems of vehicle 310 a and/or other memory module as described above (including, but not limited to: such a memory module of the user mobile device 313; of one or more collection, charging and distribution machines 308 a-308 d, of the vehicle data information management system 302, of another vehicle 310 b, etc.). This information may also be received indirectly from the memory module via any one of the communication systems of the items in the system 300 shown in FIG. 3. For example, the data regarding the vehicle 310 a described herein may be communicated to, stored in and communicated from the memory module, or the like, in the diagnostic data storage system attached to the portable electrical energy storage device of vehicle 310 a as described in U.S. Provisional Patent Application Ser. No. 61/601,404 entitled “APPARATUS, METHOD AND ARTICLE FOR PROVIDING VEHICLE DIAGNOSTIC DATA” and filed on Feb. 21, 2012, and/or described in U.S. patent application Ser. No. 13/559,390 also entitled “APPARATUS, METHOD AND ARTICLE FOR PROVIDING VEHICLE DIAGNOSTIC DATA” and filed on Jul. 26, 2012, both of which are hereby incorporated by reference in their entireties. In some embodiments, the vehicle data information management system 302, or parts or subcomponents thereof, may be the back end or back office system 120 shown in FIG. 1. In other embodiments, the vehicle data information management system 302 may be part of or may be in operable communication with, the back end or back office system 120 shown in FIG. 1.
  • The information regarding a vehicle provided by the system 300 via a user mobile device may include, or may be based on, at least some information regarding one or more of: status or condition of the vehicle, status or condition of one or more systems of the vehicle, a number of vehicles owned by a user, customizable features of the vehicle, settings of customizable features of the vehicle, condition or status of an engine or motor of the vehicle, one or more electrical systems of the vehicle, health of the vehicle, security of the vehicle, locks of the vehicle, transmission system of the vehicle, maintenance of the vehicle, recommended maintenance of the vehicle, scheduled maintenance of the vehicle, brake pad condition of the vehicle, status of one or more vehicle lights, engine temperature of the vehicle, mileage of the vehicle, one or more wheels of the vehicle, one or more tires of the vehicle, tire wear of one or more tires of the vehicle, tire pressure of one or more tires of the vehicle, speed of the vehicle, statistics regarding different speeds of the vehicle over time, one or more fluid levels of the vehicle (e.g., oil level of the vehicle), condition or status of an electrical energy storage device of the vehicle, a dashboard of the vehicle, a dashboard display of the vehicle, a current state of a dashboard display of the vehicle, configurable settings of a customizable dashboard display of the vehicle, information stored on a computer readable medium coupled to a portable electrical energy storage device of the vehicle, configurable vehicle lighting, configurable vehicle lighting status, configurable vehicle lighting settings, current odometer reading of the vehicle, historical usage statistics of the vehicle, historical usage statistics regarding an electrical energy storage device of the vehicle, historical usage statistics regarding a motor of the vehicle, historical usage statistics regarding efficiency of the vehicle, geographic travel statistics of the vehicle, a current location of the vehicle, previous locations of the vehicle, target efficiency of the vehicle, recommended settings of the vehicle, user account settings of a user associated with the vehicle, portable electrical energy storage devices for the vehicle, available portable electrical energy storage devices for the vehicle, locations of one or more available portable electrical energy storage devices for the vehicle, one or more collection, charging and distribution machines for portable electrical energy storage devices for the vehicle, portable electrical energy storage device exchange history at one or more collection, charging and distribution machines for portable electrical energy storage devices for the vehicle, and locations of one or more collection, charging and distribution machines for portable electrical energy storage devices for the vehicle.
  • For example, information regarding usage history of the vehicle 310 a may include, but is not limited to, the current location of the vehicle 310 a and/or mobile device 313, the roads and driving routes previously taken to particular collection, charging and distribution machines a particular distance from the current location of the vehicle 310 a and/or mobile device 313, preferred routes of the user, historical driving routes of the user, the current direction the user is traveling, and historical driving routes of the user determined based on portable electrical energy storage device exchanges which occurred at various collection, charging and distribution machines (e.g., collection, charging and distribution machines 308 a, 308 b, 308 c and 308 d), etc.
  • The vehicle data information management system 302 is in operable communication with the collection, charging and distribution machines 308 a, 308 b, 308 c and 308 d, and one or more user mobile communication devices 313 (only one shown as an example), such that data may be exchanged between the vehicle data information management system 302, the collection, charging and distribution machines 308 a, 308 b, 308 c and 308 d, and the user mobile communication device 313. In some embodiments, such exchange of data may be accomplished via storage of such data on a memory module attached to a portable electrical energy storage device used by the vehicle which is exchanged at one or more of collection, charging and distribution machines 308 a, 308 b, 308 c and 308 d. Also, the vehicle data information management system 302, the collection, charging and distribution machines 308 a, 308 b, 308 c and 308 d, and the user mobile communication device 313 may, in some embodiments, additionally or instead be in operable communication directly with each other.
  • This communication between the various items, systems and entities of FIG. 3 is enabled by the various communications subsystems of these various items, systems and entities. For example, this communication may be enabled by the various communications subsystems of the distribution machines 308 a, 308 b, 308 c and 308 d, the vehicle data information management system 302, the vehicles 310 a and 310 b, and the user mobile communications device 313. One or more of such communication subsystems may provide wired and/or wireless communications (e.g., cellular, local area network connections, and/or short range wireless connections using or being compatible with any operable communications protocol and/or standard). The communications subsystems of the items in FIG. 3 may include one or more ports, wireless receivers, wireless transmitters or wireless transceivers to provide wireless signal paths to the various remote components or systems. The remote communications subsystems may include one or more bridges or routers suitable to handle network traffic including switched packet type communications protocols (TCP/IP), Ethernet or other networking protocols.
