US 20050137757 A1
A method and apparatus for collecting and evaluating powered vehicle operation utilizing on-board diagnostic components and location determining components or systems. The invention creates one or more databases whereby identifiable behavior or evaluative characteristics can be analyzed or categorized. The evaluation can include predicting likely future events. The database can be correlated or evaluated with other databases for a wide variety of uses.
1. A database comprising time marked vehicle operation data recorded at regular intervals that can be correlated to at least one other data point.
2. The database of
3. The database of
4. A method of evaluating at least one individual comprising evaluating a first database of time marked data recorded at regular intervals of vehicle operation and at least one other data point.
5. The method of
6. The method of
7. The method of
8. The method of
9. The method of
10. An evaluation of the method of
11. A method of evaluating at least one road comprising a first database comprising regularly recorded time marked data of operation of at least one vehicle.
12. The method of
13. The method of
14. The method of
15. The method of
16. The method of
17. An evaluation of the method of
18. A method of evaluating a vehicle comprising a first database comprising regularly recorded time marked data of operation of at least one vehicle.
19. The method of
20. An evaluation of the method of
This application claims the benefit of and priority to U.S. Provisional Application No. 60/467,845 entitled “Motor Vehicle Operating Data Gathering Methodology and Analysis for Eventual Use with Underwriter Statistic Metrics” and filed May 6, 2003. This application is a continuation in part application of application Ser. No. 10/832,521 filed Apr. 27, 2004.
1. Field of Use
The invention pertains to a method and apparatus for evaluating recorded data of a driver's operation of a motor vehicle. The invention is not limited to trucks and automobiles but includes all powered equipment such as boats, airplanes and railroads. The invention utilizes time marked data that can be correlated with information from separate databases, particularly data that is also time marked. The recorded data may facilitate the vehicle owner monitoring the use of the vehicle by others, e.g., employees, automobile renters or family members, e.g., teenage drivers. The recorded data may also provide an objective behavioral data collection system for third parties, e.g., life and health insurance companies, lending institutions, credit rating companies, product and service marketing companies, potential employers, to evaluate an individual's behavioral characteristics in a real life and commonly experienced situation, i.e., driving a motor vehicle.
2. Prior Art
Several commercial mechanisms are available on the market that provide means to monitor vehicle use. One example is the Alltrackusa product that relies on a global positioning satellite (GPS) system to track vehicle operation. Such systems employ a calculating methodology to determine speed and acceleration by using the position differential implied by the GPS. Conversely, Davis Technologies markets the CarChip product which is a passive OBD data recorder for hobbyists and car enthusiasts who want to record their engine performance. The shortcomings of the Alltrackusa “GPS only” application is that actual speed information is not available during intermittent losses of the GPS signal, which are frequent. This limits the product's usefulness for creating a complete dataset suitable for developing a useful and objective driver safety ratings. The shortcoming of the CarChip product is that the unit does not provide GPS capability and the target market is for car enthusiasts who want to monitor engine diagnostics. Both existing technology developments have the inherent shortcoming of local data storage and reporting. This feature limits the usefulness of the data and does not allow for the development of an independent rating system.
U.S. Pat. No. 6,064,970, assigned to Progressive Casualty Insurance Company, discloses a method and system for determining the cost of automobile insurance based upon monitoring, recording and communicating data representative of operator and vehicle driving characteristics. The system includes use of a wireless up-link to a central control station to communicate “triggering events”.
U.S. Pat. No. 6,064,970 defines a methodology for private insurance quotes based on endogenous driver variables that are acquired from the customer or collected by the insurance company. U.S. Pat. No. 6,064,970 does not teach an apparatus and business process that allows customers to voluntarily create datasets that are then objectively interpreted by a third party and converted to objective safety ratings, much as credit payments or delinquencies are converted to an objective credit rating, or company debt histories converted to a bond rating. This distinction is vital in order to promote the adoption of driver monitoring technology and guarantee that it is utilized in a manner that promotes the most societal good, rather than simply being the exclusive purview of one company's insurance premium pricing structure.
