Method and apparatus for setting programmable features of motor

Method and apparatus for setting programmable features of motor
US 20040158371A1
(19) United States
(12) Patent Application Publication (10) Pub. No.: US 2004/0158371 A1
(43) Pub. Date:
Iggulden et al.
(54)
Aug. 12, 2004
METHOD AND APPARATUS FOR SETTING
of application No. 09/415,299, ?led on Oct. 8, 1999,
PROGRAMMABLE FEATURES OF MOTOR
VEHICLE
part of application No. 09/351,270, ?led on Jul. 12,
noW Pat. No. 6,483,906, Which is a continuation-in
1999, noW Pat. No. 6,256,378, Which is a continua
(75) Inventors: Jerry Iggulden, Los Angeles, CA (US);
Kyle Fields, El Dorado Hills, CA (US);
tion-in-part of application No. 09/235,709, ?led on
Jan. 22, 1999, noW Pat. No. 6,415,023.
Arthur St. Antoine, Los Angeles, CA
Publication Classi?cation
(Us)
Correspondence Address:
(51)
Int. C1.7 ................................................... .. G06F 19/00
BLAKELY SOKOLOFF TAYLOR & ZAFMAN
(52)
U.S.Cl. ............................... ..
1/29;701/33;701/35
12400 WILSHIRE BOULEVARD, SEVENTH
FLOOR
LOS ANGELES, CA 90025 (US)
(73) Assignee: PointSet Corporation
(21) Appl. No.:
10/757,087
(22) Filed:
Jan. 13, 2004
Related US. Application Data
(63) Continuation-in-part of application No. 10/155,531,
?led on May 24, 2002, Which is a continuation-in-part
(57)
ABSTRACT
An interactive interface facilitates the setting of preferences
and other programmable parameters of a motor vehicle. The
interface is hosted by a server on a global computer network.
The motor vehicle oWner initiates a connection to the server
and is presented With a graphical user interface for setting
the preferences and features of the motor vehicle. Once the
desired settings have been made, they are transferred to the
motor vehicle using a portable transfer device, Which may
comprise a key for operating the motor vehicle.
14
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10
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12
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Patent Application Publication Aug. 12, 2004 Sheet 1 0f 5
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US 2004/0158371 A1
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Patent Application Publication Aug. 12, 2004 Sheet 3 0f 5
US 2004/0158371 A1
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automatically him on radio;
when found
Scan pause
How long to pause when a
station ll found when ICll‘Irllng
General Audio
‘ Speed volume
control
Automatically adjusts audio
volume based on vehicle speed
Volume on
phone
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.
Louder
Automatically change to this
audio volume when phone
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._. rings,"orgvqhenuusingithegohonei
Startup oplions
Automatically set audio volume
when starting car after sitting
for more than 4 hours
Automatically select au
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CD Settings
Label CD5
Uses CDNOW database to
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label your car CDs and songs
MP3 Settings
Hove MP3 ?les
Move MP3 ?les from your
in car
computer to the car
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Patent Application Publication Aug. 12, 2004 Sheet 4 0f 5
US 2004/0158371 A1
Personal ?liniafe Settings
Temperature Automatically
select thls
Cool
temperature
-
Warm
when this
driver starts
the car
when seat
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alllulro fan
Tailor fan
‘speed
speed when
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AUTO mode
occupied or
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Harder
Patent Application Publication Aug. 12, 2004 Sheet 5 0f 5
US 2004/0158371 A1
Audio controls
Aug. 12, 2004
US 2004/0158371 A1
METHOD AND APPARATUS FOR SETTING
PROGRAMMABLE FEATURES OF MOTOR
VEHICLE
HoWever, voice recognition technology is still in its infancy
and spoken commands are not consistently understood,
especially in a typically noisy vehicle environment.
RELATED APPLICATIONS
[0009] There remains a need for a system and method of
interfacing With the myriad of controllable features in a
[0001] This is a continuation-in-part of co-pending appli
modern automobile Without distracting the driver When
cation Ser. No. 10/155,531 ?led May 24, 2003, Which is a
actually operating the automobile.
continuation-in-part of co-pending application Ser. No.
09/415,299, ?led Oct. 8, 1999, now US. Pat. No. 6,483,906,
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION
Which is a continuation-in-part of co-pending application
[0010] The present invention provides methods and appa
Ser. No. 09/351,270, ?led Jul. 12, 1999, now US. Pat. No.
ratus for setting preferences and other parameters of a motor
6,256,378, Which is a continuation-in-part of co-pending
application Ser. No. 09/235,709, ?led Jan. 22, 1999, now
US. Pat. No. 6,415,023.
vehicle. In certain embodiments of the invention, a user
BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION
[0002]
1. Field of the Invention
[0003] This invention relates generally to the ?eld of
motor vehicles. More particularly, the invention provides a
method and apparatus for conveniently setting various pro
grammable features of a motor vehicle using a graphical
user interface accessed With a computer.