  • For example, the vehicle data information management system 302 may receive an update from collection, charging and distribution machine 308 c regarding diagnostics or status of the vehicle and/or usage history of the vehicle. In some embodiments, the vehicle data information management system 302 may continually or periodically monitor the collection, charging and distribution machines or other items shown in FIG. 3 to obtain such information. Also, the collection, charging and distribution machines may continually or periodically provide updates to the vehicle data information management system 302 regarding the vehicle information. This information may be provided to mobile device 313, vehicle 310 a, and/or vehicle 310 b continuously, periodically, aperiodically and/or or in response to a request for such information from mobile device 313, vehicle 310 a, and/or vehicle 310 b. For example, vehicle information regarding vehicle 310 a may be provided to mobile device 313, vehicle 310 a, and/or vehicle 310 b in response to the mobile device 313 or vehicle 310 a or 310 b being detected by the vehicle data information management system 302, or by collection, charging and distribution machine 308 a, as being within close proximity to collection, charging and distribution machine 308 a.
  • An alert may be sent to the mobile device 313 or vehicle 310 a (e.g., via a text message, email, instant message, status update on a social media network, automated phone call, as a notification within a specific application, etc.) regarding diagnostics or status of the vehicle (e.g., portable electrical energy storage device charge level, maintenance warnings, offers, promotions) etc., based on the vehicle information. This alert may be sent via any variety of communications channels including, but not limited to, cellular telephone networks, computer wireless fidelity (Wi-Fi) networks, satellite networks, short range wireless signals, etc., or any operable combination thereof.
  • The alert may also include a selectable link, icon or other user interface element that the user may select to reserve an available portable electrical energy storage device associated with the alert or select to receive further information regarding resolving a maintenance issue or otherwise act on the information communicated in the alert. For example, once the element that the user may select to reserve an available portable electrical energy storage device is selected, information representing the reservation is communicated to the vehicle data information management system 302 and/or the respective collection, charging and distribution machine at which the portable electrical energy storage device is available. This reservation information is stored in a database of reservations maintained centrally by the vehicle data information management system 302 and/or locally at the selected collection, charging and distribution machine.
  • Any item of FIG. 3 may identify, authenticate, verify or otherwise facilitate such operations via the user interface of the vehicle, the mobile device, and/or or collection, charging and distribution machine by the user inputting particular user credentials, a password, biometric data, a user identification number or code, and/or by the card reader 208 e described above, etc. Also, any item of FIG. 3 may additionally or alternatively identify, authenticate, verify or otherwise facilitate such operations via information received from a user security token (not shown), mobile device 313 or other item associated with the user. The information regarding the vehicle may be communicated and organized in any manner including in a list, as a group of selectable icons, etc., that indicates information based on the vehicle data.
  • In some instances, particular collection, charging and distribution machines may be further away from the user's current location than other collection, charging and distribution machines near the user that perhaps are currently experiencing higher demand. Thus, the vehicle data information management system 302 may communicate to a mobile device of the user a redeemable incentive (e.g., a discounted fee, free device exchanges, etc.) for the user to exchange or return their portable electrical energy storage devices to one of the collection, charging and distribution machines that are further away from the user than other closer collection, charging and distribution machines that also have available portable electrical energy storage devices. For example, the incentive may be redeemable as a discount or credit on fees related to the use of one or more of the plurality of collection, charging and distribution machines, a discounted fee, free device exchanges, etc. Also, users may be provided similar incentives to return or exchange electrical energy storage devices before they are depleted or almost depleted to head off or smooth out an anticipated spike in demand.
  • In some embodiments, various options and features regarding changing settings or configurations of the vehicle may be communicated to or from the mobile device to accomplish changes in the configurations or settings. For example, such changes may be selected by the user on the mobile device 313 and then communicated to the vehicle 313 though one or more of the various channels and networks described herein.
  • In some embodiments, various options and features regarding available portable electrical energy storage devices may be generated and made available to the user. For example, a user's historical route information may be utilized by the vehicle data information management system 302 to anticipate vehicle maintenance issues, anticipate which collection, charging and distribution machines the user may likely to want to visit, etc. Information regarding resolving the anticipated vehicle maintenance issues and/or availability of charged portable electrical energy storage devices at these particular collection, charging and distribution machines may be communicated to the user automatically as the maintenance issues arise and/or as these portable electrical energy storage devices at these locations become available (e.g., by generating an alert and/or sending an alert to the user).
  • FIG. 4 is a schematic view of the vehicle data information management system of FIG. 3, according to one non-limiting illustrated embodiment.
  • The vehicle data information management system 302 includes a control subsystem 402, a communications subsystem 406, and a user interface subsystem 408. However, such a system and associated functionalities, or operable sub-components thereof, may also be present in the vehicle (e.g., vehicle 310 a of FIG. 3), the memory module attached to the portable electrical energy storage device, and/or the user mobile device 313 also shown in FIG. 3.
  • The control subsystem 402 includes a controller 410, for example a microprocessor, microcontroller, programmable logic controller (PLC), programmable gate array (PGA), application specific integrated circuit (ASIC) or another controller capable of receiving signals from various sensors, performing logical operations, and sending signals to various components. Typically, the controller 410 may take the form of a microprocessor (e.g., INTEL, AMD, ATOM). The control subsystem 402 may also include one or more non-transitory processor- or computer-readable storage media, for example read only memory (ROM) 412, random access memory (RAM) 414, and data store 416 (e.g., solid-state storage media such as flash memory or EEPROM, spinning storage media such as hard disk). The non-transitory processor- or computer-readable storage media 412, 414, 416 may be in addition to any non-transitory storage medium (e.g., registers) which is part of the controller 410. The control subsystem 402 may include one or more buses 418 (only one illustrated) coupling various components together, for example one or more power buses, instruction buses, data buses, etc.
