Method and system for enhancing the functionality of a vehicle

  • US 10,747,234 B1
  • Filed: 01/18/2017
  • Issued: 08/18/2020
  • Est. Priority Date: 01/22/2016
  • Status: Active Grant
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First Claim
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1. A computer-implemented method for enhancing the functionality of a vehicle, comprising:

  • broadcasting, via one or more processors and/or associated transceivers of a semiautonomous vehicle having one or more autonomous operation features, a request to follow a fully autonomous vehicle within a predetermined communication range of the semi-autonomous vehicle via vehicle-to-vehicle wireless communication when the semi-autonomous vehicle is operating in a partially autonomous mode of operation with at least some of the control decisions being made by a vehicle operator;

    receiving, at the one or more processors and/or associated transceivers of the semiautonomous vehicle via vehicle-to-vehicle communication, an indication directly from several autonomous vehicles that each autonomous vehicle is within the predetermined communication range of the semi-autonomous vehicle, wherein each indication includes identification information for the autonomous vehicle for determining a safety rating of the autonomous vehicle;

    selecting, at the one or more processors of the semi-autonomous vehicle, an autonomous vehicle from among the several autonomous vehicles within the predetermined communication range of the semi-autonomous vehicle based upon the safety rating of each of the several autonomous vehicles as determined according to the identification information for each autonomous vehicle; and

    for a portion of the route, causing, by the one or more processors, the semi-autonomous vehicle to follow the selected autonomous vehicle and mimic each maneuver performed by the autonomous vehicle, such that the semi-autonomous vehicle is capable of operating without input from the vehicle operator along the same portion of the route.

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