[0004]
2. Prior Art
[0005] Motor vehicles, and automobiles in particular, have
groWn increasingly complex. A modern automobile may
contain as many as ?fty microprocessors controlling a Wide
variety of operational and convenience features. While
much of the processing poWer is devoted to functions that
are transparent to the driver, the number of driver-selectable
features and options has increased tremendously. For
eXample, automobiles may include driver controls for seat
ing position, seat temperature, cabin temperature, cabin
ventilation, cabin illumination, dash illumination, audio
entertainment, navigation, suspension compliance and trans
mission shift-mode, to name only a feW. Providing driver
control of all of these functions has led to a proliferation of
knobs, buttons, sWitches and other controls in many auto
mobiles.
[0006] The increased number of driver controls is not
Without its drawbacks. Typically, drivers must refer to
increasingly voluminous oWner’s manuals to understand the
various controls available and learn hoW to operate them.
Naturally, different drivers have different preferences and
this can result in a lengthy process of changing settings each
time a different driver enters the vehicle. Furthermore, the
increased complexity of driver controls is a distraction to the
initiates a connection to an interactive site on a global
computer netWork. The site hosts a graphical user interface
With Which preferences and other parameters of a motor
vehicle may be set by the user. In some embodiments, set-up
data for the motor vehicle may be transferred directly to the
motor vehicle from the interactive site. In other embodi
ments, set-up data for the motor vehicle are transferred from
the user’s computer to a transfer device Where it is tempo
rarily stored. The transfer device, Which may comprise a key
for operating the motor vehicle, is then used to program the
features of the motor vehicle.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
[0011]
FIG. 1 is a functional block diagram of an embodi
ment of the invention Wherein a motor vehicle receives data
from a local computer via a transfer device.
[0012]
FIG. 2 is a functional block diagram of another
embodiment of the invention Wherein a motor vehicle
receives data directly from an interactive site server.
[0013] FIG. 3 illustrates a graphical user interface for
setting programmable features of a vehicle entertainment
system.
[0014] FIG. 4 illustrates a graphical user interface for
setting programmable features of a vehicle climate control
system.
[0015]
FIG. 5 illustrates a graphical user interface for
customiZing a vehicle control/display panel.
DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE
INVENTION
[0016] In the folloWing description, for purposes of eXpla
nation and not limitation, speci?c details are set forth in
order to provide a thorough understanding of the present
driver and negatively affects traf?c safety.
invention. HoWever, it Will be apparent to one skilled in the
art that the present invention may be practiced in other
[0007]
embodiments that depart from these speci?c details. In other
instances, detailed descriptions of Well-knoWn methods and
Efforts have been made to simplify the driver/
vehicle interface. One such effort is the “iDrive” system
introduced by BMW. This system employs a video display
and a driver-operated “joystick” to replace many of the
individual controls. The system is reported to control more
than seven hundred functions. While the system succeeds in
eliminating much of the dashboard clutter, it results in as
much, if not more, driver distraction than With conventional
controls.
[0008] Another effort to simplify the driver/vehicle inter
face (and one that is employed in conjunction With BMW’s
“iDrive” system) is voice recognition. The vehicle is pro
grammed to learn and respond to certain spoken commands.
devices are omitted so as to not obscure the description of
the present invention With unnecessary detail.
[0017]
A ?rst embodiment of the invention is illustrated in
FIG. 1. Amotor vehicle 10 receives set-up data from a local
computer 12 via a transfer device 16. In a typical applica
tion, local computer 12 is a general purpose personal com
puter of the type noW Widely found in homes and offices.
Details of computer 12 are not particularly relevant to the
invention and are not shoWn. Typically, computer 12 Will
comprise, at a minimum, a processing unit, a keyboard and
a display. Additional input devices, such as a mouse or other
Aug. 12, 2004
US 2004/0158371 A1
pointing device, and output devices, such as a printer, may
also be included as part of computer 12.
[0018]
Local computer 12 is coupled to a remote interac
tive site server 14 by a telecommunications link. In a typical
embodiment of the invention, interactive site server 14
Would be accessible via the World Wide Web. Other appro
priate means for connecting computer 12 to server 14 could
also be employed. Server 14 contains programming for
interactively setting the programmable features of motor
vehicle 10. Preferably, server 14 presents to the oWner of
motor vehicle 10, via computer 12, a graphical user interface
that is tailored to motor vehicle 10 and the programmable
features thereof.
[0019] Transfer device 16 receives the programming data
from local computer 12 by a Wired or Wireless connection to
computer 12. AWired connection may comprise a serial bus
con?gured in accordance With any of the appropriate indus
try standards, such as, for eXample, universal serial bus
(USB), “FireWire”, etc. Wireless connections may comprise
optical, audio, magnetic, inductive, infrared or radio fre
quency coupling. One Wireless communication protocol
home computers are noW equipped With easily accessible
USB ports. Motor vehicle 10 may also have a cooperating
serial port on the dash or console. Operation of motor
vehicle 10 may be enabled With a conventional key. Alter
natively, hoWever, transfer device 16 may itself function as
a key to enable operation of the motor vehicle. In either case,
it is preferred that each driver of the motor vehicle have his
or her oWn transfer device so that the vehicle Will be
automatically con?gured to that driver’s preferences When
ever the driver inserts the transfer device into the receiving
port.
