Sony Patent | System and method for driving assistance along a path

Patent: System and method for driving assistance along a path

Drawings: Click to check drawins

Publication Number: 20210280058

Publication Date: 20210909

Applicant: Sony

Abstract

Various aspects of a system and method for driving assistance along a path are disclosed herein. In accordance with an embodiment, a unique identifier is received from a communication device at an electronic control unit (ECU) of a first vehicle. The unique identifier is received when the first vehicle has reached a first location along a first portion of the path. A communication channel is established between the first vehicle and the communication device based on the received unique identifier. Data associated with a second portion of the path is received by the ECU from the communication device based on the established communication channel. Alert information associated with the second portion of the path is generated by the ECU based on the received data.

Claims

  1. A driving assistance system comprising: one or more circuits in an electronic control unit used in a first vehicle, said one or more circuits being configured to: receive a unique identifier from a communication device when said first vehicle reaches a first location along a first portion of a path; establish a communication channel between said first vehicle and said communication device based on said received unique identifier; receive data associated with a second portion of said path from said communication device; and generate alert information associated with said second portion of said path based on said received data.

  2. The driving assistance system according to claim 1, wherein said one or more circuits are configured to communicate sensor data to said communication device.

  3. The driving assistance system according to claim 2, wherein said communicated sensor data comprises one or more of: a direction of travel, lane information in which said first vehicle drives, type of said first vehicle, size of said first vehicle, weight of said first vehicle, error information of a device embedded in said first vehicle, breakdown information of said first vehicle, geospatial position, steering angle, yaw rate, speed, and/or rate of change of speed of said first vehicle.

  4. The driving assistance system according to claim 1, wherein said received data associated with said second portion of said path comprises road surface characteristics of said path and one or more road hazards along said path.

  5. The driving assistance system according to claim 4, wherein said road surface characteristics comprises one or more of: an upward slope, a downward slope, a bank angle, a curvature, a boundary, a speed limit, a road texture, a pothole, a lane marking, and/or a width of said second portion of said path.

  6. The driving assistance system according to claim 4, wherein said one or more road hazards comprises one or more of: an obstacle, an animal, a landslide, and/or a second vehicle present on said second portion of said path.

  7. The driving assistance system according to claim 6, wherein said one or more circuits are configured to generate said alert information when a current speed of said second vehicle is higher than a pre-specified threshold speed or said second vehicle crosses a lane marking along said second portion of said path, wherein said pre-specified threshold speed is determined based one or more road surface characteristics of said path.

  8. The driving assistance system according to claim 1, wherein said one or more circuits are configured to control displaying of a combined view of said first portion and said generated alert information associated with said second portion of said path.

  9. The driving assistance system according to claim 8, wherein said combined view comprises one or more features based on said received data from said communication device, wherein said one or more features comprises one or more of: an indication of a second vehicle according to vehicle type, size, and position along said second portion of said path, an indication of current speed of said second vehicle, an indication of current distance to pass said second vehicle, an indication of a required change in speed of said first vehicle to pass said second portion of said path, and/or an indication of one or more road hazards on said second portion of said path.

  10. The driving assistance system according to claim 1, wherein said one or more circuits are configured to receive said data associated with said second portion of said path from one or more other communication devices.

  11. A driving assistance system comprising: one or more circuits in a communication device, said one or more circuits being configured to: determine whether a first vehicle has reached a first location along a first portion of a path; communicate a first unique identifier to said first vehicle to establish a communication channel between said first vehicle and said communication device when said first vehicle reaches said first location along said first portion of said path; and communicate data associated with a second portion of said path to said first vehicle.

  12. The driving assistance system according to claim 11, wherein said one or more circuits are configured to communicate a second unique identifier to a second vehicle to establish a communication channel between said second vehicle and said communication device when said second vehicle reaches a second location along a second portion of said path.

  13. The driving assistance system according to claim 12, wherein said one or more circuits are configured to communicate data associated with said first portion of said path to said second vehicle.

  14. The driving assistance system according to claim 11, wherein said one or more circuits are configured to receive sensor data from said first vehicle and/or a second vehicle present on said second portion of said path.

  15. The driving assistance system according to claim 14, wherein said one or more circuits are configured to communicate a warning signal to one or both of said first vehicle and/or said second vehicle when one or both of said first vehicle and/or said second vehicle are detected along an opposing traffic lane of said path.

  16. The driving assistance system according to claim 11, wherein said communication device is an electronic control unit of a second vehicle, a mobile unit, or a road-side unit.

