WO2018039043A1 - Vehicle guidance and control system - Google Patents

Vehicle guidance and control system Download PDF

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Publication number
WO2018039043A1
WO2018039043A1 PCT/US2017/047403 US2017047403W WO2018039043A1 WO 2018039043 A1 WO2018039043 A1 WO 2018039043A1 US 2017047403 W US2017047403 W US 2017047403W WO 2018039043 A1 WO2018039043 A1 WO 2018039043A1
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WO
WIPO (PCT)
Prior art keywords
vehicle
identified
control system
guidance
configured
Prior art date
Application number
PCT/US2017/047403
Other languages
French (fr)
Inventor
Thomas J. Shaw
Original Assignee
Shaw Thomas J
Priority date (The priority date is an assumption and is not a legal conclusion. Google has not performed a legal analysis and makes no representation as to the accuracy of the date listed.)
Filing date
Publication date
Priority to US201662378921P priority Critical
Priority to US62/378,921 priority
Application filed by Shaw Thomas J filed Critical Shaw Thomas J
Publication of WO2018039043A1 publication Critical patent/WO2018039043A1/en

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Classifications

    • GPHYSICS
    • G01MEASURING; TESTING
    • G01CMEASURING DISTANCES, LEVELS OR BEARINGS; SURVEYING; NAVIGATION; GYROSCOPIC INSTRUMENTS; PHOTOGRAMMETRY OR VIDEOGRAMMETRY
    • G01C21/00Navigation; Navigational instruments not provided for in preceding groups G01C1/00-G01C19/00
    • G01C21/26Navigation; Navigational instruments not provided for in preceding groups G01C1/00-G01C19/00 specially adapted for navigation in a road network
    • G01C21/34Route searching; Route guidance
    • G01C21/3453Special cost functions, i.e. other than distance or default speed limit of road segments
    • G01C21/3461Preferred or disfavoured areas, e.g. dangerous zones, toll or emission zones, intersections, manoeuvre types, segments such as motorways, toll roads, ferries
    • GPHYSICS
    • G05CONTROLLING; REGULATING
    • G05DSYSTEMS FOR CONTROLLING OR REGULATING NON-ELECTRIC VARIABLES
    • G05D1/00Control of position, course or altitude of land, water, air, or space vehicles, e.g. automatic pilot
    • G05D1/02Control of position or course in two dimensions
    • G05D1/021Control of position or course in two dimensions specially adapted to land vehicles
    • G05D1/0212Control of position or course in two dimensions specially adapted to land vehicles with means for defining a desired trajectory
    • G05D1/0214Control of position or course in two dimensions specially adapted to land vehicles with means for defining a desired trajectory in accordance with safety or protection criteria, e.g. avoiding hazardous areas
    • GPHYSICS
    • G05CONTROLLING; REGULATING
    • G05DSYSTEMS FOR CONTROLLING OR REGULATING NON-ELECTRIC VARIABLES
    • G05D1/00Control of position, course or altitude of land, water, air, or space vehicles, e.g. automatic pilot
    • G05D1/02Control of position or course in two dimensions
    • G05D1/021Control of position or course in two dimensions specially adapted to land vehicles
    • G05D1/0276Control of position or course in two dimensions specially adapted to land vehicles using signals provided by a source external to the vehicle
    • G05D1/0278Control of position or course in two dimensions specially adapted to land vehicles using signals provided by a source external to the vehicle using satellite positioning signals, e.g. GPS
    • GPHYSICS
    • G05CONTROLLING; REGULATING
    • G05DSYSTEMS FOR CONTROLLING OR REGULATING NON-ELECTRIC VARIABLES
    • G05D1/00Control of position, course or altitude of land, water, air, or space vehicles, e.g. automatic pilot
    • G05D1/02Control of position or course in two dimensions
    • G05D1/021Control of position or course in two dimensions specially adapted to land vehicles
    • G05D1/0276Control of position or course in two dimensions specially adapted to land vehicles using signals provided by a source external to the vehicle
    • G05D1/028Control of position or course in two dimensions specially adapted to land vehicles using signals provided by a source external to the vehicle using a RF signal
    • G05D1/0282Control of position or course in two dimensions specially adapted to land vehicles using signals provided by a source external to the vehicle using a RF signal generated in a local control room
    • GPHYSICS
    • G05CONTROLLING; REGULATING
    • G05DSYSTEMS FOR CONTROLLING OR REGULATING NON-ELECTRIC VARIABLES
    • G05D2201/00Application
    • G05D2201/02Control of position of land vehicles
    • G05D2201/0213Road vehicle, e.g. car or truck