[0023] Transfer device 16 may be con?gured in numerous
other Ways. For eXample, a recordable compact disk (CD) or
digital video disk (DVD) could be employed as a transfer
device. In this case, set-up data Would be Written onto the
CD or DVD at local computer 12 and the disk Would then
be loaded into a suitable drive in the motor vehicle. Such an
approach is more suitable for one-Way communication than
tWo-Way communication.
[0024] It is also possible to con?gure a system in Which
motor vehicle 10 receives set-up data directly from local
suitable for use With the present invention is the “Bluetooth”
computer 12 Without a transfer device. This can be accom
protocol, Which is noW becoming Widely installed in home
computer systems. Another Wireless communication proto
col that may be employed With the present invention for
transferring data from local computer 12 to transfer device
plished by establishing a telephonic connection With the
motor vehicle. In this regard, motor vehicles are increasingly
being equipped With built-in telecommunications capabili
16 is the video data transfer protocol described in co
ties for implementing a variety of so called “telematic”
functions. The communication path might also involve a
pending application Ser. No. 10/155,531 and its predecessor
combination of Wired and Wireless protocols. For eXample,
applications. Transfer device 16 also communicates With
local computer 12 may have a Wireless link to an in-home
transceiver, Which is connected to a remote transceiver in the
motor vehicle’s garage or other parking area by a Wired
motor vehicle 10 by means of a Wired or Wireless connection
With a suitable protocol, such as any of those mentioned
above.
[0020]
Communications betWeen local computer 12 and
connection. The Wired connection may comprise a data
communication bus or a communication signal may be
transfer device 16 and betWeen the transfer device and motor
vehicle 10 may be either one-Way (namely, from the home
computer to the transfer device and then to the vehicle) or
carried as a modulation on the household Wiring. The garage
tWo-Way. HoWever, signi?cant advantages are realiZed When
[0025] FIG. 2 illustrates an alternative embodiment of the
invention. In this case, set-up data for motor vehicle 10 is
received directly from server 14 rather than through local
computer 12. From the motor vehicle oWner’s perspective,
utiliZing tWo-Way communication. TWo-Way communica
tion alloWs “synchronization” of the motor vehicle With a
“virtual” motor vehicle maintained at the site server 14.
Many of the features and settings of the motor vehicle can
be controlled directly by the driver While in the motor
vehicle. By periodically returning transfer device 16 to
computer 12 and reestablishing a connection With server 14,
the virtual motor vehicle can be updated With any changes
in the settings of the real motor vehicle.
[0021] Another advantage of tWo-Way communications is
that it may be used to facilitate remote troubleshooting of the
motor vehicle. Data from the motor vehicle may be trans
ferred to computer 12, and from there to the motor vehicle
manufacturer, dealer or other support facility via an Internet
or email connection. Analysis of the data can then be used
to issue appropriate repair orders. In some cases, repairs may
be effectuated by doWnloading corrective softWare or ?rm
transceiver then communicates With the motor vehicle using
a Wireless protocol.
the preference setting interface is otherWise identical to the
previously described embodiments. Site server 14 may
establish a direct telephonic or other suitable communication
connection With motor vehicle 10.
[0026]
The graphical user interface With Which a user sets
the functions and preferences of the motor vehicle may be
highly sophisticated. The options that may be provided are
virtually limitless. The folloWing lists some of the functions
that could be implemented using the present invention.
Many of these alloW a driver to personaliZe his or her car
much as cell phones are personaliZed With distinctive cases,
ring tones, greeting messages, etc.
Interior
Ware in the same manner that feature set-up is accomplished.
[0022]
As illustrated in FIG. 1, transfer device 16 may be
[0027] Entertainment
con?gured as a device With a USB or other serial bus
connection 17 and an internal ?ash memory or other suitable
[0028] Radio
non-volatile memory device. Such a transfer device is easily
portable and may be conveniently carried on a key chain.
Transfer device 16 may be simply plugged into a cooperat
ing serial port on local computer 12. In this regard, most
[0029]
Driver enters ZIP code and ?nds all local radio
stations. Driver may select by station frequency, ID, genre
(jaZZ, pop, talk, etc.), or signal strength, and assign to presets
on dash or on touch display.
Aug. 12, 2004
US 2004/0158371 A1
[0030] Optionally, set up to scan among chosen stations
until the one desired is tuned. Say “OK” and the radio Will
stay on the currently tuned station. Choose the scan delay
[0053] Climate Control
time (3 sec, 5 sec, etc.)
[0055]
Automatic or manual.
[0056]
Recirculate air, or don’t, or miX in a selectable
[0031]
Select option to seek out the same genre of station
driver Was listening to in a neW area Whenever signal
[0054] Filter
ratio.
strength falls beloW a preset level.
[0032] Specify favorite stations and/or programs and the
audio system Will sWitch at the designated day/time, e.g., on
[0057] Fan
[0058] Set preferred default setting for fan speed using
and traffic until 6:30. Choose different schedule line-up for
Weekends.
slider from MIN to MAX. On MIN setting fan bloWs gently
even if a large cabin-temperature change is required. On
MAX setting fan bloWs at full speed until desired cabin temp
is achieved. Slider alloWs for any speed in betWeen.