  17. The driving assistance system according to claim 11, wherein said one or more circuits are configured to communicate said first unique identifier based on one of: a direction of travel of said first vehicle, lane information of said first vehicle, or a vehicle type of said first vehicle.

  18. The driving assistance system according to claim 11, wherein said communicated said first unique identifier expires when said first vehicle reaches a second location along a second portion of said path.

  19. A method for providing driving assistance, said method comprising: receiving, at an electronic control unit (ECU) of a first vehicle, a unique identifier from a communication device when said first vehicle has reached a first location along a first portion of a path; establishing, by said ECU, a communication channel between said first vehicle and said communication device based on said received unique identifier; receiving, by said ECU, data associated with a second portion of said path from said communication device; and generating, by said ECU, alert information associated with said second portion of said path based on said received data.

  20. A method for providing driving assistance, said method comprising: determining, by a communication device, whether a first vehicle has reached a first location along a first portion of a path; communicating, by said communication device, a first unique identifier to said first vehicle to establish a communication channel between said first vehicle and said communication device when said first vehicle has reached said first location along said first portion of said path; and communicating, by said communication device, data associated with a second portion of said path to said first vehicle.

  21. A non-transitory computer readable storage medium having stored thereon, a set of instructions executable by a computer, thereby causing the computer to perform steps comprising: receiving, at an electronic control unit (ECU) of a first vehicle, a unique identifier from a communication device when said first vehicle has reached a first location along a first portion of a path; establishing a communication channel between said first vehicle and said communication device based on said received unique identifier; receiving data associated with a second portion of said path from said communication device; and generating alert information associated with said second portion of said path based on said received information.

  22. A vehicle comprising: a battery; a display; and an electronic control unit that is powered by said battery, wherein said electronic control unit comprises one or more circuits that are configured to: receive a unique identifier from a communication device when said vehicle reaches a first location along a first portion of a path; establish a communication channel between said vehicle and said communication device based on said received unique identifier; receive data associated with a second portion of said path from said communication device; and generate alert information associated with said second portion of said path on said display, based on said received data.

Description

CROSS REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS

[0001] The present application is a continuation application of U.S. patent application Ser. No. 16/739,378, filed on Jan. 10, 2020 (now U.S. Pat. No. 10,984,655 issued Apr. 20, 2021), which is a continuation application of U.S. patent application Ser. No. 16/195,025, filed on Nov. 19, 2018 (now U.S. Pat. No. 10,565,870 issued Feb. 18, 2020), which is a continuation application of U.S. patent application Ser. No. 15/674,693, filed on Aug. 11, 2017 (now U.S. Pat. No. 10,140,861 issued Nov. 27, 2018), which is a continuation application of U.S. patent application Ser. No. 14/851,231, filed on Sep. 11, 2015 (now U.S. Pat. No. 9,767,687 issued Sep. 19, 2017). Each of the above-referenced applications is hereby incorporated herein by reference in its entirety.

FIELD

[0002] Various embodiments of the disclosure relate to driving assistance. More specifically, various embodiments of the disclosure relate to driving assistance for a vehicle along a path.

BACKGROUND

[0003] Advanced applications, such as intelligent transportation system (ITS), have revolutionized numerous services that relate to different modes of transport and traffic management. As a result, various assistance systems, such as a driving assistance system, are rapidly evolving with respect to their technology and utility to aid in different driving scenarios.

[0004] In certain scenarios, it may be difficult for a driver of a motor vehicle to view beyond a certain point ahead in a path due to an unfavorable environmental condition or terrain. For example, paths in mountainous terrains may be narrow and may have multiple sharp and/or blind curves. In another example, at blind spots, there may be a poor visibility and the driver may need to know if there are other vehicles and/or pedestrians at the blind spots. In such scenarios, the driver may be required to brake hard when the curve suddenly appears to be sharper and/or steeper than expected. This may cause the motor vehicle to under-steer or over-steer and may result in an accident. In addition, the presence of road hazards, such as potholes and other obstacles, not visible beyond a certain point, may also pose a risk to occupant(s) of the motor vehicle. Consequently, enhanced driving assistance may be required that may anticipate such blind curves and other road hazards.

[0005] Further limitations and disadvantages of conventional and traditional approaches will become apparent to one of skill in the art, through comparison of described systems with some aspects of the present disclosure, as set forth in the remainder of the present application and with reference to the drawings.

SUMMARY

[0006] A system and a method for driving assistance along a path substantially as shown in, and/or described in connection with, at least one of the figures, as set forth more completely in the claims.