  • As illustrated, the ROM 412, or some other one of the non-transitory processor- or computer-readable storage media 412, 414, 416, stores instructions and/or data or values for variables or parameters. The sets of data may take a variety of forms, for example a lookup table, a set of records in a database, etc. The instructions and sets of data or values are executable by the controller 410. Execution of the instructions and sets of data or values causes the controller 410 to perform specific acts to cause the vehicle data information management system 302 to receive, send and/or to provide information regarding a vehicle to various external devices (e.g., such as those items, or devices associated with those items shown in FIG. 4). Execution of the instructions and sets of data or values may also cause the controller 410 to perform specific acts to cause the vehicle data information management system 302 receive, send, store, maintain, update and otherwise manage information regarding a vehicle. Specific operation of the vehicle data information management system 302 is described herein and also below with reference to various flow diagrams (FIGS. 6-8).
  • The controller 410 may use RAM 414 in a conventional fashion, for volatile storage of instructions, data, etc. The controller 410 may use data store 416 to log or retain information, for example, information regarding one or more of: status or condition of the vehicle, status or condition of one or more systems of the vehicle, a number of vehicles owned by a user, customizable features of the vehicle, settings of customizable features of the vehicle, condition or status of an engine or motor of the vehicle, one or more electrical systems of the vehicle, health of the vehicle, security of the vehicle, locks of the vehicle, transmission system of the vehicle, maintenance of the vehicle, recommended maintenance of the vehicle, scheduled maintenance of the vehicle, brake pad condition of the vehicle, status of one or more vehicle lights, engine temperature of the vehicle, mileage of the vehicle, one or more wheels of the vehicle, one or more tires of the vehicle, tire wear of one or more tires of the vehicle, tire pressure of one or more tires of the vehicle, speed of the vehicle, statistics regarding different speeds of the vehicle over time, one or more fluid levels of the vehicle (such as oil level), condition or status of an electrical energy storage device of the vehicle, a dashboard of the vehicle, a dashboard display of the vehicle, a current state of a dashboard display of the vehicle, configurable settings of a customizable dashboard display of the vehicle, information stored on a computer readable medium coupled to a portable electrical energy storage device of the vehicle, configurable vehicle lighting, configurable vehicle lighting status, configurable vehicle lighting settings, current odometer reading of the vehicle, historical usage statistics of the vehicle, historical usage statistics regarding a portable electrical energy storage device of the vehicle, historical usage statistics regarding a motor of the vehicle, historical usage statistics regarding efficiency of the vehicle, geographic travel statistics of the vehicle, a current location of the vehicle, previous locations of the vehicle, target efficiency of the vehicle, recommended settings of the vehicle, user account settings of a user associated with the vehicle, portable electrical energy storage devices for the vehicle, available portable electrical energy storage devices for the vehicle, locations of one or more available portable electrical energy storage devices for the vehicle, one or more collection, charging and distribution machines for portable electrical energy storage devices for the vehicle, portable electrical energy storage device exchange history at one or more collection, charging and distribution machines for portable electrical energy storage devices for the vehicle, and locations of one or more collection, charging and distribution machines for portable electrical energy storage devices for the vehicle.
  • The control subsystem 402 may also receive signals from various sensors and/or components of a collection, charging and distribution machine, such as the collection, charging and distribution machine 102 of FIG. 1 via the communications subsystem 206 of collection, charging and distribution machine 102. This information may include information that characterizes or is indicative of operation, status, or condition of such components. Sensors are represented in FIG. 2 by the letter S appearing in a circle along with appropriate subscript letters. For example, one or more position sensors SP1-SPN may detect the presence or absence of portable electrical power storage device 106 at each of the receivers 104. This information may be communicated to the control subsystem 402. Also, one or more charge sensors SC1-SCN may detect a charge level charge of the portable electrical power storage devices 106 at each of the receivers 104. This information may also be communicated to the control subsystem 402.
  • The communications subsystem 406 may include one or more communications modules or components which facilities communications with the various components of a collection, charging and distribution machine, such as collection, charging and distribution machine 112 of FIG. 1 and also the various components of the collection, charging and distribution machines 308 a, 308 b, 308 c and 308 d of FIG. 3, the portable electrical energy storage device transfer service 312 and the one or more user mobile communication devices 313, such that data may be exchanged between the vehicle data information management system 302, the collection, charging and distribution machines 308 a, 308 b, 308 c and 308 d, and the user mobile communication device 313. The communications subsystem 406 may, for example, include one or more modems 452 or one or more Ethernet or other types of communications cards or components 454. A port 456 a of the control subsystem 402 may communicatively couple the control subsystem 402 with a port 456 b of the communications subsystem 406. The communications subsystem 406 may provide wired and/or wireless communications. The communications subsystem 406 may include one or more ports, wireless receivers, wireless transmitters or wireless transceivers to provide wireless signal paths to the various remote components or systems employing or making use of any operable wired and wireless communications standard or protocol. The remote communications subsystem 406 may include one or more bridges or routers suitable to handle network traffic including switched packet type communications protocols (TCP/IP), Ethernet or other networking protocols.
  • The user interface system 408 includes one or more user input/output (I/O) components (not illustrated). For example, user interface system 408 may include a touch screen display operable to present information and a graphical user interface (GUI) to a user and to receive indications of user selections. The user interface system 408 may include a keyboard or keypad, and/or a cursor controller (e.g., mouse, trackball, trackpad, and/or touch screen) to allow a user to enter information and/or select user selectable icons in a GUI.
  • FIG. 5A is an example user interface 502 of a user mobile device 313 presenting information regarding diagnostics or status of the example vehicle 310 a based on information regarding usage history of the vehicle, according to one non-limiting illustrated embodiment. Also, the user interface 502 may additionally or instead be a user interface of the vehicle 310 a or of a collection, charging and distribution machine shown in FIG. 3.
  • In one example embodiment, shown under a header entitled “Your Vehicle Information” 510 is an example image or drawing 512 of the vehicle 310 a. The image or drawing 512 of the vehicle 310 a includes parts that are selectable user interface elements which, when selected, cause the mobile device 313 to display further information regarding the area of the vehicle selected on the image or drawing 512 of the vehicle 310 a. For example, in one embodiment, when the user touches the portion of the touch screen of the mobile device 313 showing the headlight in the image or drawing 512 of the vehicle 310 a, information is presented via the mobile device 313 regarding the current status of the headlight (e.g., hours left until the lamp needs replaced) and/or electrical systems associated with the headlight. Such information may be wirelessly received by the mobile device directly from the applicable systems of the vehicle 310 a, from a memory module attached to a portable electrical energy storage device in the vehicle 310 a, from the vehicle data information management system, from a collection, charging and distribution machine, etc., or via a communication path which includes one or more of these items.