Other devices and methods are disclosed in published patent applications. Included is the application Ser. No. 10/764,076 assigned to Progressive Casualty Insurance Company filed Jan. 23, 2004. Another device is disclosed in a published application Ser. No. 10/281,330 assigned to Davis Instruments, and filed Oct. 25, 2003.
The existing systems and devices also ignore the profound behavioral characteristics exhibited by drivers in operating motor vehicles, e.g., aggressiveness or patience, caution or recklessness, compliance with laws, etc. These characteristics are relevant to each individual's behavior in other situations including performance of job duties, behavior in stress, and meeting obligations owed to others. These behaviors cannot be ascertained unless the information is uploaded to a central server to create a comprehensive database for comparison and development of useful profiles. Existing technology applications do not centrally store the data and interpret it in context to provide a useful service to society.
The present invention teaches the evaluation and storing of recorded date and time stamped operating data (“time marked data”) from a motor vehicle component. It also teaches the subsequent upload to a microprocessor, CPU or central web-server for objective analysis. It may also include real time input to the driver or vehicle owner. The data may also be location marked and the vehicle data may be correlated with separate time or location specific data points or databases. The recording of the data to a separate device can be used in such a manner as to insure a complete data set, minimize fraudulent use, and thus insure the accuracy and usefulness of said data to third parties. Utilization of the data may be subject to terms of agreements among the vehicle operator, the vehicle owner, insurance companies and underwriters (health, life or auto, etc.), research professionals, credit reporting agencies, marketing and advertising firms, legal representatives, governmental authorities or other institutions.
Since the data may be time marked with an accurate atomic clock signal, the data can be cross-correlated to another information database that is also time or location specific. This data could include weather events, construction schedules, sporting events, traffic databases, and other time or location dependent information that puts the driver operating data in context and makes it objectively useful. The data manipulation—analysis includes assessing the driver's driving behavior by putting the data in context with the applicable local speed laws, signage, traffic signals, weather, and other geographic dependencies (“GIS” data).
The invention can utilize a variety of currently monitored and publicly accessible vehicle information from vehicle systems such as an OBD (on-board diagnostic) or CAN (car area network) data-port. This time marked data may include vehicle speed, throttle position, oxygen sensor data, etc. This information is sequentially recorded at regular intervals from vehicle onboard diagnostic systems, thereby creating a time marked data set of individual data points. The data set of time marked sequential data points may include the vehicle's location, for example as determined by a global positioning system (GPS).
Having multiple sources of vehicle data will insure data accuracy. For example, speed can either be inferred from the GPS position and time stamped data by calculating the distance between recorded locations and dividing by the time increment, or by accessing speed values directly from the OBD or similar port. Similarly, the vehicle's odometer reading can be gathered three different ways: first, it can be accessed through the OBD extended dataset if the car manufacturer grants permission, secondly, it can be calculated from the GPS location and time stamped data, third it can be calculated from the speed data logged directly from the OBD port, then multiplied by the time increment to get distance. Having multiple sources of data insures data integrity by crosschecking. Time and location stamping the data allows for crosschecking against other information databases such as weather, traffic, etc.
This collected data may be transferred to a processor (CPU or microprocessor) and may be uploaded to a central web-server for evaluation and storage. The invention utilizes data obtained from individual vehicle monitoring and instrumentation devices already built into motor vehicles since 1996. The invention can also utilize information from supplemental instrumentation such as GPS devices installed on motor vehicles.
The invention teaches transfer of the time marked information from the collection system within the vehicle to a CPU or similar processor. This component may be within the vehicle or separately located. The invention teaches flexible, multi stage evaluation of the collected data for variable factors or criteria. The invention permits a weighted profile to be created that can be correlated to both frequency and severity or significance of behavior. This weighted profile is useful because the data integrity has been insured by multiple sources.
The invention also teaches a business subscription service that can be used in conjunction with the recording/analysis apparatus. The method allows analytic comparison within groups using collected data from separate units. This analysis can allow assessment and comparison of a variety of life style/health factors. The analysis, based upon historical and accurate data, can be used in conjunction with other demographically relevant information.
The invention also teaches wireless or telemetry communication between the in vehicle components, e.g., data storage or processor, and a separate processor or other electronic data receiving device, thereby eliminating the need to remove a memory component from the vehicle to a data recording or transfer component.