[0007] These and other features and advantages of the present disclosure may be appreciated from a review of the following detailed description of the present disclosure, along with the accompanying figures in which like reference numerals refer to like parts throughout.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

[0008] FIG. 1 is a block diagram that illustrates a network environment for driving assistance, in accordance with an embodiment of the disclosure.

[0009] FIG. 2 is a block diagram that illustrates various exemplary components or systems of a vehicle, in accordance with an embodiment of the disclosure.

[0010] FIG. 3 is a block diagram that illustrates an exemplary communication device, in accordance with an embodiment of the disclosure.

[0011] FIGS. 4A, 4B, 4C, 4D, 4E, 4F, 4G, and 4H illustrate a first exemplary scenario for implementation of the disclosed system and method for driving assistance along a path, in accordance with an embodiment of the disclosure.

[0012] FIG. 5 illustrates a second exemplary scenario for implementation of the disclosed system and method for driving assistance along a path, in accordance with an embodiment of the disclosure.

[0013] FIG. 6 is a flow chart that illustrates an exemplary method for driving assistance along a path, in accordance with an embodiment of the disclosure.

[0014] FIG. 7 is another flow chart that illustrates another exemplary method for driving assistance along a path, in accordance with an embodiment of the disclosure.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

[0015] The following described implementations may be found in the disclosed system and method for driving assistance along a path. Exemplary aspects of the disclosure may comprise a method that may include receipt of a unique identifier of a first vehicle from a communication device. The receipt may occur at an electronic control unit (ECU) of the first vehicle. Such receipt may occur when the first vehicle has reached a first location along a first portion of a path. A communication channel may be established between the first vehicle and the communication device. Such a communication channel may be established based on the received unique identifier. Data associated with a second portion of the path may be received from the communication device based on the established communication channel. Alert information associated with the second portion of the path may be generated based on the received data.

[0016] In accordance with an embodiment, sensor data may be communicated to the communication device. The communicated sensor data may comprise at least a direction of travel, lane information in which the first vehicle drives, a type of the first vehicle, size of the first vehicle, weight of the first vehicle, error information of a device embedded on the first vehicle, breakdown information of the first vehicle, geospatial position, steering angle, yaw rate, speed, and/or rate of change of speed of the first vehicle.

[0017] In accordance with an embodiment, the received data associated with the second portion of the path may comprise road surface characteristics of the path and/or one or more road hazards along the path. The road surface characteristics may comprise an upward slope, a downward slope, a bank angle, a curvature, a boundary, a speed limit, a road texture, a pothole, a lane marking, and/or a width of the second portion of the path. Examples of the one or more road hazards may comprise, but is not limited to, an obstacle, an animal, a landslide, and/or a second vehicle present on the second portion of the path. In accordance with an embodiment, the data associated with the second portion of the path may be received from one or more other communication devices.

[0018] In accordance with an embodiment, the alert information may be generated when a current speed of the second vehicle is higher than a pre-specified threshold speed. The alert information may be further generated when the second vehicle crosses a lane marking along the second portion of the path. The pre-specified threshold speed may be determined based on the one or more road surface characteristics of the path.

[0019] In accordance with an embodiment, the generated alert information may be updated based on the data received from the communication device. The generated alert information may correspond to a position of the second vehicle on the second portion of the path.

[0020] In accordance with an embodiment, display of a combined view of the first portion and the generated alert information associated with the second portion of the path, may be controlled. The combined view may comprise one or more features based on the data received from the communication device. The one or more features may comprise an indication (in the combined view) of the second vehicle with regard to vehicle type, size, and position along the second portion of the path. The one or more features may further comprise an indication of current speed of the second vehicle, current distance to pass the second vehicle, and/or a required change in speed of the first vehicle to pass the second portion of the path. An indication of the one or more road hazards on the second portion of the path may also be provided in the combined view.

[0021] In accordance with an embodiment, the display of the generated alert information as a graphical view may be controlled. Such a display may occur on a heads-up display (HUD), an augmented reality (AR)-HUD which displays HUD information hi an augmented reality, a driver information console (DIC), a see-through display, a projection-based display, or a smart-glass display.

[0022] Another exemplary aspect of the disclosure may comprise a method for driving assistance along a path. The method may include determination of whether the first vehicle has reached (or passed) the first location along the first portion of the path at a communication device. A first unique identifier may be communicated to the first vehicle to establish a communication channel between the first vehicle and the communication device. Such communication may occur when the first vehicle has reached a first location along the first portion of the path. Data associated with the second portion of the path may be communicated to the first vehicle.

