|Publication number||USRE41395 E1|
|Application number||US 10/166,818|
|Publication date||Jun 22, 2010|
|Priority date||Sep 30, 1997|
|Also published as||DE19843780A1, US6076026|
|Publication number||10166818, 166818, US RE41395 E1, US RE41395E1, US-E1-RE41395, USRE41395 E1, USRE41395E1|
|Inventors||Shrirang Nilkanth Jambhekar, Jacques Hara, John Robert Barr|
|Original Assignee||Temic Automotive Of North America, Inc.|
|Export Citation||BiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan|
|Patent Citations (15), Referenced by (4), Classifications (14), Legal Events (3)|
|External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet|
The present invention relates to vehicle control events, and more particularly to recording vehicle control events.
For aircraft, vehicle control events are recorded and stored in a “black box” that is typically accessed when an accident occurs and is used to determine the cause of the accident. The “black box” is an airline cockpit voice data recorder that records verbal events. This type of recording device has been shown to be extremely useful in determining whether operator error or mechanical failure was the cause of the accident.
For automotive vehicles, however, no authenticated control event recorder has been developed for the purpose of analyzing and evaluating accident claims. When vehicles collide with one another, or are involved in accidents individually, there is no method currently available to determine the sequence of control events performed by the operator before, during and after the occurrence of the accident. Typically police require a report of the accident, but such a report generally relies upon the memories of the operators involved in the accident and any witnesses to the accident. In addition to an investigation by the police, insurance companies for the vehicle or vehicles involved may interview the operator or operators and witnesses to the accident. Often no factual identification of the operator at fault may be determined by the police or the insurance companies.
Thus there is a need for a method and device for authenticating and securing control event data for a vehicle.
The present invention provides a device and method for authenticating and securing event data for a vehicle that may be utilized to analyze the cause of an accident by the police or an insurance agency to aid in their determination as to which driver was at fault, or alternatively, the failure of a vehicle electromechanical system. The method and device may also be utilized to determine whether a false insurance claim has been made. Authenticating event data, as used herein, is defined as ensuring that genuine event data is being recorded by comparing the time stamps on microcontroller data and microprocessor data. Securing event data, as used herein, is defined as limiting access to the stored authenticated event data to certain predetermined agencies. Authenticating and securing the event data provides tamper-proof information about the chronological history of control events.
The present invention records all control events initiated by a driver and a plurality of data with respect to external agents. Data with respect to external agents may include, for example, the force of impact on an external surface of the vehicle body in a crash. Control event data is typically stored in a memory device by a microcontroller and a microprocessor (See
The events recorded by the microcontroller are “signed” by the microcontroller, i.e., include a time stamp and pre-determined identification value/values to ensure that the recorded events were produced during the operation of the specific vehicle. Thus, data provides information for the microprocessor to compare with its own signed data to determine whether the microcontroller data is genuine. For example, one predetermined identification value is a vehicle identification number (VIN) of the vehicle being driven. The VIN is recorded along with the event information to identify the vehicle uniquely. Event information includes data with respect to impacting transducers and control event information and any other predetermined data collected. The vehicle may also support a recognition mechanism and a driver preference mechanism that allows determination of who was driving the vehicle during the signed period. The microprocessor has its own time stamp mechanism that is associated with the external impact sensors. The combination of the event recording and the impact sensing time stamps may be used to certify that the events were recorded at the time of the accident.
The secured record of events is then securely accessible to agencies like automobile insurance agencies or police agencies. The agencies may then analyze the data by securely accessing the memory device, retrieving and interpreting the secure records. Since only the insurance agencies and the police agencies will have access to the secure records, the accident claims may be monitored securely. The police agencies may use the secure event data to determine the cause of the accident and identify the party at fault.
Information stored on the memory device includes a dual record with a time phase difference to produce records overlapping by a predetermined amount. In this way when the first record is being erased, and an accident occurs at the same time, the initial portion of the out-of-phase record is still available. A cumulative record is not generally possible since an unlimited amount of memory would be required, and a large portion of the record prior to an impact would typically not be helpful. In one embodiment, the event data is only accessed securely, using encryption and public key cryptography. The access mechanism may be implemented using a smart card. A smart card may be used as a mechanism to store the certified data that can be removed from the vehicle to be further processed remotely. The smart card acts as a standardized, modular, portable/removable device of convenience to the accessing authorized agencies. A smart card contains a certifiable key only known to the authorized agencies that can be authenticated by the microprocessor against public keys for those authorized agencies.