Abstract

A vehicle guidance and control system that is electronically configured to restrict, limit and control access or egress of motor vehicles to or from specified "high value" locations or destinations such as airports, train stations, stadiums and other entertainment venues, schools, hospitals, churches, courthouses, government offices, museums, and the like. The system of the invention desirably uses vehicle position and tracking data in combination with other elements to monitor and restrict or control the position of driven or driverless motor vehicles, especially automobiles and trucks, in relation to the location(s) of one or more destinations that are selectively predetermined to merit a higher level of protection from potential threats associated with the wrongful use of motor vehicles.

Description

IN THE UNITED STATES PATENT AND TRADEMARK OFFICE

VEHICLE GUIDANCE AND CONTROL SYSTEM

1. Field of the Invention

[0001] This invention relates to a vehicle guidance and control system that is configured to limit, restrict, control or otherwise affect the movement of a motor vehicle in relation to specified "high value" locations. The subject system is applicable to both driver-operated and "driverless" vehicles. Such locations can include, for example and without limitation, defined geographical areas, roadways, bridges, destinations, and facilities such as airports, train stations, stadiums, entertainment venues, schools, hospitals, churches, courthouses, government offices, museums, and the like. The invention also relates to a system that can be selectively configured and operated to control movement of vehicular traffic to facilitate the rapid approach of identified first responder and emergency care provider vehicles to a desired destination or to prevent vehicles from leaving an identified location. This invention also relates to a vehicle guidance and control system configured for use with vehicle position data or input generated or monitored by GPS, INS, coordinate, or by another vehicle positon data acquisition system capable of identifying, tracking and transmitting or otherwise reporting the position of an identified vehicle at a particular time.

[0002] The invention further relates to a system that can be activated and controlied by signals transmitted from a remote location and can further comprise or be configured for use in combination with vehicular elements such as, for example and without limitation, an electronic control module (ECM), an infrared, microwave, radio frequency or other transmitter and receiver, an antenna, audio-visual display, lights, flashers, horn, brakes, fuel pump, steering mechanism, door locks, driver identification devices and data, and instruments such as tachometers, speedometers, accelerometers, inclinometers, and the like. The subject invention further relates to a system that can desirably be configured and controlled to monitor a vehicle's position, map its route of travel, and limit the distance within which the vehicle can approach toward or depart from a specified location, destination or route of travel that is prohibited to the vehicle or to its driver. If desired, the system can also be configured to restrict, limit or control movement of a motor vehicle according to other criteria, factors or parameters such as, for example, the type and nature of the vehicle, the particular driver, the date and time of day, the weather, the activity level around the vehicle, the currently prevailing security level, a perceived threat level, or the like.

[0003] This invention is also applicable to a vehicular guidance system that uses global positioning {GPS, INS, NED coordinate, or other) technology in combination with other elements to monitor and control the position of manned or unmanned motorized aircraft or watercraft in relation to the position(s) of one or more destinations that are selectively predetermined to be either permitted or prohibited to the vehicle or to an identified operator of the vehicle. The system of the invention is desirably configured to selectively control movement of the vehicle in response to its proximity to a particular destination at any given time. Using the invention, the vehicle, aircraft or watercraft is desirably controllable to permit or prevent continued movement toward or away from one or more predetermined destinations, each of which can be assigned a value corresponding, for example, to a particular level of threat, risk, response or some other relevant criteria.

