Method and apparatus for hazard detection and distraction avoidance for a vehicle

  • US 5,978,737 A
  • Filed: 10/16/1997
  • Issued: 11/02/1999
  • Est. Priority Date: 10/16/1997
  • Status: Expired due to Term
First Claim
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1. A system for detecting hazardous conditions during operation of a vehicle, comprising:

  • a plurality of sensors that monitor a plurality of conditions and transmit condition signals each representing a measure of a condition;

    a plurality of rate determination circuits coupled to the sensors that continually receive the condition signals, wherein each rate determination circuit calculates rates of change for the condition, including a baseline rate of change, and outputs a potential hazard value representing a deviation of a rate of change from the baseline rate that exceeds a predetermined threshold value; and

    an evaluation circuit that receives the potential hazard value, calculates a new potential hazard value using the potential hazard value and a rate of change for at least one associated condition and determines whether an actual hazard exists by comparing the new potential hazard value with a stored value that corresponds to the condition.

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