Invented by James Plante, SmartDrive Systems Inc
The SmartDrive Systems Inc invention works as followsVehicle Event Recorders are arranged to have integrated web servers that provide a simple interface and control mechanisms which can be addressed with commonly available software and hardware. The vehicle event recorder is coupled to a network with a node for workstations. A workstation with one of the available web browsers allows users to view, address and control data, as well as perform data transfers, etc., using simple IP protocols. The vehicle with these systems then returns to the household to establish a network connection. A local server allows all system controls to be viewed by predefined web pages that are provided by a webserver integrated into the vehicle event recording unit.
Background for Vehicle Event Recorders with Integrated Web Server
The following inventions disclose are generally concerned with systems for recording vehicle events and specifically with systems that have integrated web server modules.
The inventions described in U.S. No. No. 6,947.817, by inventor Diem, for nonintrusive tools for testing oxygen sensors operation, relates to diagnostic systems for testing vehicles where such systems include wireless communications links between a car and any remote network server computers. In particular, WiFi type access points enabled an analyzer communicate via the Internet with server computer hosting oxygen sensor SOAP service. The system is a wireless communication link between smog sensors and remote servers for automobiles.
Video surveillance systems provide video recordings of events, incidents and happenings in places of interest. Video surveillance systems are used to protect retail banking offices, which can provide video evidence if robbery occurs. Mobile video surveillance is also common today. While video surveillance systems tend to be used at fixed locations, they are often used for mobile surveillance.
Video systems are configured to work with automobiles, and in particular with police cruiser-type automobiles. Video cameras mounted on a police vehicle can capture important images as the cruiser is often very close to the crime scene. It is not necessary that criminals and crime are involved in a specific activity around an automobile. Sometimes, events that occur around an automobile can be of interest even if they have nothing to do criminal activity. Video evidence may be valuable in the case of a simple accident involving two cars colliding. The events and circumstances that led up to the accident can be preserved so an accurate reconstruction of what happened can be made. These details are useful in determining the cause of an accident, as well as fault and liability. Video systems are becoming increasingly important for protecting all. Below are some examples of systems with references to relevant documents.
Inventor Schmidt Presents in U.S. Pat. No. No. 5,570,127 is a video-recording system for a vehicle, specifically a school bus. It has two video cameras, one for the inside view of the bus and the other for the traffic view. The system also includes a single recording device and a method whereby both cameras are multiplexed to the recording device at the appropriate time. A switching signal is used to determine which of the two cameras are in communication with a video recorder. This allows the recording device to see passengers inside the vehicle and traffic passing by at other times.
In U.S. Pat. No. No. 5,586,130. The system comprises vehicle sensors that monitor one or more parameters of vehicle operation. The fault detection method involves storing the current time at regular intervals when the recording device has main power. The inventor Doyle also teaches at the U.S. Patent. No. No.
A computerized vehicle log” Dan Kikinis, of Saratoga Calif., is the inventor of U.S. Pat. No. 5,815,093. The vehicle accident recording systems uses a digital camera that is connected to an interrupter and controller with nonvolatile memories, as well as a sensor for detecting accidents. The newest images are overwritten on the oldest memory until an accident occurs. At that point, the memory will be blocked from being overwritten to protect more important images which could include information about the accident. Mr. Kikinis explains that the preferred embodiments of the system have a communications port through which stored images can be downloaded to a digital display device after an accident. The specification describes this feature in more detail, indicating a wired upload to a server with specialized image processing and handling software.
No less than Mr. Turner, an inventor from Compton, Calif., teaches a device that prevents theft of an automobile vehicle with both an audible and visual monitoring system. Operators of video monitors are responsible for handling and monitoring an emergency situation, and informing 911 emergency stations. This system is described in U.S. Patent. No. 6,002,326.
The inventors Cox and others teach “A vehicle crash video recorder. This system includes a monitoring unit and a method for recording the state of the rail vehicle before a potential incident. The monitoring unit continuously monitors both the emergency brake status and the foe status for the horn status. After detecting the event trigger of an emergency brake or horn, video images are captured and recorded for a predetermined time. U.S. Pat. No. No. 6,088,635.
