Thursday, April 26, 2007

Honda Patent Application: System and Method for Remote Convenience Vehicle Telematics

Honda had an interesting patent application published today using a one way satellite communication system as part of a system to issue remote convenience commands.

The application is described in the abstract:

System and method for remote convenience vehicle telematics


A system comprises a satellite broadcasting a signal including a remote convenience telematics command, a user interface system providing the remote convenience telematics command to the satellite in response to user input, and a vehicle system for performing a remote convenience task in response to a received broadcast signal. The vehicle system is in a sleep mode in response to a vehicle turn off signal and is in a monitoring mode during predetermined time intervals after the vehicle turn off signal or in response to a user input. The vehicle system monitors for receipt of the broadcast signal during the monitoring mode. The predetermined time intervals have a duration so that the vehicle system has a predetermined probability of detecting the broadcast signal.

The application gives examples which clarify exactly what this is:

[0021] The "remote convenience" (RC) services are flexible, and accommodate a number of operational scenarios. For example, the user may have i) locked his keys in his car, ii) forgot to lock his car, iii) forgot where he parked his car (such as in a vast parking lot), or iv) want to disable the vehicle. The user can request remote convenience services while near the vehicle by way of cell phone or pager-type device or remote from the vehicle, e.g., at a kiosk or computer. Such services can include unlock, lock, turn on/off lights, honk horn, set a panic alert or car-finder service, or disable/immobilize the vehicle. Furthermore, a service can be sub-specified to do more specific tasks. For example, unlock may unlock one door, all doors, or open the trunk. Furthermore, the available remote convenience services, by design of the protocol, are only limited to those vehicle functions accessible by the HPM via the vehicle bus or wired interface. The protocol can pass through any commands available at such interface, thereby not limiting the service to those previously listed.

Although any satellite network could be used, XM is cited as the example:

[0032] The satellite uplink system 116 sends messages intended for broadcast by the satellite 103. Although one broadcast satellite 103 is shown, other numbers of broadcast satellites 103 may be used. Any satellite system may be used that is capable of broadcasting to the vehicle. According to one embodiment, the uplink system of a Satellite Digital Audio Radio Service (SDARS), such as the XM Satellite Radio service, is used. In one embodiment, the remote convenience telematics commands are time division multiplexed into satellite uplink data. The satellite uplink system 116 sends satellite uplink data to the broadcast satellite 103.

See the entire application here.

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