[0023] In accordance with an embodiment, the communicated data associated with the second portion of the path may comprise the road surface characteristics of the path and/or one or more road hazards along the path. A second unique identifier may be communicated to the second vehicle to establish a communication channel between the second vehicle and the communication device. Such communication of the second unique identifier may occur when the second vehicle reaches the second location along the second portion of the path. Data associated with the first portion of the path may be communicated to the second vehicle.

[0024] In accordance with an embodiment, sensor data from the first vehicle and/or the second vehicle present on the second portion of the path may be received. The received sensor data may comprise at least a direction of travel, lane information in which the first vehicle drives, a type of the first vehicle and/or the second vehicle, size of the first vehicle and/or the second vehicle, weight of the first vehicle and/or the second vehicle, error information of a device embedded on the first vehicle and/or the second vehicle, breakdown information of the first vehicle and/or the second vehicle, geospatial position, steering angle, yaw rate, speed, and/or rate of change of speed of the first vehicle and/or the second vehicle.

[0025] In accordance with an embodiment, a warning signal may be communicated to one or both of the first vehicle and/or the second vehicle. Such communication may occur when one or both of the first vehicle and/or the second vehicle are detected along an opposing traffic lane of the path. The traffic information along the path may be communicated to one or both of the first vehicle and/or the second vehicle. In accordance with an embodiment, the communication device may be the ECU of the second vehicle, a mobile unit, or a road-side unit (RSU).

[0026] In accordance with an embodiment, the first unique identifier may be communicated based on a direction of travel of the first vehicle, lane information of the first vehicle, or a vehicle type of the first vehicle. The communicated first unique identifier may expire when the first vehicle reaches the second location along the second portion of the path. The established communication channel between the first vehicle and the communication device may then be terminated. Such termination may occur based on the expiry of the validity of the first unique identifier.

[0027] FIG. 1 is a block diagram that illustrates a network environment for driving assistance, in accordance with an embodiment of the disclosure. With reference to FIG. 1, there is shown a network environment 100. The network environment 100 may include a communication device 102, an electronic control unit (ECU) 104, and one or more vehicles, such as a first vehicle 106 and a second vehicle 108. The network environment 100 may further include a communication network 110 and one or more users, such as a driver 112 of the first vehicle 106.

[0028] The first vehicle 106 may include the ECU 104. The ECU 104 may be communicatively coupled to the communication device 102 and/or the second vehicle 108, via the communication network 110. The ECU 104 may be associated with the driver 112 of the first vehicle 106. The ECU 104 further may be communicatively coupled to one or more other communication devices (not shown), via the communication network 110, by use of one or more communication protocols, known in the art.

[0029] The ECU 104 may comprise suitable logic, circuitry, interfaces, and/or code that may be operable to receive a unique identifier from the communication device 102 when the first vehicle 106 has reached (or passed) a first location along a first portion of a path. The ECU 104 may be configured to access vehicle data of the first vehicle 106 or communicate one or more control commands to other ECUs, components, or systems of the first vehicle 106. The vehicle data and the one or more control commands may be communicated via an in-vehicle network, such as a vehicle area network (VAN), and/or in-vehicle data bus, such as a controller area network (CAN) bus.

[0030] The communication device 102 may comprise suitable logic, circuitry, interfaces, and/or code that may be operable to establish a communication channel with one or more vehicles, such as the first vehicle 106 and the second vehicle 108. The communication device 102 may be pre-installed at an accident-prone area, such as at the blind curve. Examples of the communication device 102 may include, but are not limited to, a mobile unit, an infrastructure unit, such as a road side unit (RSU), an ECU of the second vehicle 108, and/or other wireless communication devices, such as a radio-frequency (RF) based communication device.

[0031] The first vehicle 106 may comprise the ECU 104 that may be configured to communicate with the communication device 102, other communication devices, and/or a cloud server (not shown). The first vehicle 106 may be configured to communicate with other vehicles, such as the second vehicle 108, in a vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V) communication.

[0032] The second vehicle 108 may be configured similar to that of the first vehicle 106. In accordance with an embodiment, the second vehicle 108 may comprise an ECU (not shown) configured similar to that of the ECU 104. In accordance with an embodiment, the second vehicle 108 may comprise a conventional ECU that may not have the functionalities and/or configurations similar to that of the ECU 104. Examples of first vehicle 106 and the second vehicle 108 may include, but are not limited to, a motor vehicle, a hybrid vehicle, and/or a vehicle that uses one or more distinct renewable or non-renewable power sources. A vehicle that uses renewable or non-renewable power sources may include a fossil fuel-based vehicle, an electric propulsion-based vehicle, a hydrogen fuel-based vehicle, a solar-powered vehicle, and/or a vehicle powered by other forms of alternative energy sources.

