(12) United States Patent
Cooper et al.
(io) Patent No.: US 6,431,593 Bl (45) Date of Patent: Aug. 13,2002
$54) VEHICLE CRASH DETERMINATION ARRANGEMENT AND METHOD, UTILIZING CENTER OF GRAVITY, FOR AN OCCUPANT PROTECTION SYSTEM
(75) Inventors: Stephen R. W. Cooper, Fowlerville;
Edward J. Gillis, South Lyon; Ron
Behar, Farmington Hills; Chek-Peng
Foo, Ann Arbor, all of MI (US)
(73) Assignee: TRW Inc., Lyndhurst, OH (US)
( * ) Notice: Subject to any disclaimer, the term of this patent is extended or adjusted under 35 U.S.C. 154(b) by 0 days.
(21) Appl. No.: 09/687,707
(22) Filed: Oct. 13, 2000
(51) Int. CI.7 B60R 21/32
(52) U.S. CI 280/735; 180/273; 701/45
(58) Field of Search 280/734, 735;
180/271, 273, 282; 701/45
(56) References Cited
U.S. PATENT DOCUMENTS
6,213,510 Bl * 4/2001 Suyama 280/805
6,236,308 Bl * 5/2001 Dalum 340/436
6,243,634 Bl * 6/2001 Oestreicher et al 701/45
6,250,671 Bl * 6/2001 Osmer et al 280/735
6,252,240 Bl * 6/2001 Gillis et al 250/559.38
6,259,167 Bl * 7/2001 Norton 307/10.1
U.S. Gillis et al. Patent Application Serial No. 09/679,327, filed Oct. 4, 2000 entitled Apparatus and Method for Protecting a Vehicle Occupant Utilizing a Correlation Between an Occupant-Associated Center and a Distance to an Occupant-Associated Surface.
* cited by examiner
Primary Examiner—-J. J. Swann
Assistant Examiner—David R. Dunn
(74) Attorney, Agent, or Firm—Tarolli, Sundheim, Covell,
Tummino & Szabo L.L.P.
A vehicle crash determination arrangement (20) includes a plurality of weight sensors (52,54). The sensors (52,54) are disposed beneath a vehicle seat (16), and each sensor senses a weight value from the seat and an occupant (14) located on the seat. A center of gravity determination portion (62) of a controller (34) determines center of gravity of the seat (16) and the occupant (14) using the sensed weight values. A C.O.G. crash determination portion (64) of the controller (34) determines occurrence of a vehicle crash using change in the determined center of gravity and outputs a signal (66) indicative of the determination of crash occurrence. Preferably, the arrangement (20) is part of an occupant protection system (10) for the occupant (14). The system (10) includes an actuatable occupant protection device (24). An actuation control portion (46) of the controller (34) controls actuation of the device (24).
20 Claims, 5 Drawing Sheets