2. Description of Related Art

[0004] Worldwide interest in identifying, preventing and combatting terrorists, terroristic threats and associated acts of violence and terrorism is at an all-time high. As a result, many intelligence gathering and screening programs have been devised and implemented in both the public and private sectors in a continuing effort to protect people and property against such threats and violence. Despite such efforts, however, the likelihood of such events occurring again in the future dictates that new and improved systems be developed to keep pace with other technological developments that increase the ability of terrorists to attack people and property.

[0005] Many terroristic attacks against persons and property have utilized motorized vehicles to transport explosives to locations where vehicular screening and defense mechanisms are not in place or are prohibitively expensive to install, or are highly disruptive to normal activity and commerce. More recently, motor vehicles have themselves been used as instruments of violence that can be driven into crowds or public buildings to inflict human casualties. Some terroristic attacks and acts of violence have been directed to public venues such as schools, office buildings, courthouses, stadiums, concert halls, theaters, clubs, restaurants, airports, train stations, and the like. Other violent attacks have been directed at passengers on airplanes, trains, subways and buses. Such attacks are causing persons to seek new and better ways to protect themselves.

[0006] U.S. 7,899,160 discfoses a system and method for reconfiguring an electronic control unit of a motor vehicle to optimize fuel economy. U.S. 7,999,670 discloses the use of a "geofence" and a "virtual perimeter" in relation to automobiles and various geofence areas, especially around a race track.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

[0007] One embodiment of the invention disclosed here comprises a vehicular guidance and control system comprising GPS or other similarly effective tracking capability in combination with one or more other devices that are configured to monitor and stream or otherwise report the speed, direction of travel other operational data for a particular motor vehicle to a control center disposed either onboard or remote to the vehicle where the data can be electronically accessed, stored, processed and evaluated in relation to an array of prioritized or prohibited potential destinations. The data can be collected by any suitable means, including for example, a chip or circuit resident inside the electronic control module (ECM) of the vehicle that is then relayed to a remotely situated control center by radio or telephone using either ground-based or satellite- based wireless transmission systems. If available through appropriately configured sensors, transducers and a suitable electronic interface, the transmitted data can also include a vehicle profile comprising other information such as vehicle type, license plate and VIN numbers, fuel level, vehicle weight, known vehicle cargo, number of occupants, driver identity, and the like. At the control center, data transmitted from the vehicle can be combined or integrated with other data (such as outstanding warrants, driving record, prior convictions, etc., that are obtainable from other sources such as the state department of motor vehicles, state or federal department of transportation, state or federal bureau of investigation, etc.) to assess the level of risk associated with a particular vehicle, and to prepare, transmit and implement instructions to the ECM of the vehicle that will implement a desired vehicular command protocol. The system of the invention can utilize global positioning system (GPS) or other similarly effective technology in combination with other elements to monitor and restrict or control the position of driver-operated or driverless (e.g., autonomous) motor vehicles, especially automobiles and trucks, in relation to the location(s) of one or more protected destinations that are selectively predetermined to merit a higher level of protection from potential threats associated with the wrongful use of motor vehicles

[0008] According to another embodiment of the invention, the data-streaming function of the ECM inside a vehicle is activated by a transmitted electronic command originating from a remote control center that is broadcast to one or more motor vehicles operating within a general area surrounding a predetermined geographical area or protection zone. In such case, the size of the general area can be controlled by the strength of the broadcast signal sent out to vehicles so that vehicles well beyond the predetermined geographical area or protection zone are not affected. In other embodiments, control commands can be transmitted to one or more identified vehicles whose locational coordinates place such vehicle(s) near or already within a defined protection zone. If desired, motor vehicles can be configured using known devices to receive or activate new or revised data collection and data-streaming commands, operational instructions or vehicular command protocols as needed during a particular scenario. Such devices can incorporate or utilize capabilities of equipment originally installed as part of the OEM equipment for a vehicle or during aftermarket modifications, may have been subsequently installed in a vehicle incidental to maintenance or regulatory compliance monitoring activities, or can be temporarily placed on or in a vehicle a part of a surveillance operation.

