Vehicle proximity reader pushbutton start patent

They allow for evaluation of overall vehicle performance and response.

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This information can then be used to make adjustments to various vehicle subsystems as needed. They can also be used for modeling and detecting events. For example, given a certain abnormal deceleration detected, the control module may determine that the accelerometer detected a vehicle accident.

Other events that can be tracked via the accelerometer may include, but are not limited to, unsafe driving habits, vehicle speed, rollover or tilt e. The control module may either calculate these types of events themselves using accelerometer data, or, in the case of more sophisticated accelerometers, be informed of or have access to the detected events by the accelerometer. The control module may also include, or be connected to, wireless networking devices. For example, a PCB mounted wireless cellular modem with internal antenna or any type of wireless networking, such as satellite, Wi-Fi, or ad hoc networking may provide communication with the Internet.

For example, the control module may be able to, via the wireless networking device, communicate over a cellular network that connects to the Internet. Customers and installers can access the system with a camera equipped mobile communication device such as a mobile phone, tablet or laptop by downloading a mobile app. Turning to FIG. These remote servers may be connected using VPN connections to one or more wireless carriers These can be implemented using dedicated or cloud based servers.

A GUI interface to the remote servers may allow an administrator , to manage the clients, devices, and control modules via an application, website, or mobile application. In some cases, the remote servers may be known as an RCS gateway. Other configuration of providing remote server services are also contemplated.

In the example depicted in FIG. The user's mobile device may be running an application that is capable of reading a QR code on the car that corresponds to the vehicle's identification number the VIN, or any other number or corresponds to the control module's identification number. The mobile device or application running on the mobile device, or the customer, may have its own identifier. The remote server may verify that the customer identifier sent is a registered customer with the rental or carshare service, and that customer is allowed to access the identified car. If verification is successful, the remote server may send a command to the control module in the car via the Internet.

The control module may receive the command via the Internet over its cellular connection, and unlock the doors, giving car access to the user.


The control module's wireless connection security e. The remote servers in FIG. They may be managed by the rental car share company, the manager or manufacturer of the control modules, or a third party. Their role is to provide a central repository of vehicle control, and an associated database. For example, programs and data in the servers may allow a user with a mobile device to communicate directly with a control module, even if no RFID, NFC, or any local communication between the control module and the mobile device is established.

This may allow for all remote capabilities to be accessed either by a user of the car via their smartphones, or by a remote user such as an operator assisting a customer with a car.

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For example, an operator can unlock the car doors for a customer if they have lost their smartphone. The servers also keep a number of tables and or associations may between the cars, control modules, installers, customers, and others as required by an RCS system. For example, there may exist an association within the server e. This assigns the vehicle to the control module, and the control module to the vehicle. Thus, when the control module is sent a command, an embodiment of the invention will know exactly which vehicle is being controlled.

When a control module is first installed in a vehicle, this association may be created. When a control module is transferred to another vehicle, this vehicle may be updated to correctly associate the control module to the new vehicle. There may also exist an association between a user and a control module, or a user and a vehicle or both.

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This may be created when a user rents a vehicle, or makes a reservation. There may also exist an association between an installer or owner of the RCS fleet, and the control module or vehicle. These, and many other associations also enable billing to take place.

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In addition to these associations, any information accessible by the control module may also be uploaded to these servers for access by an installer, owner, or user or any manager of the control modules. Any data accessible by the control module is contemplated. Current methods of installation may be too labor and time intensive e. For example, previous systems for unlocking the doors in RCS vehicles require running hardwires to the door lock and unlock motor.

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Furthermore, previous systems required calibrating a system to current mileage and fuel levels. For example, to calibrate the fuel level voltage input from fuel gauge the installer had to 1 turn on the engine with an empty fuel tank to sample the voltage output from the fuel sensor and 2 fill up the gas tank to sample the voltage output when full. This requires the installer to drive the vehicle 2 to 3 times for over a mile each time. The installer then compared the miles driven vehicle trip log with the reported mileage from the device.

If not, the device is calibrated and the process is repeated.

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In addition, the installer may have to configure a long test and registration process. After hardware install, the installer will call a remote technician and give them the serial number of a RCS system to be tested. The technician will run several tests to verify connectivity to the network, GPS and send forward commands to the device to verify the device is installed and functioning.

Alternatively, the installer may register the device through a website on a laptop or other desktop and perform similar tests. This may add up to 15 minutes per vehicle, and add considerable cost to a vehicle each time a device is moved from one car to another. For example, the device does not require calibration because fuel information and mileage information may be requested from a diagnostic unit using the OBD2 port e.

In some alternative embodiments useful for certain year, makes and models, the control module may request from the odometer a reading over the CAN bus to calculate miles drive. Prior to installation, but before registration, an installer may use a mobile application or in a separate mobile application, or web application to interact with the control module based on scanning the control module for an ID. This ID may then be sent to the remote servers so that the remote servers can issue commands to the control module over the wireless network.

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The installer application may then test the control module over a variety of criteria, including whether the control module knows its serial number, whether the VIN has been automatically detected correctly, whether the VIN and serial numbers for the control module are correctly paired, whether the vehicle's command codes or executable instructions have been found or downloaded e.

Learn Mode Successful. It may also test and display results for GPS signal strength, current address, cellular signal strength, battery voltage, etc. Each of these categories may have a pass or fail display associated with them that indicates whether the vehicle has passed or failed testing. If the vehicle did fail some tests, trouble shooting tips associated with the failed tests may be displayed in the mobile application.

If successful, the vehicle may then be registered as described below. In one embodiment, the registration process may also be improved. A mobile application may be used to accomplish increased registration efficiency. The following is a brief overview of the mobile application's interaction with the control module in order to install or transfer a control module. The mobile application may be installed on a smartphone, for example, through download of Apple's iTunes service, or any other content distribution mechanism for the mobile device.

The installer, after connecting the control module physically with the OBD2 port and possibly other inputs depending on the embodiment may use the mobile application to initiate an association of the control module. For example, FIGS. The displays are only representative, and may be designed in any manner to carry out the functionality described by the figures and in this specification. Prior to installation of the control module, the control module may be scanned by an installer after it is pulled from inventory.