US 2876688 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
March 10, 1959 K. A. LAUE 2,876,638
. AUTOMATICALLY CONTROLLED PHOTOGRAPHIC APPARATUS IN VEHICLES Filed April 29, 1953 INVENTOR;
b KA R A. LAUE A TTOR/VE V United States Patent AUTOMATICALLY CON TROLLED, PHOTO- GRAPHIC APPARATUS IN VEHICLES Karl Arp Laue, Neuenkirchen, Kreis Osterholz (Unterweser), Germany Application April 29, 1953, Serial No. 351,926 2 Claims. 01. 95-11 The present invention relates to a mechanism for determining violations of tratnc laws, and more particularly pertains to an apparatus for the automatic taking of pietures upon the occurrence of trafiic violations and/ or collisions.
It is accordingly an object of the present invention to provide an apparatus which permits the determination of traflic violators.
It is another object of the present invention to provide an apparatus which permits taking of pictures in predetermined directions upon the occurrence of certain events caused by trafiic violations.
It is another object of the present invention to provide an apparatus for aifixing liability in case of collision.
A still further object of the present invention resides in the provision of an apparatus including a photographic apparatus which is released upon actuation of the brakes in excess of predetermined amounts or upon the occur.- rence of a collision.
A further object of the present invention resides in the provision of a hydraulic means connected to the hydraulic braking system of a motor vehicle to release a camera mounted within the car so as to take a picture of a predetermined field when it becomes necessary to thus actuate the brakes.
It is another object of the present invention to provide a camera which is released electrically upon the closing of an electric circuit caused by collision, etc.
It is a further object of the present invention to provide a novel and improved automatic photographic apparatus and release mechanism for the automatic taking of pictures of traffic violations and collisions, which may be readily installed in any conventionalmotor vehicle, is
simple in structure, reliable in operation and yet relatively inexpensive. H
These and other objects and advantages of the present invention will become obvious from the following description when taken in connection with the accompanying drawing which shows for purposes of illustration only one preferred embodiment in accordance with the present invention and wherein: p H
Figure 1 is a partial cross-sectional view of a motor vehicle illustrating schematically the hydraulic actuating system in accordance with the present invention;
Figure 2 is a plan view of a motor vehicle illustrating schematically the electrical actuating system in accordance with the present invention;
Figure 3 shows the details of the camera and its respective release mechanisms; and
Figure 4 shows a cross-sectional view of one form of contact element or pressure button used in the electrical circuit.
The increasing speed of the transportation devices in the streets and the increasing trafiic density increases the dangers for those participating in traffic. Tratfic discipline and control becomes ever more important. lt 1s attempted by means of corresponding laws and police regulations, and is supervised and controlled by the Patented Mar. 10, 1959 police. This supervision, however, is more or less ineffec+ tive because of the necessary numerical limitation in the supervisory personnel.
The purpose of the following, hereinafter-described invention is to determine, preferably by means of photographs or pictures which are obtained automatically, trafiic violators which are caught by other participants in the traific through documentary evidence of any violation of traflic laws, to afi'ix the responsibility in case of accidents, and to thereby indirectly effectuate better traffic discipline.
The invention contemplates the provision of a photographic apparatus or camera in a motor vehicle which may be released automatically. Such release is to take place when a sudden danger or mishappening is caused by another traflic participant as a result of his behavior contrary to traflic rules and regulations, or when ones own motor vehicle is, damaged. During travel, upon the occurrence of imminent danger, in most cases the brakes are suddenly and violently actuated. According to the invention, the release mechanism of the photographic apparatus is connected by means of an oil line, which may be bendable or flexible, if necessary, with the master cylinder of the brake system. By the sustaining and strong braking a small piston located at the end of the oil line will be moved in a cylinder against the release lever of the photographic apparatus due to the resulting, particularly strong oil pressure, and the release will thereby be actuated. The measure of necessary oil pressure, at which the release is to function may be determined, for example, by means of a small spring which opposes movement of the piston, so that the taking of pictures will be avoided with usual braking in normal traflic.
This invention is preferably then advantageous, if, in trailic, the endangering trafiic participant finds himself in front of the vehicle or suddenly appears thereat. The photographic apparatus may then accordingly be mounted above the drivers seat and may be directed in a forwardly direction.
However, it may also be desirable to take a picture toward the side or toward the rear. For that purpose one may either turn the photographic apparatus beforehand, in the required direction or provide further apparatus for those other directions. If the rear window of the vehicle is positioned in such a way as to be unfavorable to the photographic apparatus, then, if necessary, a convex mirror or other mirror may be interposed. In order to provide the turning of the photographic apparatus, the same may be mounted on a universal joint, which may be provided with the necessary fastening means to retain the apparatus in a predetermined direction.