The invention also teaches the monitoring and recording of data from onboard cameras and proximity sensors, as well as driver physiological monitoring systems. Also included within the invention is predictive modeling of future behavior as a function of recorded data an individual driver compared with other drivers within a database.
The accompanying drawings, which are incorporated in and constitute a part of the specification, illustrate preferred embodiments of the invention. These drawings, together with the general description of the invention given above and the detailed description of the preferred embodiments given below, serve to explain the principles of the invention.
It will be appreciated that the foregoing drawings illustrate only one embodiment of the invention and that numerous other variations may be created within the scope of the described invention.
The above general description and the following detailed description are merely illustrative of the subject invention and additional modes, advantages and particulars of this invention will be readily suggested to those skilled in the art without departing from the spirit and scope of the invention.
The invention comprises multiple steps, beginning with the collection of data at regular time intervals, preferably at least as frequently as approximately every two seconds. The data includes the publicly available operational data from an industry standard port such as a SAE-1962 connector, or an on board diagnostic (“OBD”) port or other vehicle data acquiring component. For example, operation data accessible via the OBDII port includes speed and engine throttle position or other variable power controls of the vehicle power source. It may also include so called “extended OBDII” or OBDIII datasets that are specific to each manufacturer and also available with manufacturer permission such as odometer reading, seat belt status, activation of brakes, degree and duration of steering direction, etc., and implementation of accident avoidance devices such as turning signals, headlights, seatbelts, activation of automated braking systems (ABS), etc. Other information regarding the operation of the vehicle can be collected since the extended OBDII set includes a whole host of engine or other power source diagnostic variables.
The invention includes the capability to recognize the particular language emitted by the vehicle system and may configure the recording component to receive or convert data in SAE J1850, ISO ISO9141 or KWP 2000 formats. Alternatively, this step may be performed by a processor after the data is recorded.
Further the invention applies to other data systems being developed and implemented. An example is the CAN (car area network). Additionally, data from devices or systems that, for example, provide a lane departure warning, may be recorded. Such systems incorporate one or more cameras integrated with other sensors to analyze vehicle speed and other factors to monitor the distance between the vehicle and roadway lane divider lines. Data also can be recorded from systems that combine laser sensors and digital rangefinders to scan the road and detect vehicles or other objects ahead. Such systems (“active cruise control”) can provide warning or directly reduce speed or activate braking systems. Sensors or rangefinders may similarly detect the presence and distance of objects behind the vehicle.
The position and movement of the vehicle can also be collected utilizing a global position system or “GPS” system. Other known locating technologies such as radio frequency tags, cellular telephone networks, or differential GPS may be used. Such technologies are hereinafter referred to as “GPS” technology or locators.
One embodiment of the invention utilizes data points of various systems and operations collected at substantially simultaneous intervals, thereby creating sequential “data points” containing information from multiple sources pertaining to vehicle operation and movement. The data points are recorded at regular intervals. These intervals can be of varied duration. For purpose of illustration of the invention herein, the intervals are specified to be every two seconds.
The data can be recorded or transferred to various removable electronic storage devices, including but not limited to flash memory cards now utilized for digital cameras, etc. Alternatively, recorded data may be transferred remotely via wireless technology currently known as Bluetooth®. (The Bluetooth word mark and logos are owned by the Bluetooth SIG, Inc.) Other wireless communication systems such as cellular telephone, radio or satellite may be used. These technologies are hereinafter termed “wireless” transfer or technology.
The data can be transferred to another electronic data reading device such as a microprocessor, a CPU or CPU linked to an Internet server. The recorded data may also be evaluated by a CPU within the vehicle. The data can be transferred, stored, manipulated and analyzed (“evaluated”) as desired to provide information concerning not only the location and duration of vehicle operation, but also the manner in which the vehicle was operated. For situations where multiple drivers utilize multiple vehicles, each vehicle can be equipped with a non-removable memory to record all its operation, regardless of which driver utilizes the vehicle. This data can then be reconciled with the data downloaded by the driver through his or her personal flash memory card. Gaps in the data can then be investigated by an employer, parent, owner of a rental vehicle, or otherwise responsible party, i.e., the “user”.