[0033] The communication network 110 may include a medium through which the first vehicle 106 may communicate with the communication device 102, and/or one or more other vehicles, such as the second vehicle 108. Examples of the communication network 110 may include, but are not limited to, a dedicated short-range communication (DSRC) network, a mobile ad-hoc network (MANET), a vehicular ad-hoc network (VANET), Intelligent vehicular ad-hoc network (InVANET), Internet based mobile ad-hoc networks (IMANET), a wireless sensor network (WSN), a wireless mesh network (WMN), the Internet, a cellular network, such as a long-term evolution (LTE) network, a cloud network, a Wireless Fidelity (Wi-Fi) network, and/or a Wireless Local Area Network (WLAN). Various devices in the network environment 100 may be operable to connect to the communication network 110, in accordance with various wireless communication protocols. Examples of such wireless communication protocols may include, but are not limited to, IEEE 802.11, 802.11p, 802.15, 802.16, 1609, Worldwide Interoperability for Microwave Access (Wi-MAX), Wireless Access in Vehicular Environments (WAVE), cellular communication protocols, Transmission Control Protocol and Internet Protocol (TCP/IP), User Datagram Protocol (UDP), Hypertext Transfer Protocol (HTTP), Long-term Evolution (LTE), File Transfer Protocol (FTP), ZigBee, EDGE, infrared (IR), and/or Bluetooth (BT) communication protocols.

[0034] In operation, the communication device 102 may be configured to determine whether the first vehicle 106 has reached (or passed) a first location along a first portion of a path. In accordance with an embodiment, another communication device (not shown) may be configured to determine whether the first vehicle 106 has reached (or passed) the first location. A second portion of the path may be beyond a field-of-view of the driver 112 from the first location. The second portion of the path may not be visible from the first location due to terrain features, such as a blind curve in a mountainous terrain, and/or a dead angle due to an uphill road. In accordance with an embodiment, the second portion of the path may not be visible due to an unfavorable environmental and/or lighting condition, such as fog, heavy rainfall, and/or darkness. In accordance with an embodiment, the second portion of the path may not be visible from the first location or have reduced visibility due to mirage conditions, such as an inferior mirage, a superior mirage, a highway mirage, a heat haze, a Fata Morgana in desert areas, and/or night-time mirages.

[0035] The communication device 102 may be configured to communicate a first unique identifier to the first vehicle 106. Such communication may occur when the first vehicle 106 reaches (or passes) the first location along the first portion of the path. In accordance with an embodiment, the first unique identifier may be communicated by another communication device situated at the first location.

[0036] In accordance with an embodiment, the ECU 104 may be configured to receive the first unique identifier from the communication device 102 and/or one or more other communication devices. Such receipt may occur when the first vehicle 106 has reached (or passed) the first location along the first portion of the path. The ECU 104 may be configured to establish a communication channel between the first vehicle 106 and the communication device 102, based on the received unique identifier.

[0037] In accordance with an embodiment, the communication device 102 may be configured to determine whether the second vehicle 108 has reached (or passed) a second location along the second portion of the path. The communication device 102 may be configured to communicate a second unique identifier to the second vehicle 108. The second unique identifier may establish a communication channel between the second vehicle 108 and the communication device 102. Such a communication of the second unique identifier may occur when the second vehicle 108 reaches (or passes) the second location along the second portion of the path.

[0038] In accordance with an embodiment, the ECU 104 may be configured to communicate sensor data associated with the first vehicle 106 to the communication device 102. The communication device 102 may be configured to receive the sensor data, communicated by the ECU 104. The sensor data, received by the communication device 102, may comprise a direction of travel, lane information in which a vehicle (such as the first vehicle and/or the second vehicle) drives, vehicle type, vehicle size, weight of a vehicle, error information of a device embedded on the vehicle, breakdown information of the vehicle, geospatial position, steering angle, yaw rate, speed, and/or rate of change of speed of the first vehicle and/or the second vehicle. As for the vehicle type, it may be a model number or a brand name set by a car manufacturer, a category based on vehicle size, such as a truck, a compact car, a Sport Utility Vehicle (SUV), characteristics of a vehicle, such as an electric vehicle (EV), an internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicle, an autonomous vehicle that may be capable to sense its environment and navigate without a driver manual operation, a vehicle operated by a human driver, a vehicle with advanced driving assisted system, a semi-autonomous vehicle, a vehicle capable of vehicle to vehicle communication, a vehicle incapable of vehicle to vehicle communication, a taxi, or a rental car. In instances when the second vehicle 108 is detected on the second portion of the path, the communication device 102 may be further configured to receive sensor data communicated by another ECU associated with the second vehicle 108.