A secure mechanism may include deliberately setting the microprocessor time clock out of phase with the microcontroller time clock at a predetermined interval. That out of phase value is known only to the system setting of the microprocessor.
In one embodiment, the event record may be transmitted to a remote location (e.g., insurance agencies and police agencies) by use of a cellular phone or similar radio by sending out the event data utilizing a secure method. If a radio frequency device exists on the vehicle, the microprocessor can be programmed to call an authorized agency databank which will provide certifiable keys only known to the authorized agency that can be authenticated by the microprocessor against public keys for selected authorized agencies. Secure protocol can be used to prevent unauthorized reception of the event record.
The components of the present invention may be embodied as a contacted/contactless smartcard module that is readable through a smart card reader. Alternatively, the components may be embedded in the electronics of an automobile. For example, the components may be embodied as a unified device, a combination of a microcontroller and a microprocessor module in a single integrated circuit integrated with both input/output and memory components. Accordingly, the microcontroller 104 and the micro-processor 108, either as separate components or unified in a single device, can be thought of as a processing system. A third alternative uses a secure memory and a software program that enables use of existing microelectronics in the vehicle. The software functions in accrodance accordance with the method described below in FIG. 2.
The device typically also includes an auto-lock unit coupled to the microprocessor for sending a signal to the memory to lock the first information and the second information in unchangeable form, or alternatively, a manual lock for sending a signal to the memory to lock the first information and the second information in unchangeable form.
Control event information is generated as a result of actions by the driver. Control event information may include acceleration/deceleration information, braking information, hazard light initiation, air bag deployment, turn signal initiation, reverse gear implementation, parking gear initiation, hand brake initiation and the like. The VIN may be optional data sent to the microcontroller by the vehicle. Alternatively, the VIN number may already reside in the microcontroller. Other optional data may include, for example, a personal identification number that identifies the driver of the vehicle.
Storing first information in a list in memory in time overlap fashion means storing another list out of phase with the first list by a predetermined time.
Synchronicity of time stamp one and time stamp two may be determined by utilizing a preset value of time stamp in the microprocessor in a predetermined value so that the preselected synchronization difference is not known to an unauthorized person or device.
The present invention may be embodied in other specific forms without departing from its spirit or essential characteristics. The described embodiments are to be considered in all respects only as illustrative and not restrictive. The scope of the invention is, therefore, indicated by the appended claims rather than by the foregoing description. All changes which come within the meaning and range of equivalency of the claims are to be embraced within their scope.
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|Citing Patent||Filing date||Publication date||Applicant||Title|
|US8595034||Dec 28, 2011||Nov 26, 2013||Progressive Casualty Insurance Company||Monitoring system for determining and communicating a cost of insurance|
|US8892451||Sep 14, 2012||Nov 18, 2014||Progressive Casualty Insurance Company||Vehicle monitoring system|
|US9020657 *||May 8, 2012||Apr 28, 2015||Joseph D. Uhler||Method for automated VIN acquisition and close proximity VIN verification|
|US20120294238 *||Nov 22, 2012||Joseph David Uhler||Method for automated VIN acquisition and close proximity VIN verification|
|U.S. Classification||701/29.6, 340/901, 340/991, 340/5.72, 340/426.1, 340/426.22, 340/5.2, 701/117, 340/426.28|
|International Classification||B62D41/00, G07C5/08, G01M17/00|
|Oct 24, 2006||AS||Assignment|
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST;ASSIGNOR:MOTOROLA, INC.;REEL/FRAME:018430/0695
Owner name: TEMIC AUTOMOTIVE OF NORTH AMERICA, INC.,ILLINOIS
Effective date: 20060914
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST;ASSIGNOR:MOTOROLA, INC.;REEL/FRAME:018430/0695
Owner name: TEMIC AUTOMOTIVE OF NORTH AMERICA, INC., ILLINOIS
Effective date: 20060914
|Dec 8, 2011||FPAY||Fee payment|
Year of fee payment: 12
|Jun 12, 2014||AS||Assignment|
Free format text: MERGER;ASSIGNORS:CONTINENTAL TEVES, INC.;TEMIC AUTOMOTIVE OF NORTH AMERICA, INC,;REEL/FRAME:033135/0185
Effective date: 20091210
Owner name: CONTINENTAL AUTOMOTIVE SYSTEMS, INC., MICHIGAN