  • The presentation of the information regarding diagnostics or status of the example vehicle 310 a based on information regarding usage history of the vehicle may be dependent on authentication or verification of the user. Such authentication may be performed in a variety of manners as further disclosed herein. For example, the user may log on to a password protected account via the mobile device 313. The account may be associated with the user, the vehicle and/or the mobile device 313. Also, the mobile device 313 may itself store credentials or other authentication information which will automatically authenticate the user possibly in combination with one or more other user devices (e.g., key fob, security token, etc.) to a remote server and/or another external device (e.g., the vehicle 313, a collection, charging and distribution machine, the vehicle data information management system 302, etc.).
  • Also shown are one or more displayed alerts 508 generated or received by the mobile device 313. In the example, shown in FIG. 5A, in addition to the alert that the headlight of vehicle 310 a needs replaced, an alert that the portable electrical energy storage device charge level is low for the portable electrical energy storage device in vehicle 310 a is presented on the mobile device 313. This alert regarding the portable electrical energy storage device charge level being low may be generated based on received vehicle data regarding a current charge level of a portable electrical energy storage device of the vehicle 310 a and vehicle information (possibly received from a different source) regarding usage history of the vehicle. The vehicle information regarding usage history of the vehicle may include data regarding driving behavior associated with the user and the alert may be generated based on an estimate of how far in terms of distance, or how long in terms of time, the current charge level of the portable electrical energy storage device will last based on the data regarding historical driving behavior associated with the user and the current charge level of the portable electrical energy storage device.
  • This information may be received, accumulated, formatted, culminated for presentation to a user, processed and/or presented by any on one or more of items shown in FIG. 3 (e.g., on the mobile device 313). A user interface element (e.g., link 514) may also be presented such that the user may select the user interface element to take further action or cause automated actions to occur based on the presented alerts 508. For example, the user may select the user interface element (e.g., link 514) or otherwise indicate that the user would like to reserve a portable electrical energy storage device based on the alert presented on the mobile device 313 that the charge level of the portable electrical energy storage device is low.
  • FIG. 5B is the example user interface 502 of the user mobile device 313 presenting information regarding diagnostics or status 516 of the vehicle 310 a along with information regarding usage history 518 of the vehicle 310 a, or user associated with the vehicle 310 a, according to one non-limiting illustrated embodiment. Also, available vehicle settings 520 are displayed on the user interface 502. Each of the items listed within the applicable area on the user interface 502 may also be selectable by the user (e.g., links), which, once selected, may provide further information or take further actions regarding the item selected.
  • For example, if the user selects the “customizable dashboard display” link under vehicle settings 520, the mobile device may present a user menu enabling the user to select various dashboard display configurations. The mobile device (e.g., via an application running on the mobile device operating system) will then communicate the selected dashboard display configuration directly to the vehicle 310 a, to a memory module attached to a portable electrical power storage device of the vehicle 310 a, to the vehicle data information management system, and/or any other item shown in FIG. 3, to accomplish changing or setting the dashboard display of vehicle 310 a to be the dashboard display selected via the user interface 502 of the mobile device 313. Examples of user mobile devices having operating systems for which the functionality described herein may be implemented via an application running on the operating system of the mobile device include, but are not limited to: iPhone® mobile devices, Samsung® mobile devices, Android® devices, Windows® mobile devices, Blackberry® mobile devices, other smartphone and/or tablet devices, etc. The user interface 502 may also display a confirmation that the particular action based on received vehicle data and the input provided by the user has been performed.
  • FIG. 6 is a flow diagram showing a method 600 of providing information regarding a vehicle via a user mobile device, according to one non-limiting illustrated embodiment.
  • At 602, the mobile device 313 receives first information regarding diagnostics or status of the vehicle.
  • At 604, the mobile device 313 receives second information regarding usage history of the vehicle.
  • At 606, the mobile device 313, in response to the receiving the first information regarding diagnostics or status of the vehicle and the second information regarding usage history of the vehicle, processes the received first information and the received second information.
  • At 608, the mobile device 313, based on the received first information and the received second information being processed, communicates to a user associated with the vehicle or associated with the mobile device, processed information that is based at least in part on the received first information and the received second information.
  • FIG. 7 is a flow diagram showing method 700 of providing information regarding a vehicle from a perspective of the vehicle data information management system of FIG. 3 and FIG. 4, according to one non-limiting illustrated embodiment.
  • At 702, the vehicle data information management system receives one or more of: first information regarding diagnostics or status of the vehicle and second information regarding usage history of the vehicle. The received information originates from a device of a user (e.g., mobile device 313) associated with the vehicle or a memory module attached to a portable electrical energy storage device that is configured to power a motor of the vehicle.
  • At 704, the vehicle data information management system, based on the received information, communicates third information that is based at least in part on the received first information or the received second information to a remote device.
  • FIG. 8 is a flow diagram showing method 800 of providing information regarding a vehicle involving a software or firmware update for updating a current status of software or firmware of the vehicle, according to one non-limiting illustrated embodiment.
  • At 802, the vehicle data information management system receives information regarding a status of a vehicle including a software or firmware update for updating a current status of software or firmware of the vehicle.
  • At 804, the vehicle data information management system communicates the software or firmware update to the vehicle via one or more of: a module attached to a portable electrical energy storage device that powers a motor of the vehicle and a mobile device associated with the vehicle or a user of the vehicle.
