|Publication number||USRE38781 E1|
|Application number||US 09/347,918|
|Publication date||Aug 23, 2005|
|Filing date||Jul 6, 1999|
|Priority date||Oct 6, 1994|
|Also published as||DE69531981D1, DE69531981T2, EP0706295A2, EP0706295A3, EP0706295B1, US5648769|
|Publication number||09347918, 347918, US RE38781 E1, US RE38781E1, US-E1-RE38781, USRE38781 E1, USRE38781E1|
|Inventors||Koji Sato, Makoto Morita, Masafumi Kizu|
|Original Assignee||Toyota Jidosha Kabushiki Kaisha|
|Export Citation||BiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan|
|Patent Citations (25), Referenced by (13), Classifications (19), Legal Events (1)|
|External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet|
1. Field of the Invention
The present invention relates to a vehicle data processing system and particularly to such a system that comprises a data input unit and a separate on-vehicle processing unit.
2. Description of the Prior Art
Various types of information processing systems such as navigation systems, audio systems and the like have been mounted on vehicles. In the navigation systems, however, a driver must input transit points and a destination with reference to a display unit in the processor, but cannot input these data at his or her home without getting in the vehicle.
To overcome such an inconvenience, a navigation system has been proposed which comprises portable input means for manually inputting transit points and a destination, storage means for storing the positional data of the inputted transit points and destination and a communication line for transmitting the positional data of the transit points and destination read out from the storage means to the main on-vehicle navigation unit of the navigation system, the input and storage means being operable independently of the main on-vehicle navigation unit of the navigation system, as shown in Japanese Patent Laid-Open No. Hei 5-265376. In such an arrangement, an operator can input transit points and a destination into the portable input means at his or her home. After the operator has gotten in the vehicle, he or she can connect the communication line of the navigation system to the main on-vehicle navigation unit thereof to transmit the stored data to the main on-vehicle navigation unit of the navigation system.
However, it is troublesome that after the data have been inputted into the input means at the operator's home, he or she must carry input means to the main on-vehicle navigation unit to the vehicle and connect it in order to transmit the stored data to the main on-vehicle navigation unit. It is of course possible that the data may be transmitted from the input means as placed in the operator's home to the main on-vehicle navigation unit through radio waves. At such a time, the main on-vehicle navigation unit must be active or in a data receiving state. Usually, the main on-vehicle navigation unit is energized when the vehicle engine is started. Thus, the problem of troublesome operation is still not overcome.
It is therefore an object of the present invention to provide a vehicle data processing system which can input data from an input means to an on-vehicle data processor such as the main on-vehicle navigation unit mentioned above with an improved operability even if the on-vehicle data processor is inactive.
To this end, the present invention provides a vehicle data processing system comprising an on-vehicle data processor having a data receiving portion for receiving data to be processed, an off-vehicle input unit separated and independent from the data processor, a data storage unit for storing data inputted into the data input unit, a sensor unit for sensing the start of the data processor, and a data transmitter for transmitting the data stored in the data storage unit to the data processor when the start of the data processor is sensed by the sensor unit. Even if the data processor is inactive, the operator can thus input data through the data input unit at his or her home. When the data processor is energized by the operator, the data will be automatically transmitted from the data transmitter to the data processor. Therefore, problems or carrying the data input unit or initializing the data processor only for data input can be avoided.
The data storage unit, sensor and data transmitter may be disposed within an information center which is arranged in the vehicle. The data processor may include a transmitter portion for transmitting a start signal to the information center when the data processor is started. The data transmission between the information center and the data processor is made through a mobile telephone system. The data processor may be replaced by a navigation system or an audio system.
The present invention also provides a vehicle data processing system comprising an on-vehicle data processor having a data transmitting portion for transmitting a request signal and a data receiving portion for receiving data to be processed, an off-vehicle input unit separated and independent from the data processor, a data storage unit for storing data inputted into the data input unit, a sensor means for sensing a vehicle receiving the request signal and a data transmitter responsive to the request signal for accessing the data storage unit to read the corresponding data and for transmitting the read data to the data processor in the vehicle sensed by the sensor means. Thus, the data required by the driver can be more easily inputted into the on-vehicle data processor.
The sensor means and data transmitter may be located within an information center. The data transmission between the information center and the data processor is made through a mobile telephone system.
Referring first to
On the other hand, the information center 12 comprises a storage unit for receiving and storing input data from the transmitter of the input unit in the operator's home 10 through an antenna, a sensor unit for sensing a start signal from the transmitter of the in-vehicle data processor and a transmitter for transmitting the input data stored in the storage unit to the vehicle 14 when that transmitter receives the start signal. The information center 12 polls the vehicle 14 existing within its control area and transmits the data to the vehicle if it is in its started state.
The data processing in the first embodiment will be described in connection with the flowcharts of
In the first embodiment, thus, the data set at the operator's home 10 are collectively controlled by the information center 12 and inputted into the data processor when the data processor mounted on the vehicle 14 is started. Therefore, the desired data can be set by the operator at his or her home independently of the start/non-start of the data processor and without carrying the input unit to the vehicle 14.
Although the first embodiment has been described in connection with the navigation system usable as a data processor, any other data processor may be similarly used in the present invention. In addition to the input data of transit points and destination, map data, sightseeing information and others may be optionally inputted into the navigation system.
Although the data processor on the vehicle 14 basically receives only the input data from the information center 12 in the first embodiment, the present invention can provide another or second embodiment in which a data processor can request the information center 12 to transmit the necessary information from the information center 12 to the data processor. In such a case, the information center 12 is not required to sense the start of the data processor since the latter has already been started. However, the position of the moving vehicle 14 must be sensed.
As the information center 12 receives data transmitted from the information terminal in the operator's home 10 (S281) as in
In such a manner, the driver can enjoy any music stored in the driver's home 10 merely by inputting the data relating to such music into the data processor while driving the vehicle 14.
Although the second embodiment has been described as to the request of data from the data processor on the vehicle 14 to the operator's home 10, more types of information can be acquired if the information center 12 is connected to any other source of information (e.g., rental shop) through the communication line.
The system of the second embodiment may be similarly applied to business vehicles. In such a case, any necessary information may be transmitted from an office to the information center 12 such that the office can directly receive a schedule of car allocation or the like from the information center 12.
As described, the vehicle data processing system of the present invention can input data into the input unit even if the on-vehicle data processor is not active and can also acquire the necessary data from any one of the operator's home and other information sources, the data being then processed by the data processor in any suitable manner.
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|U.S. Classification||340/988, 725/36, 725/32, 84/601, 340/7.48, 340/425.5, 701/24, 340/7.52, 701/400|
|International Classification||G08G1/0969, G11B20/10, H04M11/08, H04W4/04, H04B7/26, G08G1/137, G01C21/26, G08G1/123|