In U.S. Pat. No. No. 6,385,490. The apparatus has a three-stage memory for recording and retaining information. It is also equipped with parallel and series connectors for instant access to accident data on the scene. Ferguson considers it essential to provide on-site data access. Ferguson also teaches the use of a hardwired serial or parallel connection. Ferguson’s teaching is found in many advanced systems that are configured as vehicle recorders.
The U.S. Patent for “A traffic data recorder, traffic accident reproducing system and method” is entitled: “A traffic Accident Data Recorder and Traffic Accident Reproduction System and Method”. No. 6,246,933. For sensing, storing and updating operating parameters are included a plurality of sensors that register 3 vehicle operation parameter including at least 1 vehicle mounted digital audio video camera. The microprocessor controller provides a rewritable nonvolatile storage device for the video images, audio signals and operational parameters. Data is converted into a computer-readable form, and then read by an computer so that data collected can be used to reconstruct an accident.
U.S. Pat. No. Abe and others have disclosed a memory device for vehicle data. A control unit is coupled with a plurality of sensors such as a CCD camera, steering angle sensors, brake pressure sensors, acceleration sensors and a collision center for vehicle speed sensors. The control unit also passes information on to a RAM and flash memory, subject to an encoder. Information is collected and sent through a video terminal. It shows how important a computer hardware-interface is to experts. It is partly because video systems tend to be data-intensive and that wired systems have enough bandwidth for large data transfers.
U.S. Pat. No. The 6,389-339 patent granted to Inventor Just of Alpharetta in Georgia teaches a system and method for monitoring vehicle operations. A radio transceiver and an onboard camera are used to monitor the operation of a vehicle. The monitoring service uses a cellular network to transmit video data from the transceiver back to the home computer. These systems are designed to monitor teen driving. “The mobile modem transmits live video data into the network while the vehicle is moving.
Morgan, Hausman and Chilek with their heads combined invented an advanced response and law enforcement technology in U.S. Pat. No. No. 6,411,874 granted June 25, 2002 25, 2002. A central control system allows intuitive and easy control over numerous subsystems of a police car, or any other emergency vehicle. This highly integrated system offers advanced control apparatus that drives a variety of detector systems, including video and audio distribution systems around the vehicle. This device has an advanced display and user interface system that allows high-level driver interaction.
Inventor Lambert lectures in U.S. Patent. No. 6.421,080 is a “digital surveillance system with recording of pre-events”. In accident recording systems, pre-event recordings are important because the detection of an accident usually happens after it has happened. Temporary storage is done in a first memory. Images are continuously stored in temporary storage until a trigger indicates that an accident has happened. At this point, images are transferred into a permanent memory.
The systems taught by Gary Rayner are U.S. Pat. Nos. Nos. 6,389 340, 6,405, 112, 6,449 540, and 6,718,239 are all directed at cameras for automobiles that capture video images of both forward-looking and drivers’ views and store the recorded images on a local mass storage system. “At the end of a vehicle service day, an operator plugs a wired connection into the device port, and then downloads the information to a desktop computer with specialized software, where the images and information can be displayed and analyzed on a highly integrated user interface.
It is not possible for an administrative operator in the systems Rayner instructs to manipulate or handle data captured in a vehicle at a remote location without human interaction. A download operator is required to transfer the data from the recorder device to an unconnected computer system. Although proprietary ‘DriveCam’ files can be emailed or otherwise transferred through the Internet, those files are in a format that can only be digested by desktop software running on a remote computer. Files can be sent via e-mail or other means over the Internet. However, they are only able to be read by desktop software on a remote computer. DriveCam must be installed on the remote computer. The files must be properly read. Those who are interested in data cannot access it. The parties that do not have a computer with DriveCam software installed on it. The second major disadvantage of the systems offered by Rayner is that they require a human to manually download and service their equipment every day.
The remote reporting and manipulations of automobile systems are not new. These are important lessons relating to automobile systems that have a wireless communication link component.