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Publication numberCA2692415 A1
Publication typeApplication
Application numberCA 2692415
Publication date10 Aug 2011
Filing date10 Feb 2010
Priority date10 Feb 2010
Publication numberCA 2692415, CA 2692415 A1, CA 2692415A1, CA-A1-2692415, CA2692415 A1, CA2692415A1
InventorsHengzh Zhang, Ralphrw Webber
ApplicantHengzh Zhang, Ralphrw Webber
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: CIPO, Espacenet
Vehicle vision system
CA 2692415 A1
Abstract
This invention is a vehicle vision system.

Three or more video cameras are mounted onto a vehicle to make a continuous recording of the front, inside and rear of the vehicle. Real time video images from the cameras along with audio are digitally recorded into a compressed format and saved into the memory storage of the system. Although the memory storage can be any form of general media, portable form of the memory storage is preferred for the reason of easy data access.

The vehicle vision system is comprised of two separate units: Unit A and Unit B. Unit A
captures video and audio data; formats the data and sends the data to the wireless transceiver A. Unit B receives the data from the wireless transceiver B and saves the data into portable memory storage. The purpose of dividing the system into two units is to conceal Unit B to prevent data saved into portable memory from being stolen or mishandled.

The wireless communication between the two units allows the transmission of the system data without the use of any wires and allows the system stored portable memory (Unit B) to be hidden from unauthorised people. Methods of wireless communication will be WI-FI or Bluetooth protocols.

An accelerometer is used as an accident detector. Upon triggering (the act of the vehicle striking or being struck by another vehicle or object) and a predetermined time delay, the system stops the wireless transfer of data from the on-board processor to portable memory storage. Data in the portable memory storage can be read with a computer by an authorized party, such as insurance companies, a self-insured entity or other.
Claims(13)
1. A method for capturing real-time vehicle accident data and storing the encrypted data into portable memory storage.
2. A method of transmitting wireless video/audio formatted real-time data to portable memory storage.
3. A method of video/audio data playback over a wireless connection from Unit B to Unit A.
4. A method of capturing, recording and storing encrypted video and audio data that covers a time proceeding, during and following an accident.
5. A method of monitoring and recording the front, inside and rear video of the vehicle along with the audio inside of the vehicle.
6. A method of over-writing the contents of portable memory with new video/audio data at programmable intervals.
7. A method of synchronizing and time-stamping the video data from the front, inside and rear cameras.
8. A method of theft protection to protect the recorded data from being mishandled.
9. A method of reading the portable memory data wirelessly from a personal computer.
10. A method of using the G-Force sensor as a trigger to stop the video recording from the front, inside and rear camera.
11. A method to provide interior and exterior surveillance monitoring of the vehicle.
12. A method to monitor and record the driving habits of the vehicle driver.
13. A method of location stamping the vehicle accident location by using GPS.
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

Vehicle Vision System Description Background of the Invention This invention is a system for generating and distributing real time vehicle accident data and provides an accident scene record which is automatically recorded and quickly accessible by authorized parties. This invention also provides real time video and audio monitoring of the inside of a said vehicle which is automatically recorded and accessible by authorized parties.

The formatted video/audio data is transmitted wirelessly from Unit A, received and saved into the portable memory storage in Unit B. Non authorized parties will not have access to the portable memory storage.

Summary of the Invention This invention uses three cameras mounted on the vehicle, one camera provides a visual record in the region in front of the vehicle, a second camera provides a visual record in the region behind the vehicle and a third camera provides a visual and audio record of the inside of the vehicle. For a specified time interval covering current, recent past and post-accident, camera images are digitally recorded into a compressed format and stored into portable memory wirelessly. The contents of portable memory will be over-written with new video/audio data at programmable intervals.

An accelerometer onboard the vehicle generates a trigger in response to an accident, such as the vehicle hitting something or being struck by another vehicle. When the system receives this trigger data is no longer wirelessly stored into portable memory.

The data can then be accessed by an authorized party (e.g. insurance company, fleet facility or private user) by directly or wirelessly (Bluetooth or WI-FI) accessing the portable memory storage (USB, SD memory card) and providing a password to open the contents of the portable memory.

Description of the Drawings FIG. 1 is a pictorial diagram of one instance of the CCD locations in a vehicle vision system in accordance to the description of the invention.

FIG. 2 is a functional block diagram of one instance of a vehicle vision system in accordance to the description of the invention.

FIG. 3 is a data flow diagram of the steps used to capture and make available vehicle and monitoring data in accordance to the description of the invention.

FIG. 4 is a pictorial drawing of one instance of Unit A in a vehicle vision system in accordance to the description of the invention., FIG. 5 is a pictorial drawing of one instance of Unit B in a vehicle vision system in accordance to the description of the invention.

Detailed Description of the Invention As shown in FIG.1 the front camera (2) is oriented so that its field of view is forward of the vehicle, the inside camera (3) is oriented so that its field of view is that of the inside of the vehicle. A third stand-alone camera (4) is located so that its field of view is behind the vehicle.