[0033]
[0059] Comfort Index
Weekdays: NPR in the morning until 9:00, classical radio
station until 2:00, sports station until 5:00, neWs, Weather,
If not in the car When favorite radio program starts,
have the system record it (time-shift radio). Play back With
the ability to pause, reWind, FF, skip, preserve segments, etc.
[0034] CD Changer
[0035]
Driver places CDs for use in car into CD drive of
home computer. Application program reads the CDs and
[0060] Select relative Weights of IR sensor, outside and
inside temps to optimiZe comfort for the driver (it can be
cool outside but the IR detector sees lots of IR, so it thinks
it’s summer and the air conditioner comes on). Include
humidity in the relative comfort indeX as beloW.
creates a play list that is transferred to car.
[0061] Timed Temperature Preset
[0036]
[0062] High and loW temperature thresholds can be set and
the car can automatically bring cabin temperature to Within
a selected comfort level at a designated time of day. For
Specify favorite songs to play in a desired order or
at random.
[0037] Play sources at random alternating or predeter
mined Way With preferred radio stations and/or programs
and/or MP3 tunes.
eXample, the system may be programmed to start 5 minutes
before a regularly scheduled departure time. As a safety
[0038] MP3 Tunes
running ten minutes Without user intervention.
[0039]
Use transfer device to move MP3 ?les to the car.
[0063] Seat Warmer
[0040]
Create play list as above.
[0064]
[0041] All audio sources can be programmed to play in an
almost in?nite Way based on time, day of the Week or
precaution, the system may automatically shut doWn after
Program the seat Warmer to activate at a designated
time of day or as soon as car is unlocked.
programmed “function button.”
[0065] Program a button on the dash to turn on the seat
Warmer for ?ve minutes every 30 minutes after the car is
[0042] Sound & Source Management
shut off.
[0043] MiX and match radio, CDs, MP3s by time of day,
randomly, etc.
seat Warmers When appropriate.
[0044]
[0067] Temperature
Set audio level for radio, CD and/or MP3 player to
be used When car is started.
[0066]
[0068]
Circuit monitors battery current and shuts doWn
Individual user preferences are easily set up and
transferred using multiple transfer devices (keys/fobs).
[0045]
Set a “default” source.
[0046]
Select Whether play continues With the same source
[0069] Select “Alfresco” mode and system automatically
at the same volume When car is started in the morning, or
sWitches to a different predetermined source at a different
boosts A/ C or heating output as needed When convertible top
is loWered.
volume (e.g., system automatically defaults to AM traf?c
source if it’s betWeen 7:00 and 8:00
[0047]
OptimiZe sound for driver or for cabin.
[0070] Different settings for the front passenger seat can
be selected depending on Whether or not the seat is occupied.
[0071] Humidity
[0048] Set equalization manually or for a speci?c genre of
music—i.e., Whenever radio is on jaZZ station, system
[0072] Select desired relative humidity With slider control
defaults to driver s JaZZ” EQ.
or RESET to factory defaults.
[0049] RESET to factory defaults.
[0073] Navigation
[0050] Reminders
[0074] Address Entry
[0051] Driver may type in any manner of reminders or
notes to be read back by voice synthesis at the push of a
dragging and dropping from Web site or address book.
button at any set time or interval.
[0052]
Reminders can be played back in the car or from
the home computer.
[0075] Enter addresses using computer keyboard or by
[0076] While driving, a designated cockpit button can be
pressed to store the current location, Which can then be
uploaded to the home computer and Web site.
Aug. 12, 2004
US 2004/0158371 A1
[0077] Address Library
[0105] PersonaliZed seat-belt Warning.
Enter or select a neW or saved address on the home
[0106]
computer; elect to have this loaded as the destination address
speed.
[0078]
When car starts.
[0079] Trip Planning
[0080] Book hotel rooms (through third-party Web site) by
Select an alert sound When driving above a preset
[0107] Select keys-in-ignition reminder tone.
[0108] Visual Effects
[0109]
Add a photo or image to the LCD.
diate stops if appropriate.
[0110]
Screensaver for LCD When vehicle is in Park.
[0081] Select points of interest Within a selected range
along the route.
[0111] Voice Commands
[0082]
accomplish listed speci?c in-cabin tasks: “Open sunroof.”,
Open my WindoW.”, “High beams.”, etc.
clicking on a map for the ?nal destination and on interme
Purchase tickets or passes or make reservations for
events or movies or restaurants.
[0083] Receive noti?cation When its getting close to time
to re?ll the tank at an upcoming preferred gas station(s).
[0084] Route Planning
[0085] Select addresses from address library and obtain
most ef?cient route plan given the time of day, distances and
knoWn traf?c conditions.
[0112]
Select any number of short voice commands to
[0113]
In-Vehicle Interface
[0114] Systems & Controls
[0115] CustomiZe the function of “function buttons” to
control selected functions of any system in the car.
[0116]
In cars With touch screen LCDs, select from among
the components of the systems to be displayed and/or
[0086] Mobile Phone
controlled from the LCD.
[0087] Phone Book
[0117] Buttons
[0088] Selected numbers (and addresses) from computer
[0118]
phone book are available to the phone (and Navigation)
anything.
Program any button in the cabin to do just about
system.
Vehicle
[0089] Voice Dialing
[0090] Activate voice dialing on selected phone numbers
from phone book.