[0009] According to another embodiment of the invention, motor vehicles are provided with devices that are programmed and configured to prevent an identified vehicle or class of vehicles believed to represent a high threat risk from traveling within a specified perimeter around one or more so-called "high value" locations or destinations. Such locations or destinations can include, for example, schools, hospitals, airports, train stations, churches, court houses, convention centers, museums, government office buildings, police stations, stadiums, entertainment venues, market places, pedestrian boulevards, or the like, where people sometimes or often congregate and can be placed in peril. In this context, the vehicular guidance and control system of the invention can function as a "virtual barrier" by protecting people and property positioned inside (or outside, where the purpose is to confine a vehicle at a desired location or within a desired area) the boundaries established for any motor vehicle with which it is associated and for which its vehicular command protocol is designed. [0010] According to one embodiment of the invention, a control center associated with the vehicle guidance and control system of the invention desirably comprises a central processing unit (CPU) or programmable logic controller (PLC) communicating with an electronic control module (ECM) disposed on board the vehicle. The CPU or PLC is desirably programmed or is selectively programmable using appropriate circuitry and other devices to receive, store, monitor, compare and manipulate the data, and to evaluate the processed data in relation to a predetermined hierarchy of operational objectives, and then to formulate and transmit instructions that can cause the vehicle to move toward or away from a particular roadway, building, location, or other vehicle, or can cause the vehicle to stop and not move at all. One representative hierarchy of operational objectives might be protecting students, first responders and other governmental officials. Another representative hierarchy of operational objectives might be protecting schools, hospitals, governmental offices, public or private utilities providers and privately owned businesses deemed to be deserving of increased protection levels.

[0011] Illustrative examples of operational objectives that can be achieved using the system of the invention include, for example, maintaining a buffer zone of desired dimensions around any high value location by excluding one or more classes of motor vehicles from the buffer zone; confining vehicles within a prescribed area; preventing travel of identified vehicles on particular roadways or classes of roadways (e.g. limiting travel of trucks or vehicles carrying hazardous cargo on roadways located near buildings, interstate highways, strategically located bridges, etc.); preventing travel of identified vehicles on designated roadways on particular dates or times of day; preventing travel of vehicles driven by particular identified drivers (e.g., those having no license or an expired license, those having outstanding warrants, those having prior felony convictions) and the like.

[0012] In another embodiment or mode of operation of the invention, the subject vehicle guidance and control system can, for example, be used to quickly help redirect one or more vehicles of first responders such as police cars, fire trucks or ambulances to the scene of an emergency. In still another embodiment or mode of operation of the invention, the vehicle guidance and control system is used to reroute other nonemergency traffic away from the scene of an emergency. In still another embodiment or more of operation of the invention, the vehicle guidance and control system is used to alert other drivers and the general populace to the presence of a controlled vehicle by causing its lights to flash, its horn to honk, or the like.

[0013] In another embodiment or mode of operation of the invention, the subject vehicle guidance and control system can implement a sequence of steps that will remove the controlled vehicle from the operational control of the driver without endangering the lives of surrounding motorists or pedestrians. Thus, for example and without limitation, a controlled vehicle may first play a live or stored audio message to inform the driver as to what is happening and provide notice as to subsequent steps that will be automatically initiated within a prescribed period unless the driver redirects the vehicle in an acceptable fashion or otherwise complies with the recorded directive within a permitted time or distance interval. Following an audio warning to the driver, either preceded or accompanied by electronic activation of the hazard warning flasher if desired, the throttle body of the vehicle can be controlled to reduce the speed of vehicle automatically while warning the driver to find a safe place to exit the roadway. Eventually, the ECM can stop the car if needed by turning off the ignition, possibly accompanied by initiating application of brakes. Other possible acts of intervention by the vehicle guidance and control system of the invention include preventing the vehicle from signaling a turn in a direction not consistent with the vehicle control protocol, or from initiating such a turn; or by reducing vehicle speed and turning off the engine if directions are not followed by the driver.