The invention also teaches the recording and evaluation of driver physiological data, such as heart rate, electrocardiograph (ECG) signals and blood pressure. For example, ECG signals may be recorded from Polar® sensors located on the steering wheel. (Polar is a registered trademark of Polar Electro Oy Corporation.)
As suggested in the foregoing summary of invention, that summary being incorporated by reference within this detailed description of invention, utilization of the data recorded by the invention or the resulting evaluation thereof, may be subject to terms of agreements among the vehicle operator, the vehicle owner, insurance companies and underwriters (health, life or auto, etc.), research professionals, credit reporting agencies, marketing and advertising firms, legal representatives, governmental authorities or other institutions. For example, time and location data may be useful in monitoring the compliance of a probationer with the terms of probation. It may also recorded compliance with a breathalyzer ignition control switch. Equipment rental companies can use the data for ensuring the lessee has complied with the terms of the rental or lease agreement. For example, operators that can provide documented compliance may be charged lower use rates.
The operational information may be identifiable to specific operator(s) and include time stamped data and geographic location. Operator identity can be one of many additional data inputs for each time interval recording in
In addition to selection of identifiable vehicle operators, the invention will allow for recording and evaluation of multiple separate trips by a selected driver. The separate trips can be separated by trips of longer than a specified duration, trips in which there are multiple braking events per selected period of time, trips on weekends or at night, in contrast to morning commutes. Also the trips may be separated, evaluated and contrasted over time. Of course, numerous other variations may be implemented and are within the scope of this invention.
The driver safety rating (DSR) score of one embodiment of the invention maybe a composite number comprising subscript or superscript notation. For example the subscript may indicate the number of driving events evaluated in creating the rating score. It may alternately provide the percentage that is Interstate, controlled access highway driving. In another embodiment, the score may contain a superscript notation indicating the number of recorded severe driving violations, e.g., operating over 90 mph.
It will be readily appreciated that changes in sequentially recorded vehicle speed can be used to calculate the rate of vehicle acceleration. See
Operation of the vehicle without headlights, changes in vehicle direction without turn signals, etc. may also be recorded. The frequency and degree of changed vehicle direction per unit of distance traveled can indicate lane weaving or, alternatively, driving on a winding road. The vehicle speed, calculated rate of acceleration/de-acceleration, number and duration of brake activation can all be correlated to assess the operator's performance and driving behavior. Frequent changes in vehicle speed and braking events may be indicative of aggressive driving such as tail gating slower moving traffic and lane weaving. Since the data is collected centrally, comparisons can be made between drivers and driver profile types can thus be created.
In one embodiment of the invention, the evaluation of data comprises events of vehicle speed, compliance with traffic signs and signals, vehicle acceleration and time of day. See
Current driving behavior may be predictive of future driving behavior. Driving behavior can be assessed from a history of driving infractions, e.g., speeding tickets, and from motor vehicle accident histories. Also included within the invention is predictive modeling of future behavior as a function of recorded data an individual driver compared with other drivers within a database. The predicted likely future behavior may be future driving or, with careful or sophisticated evaluation of data, may be predictive of other behavior.
The invention includes creating a database of multiple drivers. The invention also includes categorizing driving conditions of similar nature, thereby allowing performance of multiple drivers at differing times and locations to be grouped and compared. For example, segments of a trips occurring on a multi-lane divided and limited access highways can be grouped and evaluated. The road type may be determined by combining GPS data and separate databases showing the number of traffic lanes, exit and entrance points, etc. Alternatively, road type may be determined solely by accumulated trip recorded time sensitive GPS and operational data, such a vehicle direction, speed, braking, and acceleration. Congested urban traffic conditions can be identified by time and location and categorized. Identification may include consideration of the number of drivers within the database proximate to particular locations at particular times relative to other locations. This may be termed “use” or road use.