[0039] In accordance with an embodiment, the communication device 102 may be configured to communicate data associated with the second portion of the path to the first vehicle 106. The ECU 104 may be configured to receive data associated with the second portion of the path from the communication device 102. In accordance with an embodiment, the ECU 104 may be configured to receive the data associated with the second portion of the path from the one or more other communication devices. In accordance with an embodiment, the received data associated with the second portion of the path may comprise road surface characteristics of the path and/or one or more road hazards along the path.

[0040] In accordance with an embodiment, the ECU 104 may be configured to generate alert information associated with the second portion of the path, based on the received data. In accordance with an embodiment, the ECU 104 may be configured to generate the alert information when a current speed of the second vehicle 108 is higher than a pre-specified threshold speed.

[0041] In accordance with an embodiment, the ECU 104 may be configured to generate the alert information when the second vehicle 108 crosses a lane marking along the second portion of the path. The ECU 104 may be configured to determine the pre-specified threshold speed based on the one or more road surface characteristics of the path.

[0042] In accordance with an embodiment, the ECU 104 may be configured to update the generated alert information that corresponds to a position of the second vehicle 108 on the second portion of the path. Such an update at the first vehicle 106 may occur based on the data received from the communication device 102.

[0043] In accordance with an embodiment, the ECU 104 may be configured to control the display of a combined view of the first portion and the generated alert information associated with the second portion of the path. The combined view may comprise one or more features based on the data received from the communication device 102. The one or more features may comprise an indication of the type, size, and position along the second portion of the path of the second vehicle 108. The one or more features may further comprise an indication of current speed of the second vehicle 108 and/or an indication of current distance to pass the second vehicle 108. The combined view may also comprise an indication of a required change in speed of the first vehicle 106 to pass the second portion of the path and/or an indication of one or more road hazards on the second portion of the path.

[0044] In accordance with an embodiment, the ECU 104 may be configured to control the display of the generated alert information as a graphical view. Such a display may occur on the display 210, such as a HUD, an AR-HUD, a DIC, the see-through display, a projection-based display, or a smart-glass display.

[0045] In accordance with an embodiment, the communication device 102 may be configured to communicate data associated with the first portion of the path to the second vehicle 108. The communication device 102 may be configured to communicate a warning signal to one or both of the first vehicle 106 and/or the second vehicle 108. Such a communication of the warning signal may occur when one or both of the first vehicle 106 and/or the second vehicle 108 are detected approaching each other along a same traffic lane of the path.

[0046] In accordance with an embodiment, the communication device 102 may be configured to communicate traffic information along the path to one or both of the first vehicle 106 and/or the second vehicle 108. Such traffic information may be communicated when both of the first vehicle 106 and the second vehicle 108 are detected approaching each other along a same lane of the path.

[0047] In accordance with an embodiment, the communication device 102 may be configured to terminate the established communication channel between the first vehicle 106 and the communication device 102. The established communication channel may be terminated based on expiry of the validity of the first unique identifier. The validity of the communicated first unique identifier may expire when the first vehicle 106 reaches (or passes) the second location along the second portion of the path.

[0048] Similarly, the communication device 102 may be configured to terminate the established communication channel between the second vehicle 108 and the communication device 102, based on expiry of the second unique identifier. The communicated second unique identifier may expire when the second vehicle 108 reaches (or passes) the first location along the first portion of the path.

[0049] FIG. 2 is a block diagram that illustrates various exemplary components or systems of a vehicle, in accordance with an embodiment of the disclosure. FIG. 2 is explained in conjunction with elements from FIG. 1. With reference to FIG. 2, there is shown the first vehicle 106. The first vehicle 106 may comprise the ECU 104 that may include a microprocessor 202 and a memory 204. The first vehicle 106 may further comprise a wireless communication system 206, an audio interface 208, a display 210, a powertrain control system 212, a steering system 214, a braking system 216, a sensing system 218, a body control module 220, and an in-vehicle network 222. The display 210 may render a user interface (UI) 210a. There is further shown a battery 224 associated with a vehicle power system 226. In accordance with an embodiment, the wireless communication system 206, the audio interface 208 and the display 210 may also be associated with the ECU 104.