  • FIGS. 9-19 are additional examples of a user interface 502 of a user mobile device 313 presenting information regarding the vehicle, the user, the portable electrical power storage device exchange service, collection and distribution machine locations, the user account, set up of the vehicle and/or other information relevant to the user or the vehicle. Any component of or feature regarding these example user interfaces may be combined with those of the example user interfaces of FIGS. 5A and 5B and are non-limiting. Also, the user interface 502 may additionally or instead be a user interface of the vehicle 310 a or of a collection and distribution machine (e.g., such as that shown in FIG. 3) or any presentation device or computing device the user may utilize.
  • FIG. 9 is an example user interface of a user mobile device presenting an example initial menu providing menu choices regarding portable electrical power storage device locations; user account and vehicle information; and other useful information for a user, according to one non-limiting illustrated embodiment. The user menu may also provide advertisements related to the portable electrical power storage device exchange service or other third party advertisers or companies. These advertisements may be targeted to the user as described in U U.S. Provisional Patent Application No. 61/773,614, filed Mar. 6, 2013 entitled “APPARATUS, METHOD AND ARTICLE FOR PROVIDING TARGETED ADVERTISING IN A RECHARGEABLE ELECTRICAL POWER STORAGE DEVICE DISTRIBUTION ENVIRONMENT”, which is hereby incorporated by reference in its entirety. The “Batteries” selectable menu option, when selected, provides the user additional information regarding locations of portable electrical power storage devices and/or collection and distribution machines, including, in some embodiments, those near the current location of the user. The “My Battery Provider” selectable menu option, when selected, provides the user additional information regarding the portable electrical power storage device exchange service provider, the user's account with the portable electrical power storage device exchange service provider, diagnostics regarding the user's vehicle and/or configurable setup options and features of the vehicle. The “New Stuff” selectable menu option, when selected, provides the user additional information regarding other information which may be relevant or of interest to the user including, but not limited to information regarding: offers and promotions regarding the portable electrical power storage device exchange service; targeted advertising and/or targeted advertising information, for example, such as that as described in U.S. Provisional Patent Application No. 61/773,614, filed Mar. 6, 2013 entitled “APPARATUS, METHOD AND ARTICLE FOR PROVIDING TARGETED ADVERTISING IN A RECHARGEABLE ELECTRICAL POWER STORAGE DEVICE DISTRIBUTION ENVIRONMENT”; new products and/or services; updates and/or alerts regarding the vehicle and/or the regarding the portable electrical power storage device exchange service; news; social media; social media applications; social media accounts of the user; other user accounts; new available vehicles, etc. The “Account” selectable menu option, when selected, provides the user additional information regarding the user's account with the portable electrical power storage device exchange service and ability to modify a user profile and other settings. The “Settings” selectable menu option, when selected, provides the user additional information regarding settings of the application providing the menu interface and/or the user's account with the portable electrical power storage device exchange service and ability to modify a user profile and other settings.
  • FIG. 10 is an example user interface of a user mobile device presenting an example user menu providing menu choices regarding vehicle setup options, according to one non-limiting illustrated embodiment. For example, this user menu may appear directly, or indirectly through other menu selections, as a result of or in response to the user selecting the “My Battery Provider” and/or “Settings” selectable menu option shown in FIG. 9, and/or the “Setup” selectable menu option shown in FIG. 13. Shown is an interactive image of the user's vehicle, portions of which the user can select to modify settings regarding, or learn more regarding, the selected portion of the vehicle.
  • FIG. 11 is an example user interface of a user mobile device presenting an example user menu providing menu choices regarding further vehicle setup options for a selected portion of the vehicle, according to one non-limiting illustrated embodiment. These further options are regarding setting of the vehicle dashboard. For example, this user menu may appear directly, or indirectly through other menu selections, as a result of or in response to the user selecting the dashboard portion of the vehicle image shown in FIG. 10. Shown is an interactive image of the user's vehicle's dashboard, portions of which are indicated by arrows indicating that the user can select these portions to modify settings regarding, or learn more regarding, the selected portion of the dashboard. Similar corresponding menus will appear when the user selects different corresponding portions of the vehicle image shown in FIG. 10.
  • FIG. 12 is an example user interface of a user mobile device presenting an example user menu providing menu choices regarding further vehicle setup options for a selected option regarding changing user configurable colors vehicle of the vehicle dashboard, according to one non-limiting illustrated embodiment. For example, this user menu may appear directly, or indirectly through other menu selections, as a result of or in response to the user selecting a corresponding portion of the dashboard image shown in FIG. 11 indicated by one of the arrows in FIG. 11. Shown are two interactive color wheels the user may adjust to independently adjust the colors on either side of the vehicle dashboard. Similar menus may be presented when the user selects corresponding portions of the vehicle images presented to adjust the colors or arrangements of other lighting patterns of the vehicle.
  • FIG. 13 is an example user interface of a user mobile device presenting an example user menu providing menu choices regarding further diagnostics or vehicle status information options, according to one non-limiting illustrated embodiment. For example, this user menu may appear directly, or indirectly through other menu selections, as a result of or in response to the user selecting the “My Battery Provider Me and my ride” or “Settings” selectable menu option shown in FIG. 9. Shown is information regarding current weather, current maintenance reminders, a timeline with maintenance reminders and other reminders, a user profile photo and other relevant information to the user. Also shown is a “Setup” selectable menu item, selectable by the user to enable the user to configure or set up configurable options for the vehicle no their mobile device, such as, for example, those shown in FIGS. 10-12. Also shown is a “Diagnostics” selectable menu item, selectable to enable the user to have a diagnostic test and/or report executed and/or presented on their mobile device.
  • FIG. 14 is an example user interface of a user mobile device presenting an example user menu providing a diagnostic reports and menu choices regarding the diagnostic report, according to one non-limiting illustrated embodiment. For example, the interactive diagnostic report presented shows, on or next to a “Lighting system” selectable menu option a message or alert that a light of the vehicle needs to be replaced and that other tested or detected statuses of items regarding the vehicle are in good condition. The user may then select various items, such as the light error, to learn more about the vehicle item corresponding to the selected item on the report.