Typical or average driving patterns can be identified within such categories of road type. Comparison of an individual driver's operational data to the average or typical operation profile can be made and deviations noted. With an adequate database, other types of driving conditions or road types may be identified and categorized. Individual driver operational data can be compared with the typical or average driver profile. Information from such comparisons can be combined and evaluated with demographic variables or other recorded factors and separate database information such as driver age, sex, marital status, purchasing and credit histories, etc. Evaluation can also be made between the driving profile and history of driving infractions or accidents.
The combined data and evaluations can be useful in predicting likely future behavior, including differing lifestyle and employment environments. In addition, categories of driver personality type can be created and an individual can be matched with one or more categories. The measurement of relationship strength of an individual to a category may utilize standard deviations of predicted co-occurrence or log-likelihood ratios.
Since the invention included creation of a comprehensive database without prior filtering or evaluation, it is possible for example, to revise or adjust one or more algorithms used in an evaluation. It is possible to similarly make changes in the evaluative technique or methodology. This can result, for example, in achieving enhanced predictive analysis. Predictive results can be compared to actual results and the technique refined to achieve greater consistency or accuracy.
An individual driver may also be categorized by the absolute amount of time the driver is identified to be operating within a road category or trip segment. Also, an individual driver may be evaluated by the relative portion of each trip that is within a road category. Driving in “off peak” times may differ from “rush hour” vehicle operation. Similarly, predictions of likely future behavior may vary with drivers operating vehicles at differing times or on differing road types.
Changes in an individual driver's profile may be noted and may be suggestive of a change in life style or employment. This may be correlated to spending and credit histories. Time sensitivity can enhance the predictive value of a profile.
Evaluation of discrete trip segments, in contrast to evaluation of operation for an entire trip can also enhance the predictive value. For example, all trips that include a first GPS determined point A and then point B within a five minute window and occurring between 8:00 AM and 8:30 AM on one or more specified dates may capture all the drivers operating a vehicle in a certain direction of a major arterial roadway on a “rush hour” morning. Operation on other and differing road segments may not be of value. In this limited “like” environment, it will be relatively easy to identify drivers whose speed, braking and acceleration pattern differ from the average. It will also be relatively easy to identify “aggressive” driving. A pattern of aggressive driving may be correlated to “risk taking” in other life or employment environments, including but not limited to spending and debt repayment. The evaluation may be further enhanced by tracking the changes in vehicle direction within the road segment, i.e., the driver's proclivity to change lanes.
This level of evaluation of individual driver behavior can also be reflected in the driver's safety rating score. It may be useful to have such information separately recorded as a subset of a composite score. Driver's that have an “aggressive” driving profile or that frequently operate on “high risk” road segments and/or times can be therefore be readily identified and distinguished from otherwise similar drivers. In the preferred embodiment, the aggressive driver score would be separable from the “high risk” road segment driver.
It will be readily appreciated that vehicle driving is a common activity of most individuals over the age of 16. Although driving and traffic conditions vary widely, it may be appreciated that common behavior traits may be exhibited through vehicle operation. It will be readily appreciated that an individual that can demonstrate a history of prudent driving in combination with prudent spending and use of credit may be part of an ideal target market of certain goods or services. Other drivers may choose not to provide such vehicle operation data for various reasons. These reasons can include that concern that the information would demonstrate less than ideal behavior, such as perceived high risk driving characteristics. For some purposes, it may be useful to exclude those individuals from the evaluation. Thereby the database is not flawed by their absence. For other purposes, such absent individuals that are otherwise identifiable may constitute the target audience or market. Again, the database is not flawed. For example, a person having a certain high spending and credit profile, but not reporting vehicle operations data may be particularly receptive to an ad campaign for luxury sports cars or certain vacation travel. The ability to identify or merely the enhanced ability to identify members of a target segment will be a valuable tool.
Another aspect of the present invention is to identify events or behavior that have a strong co-occurrence index or similar frequency of occurrence. For example rapid acceleration may frequently occur with hard braking. It may also occur with closely following other vehicles. Frequent lane changes without activating turning signals may be correlated with rapid acceleration but lane changes with use of turning signals may not have a similar correlation. However, frequent lane changes without turning signals on congested urban corridors during rush hour may have a different correlation compared to frequent lane changes without turning signal during off peak hours on the same type roadway. The rafter may be correlated to with excessive speed while the former is not.
