Method and apparatus to encode fuel use data with GPS data and to analyze such data

  • US 9,230,437 B2
  • Filed: 07/14/2010
  • Issued: 01/05/2016
  • Est. Priority Date: 06/20/2006
  • Status: Active Grant
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First Claim
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1. A method for automatically detecting the existence of a mechanical problem in a vehicle equipped with a geographical position system, the method comprising the steps of:

  • (a) collecting geographical position data from the vehicle during vehicle operation, the geographical position data being time indexed;

    (b) collecting fuel injector data from the vehicle during operation of the vehicle, the fuel injector data being time indexed to define a quantity of fuel passing through an engine fuel injector at a specific point in time;

    (c) combining the fuel injector data and the geographical position data together at the vehicle to produce fuel use encoded position data for a first instance of operating the vehicle on a route;

    (d) combining the fuel injector data and the geographical position data together at the vehicle to produce fuel use encoded position data for a second instance of operating the vehicle on the route;

    (e) conveying the fuel use encoded position data to a remote computing device that is physically spaced apart from the vehicle; and

    (f) causing the remote computing device to automatically compare fuel use during the second instance of operating the vehicle on the route to fuel use during the first instance of operating vehicle on the route and if fuel efficiency has decreased, to provide an indication for inspecting the vehicle for a mechanical problem.

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