Review of Recent Patents in Integrated Vehicle Safety, Advanced Driver Assistance Systems and Intelligent Transportation Systems
In Europe, improvement in traffic safety is a major topic since the economic cost of traffic accidents is estimated to be 2 of the gross national product (about 200 billion Euros per year). Research in traffic safety has led to numerous safety systems for avoidance and reduction of collision severity (primary or active safety), reduction of injury risk during an accident (secondary or passive safety) and post-crash treatment (tertiary safety). A recent trend in traffic safety is the introduction of various Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS) as primary safety systems acting in normal driving conditions and prior to collision as well as improved interaction of primary and secondary safety systems (Integrated Vehicle Safety). The present paper aims at giving an overview of recent innovations in the field of integrated vehicle safety and ADAS. The focus is on new ideas, methods, products and systems to improve the current situation. The paper is not intended for detailed description of the state of the art and analysis of different safety systems with respect to functionality and effectiveness. Forty-four patents out of several hundreds of relevant documents were reviewed. The patents were selected using search functions of electronic patent databases with the keywords listed below. To reduce their number, the relevancy score of the electronic database was used to decide upon their importance in a first automatic step. The date of publication was limited mainly to the years 2007 to 2009. Non-relevant patents were excluded from the list. The remaining patents are classified and discussed. The present review shows that revolutionary new ideas of safety systems are rare at the moment. Future developments will involve more reliable technologies at lower costs that can be implemented in the complete car fleet to become effective for a statistical relevant reduction of traffic accident consequences. Safe and reliable X-by-wire technologies will enable mechatronic systems with enhanced driver assist functionalities. It will be necessary to provide safety systems with intuitive usability and functionalities that involve the driver in the loop. Combination of safety and comfort functions will be extended in future to allow systems that are beneficial not only in emergency situations. An important issue is the standardisation, security and data privacy in communication technologies as well as solving legal aspects of introduction of advanced mechatronic technologies.
Keywords: Integrated vehicle safety, driver assistance system, environment recognition system, human-machine interface, &, intelligent transportation systems
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