[0119] Safety
[0120] WindoW & Sunroof Control
[0091] Phone Voice Commands
[0092] Select key Words that Will activate voice-dialing
[0121]
functions (call, end, mute, sWitch).
[0093] PersonaliZation
[0122]
[0094] Horn Effects
[0095]
Select synthesiZed horn sounds from a list.
Set each WindoW so the occupant of the adjoining
seat can only loWer the WindoW to a selected level.
Lock WindoW controls at selected seats.
[0123] Set a button in the cockpit to loWer a preset
amount/close all or selected WindoWs and open/close the
sunroof.
[0096] Select horn response mode, e.g., pushing the horn
[0124] Set the sunroof to partially open When the inside
temperature eXceeds a predetermined temperature. Also
sWitch and holding it in sounds the Warning horn sound as
normal; one quick tap sounds a different horn sound
have the fan come on at the desired speed for selectable
(“friendly” light-is-green horn); tWo quick taps sounds a
brief personaliZed “tune”, e.g., driver’s signature “I’m
[0125] Seatbelts
home” tune.
[0097] Interior Lighting Effects
[0098] Select the color and intensity of dial/dash back
intervals.
[0126] Disable engine start if all or selected seats With
passengers don’t have seat belts fastened.
[0127] Speed Governor
lighting.
[0128]
[0099] Selected preferred cabin “atmosphere” When door
eXceeds a speci?ed speed.
Sound a selected Warning sound When the car
is opened (dim cabin lighting, full-on bright, others).
[0129] Make the Warning louder the higher above the
[0100] Link lights to doors, e.g., opening only driver’s
preset speed the car goes
door turns on only left-front map light; When rear doors are
[0130] Limit the maXimum speed of the car.
[0131] Limit the maXimum rate of acceleration.
[0132] Vehicle Tracking
opened rear lights also activate.
[0101] Sound Effects
[0102] Select the sound the turn indicator makes.
[0103] Select a sound if the gas cap is not on or seated.
[0104] Select a sound When motoriZed seats are being
adjusted.
[0133] Using GPS or mobile phone, create a log of Where
the car has been, When and for hoW long. Also track hoW
hard the car Was driven.
[0134]
Set up real-time tracking of the vehicle
Aug. 12, 2004
US 2004/0158371 A1
[0135] Accident
[0166] Winter
[0136] Set some or all of interior lights to ?ash and the
horn to sound.
transmission starts in second gear, maX traction control
[0137]
Enable transmission of GPS coordinates.
[0138] Security
[0139] Door Locks
[0140]
lock.
Determine if and at What speed all or selected doors
[0141] Set certain doors to unlock only after one or both
of the front doors have been opened for a selected period of
time.
[0142]
Enable “lock doors” voice command.
[0143] WindoW Control
[0144] (see Safety above)
[0145] Enable voice command for “WindoWs up.”
[0146] Panic Alert
[0147] Function button or voice command that locks all
doors, rolls up WindoWs, ?ashes lights, sounds an emergency
6‘
'
I’
siren
.
Click boX to optimiZe car for poor-Weather (e.g.,
intervention, ABS ?res at minimum lock detection, etc.).
[0168] Tuning
[0169] Sport Mode
[0170] Set up one-button high-performance pro?le (e.g.,
loW-economy, maX poWer, maX transmission aggressive
ness, stiffest shocks).
[0171] Turbo Boost
[0172] Within factory range, adjust turbo pressure to favor
economy, sport mode or point in betWeen.
[0173] Handling
[0174] Select spring/shock rates, select steering ratio,
select traction control response, etc.
[0175] Emergency Information
[0176] Contacts
[0177] In case of emergency or accident, list numbers to
contact to speak to hands-free or With a pre-entered voice
synthesiZed call.
[0148] Enable “panic button” to call one or more prede
termined phone numbers and deliver and repeat a voice
synthesiZed message When the call is ansWered.
[0149]
[0167]
Add vehicle location to the message.
[0150] Door Access
[0178]
In event of airbag deployment, selected contact
name and number to ?ash on LCD to assist rescue personnel
in case of driver incapacitation.
[0179] Other Noti?cations
[0180]
Transmit vital information to insurance company.
[0151] Disable opening one or more doors from the out
side unless one or more speci?c doors are opened from the
[0181] Emergency Aid
inside.
[0182]
[0152] Lighting
hospitals, police, ?re, pharmacy, etc. based on GPS loca
[0153] Select hoW long and Which of the external and
internal lights go on after unlock, all doors closed, engine
tion—plus preset list of needed phone numbers (friends,
family doctor, school, etc).
start, vehicle speed.
[0154] Alarms
[0155] Program security codes.
[0156] Select functions for key-fob panic button (e.g.,
?ash lights, activate “I need help!” synthesiZed-voice horn).
[0157] Performance
[0158] Suspension Control
[0159] Adjust the ride of computeriZed suspension from
sport to luXury or anyWhere in betWeen.
[0160] Engine Control
[0161] Select Within a range betWeen economy and per
formance
[0162] Transmission Control
One button summons list and numbers for nearest
Information & Service
[0183] Trip Logs
[0184] Daily Mileage Logs
[0185] Record and display distances traveled.
