Reinventing Driving

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The Future of Vehicle Driving (Inventions by Adrian Chernoff)

Driving is the key to mobility, yet we have been driving the same way for nearly 100 years with very little modifications or improvements. Of course, the introduction of power steering made steering the vehicle easier, and the creation of movable pedals and steering wheels offered a new way for drivers to re-position their physical relationship to the vehicle. Now, with the introduction of by-wire systems, driving can become safer and easier. By-wire systems also offer a world of benefits to handicapped and challenged drivers. With new features, new designs, and new systems, new methods can be introduced. And that’s exactly what’s happened—it turns out that by restarting the idea of driving, there is a whole lot more we can do.


As we’ve explored new unique ways to drive, steer, orient, control, and software-tune vehicles, a new series of novel devices and methods has developed. The following innovations cover the ability to use software and electronic signals to modify and control an automobile. With drive-by-wire and onboard vehicle electrical architecture systems, new controls can quickly and more accurately respond to road conditions and to inputs of electronic steering devices, electronic braking devices, and acceleration devices. By using integrated electronics, significant improvements in programmable and adaptive systems can be made. Some of these driver interface inventions have been proven to be safer—and enable vehicles to stop faster—than traditional steering wheels and foot pedals.



6,991,060    Vehicle Having a Movable Driving Position


  1. A vehicle has multiple movable driving positions resulting from a seat which is movable with respect to the vehicle chassis and has a driver's vehicle interface which moves with the seat. A wire bundle interconnects the driver's vehicle interface with controls for driving the vehicle. In one embodiment, a carousel rotates and a seat on the carousel revolves and rotates so that the seat continues to face forward.




6,898,496    Pivoting Arm Driver Control Input Device


  1. A driver control input device includes first and second base members with first and second control members each configured to support an arm of a driver and each pivotally movable with respect to the base members in a generally horizontal plane. The control members are operatively engaged with a steer-by-wire system such that pivotal movement of the first and second control members causes steering control signals to be sent to the steer-by-wire system. The control members may also be longitudinally slidably supported with respect to the base members to generate acceleration and braking signals.





6,880,855    Rotary Driver Control Input Device


  1. A driver control input device includes first and second rotatable hand grips positioned within first and second rotatable rings, respectively, for rotation with respect to first and second support members. The rotatable rings are operatively engaged with a steer-by-wire system for sending steering control signals to the steer-by-wire system. The hand grips may also include acceleration and braking demand mechanisms in various combinations.




6,827,174    Driver Control Input Device Having Opposing Movable Posts for Steering


  1. A driver control input device includes left and right control posts each having a hand grip. The control posts are movable forwardly and rearwardly and are sufficiently linked together such that forward movement of one control post will result in an equal and opposite rearward movement of the other control post to facilitate sending non-mechanical steering signals to a steer-by-wire system to which the control input device is attached. Accelerator demand input mechanisms and braking demand input mechanisms may also be positioned on the hand grips for generating non-mechanical acceleration and braking signals.





6,997,281    Driver Control Input Device for Drive-By-Wire Vehicle


  1. A vehicle driver control input device includes a non-rotatable wheel having at least one track. First and second hand grips are movably engaged with the track so that the first and second hand grips are movable along the track to facilitate sending steering signals to a steer-by-wire system of a vehicle. At least one of the first and second hand grips has an accelerator demand input mechanism to facilitate sending acceleration signals to an energy conversion system of the vehicle. At least one of the first and second hand grips have a braking demand input mechanism to facilitate sending braking signals to a brake-by-wire system of the vehicle. Alternatively, the wheel and hand grips may rotate with respect to a support post to facilitate generating steering signals.






7,509,195    Driver Control Input Device for Drive-By-Wire System


  1. A driver control input device includes a support post and a steering ring rotatably supported with respect to the support post. A steering transducer is operatively connected between the steering ring and support post to convert mechanical rotation of the steering ring into non-mechanical steering control signals to be sent to a steer-by-wire system. A braking ring and acceleration ring may also be provided for generating non-mechanical braking and acceleration control signals.




6,971,471    Multi-Directional Drive


  1. A vehicle is capable of being driven in a plurality of forward directions, the direction of travel being a function of the forward-facing orientation of a movable seat or movement of the driver to a different seat. The vehicle includes a frame, at least three wheels, a steering system, a braking system and an energy conversion system operable with respect to at least one of the wheels and controllable through non-mechanical control means. The vehicle has at least one movable seat connected to the frame and at least one operator interface operably connected to at least one of the steering system, braking system and energy conversion system that is usable to drive the vehicle in different directions when the seat is moved. A control cockpit for use on a vehicle controllable through non-mechanical controls includes a panel with a passageway, a movable seat mounted on the panel with a second passageway in communication with the first passageway, a driver interface that is movable with respect to the seat and usable for operating the vehicle via a connector connected at one end to the driver interface and extending through the first and second passageways.











6,948,740    Vehicle with Multiple Driver Interfaces


  1. A vehicle driver control input assembly includes a seat with a steering wheel structure configured to provide non-mechanical steering signals to a steer-by-wire system. The steering wheel structure is collapsible underneath the seat for storage. First and second movable arm structures are connected to opposing sides of the seat and are movable between an upright position for use and a lowered position for storage. The movable arm structures include control input members to provide non-mechanical steering signals to the steer-by-wire system. A plurality of selectable driver control input devices may be interchangeably connected with the vehicle to provide steering, braking and/or acceleration signals to the vehicle as desired.






7,142,963    Driver Control Input Device for Drive-By-Wire System


  1. A driver control input device includes a support post and a steering ring rotatably supported with respect to the support post. A steering transducer is operatively connected between the steering ring and support post to convert mechanical rotation of the steering ring into non-mechanical steering control signals to be sent to a steer-by-wire system. A braking ring and acceleration ring may also be provided for generating non-mechanical braking and acceleration control signals.



 

Reinventing Vehicle CONTROLS: Patents