In another example, a driver operating a vehicle primarily on suburban streets during daytime hours may have minimal correlation to excessive speeding. Conversely, such driver may have minimal demographic or economic commonality to drivers that demonstrate excessive speeding. It may be useful to exclude both from an evaluation. Therefore being able to determine where and when the driving occurs may be as important as how it occurs.
Further, the invention allows behavior or characteristics of drivers to be compared to other driver, independent of other factors. For example, all vehicles on a congested roadway may be operating below a posted speed limit. However, some drivers may be exhibiting frequent lane changes without turn signals, accompanied by high acceleration, hard braking and tailgating. No driver is operating above the speed limit, but some are exhibiting high-risk behavior.
In another example, a comparison of drivers on the same road segment during a recorded rain event can be compared. How a driver is operating in comparison to the other drivers during the rain event may be more predictive of behavior than adherence to posted speed limits.
Another aspect of the invention is the enhancing the predictability of likely future events by identifying the most predicative characteristics within the database and match the occurrence of one or more characteristics within the data set of an individual. A scaled score can be developed for the individual based upon the individual's dataset.
For example, none of a subset of drivers who are identified as principally driving on suburban streets may have traffic infractions. However, some drivers within the group may have recorded multiple events of “rolling stops” at stop signs. Some drivers may have multiple events of changing direction without using turning signals. Others may frequently drive without seat belts. Over time, one or more of such characteristics may be strongly correlated to other significant behavior or behavior of interest such as high-risk life style behavior, whether driving related or otherwise. Other factors may not show a strong correlation with other behavior of interest and may be discounted. Drivers identified as driving with significant frequency on congested urban arterial roads may be shown to have a correlation with other aspects of behavior. Therefore, over time some behavior may be shown to have a strong correlation with other behavior. The other characteristics (having a low index of frequency of correlation) may be thereafter discounted as predictive of the correlated behavior of interest.
As suggested above, another aspect of the invention is to identify and utilize characteristics that can be identified by sophisticated evaluation of the database that focus on prediction of responsiveness to certain input, e.g. an ad campaign or new product, in contrast to the odds of a future traffic accident or infraction. Such evaluation may include correlation of separate databases.
It will be further appreciated that evaluation of these additional or alternative variables will require minimal adjustment to the logic flow diagrams (
For the driving event (“trip”) subject of
A driver safety rating (DSR) 19-8 is established upon the evaluation of the data. In the driving event subject of
For example, in the embodiment of the invention illustrated by
σ=driver safety rating speed violation deduction
V=vehicle speed recorded from OBD
L=posted speed limit obtained from a GIS database utilizing the GPS location stamp for the data interval.
x=adjustment factor to normalize the deduction to a basis DSR of 100.
As stated above, the driver safety rating (DSR)=100−σ.
In another embodiment, the product of the calculation can be adjusted by a factor (μ) where μ=an adjustment factor for traffic conditions, weather conditions or time of day. It will be readily appreciated that operation of a vehicle at a speed in excess of the posted limit may be subject to a greater penalty or evaluative numerical significance if occurring in rain, icy conditions, nighttime, etc. Other factors which may justify a further adjustment criteria would include operating a vehicle in excess of the posted speed in a school zone, during rush hour or on roads that have statistically higher accident rates.
It will be further appreciated that the information contained in the table comprising
φ=driver safety rating acceleration deduction
V1=vehicle velocity from the previous time interval recorded from OBD
V2=vehicle velocity from the current time interval recorded from OBD.
t=time increment between data points
y=adjustment factor to normalize the deduction to a basis driver safety rating of 100.
0.6=threshold G-Force above which violations are recorded.
As with speed, the acceleration factor may be subject to a further adjustment (μ) for traffic, road or weather conditions as well as for time of day, etc.
In another embodiment, the rating may include the operator's adherence to traffic control signs and traffic signals (∅). This embodiment will require synchronized GPS and OBD data. An example of application of this capability would be failure of the vehicle to stop at a geographic location, as determined by the combined and time synchronized GPS and OBD data, known to be controlled by a stop sign. This can be viewed as an enhancement of the tracking speed with posted speed limits.