[0186] Record routes traveled.
[0187] Record and display fuel consumed.
[0188] Calculate a “cost per mile” of operation, including
tire Wear, gas mileage, lease and insurance cost, etc.
[0189] Selectively clear various logs.
[0190]
Set additional or alternative criteria for “measur
ing” various parameters of daily use.
[0191] Trip Mileage Logs
[0192]
On trips of a preset duration in hours, days, miles
[0163] Within factory-set ranges, determine shift aggres
or upon pushing a “start trip” function button, record dis
siveness (e.g., alloW maX-rpm shifts or alWays shift as early
as possible for best economy).
tances betWeen stops, total trip mileage, average speed gas
mileage for the entire trip or trip segments, etc.
[0164] Steering
[0193]
[0165] Adjust the feel of steering from stiffer to lighter
[0194] Record all possible or selected data from a master
reset done at the dealer upon delivery of the car.
using an in?nitely variable slider.
Cumulative Data
Aug. 12, 2004
US 2004/0158371 A1
[0195] Guest Logs
[0226] Road Conditions
[0196] Record trip information (route points, speeds, time)
[0227] Obtain reports of road conditions, accidents,
clogged traffic, roadWork being conducted, etc.
from selected start to stop points.
Service & Diagnostics
[0197] Last Service
[0228] Safety Kit
[0229] Obtain list of suggested bring-along items based on
Weather forecast and planned travel route (snoW chains, ice
[0198] At What mileage.
scraper, sunscreen, full tank-feW ?lling stations on the Way,
[0199]
[0230]
On What day and time.
etc).
Contact Vehicle Manufacturer
[0200] At What dealer.
[0231] FAQ
[0201]
At What cost.
[0232]
[0202]
What Was done.
[0233] Help
Access a searchable database of FAQs
[0203] Next Service
[0234]
[0204] Anticipated date based on hoW the car is being
driven, etc.
issues.
[0205]
What Will be serviced at the neXt service.
[0236] Vehicle-speci?c Information
[0206]
[0207]
[0208]
What bugs in the car need to be ?xed.
[0237] Send vehicle data to manufacturer. Receive feed
back and/or contact information after data has been received
What Will it cost.
and analyZed.
[0238] Nearest Dealerships
HoW much time should it take.
Access a searchable “help” database.
[0235] Email the service center With speci?c questions and
[0209] Request email Within predetermined period before
[0239]
Access list With maps of closest dealers, etc.
the service should be done as a reminder.
[0240]
Customer Relations
[0210]
[0241]
Subscribe to neWsletter.
Request phone contact from nearest or selected
dealer to set an appointment.
[0211] Request dealer assistance in getting the car to
service and back.
[0212] Diagnostics
[0213] Send diagnostic codes to manufacturer and dealer.
[0214] Receive softWare and ?rmWare-based ?xes.
[0215] Firmware & SoftWare Updates
[0216] Receive periodic updates to operating systems, that
enable neW functionality.
Interactive User’s Manual
[0242] Subscribe to other periodic neWs about vehicle
and/or related interests.
[0243]
tions.
Request noti?cation about neW model introduc
[0244] Elect to receive periodic questionnaires relating to
satisfaction, etc.
[0245] Request results of surveys about quality, customer
satisfaction, etc.
[0246] Request noti?cation about special offers and
events.
[0247] Shop
[0217]
Virtual Test Drive
[0248] Driving Accessories
[0218]
Animate various controls on the home computer
[0249]
Learn & Setup
[0250] Logo Wear
screen.
[0219]
[0220] Interactively learn the various options and settings
available in the car.
[0221] Automatic Tutor
[0222]
Based on data collected from vehicle, user is
prompted to learn about controls/systems that have not yet
been set (e.g., “You have not yet set up your Address Book.
Order custom car mats, spill-proof coffee mugs,
?rst-aid kits, CD carriers, seat covers, car covers, etc.
[0251] Order jackets, shirts, luggage, gloves, sunglasses,
hats, golf bags, etc.
[0252] Performance Accessories
[0253] Order optional Wheels, gold-trim kits, trailer
hitches, aero body kits, roof racks, bicycle carriers, audio/
visual equipment, etc.
Would you like assistance?”).
[0254] Events
[0223] Weather and Driving Conditions
[0255] Order tickets to manufacturer-sponsored races,
motor shoWs, sporting events, social gatherings, etc.
[0224] Forecast
[0225]
Obtain Weather forecast for travel area.
[0256] FIG. 3 illustrates a portion of a graphical user
interface that may be employed With the present invention to
Aug. 12, 2004
US 2004/0158371 A1
set programmable features of a motor vehicle’s entertain
ment system. The interface utilizes pull-doWn menus, data
providing a transfer device having an input port and an
output port;
entry WindoWs, buttons, sliders, etc., Which are readily
implemented by persons pro?cient in Website design. The
transferring set-up data from the interactive site to the
programmable features shoWn in FIG. 3 are merely illus
trative of those that can be implemented. The particular
transferring the set-up data from the output port of the
features that are made available on the graphical user
interface Would be speci?ed by the motor vehicle manufac
turer and Would be constrained by the hardWare and soft
Ware speci?cations of the particular vehicle.