[0014] Where a vehicle is equipped with Onstar® (owned by General Motors) or a comparable vehicle alert system, it may be possible to provide driver notifications in that manner. Similarly, in vehicles equipped with on-board GPS navigational systems, implementation of the subject vehicle guidance and control system may be facilitated. In other vehicles, special software or firmware may need to be downloaded or installed in order to implement the subject system. According to another embodiment of the invention, a comparator is desirably operatively coupled to an ECM disposed inside the vehicle and can continuously or iteratively monitor whether a vehicle is moving closer to or farther away from a particular destination. The ECM is desirably configured to prevent the vehicle from traveling to a predetermined high value destination in the absence of overriding signals permitting such travel. Alternatively, the ECM can be configured to permit vehicular travel to all destinations unless overridden by instructions prohibiting such travel. The instructions can be transmitted to the vehicle as digital signals from a remote command post or traffic control center. The comparator or an associated PLC can be preprogrammed with a plurality of high valve destinations and their GPS coordinates, or can be configured to receive GPS coordinates and a corresponding threat or risk value for a new destination that are transmitted to the vehicle from a remote location by an authorized source while the vehicle is moving. Alternatively, the comparator or PLC can be operatively coupled to a CPU that is programmed to determine or re-determine threat or risk values from informational inputs while a vehicle is moving or under way.

[0015] According to one embodiment of the invention, a plurality of destinations and, optionally, a value level for each destination, are satisfactorily preprogrammed or downloaded into a comparator that continuously (or iteratively) compares the real-time or near-real-time positional data for the vehicle to the positional data for one or more potential destinations during operation of the vehicle and updates the proximity of the vehicle to each destination. The proximity, direction and rate of travel are then desirably used to initiate signals to an ECM or other device that can cause the vehicle to accelerate, decelerate, turn or stop as appropriate under the circumstances. For example, an ECM or similarly effective device can be operatively coupled to the engine, drive train, brakes, steering linkage, or the like of a land-based vehicle, or to an engine, to permit, prevent or control subsequent movement of the vehicle in relation to a protected destination.

[0016] According to still another embodiment of the invention that is applicable to motor vehicles configured to operate in either "driverless" or an "auto piloted" mode, it is possible using the system of the invention to "summon" a vehicle to a desired protected location even when access to the protected location is denied to other vehicles. In such cases, it may be necessary for an individual summoning the vehicle to input an appropriate user name, password and/or authorization code using a cellular phone in order to initiate movement of the vehicle. Similarly, it is possible using the system of the invention for an authorized passenger to be delivered to and dropped off at a location that is otherwise protected from vehicular access by the general public, after which the passenger can direct the vehicle to return to a suitable location and park to await further instructions or use.

[0017] According to still other embodiments of the invention, vehicle command protocols can be preprogramed into vehicle instrumentation and control devices and remain dormant until activated from a command center; or can be transmitted electronically to a vehicle and installed for later activation and use; or can be transmitted, installed and activated during use; or can be modified by supplemental or revised instructions transmitted to a vehicle during use; or can be digitally stored on a medium that can be loaded into the electronic memory of a vehicle control device; or by any other similarly effective means or method. Also, the subject system can be configured for use in controlling the movements of a manned or unmanned aircraft or watercraft to implement a virtual barrier maintaining a buffer zone establishing a minimum separation distance between the aircraft or watercraft and a predetermined high value asset such as, for example, at least one person, building or location.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

[0018] An embodiment of the system and method of the invention are further described and explained in relation to the accompanying drawing Figure depicting principal elements of the invention.