[0050] The various components or systems may be communicatively coupled to each other, via the in-vehicle network 222, such as a vehicle area network (VAN), and/or an in-vehicle data bus. The microprocessor 202 may be communicatively coupled to the memory 204, the wireless communication system 206, the audio interface 208, the display 210, the powertrain control system 212, the sensing system 218, and the body control module 220, via the in-vehicle network 222. It should be understood that the first vehicle 106 may also include other suitable components or systems, but for brevity, those components or systems which are used to describe and explain the function and operation of the present disclosure are illustrated herein.

[0051] The microprocessor 202 may comprise suitable logic, circuitry, interfaces, and/or code that may be configured to execute a set of instructions stored in the memory 204. The microprocessor 202 may be configured to receive data associated with the second portion of the path from the communication device 102, via the wireless communication system 206. The microprocessor 202 may be configured to generate alert information associated with the second portion of the path based on the received data. Examples of the microprocessor 202 may be an X86-based processor, a Reduced Instruction Set Computing (RISC) processor, an Application-Specific Integrated Circuit (ASIC) processor, a Complex Instruction Set Computing (CISC) processor, an Explicitly Parallel Instruction Computing (EPIC) processor, a Very Long Instruction Word (VLIW) processor, a microcontroller, a central processing unit (CPU), a graphics processing unit (GPU), a state machine, and/or other processors or circuits.

[0052] The memory 204 may comprise suitable logic, circuitry, and/or interfaces that may be configured to store a machine code and/or a set of instructions with at least one code section executable by the microprocessor 202. The memory 204 may be further operable to store one or more text-to-speech conversion algorithms, one or more speech-generation algorithms, audio data that corresponds to various buzzer sounds, and/or other data. Examples of implementation of the memory 204 may include, but are not limited to, Electrically Erasable Programmable Read-Only Memory (EEPROM), Random Access Memory (RAM), Read Only Memory (ROM), Hard Disk Drive (HDD), Flash memory, a Secure Digital (SD) card, Solid-State Drive (SSD), and/or CPU cache memory.

[0053] The wireless communication system 206 may comprise suitable logic, circuitry, interfaces, and/or code that may be configured to communicate with one or more external devices, such as the communication device 102, one or more cloud servers, and/or one or more vehicles, such as the second vehicle 108. Such communication with the one or more external devices may occur by use of the communication network 110. The wireless communication system 206 may include, but is not limited to, an antenna, a telematics unit, a radio frequency (RF) transceiver, one or more amplifiers, one or more oscillators, a digital signal processor, a near field communication (NFC) circuitry, a coder-decoder (CODEC) chipset, and/or a subscriber identity module (SIM) card. The wireless communication system 206 may communicate via wireless communication, such as a dedicated short-range communication (DSRC) protocol, by use the communication network 110 (as described in FIG. 1).

[0054] The audio interface 208 may be connected to a speaker, a chime, a buzzer, or other device that may be operable to generate a sound. The audio interface 208 may also be connected to a microphone or other device to receive a voice input from an occupant of the first vehicle 106, such as the driver 112. The audio interface 208 may also be communicatively coupled to the microprocessor 202. The audio interface 208 may be a part of an in-vehicle infotainment (IVI) system or head unit of the first vehicle 106.

[0055] The display 210 may refer to a display screen to display various types of information to the occupants of the first vehicle 106, such as the driver 112. In accordance with an embodiment, the display 210 may be a touch screen display that may receive an input from the driver 112. The display 210 may be communicatively coupled to the microprocessor 202. Examples of the display 210 may include, but are not limited to a heads-up display (HUD) or a head-up display with an augmented reality system (AR-HUD), a driver information console (DIC), a projection-based display, a display of the head unit, a see-through display, a smart-glass display, and/or an electro-chromic display. The AR-HUD may be a combiner-based AR-HUD. The display 210 may be a transparent or a semi-transparent display. In accordance with an embodiment, the see-through display and/or the projection-based display may generate an optical illusion that the generated alert information is floating in air at a pre-determined distance from a user’s eye, such as the driver 112. The first vehicle 106 may include other input/output (I/O) devices that may be configured to communicate with the microprocessor 202.

[0056] The UI 210a may be used to render the generated alert information as a graphical view on the display 210, under the control of the microprocessor 202. The display 210 may render a two-dimensional (2D) or a three-dimensional (3D) graphical view of the generated alert information, via the UI 210a, under the control of the microprocessor 202. Examples of the UI 210a is shown in FIGS. 4C, 4D, 4F, 4G and 4H.