[0257] FIG. 4 illustrates a portion of a graphical user
interface that may be employed With the present invention to
set programmable features of a motor vehicle’s climate
control system.
[0258] Use of the present invention facilitates customiZed
driver controls and displays. For eXample, touch screen LCD
or similar display panels are noW used in many automobiles.
Using a graphical user interface, a driver can design a
customiZed set of controls for operating features of interest
to that driver. One driver may Wish to have certain radio
selections readily available, Whereas another driver may
Wish to have available a selection of destinations for the
navigation system. These preferences are communicated via
the transfer device as described above. Controls that are
customiZed in this manner are not limited to touch screen
selections. By the same process, driver de?ned functions
may be assigned to buttons, dials and other mechanical
controls as Well to create individualiZed “function keys.”
Likewise, displays available to the driver may also be
customiZed.
[0259]
FIG. 5 illustrates a portion of a graphical user
interface for creating a customiZed control/display panel.
The top portion of the interface provides a menu of controls
and displays that may be dragged and dropped onto a
input port of the transfer device;
transfer device to the motor vehicle.
2. The method of claim 1 Wherein the input port of the
transfer device comprises a serial bus connector.
3. The method of claim 2 Wherein the output port of the
transfer device comprises the same serial bus connector.
4. The method of claim 1 Wherein the output port of the
transfer device comprises a serial bus connector.
5. The method of claim 1 Wherein the input port of the
transfer device comprises an optical sensor.
6. The method of claim 5 Wherein transferring set-up data
from the interactive site to the input port of the transfer
device comprises modulating a portion of a display screen
and sensing such modulation in the transfer device.
7. The method of claim 1 Wherein the transfer device
comprises a key for operating the motor vehicle.
8. The method of claim 1 Wherein the programmable
feature comprises a navigational function.
9. The method of claim 1 Wherein the programmable
feature comprises a communication function.
10. The method of claim 1 Wherein the programmable
feature comprises an entertainment function.
11. The method of claim 1 Wherein the programmable
feature comprises a climate control function.
12. The method of claim 1 Wherein the programmable
feature comprises a control having a user-assigned function.
13. The method of claim 12 Wherein the interactive site
includes a plurality of control icons and further comprising
dragging a selected icon onto a representation of a motor
graphic representation of the vehicle’s control/display panel
vehicle control panel.
in the bottom portion of the interface. In this manner, a user
14. The method of claim 13 further comprising, after
transferring the set-up data from the output port of the
may construct a hierarchy of control/display panels for
various systems of the vehicle and/or driving situations. A
“home” panel may be con?gured With controls and displays
that are most used by the driver. Subsidiary panels, acces
sible from the “home” panel, may be created in Whatever
con?gurations the driver desires. Selections available to the
driver When creating customiZed panels may include back
ground colors and/or patterns. The panel may be pro
grammed With “Wallpaper” and “screensavers”, much as
computer displays are customiZed by their users.
[0260] It Will be recogniZed that the above-described
invention may be embodied in other speci?c forms Without
departing from the spirit or essential characteristics of the
disclosure. Thus, it is understood that the invention is not to
be limited by the foregoing illustrative details, but rather is
to be de?ned by the appended claims.
What is claimed is:
1. Amethod for setting a programmable feature of a motor
vehicle comprising:
providing an interactive site on a global computer net
Work;
establishing a connection With the interactive site;
interactively setting a programmable feature of the motor
vehicle at the interactive site;
transfer device to the motor vehicle, providing a control
corresponding to the selected icon on the motor vehicle
control panel.
15. The method of claim 1 Wherein the programmable
feature comprises a display having a user-assigned function.
16. The method of claim 12 Wherein the interactive site
includes a plurality of display icons and further comprising
dragging a selected icon onto a representation of a motor
vehicle display panel.
17. The method of claim 13 further comprising, after
transferring the set-up data from the output port of the
transfer device to the motor vehicle, providing a display
corresponding to the selected icon on the motor vehicle
display panel.
18. The method of claim 1 further comprising:
setting a programmable feature of the motor vehicle by
user input to a control Within the motor vehicle;
transferring the user-input setting of the programmable
feature from the motor vehicle to the transfer device;
transferring the user-input setting of the programmable
feature from the transfer device to the interactive site.
19. A method for setting a programmable feature of a
motor vehicle comprising:
Aug. 12, 2004
US 2004/0158371 A1
providing an interactive computer program With a graphi
cal user interface depicting the programmable features
of the motor vehicle;
transferring the user-input setting of the programmable
setting the programmable feature of the motor vehicle
using the interactive computer program With a user’s
feature from the transfer device to the user’s computer.
38. A method for setting a programmable feature of a
computer;
providing a transfer device having an input port and an
output port;
transferring set-up data from the user’s computer to the
input port of the transfer device;
transferring the set-up data from the output port of the
transfer device to the motor vehicle.
20. The method of claim 19 Wherein the input port of the
transfer device comprises a serial bus connector.
21. The method of claim 20 Wherein the output port of the
transfer device comprises the same serial bus connector.
22. The method of claim 19 Wherein the output port of the
transfer device comprises a serial bus connector.