DESCRIPTION OF PREFERRED EMBODIMENT

[0019] Referring to the accompanying drawing, system 10 of one embodiment of the invention comprises an identified location 12 around which a virtual barrier is desired to be established. As used here, "virtual barrier" refers to one or more imaginary boundaries disposed around at least one identified person, building or location that is determined as deserving of or being an object of heightened security or protection in relation to a real or potential threat posed by at least one identified vehicle 16, 18 operating within the same general geographical area. Such identified persons, buildings or locations are also sometimes referred to in this disclosure as "high value assets." As used here, an "identified vehicle" 16, 18 is a motor vehicle that has been determined to pose a real or potential threat or risk to a particular high value asset or to a class of high value assets. The virtual barrier is desirably created to provide a predetermined minimum separation distance between a high value asset and any identified vehicle with which it is paired (also referred to in this disclosure as an "asset/ vehicle pair."

[0020] it will be understood upon reading this disclosure that a given geographical area can contain a plurality of identified persons, buildings or locations and a plurality of identified vehicles, with potentially overlapping virtual barriers defined in relation to each. Furthermore, each identified location can have more than one virtual barrier disposed around it to create a plurality of "protection zones" having different minimum separation distances within which an identified vehicle is not permitted to travel and potentially having different command protocols that can be implemented from a control center 28 for each such identified asset/ ehicle pair.

[0021] In the embodiment shown in the accompanying drawing, a single identified location 12 is surrounded by two virtual barriers 14, 38 defining protection zones 11 , 13. Protection zones 11 , 13 are surrounded by geographical areas 15, 17, 19 and by river 50 with tributary 52. Identified vehicles 16, 18 can move freely along any roadway or bridge (not shown) disposed within geographical areas 15, 17, and 19 or across river 50 and tributary 52 but are controlled by system 10 to prevent them from entering prohibited protection zones. In this embodiment, identified vehicle 16 can travel into protection zone 13 but is prohibited from crossing virtual boundary 14 and entering protection zone 11 around location 12. Identified vehicle 18 is prohibited from crossing virtual barrier 38 and from entering either protection zone 11 or protection zone 13. This situation might occur, for example, if identified vehicle 18 poses a greater threat level to location 12 than vehicle 16, or if other characteristics of identified vehicle 18 dictate keeping it farther away from location 12, such as if identified vehicle 16 is a passenger car and identified vehicle 18 is a truck carrying highly flammable materials. Unlike virtual barrier 14, which has a minimum separation distance is defined by a circle of radius "r" around location 12, virtual barrier 38 comprises a plurality of boundary segments 40, 42, 44, 46 and 48, where boundary segments 40, 42, 44 and 46 may, for example, be portions of existing roadways and boundary segment 48 is a river bank.

[0022] According to one embodiment of system 10 of the invention, identified vehicles 16, 18 further comprise an electronic control unit 20, 22 respectively, and an electronic communication unit 24, 26 respectively, that can send information to and receive information, instructions and commands from a control center 28 that is typically land-based in a location remote from location 12 but can, alternatively, be contained in a command post located in a satellite, aircraft, ship or other watercraft. Control center 28 desirably comprises a central processing unit 30, a vehicle monitoring and tracking module 32, an electronic data storage device 34, and a transmitter/ receiver 36 configured to communicate with identified vehicles 16, 18.

