Emergency Warning (Intelligent Beacon) System for Vehicles

United States Patent No. 6,714,127 B2


Key functional benefits of the Emergency Warning System for Vehicles (United States Patent #6,714,127 B2) include in and out of the vehicle, and shared intra-vehicular visual/aural severe braking early warning emergency notification - - in addition to the above, remote intelligent beacons provide for early warning information to motorists about to encounter a potentially hazardous scenario on or off the road, whereby distinct early warning alerts are generated by the system to assist the driver in more safely and intelligently conducting the vehicle - -



"The microprocessor of the inventive warning system may also be programmed to read signals transmitted from a remote beacon transmitter installed on a remote carrier, such as a non-motorized vehicle (e.g. bicycle or child's ride-on toy), an emergency vehicle (e.g. ambulance, fire truck, police vehicle), or a potentially hazardous site (e.g. off-road and on-road construction sites, school zones, hospital zones, accident sites, etc.).

The beacon transmitter is designed to transmit signals employing the same message structure employed between the warning systems installed on decelerating moving vehicles and surrounding motorized vehicles described above. Additionally, such signals would be broadcasted on the same frequency band as the transceiver of the inventive warning system installed on the motorized vehicles. The transmitted signals from the remote transmitter would correspond to the presence or location of the transmitter (through range limiting of the beacon) as well as the type of potentially hazardous situation (i.e. a bicycle versus a road construction zone) by use of the Unit Identification message segment to designate the type of alert condition.

The inventive warning system's microprocessor would then activate the alerting device to warn the vehicle's driver of the presence and/or type of potential danger ahead. The alert generated by the alerting device, in turn, would correspond to the particular potentially hazardous situation. Moreover, the type of alert generated could be different from the alert generated in response to a DMV described above."

The Emergency Warning System for Vehicles beacon system inherently serves as an information system for vehicles, providing precision (targeted to the specific travel lane transmission, including magnetic orientation angular range desired window) notification of road signs such as maximum and minimum speed limit, curve ahead, crossing, uneven pavement, merge, deer crossing, slow down, resume normal speed, etc, etc.

In-vehicle beacon and remote beacon emergency warning information is transmitted via radio frequency signal alerts provided to the approaching, following, and drivers of surrounding vehicles traveling in the same general direction, or heading (magnetic orientation), and within short range communication radio frequency coverage area - -

key purpose intent of the system is to provide for convenient in-vehicle visual and aural early warning alerts and information notification to the driver of any on or off road motorist encountered potential hazard, danger, or warning information.

The patented Emergency Warning System for Vehicles was intelligently designed and is equipped with extended capabilities including deciphering distinct emergency warning signals from remote beacons installed at or near construction zones, hospital sites, firehouses, accident sites, police stations, non-motorized carriers - - everywhere - - scenario specific identification beacon signals provide advanced in-vehicle warning notice to the drivers of a potentially hazardous condition ahead, or just common situations motorists normally encounter and are in need of additional awareness or advanced notice.

Beacon system program access flexibility allows for the self-contained beacon units to be accessed remotely via radio frequency handheld console transmitter module, laptop, and/or cellular remote transmission programming to provide for updated, modification of refreshed data (as needed) including transmitter identification code, range, and desired transmission orientation variables for information alert transmission to the surrounding vehicles on a given travel route.

Description: http://www.intelligentvehicletechnologies.com/_themes/blueprnt/bluhorsa.gif

Potential uses of the Intelligent Beacon System

The Speed Limit Sign Beacon:

A self-contained intelligent smart radio technology beacon may be installed on a speed limit sign (or in lieu of) to reflect current or recommended speed limit based on weather conditions, ice, rain, potential hazards, etc.

The Fog Zone Beacon:

Self-contained intelligent beacons may be installed throughout the road and  in known fog zone areas where during foggy conditions motorists are alerted of the fog zone condition ahead.

The Freezing Bridge Surface Beacon:

Self-contained intelligent beacon/s may be installed on the surface of the bridge/s that transmits early warning to approaching motorists of potentially freezing slippery surfaces.

The Frozen Road Surface Condition Sign Beacon:

Self-contained intelligent beacon transmitters may be installed throughout the road surface (similar to the current reflector modules in use) for early in-vehicle early warning to approaching vehicles of icy conditions.

The Safety Sign Beacon:

A self-contained intelligent beacon may be installed on a sign or the surface of the road for in-vehicle warning reminder to drivers to Stay Awake, Arrive Alive, Drive Safely!