In the event that it does not come to a sharp braking which would actuate the hydraulic release mechanism, possibly, because the source of interference comes from the side or from behind, and a collision results, it is also desirable to obtain pictures automatically under those conditions. In accordance with the present invention, the release may then take place electrically, i. e. by means of closure of an electric circuit which is normally open. For example, an insulated conductor may be placed horizontally on the inside or outside around the car and be connected with the free or ungrounded pole of the battery. The other pole of the battery is grounded by being connected to the vehicle. Any number of insulated branch circuits may be provided leading from this insulated conductor, to which they are electrically connected, to various protruding parts of the vehicle, such as the front and rear bumper guards, fenders, headlights, particular points of the chassis or the like. There asvaass they are connected with the leads or conductors from the insulating, protruding pressure or contact buttons which are fastened thereat by means of a suction disk provided on the underside thereof. During a collision they are pressed against the body of the vehicle to establish a circuit, i. e., they are pressed against the other pole of the battery to establish a closed electrical circuit. At the photographic apparatus, which is included in the electric circuit, an electromagnet will be energized by the resulting current, which attracts the release of the photographic apparatus, and thereby provides for the taking of the picture at that moment. According to the invention the release of the photographic apparatus may also be effected at will, for example, by means of press ing a button by means of which one of the insulated branch lines of the aforementioned insulated conductor may be connected with the grounded body of the car, and thereby permits current to flow in the electro magnet. Such button may, for example, he affixed to the steering wheel.
Finally, the release of the photographic apparatus may also be effected in a purely mechanical manner, in that one works the release directly manually or by means of a string, a wire or the like.
Referring now more particularly to the drawing wherein like reference numerals are used throughout to designate like parts reference numeral a designates the master cylinder. A pliable or bendable oil line b leads toward the photographic apparatus c. The oil cylinder d includes a piston which upon increase in oil pressure in the brake system and master cylinder moves against the release member e of the photographic apparatus c, as best illustrated in Figure 3. The movement of the piston of the oil cylinder, in its effort to actuate release e, is opposed by small spring 1, which must first be overcome in order to obtain the release of the camera. The spring may be of conventional design such as a small helical spring. The force of spring 1 is such that the fluid pressure in the brake system must attain or exceed a predetermined value in excess of that required to apply the brakes and this pressure must be sustained for a predetermined length of time so that the taking of pictures will be avoided with usual braking in normal trafiic.
In Figure 2 the same photographic apparatus or camera is again designated by c and includes release 2 as shown in Figure 3. Reference character g of Figure 2 designates the battery of the motor vehicle. One pole of battery g is connected to the body of the car which saves as ground conductor therefor. The other pole of the battery g is connected by means of insulated conductor i, via photographic apparatus 0, which includes the electromagnet p, to the insulated conductor 12.. Several branch conductors n which may be insulated are also connected to insulating conductor 11. A plurality of pressure or contact buttons k which may be made as rubber suction disks 1, and may be aifixed to the chassis of the vehicle by suction at various protruding parts of the body or other predetermined places, include a small, metallic plate m embedded in the rubber of the contact or pressure button k. In its normal condition the pointer of metallic plate m is separated from the wall 0 of the body maintaining an open electrical circuit to the electromagnetic means 1. However, if one applies sufliciently strong pressure to the rubber button, then the pointer Will pierce the insulating rubber and the enamel paint of the body to establish a closed electrical corcuit. Current then flows from the battery via electromagnet p, conductor h, conductor n, metallic plate in and body 0. Such current flowing through electromagnet p will overcome the opposition of spring f and attract release lever e and thereby releases the photographic apparatus, and a picture will be taken at that instance.
While the hydraulic release mechanism of Figure 1 is not shown in Figure 2, it is understood that both the hydraulic release system of Figure l and the electrical release system of Figure 2 may coexist in the same car.
Moreover, it is also understood that the release mechanisms of a plurality of cameras oriented in difierent dircctions may be simultaneously released by a plurality of hydraulic and electrical control circuits, with one hydraulic and one electric control circuit for each camera connected in parallel or series with corresponding control circuits of the other camera or cameras.
Furthermore, it is also Within the purview of the present invention to actuate the release mechanism of one or more cameras by only one or more of the aboveenumerated hydraulic, electrical and mechanical control mechanisms.
1. In combination with a motor vehicle having a master cylinder forming part of a brake system for the vehicle, a photographic apparatus having a release mechanism for taking pictures, hydraulic means connected with the master cylinder for actuating said release mechanism by fluid in said brake system in response to increase of fluid pressure in the cylinder and the brake system to a point greater than that required to apply the brakes and sustained for a predetermined length of time.
2. The combination according to claim 1, wherein said release mechanism comprises a release member acted upon by said hydraulic means, a spring means biasing said member to oppose actuation of said release member by said hydraulic means, and an electromagnetic means for actuating said release member in opposition to said spring means, said combination further including an electrical source and normally open pressure responsive contact means afiixed to the outside of the vehicle and connected in circuit with said source to energize said electromagnetic means upon closure of the contact means.
References Cited in the file of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS 1,701,800 Taylor Feb. 12, 1929 1,733,783 Medina Oct. 29, 1929 2,202,138 Buckham May 28, 1940 2,457,236 Hokett Dec. 28, 1948