[0023] According to a method of the invention, GPS coordinates and operational information for each of identified vehicles 16, 18 are desirably determined from electronic signals received by control center 28 from identified vehicles 16, 18, which are monitored either continuously or intermittently, depending upon their distance from location 12, and their rate and direction of travel. In another embodiment of the invention, driver information is also uploaded to and monitored by control center 28, and is factored into algorithms and vehicle command protocols that are generated and revised by CPU 30 in response to inputs received from identified vehicles 16, 18. Whenever the cumulative information received from vehicles 16, 18 is combined with whatever other pertinent information is available in control center 28 or another location or agency to which control center 28 is operatively linked, a command protocol is generated and downloaded to electronic control devices 20, 22 in identified vehicles 16, 18 respectively. The command protocol for each identified vehicle is intended, when implemented through the onboard electronic control devices 20, 22 in identified vehicles 16, 18 respectively, to control the operational parameters of each vehicle in such manner that each such vehicle is prevented from entering one or more protective zones 1 1 , 13 within which travel is prohibited. Depending upon the asset value and the threat level represented by a particular identified vehicle, the command protocol implemented through use of system 10 can include, for example and without limitation, initiating visual alerts such as flashing lights and audio alerts such as a honking horn or activated security alarm; locking all windows and doors; slowing vehicle speed; disabling power steering; applying brakes; shutting down the ignition system of the vehicle; and providing notifications to appropriate law enforcement agencies or other emergency care providers.

[0024] Systems 10 of the invention can be implemented in new vehicles by providing and installing circuits and devices configured to achieve the desired functionality and communications links during manufacture, and it is believed that most existing vehicles can be similarly retrofit or modified by those of ordinary skill in the art by reconfiguring existing components and/ or by the addition of fairly inexpensive new components as needed to achieve the desired objectives as stated in this disclosure. Similarly, the subject system and method are also easily adaptable for use on new or existing aircraft and watercraft and as with land-based motor vehicles, aircraft.

[0025] In another embodiment of the invention, command protocols can be generated and downloaded by the system and method of the invention to enable identified vehicles of first responders and other emergency personnel to travel to high value asset locations more quickly and easily by directing them in real time along least crowded travel corridors, especially when interfaced with traffic signal control centers to minimize problematic traffic delays while traveling to an identified location. [0026] Other alterations and modifications of the invention will likewise become apparent to those of ordinary skill in the art upon reading this specification in view of the accompanying drawings, and it is intended that the scope of the invention disclosed herein be limited only by the broadest interpretation of the appended claims to which the inventor(s) and/or Applicant are legally entitled.