23. The method of claim 19 Wherein the input port of the
transfer device comprises an optical sensor.
24. The method of claim 23 Wherein transferring set-up
data from the interactive site to the input port of the transfer
device comprises modulating a portion of a display screen
and sensing such modulation in the transfer device.
25. The method of claim 19 Wherein the transfer device
comprises a key for operating the motor vehicle.
26. The method of claim 19 Wherein the programmable
feature comprises a navigational function.
27. The method of claim 19 Wherein the programmable
feature comprises a communication function.
28. The method of claim 19 Wherein the programmable
feature comprises an entertainment function.
29. The method of claim 19 Wherein the programmable
feature comprises a climate control function.
30. The method of claim 19 Wherein the programmable
feature comprises a control having a user-assigned function.
31. The method of claim 30 Wherein the interactive site
includes a plurality of control icons and further comprising
dragging a selected icon onto a representation of a motor
vehicle control panel.
32. The method of claim 31 further comprising, after
transferring the set-up data from the output port of the
transfer device to the motor vehicle, providing a control
corresponding to the selected icon on the motor vehicle
control panel.
33. The method of claim 19 Wherein the programmable
feature comprises a display having a user-assigned function.
34. The method of claim 30 Wherein the interactive site
includes a plurality of display icons and further comprising
dragging a selected icon onto a representation of a motor
vehicle display panel.
35. The method of claim 31 further comprising, after
transferring the set-up data from the output port of the
transfer device to the motor vehicle, providing a display
corresponding to the selected icon on the motor vehicle
display panel.
36. The method of claim 19 Wherein the interactive
computer program is hosted on a global computer netWork.
37. The method of claim 19 further comprising:
setting a programmable feature of the motor vehicle by
user input to a control Within the motor vehicle;
feature from the motor vehicle to the transfer device;
transferring the user-input setting of the programmable
motor vehicle comprising:
providing an interactive site on a global computer net
Work;
establishing a connection With the interactive site;
interactively setting a programmable feature of the motor
vehicle at the interactive site;
transferring set-up data from the interactive site to the
motor vehicle.
39. The method of claim 38 Wherein the programmable
feature comprises a navigational function.
40. The method of claim 38 Wherein the programmable
feature comprises a communication function.
41. The method of claim 38 Wherein the programmable
feature comprises an entertainment function.
42. The method of claim 38 Wherein the programmable
feature comprises a climate control function.
43. The method of claim 38 Wherein the programmable
feature comprises a control having a user-assigned function.
44. The method of claim 43 Wherein the interactive site
includes a plurality of control icons and further comprising
dragging a selected icon onto a representation of a motor
vehicle control panel.
45. The method of claim 44 further comprising, after
transferring the set-up data from the interactive site to the
motor vehicle, providing a control corresponding to the
selected icon on the motor vehicle control panel.
46. The method of claim 38 Wherein the programmable
feature comprises a display having a user-assigned function.
47. The method of claim 43 Wherein the interactive site
includes a plurality of display icons and further comprising
dragging a selected icon onto a representation of a motor
vehicle display panel.
48. The method of claim 47 further comprising, after
transferring the set-up data from the interactive site to the
motor vehicle, providing a display corresponding to the
selected icon on the motor vehicle display panel.
49. The method of claim 38 further comprising:
setting a programmable feature of the motor vehicle by
user input to a control Within the motor vehicle;
transferring the user-input setting of the programmable
feature from the motor vehicle to the interactive site.
50. A system for setting a programmable feature of a
motor vehicle comprising:
a motor vehicle having a programmable feature;
a transfer device provided in combination With the motor
vehicle, the transfer device having at least one com
munication port;
an interactive computer program With a graphical user
interface depicting the programmable feature of the
motor vehicle;
Wherein a user of the motor vehicle sets the program
mable feature using the interactive program on a user’s
computer, transfers set-up data for the programmable
feature from the user’s computer to a transfer device
Aug. 12, 2004
US 2004/0158371 A1
and then transfers the set-up data from the transfer
device to the motor vehicle.
51. The system of claim 50 Wherein the transfer device
comprises a key for operating the motor vehicle.
52. The system of claim 50 Wherein the programmable
feature comprises a navigational function.
53. The system of claim 50 Wherein the programmable
feature comprises a communication function.
54. The system of claim 50 Wherein the programmable
feature comprises an entertainment function.
55. The system of claim 50 Wherein the programmable
feature comprises a climate control function.
56. The system of claim 50 Wherein the programmable
feature comprises a control having a user-assigned function.
57. The system of claim 56 Wherein the graphical user
interface includes a plurality of control icons and Wherein
the user drags a selected icon onto a representation of a
motor vehicle control panel.
58. The system of claim 57 further comprising means
Within the motor vehicle for providing a control correspond
ing to the user-selected icon on the motor vehicle control
panel.
59. The system of claim 50 Wherein the programmable
feature comprises a display having a user-assigned function.
60. The system of claim 56 Wherein the graphical user
interface includes a plurality of display icons and Wherein
the user drags a selected icon onto a representation of a
motor vehicle display panel.
61. The system of claim 60 further comprising means
Within the motor vehicle for providing a display correspond
ing to the user-selected icon on the motor vehicle display
panel.
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