Referring to FIG. 4 the Unit A housing (8) which contains the video cameras (1) front &

(2) inside is mounted at the front of a vehicle. Unit A housing (8) also contains the data input connector (3) from the stand-alone rear view camera and a power input connector (5). System programming is accomplished by accessing the switches (6) located on Unit A. Referring to FIG. 1 the Unit B housing (1) is located at a concealed location within the vehicle and contains the portable memory storage.

As further explained in FIG. 4, the housing (8) contains system hardware and software necessary to detect when an accident has occurred and to record video and audio data related to the accident scene to portable memory. Additional data including the vehicles operation prior to the accident, during the accident and immediately after the accident is also recorded.

The system automatically stores all encrypted image and audio data and includes an interface (e.g. USB, SD card, Bluetooth, WI-FI) that allows the contents of the portable memory to be read by a personal computer.

Referring to FIG. 2 the vehicle vision system is comprised of hardware and software components included in both Unit A and Unit B.

The functions of each block in the camera unit (Unit A) are explained as follows:
Front Camera CCD: This block contains the camera CCD sensor that is installed facing towards the front of the vehicle.

G-Force Sensor: This is a G-Force sensor to detect the G-Force of the vehicle as a trigger input to the CPU and Data Formatter block.

Inside Camera CCD: This block contains the camera CCD sensor that is installed facing towards the inside of the vehicle.

Microphone: This microphone is installed inside the vehicle to monitor and record audio sound.

Rear Camera CCD: This block contains the camera CCD sensor that is installed facing towards the rear of the vehicle. This camera CCD sensor is a wired connection to Unit A.
LCD Display: This is a device which can display live or playback video. The system setting/status can also be displayed on this device.

GPS Receiver: This GPS receiver can receive GPS location data and have the data stored into system memory. The GPS data can be displayed on the LCD screen and used as a vehicle GPS device.

Settings: This block contains the control and setting selection buttons.

CPU and Data Formatter: CPU and Data Formatter block receives the data from the CCD cameras and microphone, formats it into video/audio files and then sends it to the storage unit (Unit B) via wireless communication. This block also receives data from Wireless Transceiver A.

Wireless Transceiver A: This is a wireless transceiver used to transmit and receive video/audio data with storage unit (Unit B).

The functions of each block in the storage unit (Unit B) are explained as follows:
Wireless Transceiver B: This is a wireless transceiver used to transmit and receive video/audio data with camera unit (Unit A).

General Interfaces: This block may contain some general interfaces (for example USB, SD card) to communicate with PCs.

CPU.- The CPU in Unit B takes the video/audio data from the Wireless Transceiver B and saves it into the portable memory storage. This block also sends data to Wireless Transceiver B.

Memory Storage: This is the portable memory space used to store the video/audio data.
This physical interface can be USB stick or a SD memory card.

Software components include the processor's operating system, a real time video compression application program (e.g. AVI, MPEG II) and an encryption application program.

Referring to FIG.2 and FIG. 3, the three CCD video cameras produce digital data of their viewing area, for example, the front of the vehicle, the inside of the vehicle and the rear of the vehicle. CCD camera data outputs go to the processor where the data is compressed, processed and then stored into portable memory. Digital data is stored into portable memory in a programmable time interval (for example 1- 5 minutes) and overwrites its memory contents when full.

The vehicle vision system detector is a two axis accelerometer which generates a trigger signal when an accident occurs. The output of the accelerometer is constantly being monitored and compared by the system CPU for a valid trigger signal. When the CPU
receives the accelerometer trigger input it will stop recording from the front, inside and rear cameras after a programmable predetermined interval.

The contents of the portable memory can be read by an authorized user by removing from Unit B, uploading to a personal computer, executing the file (AVI, MPEG) and providing the necessary password. The contents of the portable memory storage can also be read wirelessly by an authorised user from a personal computer.

The vehicle vision system contains a LCD screen FIG.4 (7) to display real time video, help align camera angles and to display system setting and status. The LCD can also be used to playback data from Unit B portable memory storage wirelessly upon request.
The vehicle vision system can contain a GPS receiver to receive GPS data. In combination with the other functional blocks in the system it can then be used as a GPS
device.

Although the vehicle vision system contains three video cameras, the system may contain just one or all of the cameras depending on the requirements. For example, for the usage of vehicle accident evidence, the system may just contain the front and rear cameras, while for the usage of vehicle surveillance the system may just contain the inside camera.

Referenced by
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Classifications
International ClassificationB60N99/00, H04N7/18
Cooperative ClassificationG07C5/0858, G07C5/0866, G07C5/008
European ClassificationB62D41/00, G07C5/08R2B, G07C5/08R2C
Legal Events
DateCodeEventDescription
10 Feb 2010EEERExamination request
10 Mar 2014FZDEDead
Effective date: 20140113