Method for unlocking a vehicle door for an authorized user

  • US 10,266,151 B2
  • Filed: 04/10/2017
  • Issued: 04/23/2019
  • Est. Priority Date: 11/14/2011
  • Status: Active Grant
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First Claim
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1. A method for unlocking a door for an authorized user of a vehicle via a door unlocking system of the vehicle, said method comprising:

  • providing a door handle assembly at a handle region of a vehicle door of a vehicle equipped with the door unlocking system, wherein the door handle assembly comprises a handle portion disposed at the vehicle door and movable to open the vehicle door;

    providing a locking mechanism operable to lock and unlock the vehicle door;

    providing a control at the equipped vehicle;

    providing a near field communication device at the equipped vehicle;

    wherein the near field communication device of the equipped vehicle comprises a near field communication application specific integrated chip that communicates utilizing a near field communication (NFC) standard;

    wherein the near field communication device is located at one selected from the group consisting of (i) an exterior rearview mirror assembly of the equipped vehicle and (ii) the door handle assembly disposed at the equipped vehicle;

    providing a near field communication-enabled smartphone;

    wirelessly communicating, via the near field communication-enabled smartphone as a user of the near field communication-enabled smartphone approaches the equipped vehicle, a wakeup communication;

    responsive to the near field communication device of the equipped vehicle receiving the wakeup communication from the near field communication-enabled smartphone when the near field communication-enabled smartphone is within a threshold distance, waking up the near field communication device of the equipped vehicle;

    responsive to waking up the near field communication device of the equipped vehicle, wirelessly communicating, via the near field communication device of the equipped vehicle, with the near field communication-enabled smartphone when the smartphone is within the threshold distance from the equipped vehicle;

    responsive to the near field communication device of the equipped vehicle communicating with the smartphone that is within the threshold distance from the equipped vehicle, determining whether or not the smartphone that is within the threshold distance and that is communicating with the near field communication device of the equipped vehicle is an authorized device;

    authenticating the smartphone as an authorized device for communication with the near field communication device of the equipped vehicle; and

    responsive to the smartphone that is in communication with the near field communication device of the equipped vehicle being authenticated as an authorized device, actuating, at least in part via the control, the locking mechanism to unlock the vehicle door for the user of the authorized device.

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