  • FIG. 15 is an example user interface of a user mobile device presenting an example interactive vehicle diagnostics report and further menu choices regarding the diagnostic report, according to one non-limiting illustrated embodiment. For example, this user menu may appear directly, or indirectly through other menu selections, as a result of or in response to the user selecting the “Lighting system” selectable menu option shown in FIG. 14 shown as part of the diagnostic report. The user may select the “find service center” selectable menu option to be presented with further information regarding a service center to resolve the issue to which the menu pertains (e.g., display an interactive map showing vehicle service centers than have replacement bulbs and/or that can replace the vehicle light).
  • FIG. 16 is an example user interface of a user mobile device presenting an example user menu providing an interactive map indicating current user location and portable electrical power storage device collection and distribution machine locations, according to one non-limiting illustrated embodiment. For example, this user menu may appear directly, or indirectly through other menu selections, as a result of or in response to the user selecting the “Batteries” selectable menu option shown in FIG. 14.
  • FIG. 17 is an example user interface of a user mobile device presenting an example user menu providing an interactive map indicating current user location and further information regarding a selected portable electrical power storage device collection and distribution machine location on the map, according to one non-limiting illustrated embodiment. For example, this user menu may appear directly, or indirectly through other menu selections, as a result of or in response to the user selecting the corresponding selectable portable electrical power storage device exchange location shown on the interactive map of FIG. 16.
  • FIG. 18 is an example user interface of a user mobile device presenting an example interactive list of portable electrical power storage device collection and distribution machine locations, and vehicle service and repair locations in order of distance from a current location of the user, according to one non-limiting illustrated embodiment. For example, this user menu may appear directly, or indirectly through other menu selections, as a result of or in response to the user selecting the “Batteries” selectable menu option shown in FIG. 14. Also or instead, this user menu may appear directly, or indirectly through other menu selections, as a result of or in response to the user selecting a corresponding selectable option by selection of the “eye” in the upper right hand corner shown in the interface shown in FIG. 17 and/or via the “settings” selectable item shown in the interface shown in FIG. 17 to display the list.
  • The various methods described herein may include additional acts, omit some acts, and/or may perform the acts in a different order than set out in the various flow diagrams.
  • The foregoing detailed description has set forth various embodiments of the devices and/or processes via the use of block diagrams, schematics, and examples. Insofar as such block diagrams, schematics, and examples contain one or more functions and/or operations, it will be understood by those skilled in the art that each function and/or operation within such block diagrams, flowcharts, or examples can be implemented, individually and/or collectively, by a wide range of hardware, software, firmware, or virtually any combination thereof. In one embodiment, the present subject matter may be implemented via one or more microcontrollers. However, those skilled in the art will recognize that the embodiments disclosed herein, in whole or in part, can be equivalently implemented in standard integrated circuits (e.g., Application Specific Integrated Circuits or ASICs), as one or more computer programs executed by one or more computers (e.g., as one or more programs running on one or more computer systems), as one or more programs executed by on one or more controllers (e.g., microcontrollers) as one or more programs executed by one or more processors (e.g., microprocessors), as firmware, or as virtually any combination thereof, and that designing the circuitry and/or writing the code for the software and/or firmware would be well within the skill of one of ordinary skill in the art in light of the teachings of this disclosure.
  • When logic is implemented as software and stored in memory, logic or information can be stored on any non-transitory computer-readable medium for use by or in connection with any processor-related system or method. In the context of this disclosure, a memory is a nontransitory computer- or processor-readable storage medium that is an electronic, magnetic, optical, or other physical device or means that non-transitorily contains or stores a computer and/or processor program. Logic and/or the information can be embodied in any computer-readable medium for use by or in connection with an instruction execution system, apparatus, or device, such as a computer-based system, processor-containing system, or other system that can fetch the instructions from the instruction execution system, apparatus, or device and execute the instructions associated with logic and/or information.
  • In the context of this specification, a “computer-readable medium” can be any physical element that can store the program associated with logic and/or information for use by or in connection with the instruction execution system, apparatus, and/or device. The computer-readable medium can be, for example, but is not limited to, an electronic, magnetic, optical, electromagnetic, infrared, or semiconductor system, apparatus or device. More specific examples (a non-exhaustive list) of the computer readable medium would include the following: a portable computer diskette (magnetic, compact flash card, secure digital, or the like), a random access memory (RAM), a read-only memory (ROM), an erasable programmable read-only memory (EPROM, EEPROM, or Flash memory), a portable compact disc read-only memory (CDROM), and digital tape.
  • The various embodiments described above can be combined to provide further embodiments. To the extent that they are not inconsistent with the specific teachings and definitions herein, all of the U.S. patents, U.S. patent application publications, U.S. patent applications, foreign patents, foreign patent applications and non-patent publications referred to in this specification and/or listed in the Application Data Sheet, including but not limited to: U.S. provisional patent application Ser. No. 61/778,038, entitled “APPARATUS, METHOD AND ARTICLE FOR CHANGING PORTABLE ELECTRICAL POWER STORAGE DEVICE EXCHANGE PLANS” and filed Mar. 12, 2013 (Atty. Docket No. 170178.424P1); U.S. provisional patent application Ser. No. 61/601,949, entitled “APPARATUS, METHOD AND ARTICLE FOR PROVIDING LOCATIONS OF POWER STORAGE DEVICE COLLECTION, CHARGING AND DISTRIBUTION MACHINES” and filed Feb. 22, 2012 (Atty. Docket No. 170178.418P1); U.S. provisional patent application Ser. No. 61/511,900, entitled “APPARATUS, METHOD AND ARTICLE FOR COLLECTION, CHARGING AND DISTRIBUTING POWER STORAGE DEVICES, SUCH AS BATTERIES” and filed Jul. 26, 2011 (Atty. Docket No. 170178.401P1); U.S. provisional patent application Ser. No. 61/511,887, entitled “THERMAL MANAGEMENT OF COMPONENTS IN ELECTRIC MOTOR DRIVE VEHICLES” and filed Jul. 26, 2011 (Atty. Docket No. 170178.406P1) and U.S. provisional patent application Ser. No. 61/511,880, entitled “DYNAMICALLY LIMITING VEHICLE OPERATION FOR BEST EFFORT ECONOMY” and filed Jul. 26, 2011 (Atty. Docket No. 170178.407P1); are incorporated herein by reference, in their entirety. Aspects of the embodiments can be modified, if necessary, to employ systems, circuits and concepts of the various patents, applications and publications to provide yet further embodiments.