Claims

[0027] What is claimed is:
1. A vehicle guidance and control system comprising vehicle position tracking capability in combination with at least one other device configured to monitor and communicate the speed, direction of travel and other operational data for a motor vehicle to a control center comprising a central processing unit and ancillary devices configured to electronically receive, store, process and evaluate the data in relation to an array of protected destinations, and to prepare and communicate instructions to the vehicle in accordance with a vehicle command protocol configured to prevent the vehicle from traveling within a predetermined distance of at least one of the array of protected destinations, which instructions are received and implemented by an electronic control module in the vehicle in compliance with the vehicle command protocol.
2. The vehicle guidance and control system of claim 1 comprising a data collection device on board the vehicle that communicates with the electronic control module and relays the data to the control center.
3. The vehicle guidance and control system of claim 2 wherein the data is relayed by a wireless transmission system.
4. The vehicle guidance and control system of claim 1 wherein the other operational data communicated to the control center includes information selected from the group consisting of:
vehicle identification number;
license plate number;
fuel level;
driver identity;
route of travel; and time at which the vehicle reached designated waypoints along the route of travel.
5. The vehicle guidance and control system of claim 1 wherein the vehicle command protocol includes directing the ECM of the vehicle to implement at least one action selected from the group consisting of:
initiating an audible alert;
initiating a visual alert;
slowing the vehicle;
restricting acceleration of the vehicle;
restricting turning movement of the vehicle; and
turning off the vehicle engine.
6. The vehicle guidance and control system of claim 1 further comprising a driver interface that requires a driver to input information in response to prompts prior to moving the vehicle.
7. The vehicle guidance and control system of claim 1 wherein the vehicle command protocol varies according to a security level assigned to each protected destination within the array.
8. The vehicle guidance and control system of claim 5 wherein the ECM implements the vehicle command protocol through at least one vehicle element selected from the group consisting of:
lights;
horn;
hazard warning flasher;
door locks;
window locks;
navigation system; throttle body;
brakes; and
ignition system.
9. The vehicle guidance and control system of claim 5 wherein the electronic control module can be reconfigured by downloading software modifications to the electronic control module from a remote source.
10. The vehicle guidance and control system of claim 1 that is configured to operate with either a driven or driverless vehicle.
1 1. The vehicle guidance and control system of claim 1 wherein the control center is configured to communicate instructions that control traffic signal operation to slow or impede movement of a controlled vehicle toward a protected destination in accordance with the vehicle command protocol.
12. The vehicle guidance and control system of claim 1 wherein the vehicle command protocol is configured to achieve operational objectives selected from the group consisting of:
maintaining a buffer zone of desired dimensions around any high value location by excluding one or more classes of motor vehicles from the buffer zone;
preventing travel of identified vehicles on particular roadways or classes of roadways;
preventing travel of identified vehicles on designated roadways on particular dates or times of day; and
preventing travel of vehicles driven by particular identified drivers.
13. A vehicle guidance and control system comprising GPS tracking capability in combination with at least one other device configured to monitor and communicate the speed, direction of travel and other operational data for a motor vehicle to a control center comprising a central processing unit and ancillary devices configured to electronically receive, store, process and evaluate the data in relation to an array of permitted destinations, and to prepare and communicate instructions to the vehicle in accordance with a vehicle command protocol configured to cause the vehicle to travel toward at least one of the array of permitted destinations, which instructions are received and impiemented by an electronic control module in the vehicle in compliance with the vehicle command protocol.
14. The vehicle guidance and control system of claim 13 wherein the control center is configured to communicate instructions that synchronize traffic signal operation with movement of a controlled vehicle in accordance with the vehicle command protocol.
15. The vehicle guidance and control system of claim 13 that is configured to operate with either a driver-operated or driverless vehicle.
16. The vehicle guidance and control system of claim 13 wherein the control center is configured to communicate instructions that synchronize traffic signal operation to facilitate of a controlled vehicle toward a permitted destination in
accordance with the vehicle command protocol.
7. A method for protecting at least one identified building or location by restricting and limiting approaches to the at least one identified building or location by an identified motor vehicle, aircraft or watercraft, the method comprising:
identifying at least one motor vehicle, aircraft or watercraft;
monitoring the position of the identified at least one motor vehicle, aircraft or watercraft relative to the at least one identified building or location;
determining a desired minimum separation distance between the identified at least one motor vehicle, aircraft or watercraft and the at least one identified building or location; and
controlling the identified at least one motor vehicle, aircraft or watercraft to maintain the desired minimum separation distance between the identified at least one motor vehicle, aircraft or watercraft and the at least one identified building or location.
18. The method of claim 17 wherein the identified at least one motor vehicle, aircraft or watercraft is controlled by providing electronic communication between a control center disposed at a remote location and an electronic control device disposed inside the identified at least one motor vehicle.
19. The method of claim 17 wherein the identified at least one motor vehicle, aircraft or watercraft is a land-based motor vehicle and wherein the electronic control device is operatively coupled to at least one vehicle element selected from the group consisting of lights; horn; hazard warning flasher; door locks; window locks; navigation system; throttle body; brakes; and ignition system.
20. The method of claim 18 wherein the control center communicates with the electronic control device of the vehicle to implement at least one action selected from the group consisting of:
initiating an audible alert;
initiating a visual alert;
slowing the vehicle;
restricting acceleration of the vehicle;
restricting turning movement of the vehicle; and
turning off the vehicle engine.
PCT/US2017/047403 2016-08-24 2017-08-17 Vehicle guidance and control system WO2018039043A1 (en)

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US62/378,921 2016-08-24

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Citations (4)

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