The Rest Area Sign Beacon:

A self-contained intelligent beacon may be installed on a sign or the surface of the road for in-vehicle reminder of the services provided at the rest area ahead.

Rail Road Crossing Beacon:

The approaching train may utilize the self-contained intelligent beacon for in-vehicle early warning that the train is approaching and in the vicinity of the immediate vehicle/s (heading, or earth magnetic orientation) with potential to cross the railroad tracks.

The Hazardous Materials Vehicle Transporter Beacon:

Hazmat vehicles may intermittently, continuously, or on command, transmit (with or without driver consent) content of cargo, driver authentication and identification, etc. With the application of Beacon Interface (Beacon to Beacon bi-directional communications) the vehicle may be safely disabled and brought to a stop before entering a restricted zone such as a tunnel, bridge or restricted area.

School Bus Beacon:

A self-contained intelligent smart radio beacon may be installed on a school bus for the purpose of alerting drivers of the impending danger surrounding the vehicles. Transmission signals may be intelligently programmed and transmitted in the forward (parallel) and/or reverse direction of the bus, or surrounding (up to 360 degree radius) the bus as needed to alert approaching vehicles in the vicinity of the potential danger.

Work Zone Beacon:

Multiple self-contained intelligent beacons may be installed in every critical area as deemed to provide for continued warnings of workers present in the immediate work zones. In the future, in-vehicle alerts may include self-controlled speed limitation of vehicle and deceleration in such areas.

The Construction Zone Beacon:

Self-contained intelligent beacons may be installed on a sign post, cone, drum, barricades, construction vehicles, towers, or on the surface of the road for surrounding (or variable, preprogrammed directed heading target transmission) in-vehicle warning communication reminder of potential dangers on the road ahead.

The Accident Site Beacon:

The first responder, or police officer may easily program and activate the self-contained intelligent beacon (installed on the emergency vehicle or remote unit) which in turn transmits specific commands directed exclusively to the approaching drivers (or all affected motorists as appropriate) of the vicinity of the accident site. Such commands may include, and are not limited to instructions to detour, or safely maintain a specific speed on a specific lane or lanes, enforcing strict 'no rubberneck' instructions on command.

The Emergency Vehicle Beacon:

A first responder, or law enforcement officer rushing to an emergency scene or on call to an accident site may activate the self-contained high-power directional intelligent beacon to alert drivers traveling on the road ahead of the approaching emergency vehicle commanding right-of-way use of traffic lanes.

The Amber Alert Beacon:

Smart radio intelligent beacons wirelessly couple to in-vehicle graphical user interface (GUI's are similar to current navigation system liquid crystal display screens currently used in newer vehicles) - - in the future, motorists traveling on the highway randomly receive amber alert warnings to include victim information, picture, and identification data to assist the general public traveling in the general vicinity of the reported incident locate the missing person.

The Traffic Light Beacon:

In combination with a smart radio intelligent beacon, a sender receiver directional sensor unit may be installed at or near a traffic signal, where the sensor picks up the speed of an approaching vehicle to the intersection - - the traffic light beacon transmits back to the vehicle a distinct warning signal (including directional heading magnetic orientation) alert of unacceptable vehicle speed approach towards a red light. Due to intelligent radio transmission, signal alerts are directed exclusively to and received by the potential violator.

The Bicycle Beacon:

Road sharing equipment to include non-motorized carriers may also make safety use of the self-contained intelligent beacon system. The purpose and intent of the system is to make the approaching drivers in the general area aware of the potential danger surrounding the vehicle.

Intersection collision avoidance:

As you approach the crossroads while driving your vehicle, imagine an intersection traffic signal that briefly and intelligently beams to you (inside your vehicle) a directed microwave (radio frequency) preemptive warning signal that the light is about to turn red - - you would receive the aural/visual warning ahead of time as you approach the intersection and allow your vehicle to slow down before applying the brakes and come to a stop - - 

in the above described scenario, acceleration of the vehicle during a yellow, or amber warning light signal would be virtually eliminated, together with the potential probability for a lethal intersection collision.

Now, to make a traffic signal even more intelligent, we would make the green light flash on and off momentarily, just a couple of seconds before the turning to the amber light. .

Additional applications of the Emergency Warning Beacon System for Vehicles are possible.

.. in accordance with the invention for the purpose of illustrating the manner in which the invention may be used to advantage, it will be appreciated that the invention is not limited thereto. Accordingly, any and all modifications, variations or equivalent arrangements which may occur to those skilled in the art should be considered to be within the scope of the invention as defined in ALL OF THE annexed claims.