  • While generally discussed in the environment and context of collection, charging and distribution of portable electrical energy storage devices for use with personal transportation vehicle such as all-electric scooters and/or motorbikes, the teachings herein can be applied in a wide variety of other environments, including other vehicular as well as non-vehicular environments.
  • The above description of illustrated embodiments, including what is described in the Abstract of the Disclosure, is not intended to be exhaustive or to limit the embodiments to the precise forms disclosed. Although specific embodiments and examples are described herein for illustrative purposes, various equivalent modifications can be made without departing from the spirit and scope of the disclosure, as will be recognized by those skilled in the relevant art.
  • These and other changes can be made to the embodiments in light of the above-detailed description. In general, in the following claims, the terms used should not be construed to limit the claims to the specific embodiments disclosed in the specification and the claims, but should be construed to include all possible embodiments along with the full scope of equivalents to which such claims are entitled. Accordingly, the claims are not limited by the disclosure.

Claims (27)

I claim:
1. A method in a system for providing information regarding a vehicle, the method comprising:
receiving, by one or more computer processors of a user mobile device of the system for providing information regarding a vehicle, first information regarding diagnostics or status of the vehicle;
receiving, by one or more computer processors of the user mobile device of the system for providing information regarding a vehicle, second information regarding usage history of the vehicle;
in response to the receiving the first information regarding diagnostics or status of the vehicle and the second information regarding usage history of the vehicle, processing, by one or more computer processors of the user mobile device of the system for providing information regarding a vehicle, the received first information and the received second information; and
based on the received first information and the received second information being processed, communicating to a user authenticated as associated with the vehicle, by one or more computer processors of the user mobile device of the system for providing information regarding a vehicle, processed information that is based at least in part on the received first information and the received second information.
2. The method of claim 1 wherein the vehicle is an electrically powered vehicle or a hybrid electrically powered vehicle.
3. The method of claim 1 wherein the first information regarding diagnostics or status of the vehicle and the second information regarding usage history of the vehicle each include at least some information regarding one or more of:
status or condition of the vehicle, status or condition of one or more systems of the vehicle, a number of vehicles owned by a user, customizable features of the vehicle, settings of customizable features of the vehicle, condition or status of an engine or motor of the vehicle, one or more electrical systems of the vehicle, health of the vehicle, security of the vehicle, locks of the vehicle, transmission system of the vehicle, maintenance of the vehicle, recommended maintenance of the vehicle, scheduled maintenance of the vehicle, brake pad condition of the vehicle, status of one or more vehicle lights, engine temperature of the vehicle, mileage of the vehicle, one or more wheels of the vehicle, one or more tires of the vehicle, tire wear of one or more tires of the vehicle, tire pressure of one or more tires of the vehicle, speed of the vehicle, statistics regarding different speeds of the vehicle over time, one or more fluid levels of the vehicle, condition or status of an electrical energy storage device of the vehicle, a dashboard of the vehicle, a dashboard display of the vehicle, a current state of a dashboard display of the vehicle, configurable settings of a customizable dashboard display of the vehicle, information stored on a computer readable medium coupled to a portable electrical energy storage device of the vehicle, configurable vehicle lighting, configurable vehicle lighting status, configurable vehicle lighting settings, current odometer reading of the vehicle, historical usage statistics of the vehicle, historical usage statistics regarding a electrical energy storage device of the vehicle, historical usage statistics regarding a motor of the vehicle, historical usage statistics regarding efficiency of the vehicle, geographic travel statistics of the vehicle, a current location of the vehicle, previous locations of the vehicle, target efficiency of the vehicle, recommended settings of the vehicle, user account settings of a user associated with the vehicle, portable electrical energy storage devices for the vehicle, available portable electrical energy storage devices for the vehicle, locations of one or more available portable electrical energy storage devices for the vehicle, one or more collection, charging and distribution machines for portable electrical energy storage devices for the vehicle, portable electrical energy storage device exchange history at one or more collection, charging and distribution machines for portable electrical energy storage devices for the vehicle, and locations of one or more collection, charging and distribution machines for portable electrical energy storage devices for the vehicle.
4. The method of claim 1 wherein the receiving the first information regarding diagnostics or status of the vehicle includes receiving the first information regarding diagnostics or status of the vehicle from a different remote source than that from which the second information regarding usage history of the vehicle is received.
5. The method of claim 4 wherein the receiving the first information regarding diagnostics or status of the vehicle and the receiving the second information regarding usage history of the vehicle includes receiving either the first information or the second information over a short range wireless connection between the vehicle and the user mobile device or over a different wireless connection to the user mobile device from a remote vehicle data information management system.
6. The method of claim 5 wherein the processing the received first information and the received second information includes:
preparing received data regarding portable electrical energy storage device exchange history associated with the user or the vehicle for presentation on a display of the mobile device; and
preparing data for presentation on the display of the mobile device to alert the user of offers regarding, or availability of, vehicle portable electrical energy storage devices based at least in part on the received data regarding portable electrical energy storage device exchange history associated with the user or the vehicle.
7. The method of claim 6 wherein the data regarding portable electrical energy storage device exchange history is data received via a short range wireless connection between the vehicle and the user mobile device from a memory module attached to a portable electrical energy storage device that powers a motor of the vehicle.
8. The method of claim 6 wherein the data regarding portable electrical energy storage device exchange history is data received from the remote vehicle data information management system via a wireless connection to the user mobile device.
9. The method of claim 6 wherein the data regarding portable electrical energy storage device exchange history is data received originating from one or more collection, charging and distribution machines for portable electrical energy storage devices for the vehicle.
