Control and coordination of driverless fuel replenishment for autonomous vehicles

  • US 10,369,974 B2
  • Filed: 07/14/2017
  • Issued: 08/06/2019
  • Est. Priority Date: 07/14/2017
  • Status: Active Grant
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First Claim
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1. A method, comprising:

  • monitoring an amount of fuel units based on data representing a threshold indicative of a portion of a fuel reservoir capacity;

    predicting a fuel expenditure of an autonomous vehicle to identify a predicted fuel expenditure during a range of time in which the amount of fuel units is predicted to be equivalent to the threshold, comprising;

    accessing an energy expenditure profile describing rates of energy expended during time intervals during the range of time; and

    calculating an amount of energy expenditure over one or more of the time intervals at which the amount of fuel units is predicted to be equivalent to the threshold;

    identifying a subset of time during the range of time as a candidate time frame to replenish at least a portion of the fuel reservoir capacity;

    transmitting electronic messages from the autonomous vehicle to reserve a replenishment station at a specific time associated with the candidate time frame and a geographic location; and

    activating, via an autonomy controller, the autonomous vehicle to drive autonomously to the geographic location to receive a fuel replenishment from the replenishment station.

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