Yet another embodiment may utilize a separate factor (β) for travel at night or at determined road locations known to have greater accidents. Travel on Interstate highways traversing relatively sparsely populated and un-congested areas may understandably present different operating challenges and demands than equal mileage driven in congested urban streets and expressways with greater traffic density, frequently merging traffic and changing traffic speed. Similarly, the drivers' behavior, as well as driving skill, can be measured by the information metrics of the type depicted in
In yet another embodiment, the driver safety rating will be weighted to reflect the number of separate operating events or the cumulative vehicle operation marked data that is incorporated in the rating. A rating that is a product of the evaluation of numerous events can be expected to have a greater accuracy or greater predictive values for other or future behavior.
The driver safety rating comprising an evaluation of multiple factors, e.g., speed, rate of acceleration, sign adherence and time of day/location, will be an integration of the recorded and derived factors. In one embodiment, the DSR will be a deduction of the evaluated numerical value from a beginning 100 score. The numerical value will first require computation of the DSR for each time-marked interval, e.g., each two-second interval for which OBD, GPS, etc., data is collected for evaluation.
For example, in a simple calculation involving the four variables listed above, each variable can be given equal weight (with or without incorporating modifying factors such as μ). In that case, the deduction for each time interval (DSRINTERVAL) can simply be expressed as the average of the four values for that interval.
The DSRTRIP will then be:
The invention includes altering or adding additional variables and varying the evaluation as may be selected, utilizing recorded and uploaded data of vehicle operation as taught by this invention.
The evaluation process can also discard old or “stale” information that may be expected to no longer have significant predictive value. The criteria for discarding data may be a time function only, or incorporate the quantity of later data collected. The valuation process can also incorporate a persistence factor for events of selected significance. These may be events of driving at speeds in excess of 20 mph over the posted speed limit. The rating evaluation process may retain the data or numerical values for a longer duration than data or values pertaining to driving less than 10 mph above a posted speed limit. This process can utilize the “severity” value listed in the table of
Additional variable factors that may be subject of analysis include the number of changes in rate of acceleration (including de-acceleration) per linear distance traveled, number of changes in vehicle direction per linear distance traveled, use of seat belts, turning signals, activation of ABS or SRS systems, lane departure warning systems or intelligent cruise control systems, etc. Driver physiological data such as heart rate and blood pressure may be recorded and included in the analysis.
The invention also teaches real time feed back to the driver. This can include warnings of driving above a posted speed limit, warning that the vehicle is approaching a stop sign, or the time remaining before a traffic control light is to change from green to yellow or red, etc. It may provide notice of construction or other traffic delays. This embodiment utilizes real time access correlation and evaluation of multiple databases.
The evaluation can also include quantitative assessments, such as an evaluation based upon changes in vehicle direction, determined from steering wheel movement, time, and vehicle speed. This can be correlated with GPS data for validation as indicated above. The data can then be further qualitatively assessed for excessive speed during turning events, excessive lane changes, “tail gating”, etc. The qualitative assessment can include assigning numerical values for events. Events can be qualitative distinguished, i.e., an event of excessive driving speed, an event triggering the ABS or SRS system, could have a differing impact than an event of failure to activate turning signals.
An additional embodiment could include measurement of driver performance for a driving event or for operation per hour. The measurement can be stored and supplemented by additional driver specific driving events. Therefore changes in driver behavior over time can be evaluated, thereby providing a current, accurate assessment of behavior. With progression of time or collected events, it may be possible or advantageous to delete early events and data.
This specification is to be construed as illustrative only and is for the purpose of teaching those skilled in the art the manner of carrying out the invention. It is to be understood that the forms of the invention herein shown and describe are to be taken as the presently preferred embodiments. As already stated, various changes may be made in the shape, size and arrangement of components or adjustments made in the steps of the method without departing from the scope of this invention. For example, equivalent elements may be substituted for those illustrated and described herein and certain features of the invention may be utilized independently of the use of other features, all as would be apparent to one skilled in the art after having the benefit of this description of the invention.
Further modifications and alternative embodiments of this invention will be apparent to those skilled in the art in view of this specification.