10. The method of claim 5 wherein the processing the received first information and the received second information includes:
selecting first data from the first information regarding diagnostics or status of the vehicle;
selecting second data from the second information regarding usage history of the vehicle based on the selected first data from the first information regarding diagnostics or status of the vehicle; and
generating third information based on the selected first data and the selected second data to be presented to the user via the user mobile device.
11. The method of claim 10 wherein the selected first data from the first information regarding diagnostics or status of the vehicle includes data regarding a current charge level of a portable electrical energy storage device of the vehicle and the selected second data from the second information regarding usage history of the vehicle includes data regarding driving behavior associated with the user, and wherein the generating third information based on the selected first data and the selected second data includes generating information regarding an estimate of how far in terms of distance, or how long in terms of time, the current charge level of the portable electrical energy storage device will last based on the data regarding driving behavior associated with the user.
12. The method of claim 10 further comprising presenting, by one or more computer processors of the user mobile device, the generated third information on the mobile device.
13. The method of claim 10 further comprising communicating, by one or more computer processors of the user mobile device one or more of: the selected first data from the first information regarding diagnostics or status of the vehicle, and the selected second data from the second information regarding usage history of the vehicle, to a memory module attached to a portable electrical energy storage device that powers a motor of the vehicle.
14. The method of claim 1 wherein the receiving the first information regarding diagnostics or status of the vehicle or the receiving the second information regarding usage history of the vehicle includes receiving either the first information or the second information over a short range wireless connection between the vehicle and the user mobile device from a memory module attached to a portable electrical energy storage device that powers a motor of the vehicle.
15. The method of claim 1 further comprising:
communicating, by one or more computer processors of the user mobile device, one or more of: the first information, the second information, and the processed information that is based at least in part on the received first information and the received second information, over a short range wireless connection between the vehicle and the user mobile device to a memory module attached to a portable electrical energy storage device that powers a motor of the vehicle.
16. The method of claim 1 wherein the communicating to the user includes presenting information on a display or via speakers of the user mobile device based on the processed information.
17. The method of claim 1 further comprising:
receiving, by one or more computer processors of the mobile device, input from the user related to one or more of: first information regarding diagnostics or status of the vehicle and the second information regarding usage history of the vehicle; and
in response to the input received, selecting based on the input received, by one or more computer processors of the mobile device, data from one or more of: the received first information regarding diagnostics or status of the vehicle, and the received second information regarding usage history of the vehicle;
preparing the selected data for presentation via the user mobile device based on specifications of or capabilities of the user mobile device; and
presenting the prepared selected data on the display or via speakers of the user mobile device.
18. The method of claim 1 further comprising:
receiving, by one or more computer processors of the mobile device, input related to a change to a setting or a configuration of the vehicle; and
wirelessly communicating to the vehicle, by one or more computer processors of the user mobile device, a change to a setting or a configuration of the vehicle based on the received input from the user related to the change to the setting or the configuration of the vehicle.
19. The method of claim 18 wherein the wirelessly communicating to the vehicle the change to the setting or the configuration includes:
wirelessly communicating to the vehicle, by one or more computer processors of the user mobile device, the change to the setting or the configuration of the vehicle based additionally on the received first information regarding diagnostics or status of the vehicle or the received second information regarding usage history of the vehicle.
20. The method of claim 18 wherein the receiving the input related to a change to a setting or a configuration of the vehicle includes receiving the input from a remote vehicle data information management system.
21. The method of claim 18 wherein the receiving the input related to a change to a setting or a configuration of the vehicle includes receiving the input via a wireless connection to the mobile device and from a memory module attached to a portable electrical energy storage device that powers a motor of the vehicle.
22. The method of claim 18 wherein the change to the setting or the configuration of the vehicle is regarding one or more of: a selection regarding a customizable lighting pattern of lights of the vehicle and a selection regarding a customizable dashboard display of the vehicle.
23. A system for providing information regarding a vehicle, the system comprising:
at least one computer processor; and
at least one memory coupled to the computer processor, wherein the at least one computer processor is configured to:
receive one or more of: first information regarding diagnostics or status of the vehicle and second information regarding usage history of the vehicle, the received information originating from a device of a user associated with the vehicle or a memory module attached to a portable electrical energy storage device that is configured to power a motor of the vehicle; and
based on the received information, communicating third information that is based at least in part on the received first information or the received second information to a remote device.
24. The system of claim 23 wherein the remote device is a mobile device associated with the user or the vehicle.
25. The system of claim 24 wherein the remote device is a collection, charging and distribution machine for portable electrical energy storage devices.
26. A non-transitory computer readable storage medium having computer executable instructions thereon that, when executed by one or more computer processors, cause the one or more computer processors to:
receive information regarding status of a vehicle including a software or firmware update for updating a current status of software or firmware of the vehicle; and
communicate the software or firmware update to the vehicle via one or more of: a module attached to a portable electrical energy storage device that powers a motor of the vehicle and a mobile device associated with the vehicle or a user of the vehicle.
27. The non-transitory computer readable medium of claim 26 wherein the computer executable instructions thereon, when executed by one or more computer processors, further cause the one or more computer processors to:
receive, by one or more computer processors of the user mobile device of the system for providing information regarding a vehicle, information regarding usage history of the vehicle;
in response to the receiving the information regarding usage history of the vehicle, processing the information regarding usage history of the vehicle to be presented on a user mobile device with other information regarding the vehicle received from a remote source different than a source of the information regarding usage history of the vehicle.
US14/017,081 2013-03-12 2013-09-03 Apparatus, method and article for providing information regarding a vehicle via a mobile device Pending US20170053459A9 (en)

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JP2016501631A JP2016521393A (en) 2013-03-13 2014-03-12 Apparatus, method and article for providing information about a vehicle via a mobile device
EP14778634.7A EP2973377A4 (en) 2013-03-13 2014-03-12 Apparatus, method and article for providing information regarding a vehicle via a mobile device
BR112015023210A BR112015023210A2 (en) 2013-03-13 2014-03-12 apparatus, method and article for providing vehicle information via a mobile device
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