[0057] The powertrain control system 212 may refer to an onboard computer of the first vehicle 106 that controls operations of an engine and a transmission system of the first vehicle 106. The powertrain control system 212 may control an ignition, fuel injection, emission systems, and/or operations of a transmission system (when provided) and the braking system 216.

[0058] The steering system 214 may be associated with the powertrain control system 212. The steering system 214 may include a steering wheel and/or an electric motor (provided for a power-assisted steering) that may be used by the driver 112 to control movement of the first vehicle 106 in manual mode or a semi-autonomous mode. In accordance with an embodiment, the movement or steering of the first vehicle 106 may be automatically controlled when the first vehicle 106 is in autonomous mode. Examples of the steering system 214 may include, but are not limited to, an autonomous steering control, a power-assisted steering system, a vacuum/hydraulic-based steering system, an electro-hydraulic power-assisted system (EHPAS), or a “steer-by-wire” system, known in the art

[0059] The braking system 216 may be used to stop or slow down the first vehicle 106 by application of frictional forces. The braking system 216 may be configured to receive a command from the powertrain control system 212 under the control of the microprocessor 202, when the first vehicle 106 is in an autonomous mode or a semi-autonomous mode. In accordance with an embodiment, the braking system 216 may be configured to receive a command from the body control module 220 and/or the microprocessor 202 when the microprocessor 202 preemptively detects a steep curvature, an obstacle, or other road hazards along the second portion of the path based on the received sensor data from the communication device 102.

[0060] The sensing system 218 may comprise one or more other vehicle sensors embedded in the first vehicle 106. The sensing system 218 may further comprise one or more image sensors to capture a field-of-view (FOV) in front of the first vehicle 106. The sensing system 218 may be operatively connected to the microprocessor 202 to provide input signals. One or more communication interfaces, such as a CAN interface, may be provided in the sensing system 218 to connect to the in-vehicle network 222. Examples of the sensing system 218 may include, but are not limited to, a vehicle speed sensor, the odometric sensors, a yaw rate sensor, a speedometer, a global positioning system (GPS), a steering angle detection sensor, a vehicle travel direction detection sensor, a magnometer, an image sensor, a touch sensor, an infrared sensor, a radio wave-based object detection sensor, and/or a laser-based object detection sensor. The one or more vehicle sensors of the sensing system 218 may be configured to detect a direction of travel, geospatial position, steering angle, yaw rate, speed, and/or rate-of-change of speed of the first vehicle 106.

[0061] The body control module 220 may refer to another electronic control unit that comprises suitable logic, circuitry, interfaces, and/or code that may be configured to control various electronic components or systems of the first vehicle 106, such as a central door locking system. The body control module 220 may be configured to receive a command from the microprocessor 202 to unlock a vehicle door of the first vehicle 106. The body control module 220 may relay the command to other suitable vehicle systems or components, such as the central door locking system, for access control of the first vehicle 106.

[0062] The in-vehicle network 222 may include a medium through which the various control units, components, or systems of the first vehicle 106, such as the ECU 104, the wireless communication system 206, the powertrain control system 212, the sensing system 218, and/or the body control module 220, may communicate with each other. In accordance with an embodiment, in-vehicle communication of audio/video data for multimedia components may occur by use of Media Oriented Systems Transport (MOST) multimedia network protocol of the in-vehicle network 222. The in-vehicle network 222 may facilitate access control and/or communication between the ECU 104 and other ECUs, such as the wireless communication system 206, of the first vehicle 106. Various devices in the first vehicle 106 may be configured to connect to the in-vehicle network 222, in accordance with various wired and wireless communication protocols. One or more communication interfaces, such as the CAN interface, a Local Interconnect Network (LIN) interface, may be used by the various components or systems of the first vehicle 106 to connect to the in-vehicle network 222. Examples of the wired and wireless communication protocols for the in-vehicle network 222 may include, but are not limited to, a vehicle area network (VAN), a CAN bus, Domestic Digital Bus (D2B), Time-Triggered Protocol (TTP), FlexRay, IEEE 1394, Carrier Sense Multiple Access With Collision Detection (CSMA/CD) based data communication protocol, Inter-Integrated Circuit (I.sup.2C), Inter Equipment Bus (IEBus), Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) J1708, SAE J1939, International Organization for Standardization (ISO) 11992, ISO 11783, Media Oriented Systems Transport (MOST), MOST25, MOST50, MOST150, Plastic optical fiber (POF), Power-line communication (PLC), Serial Peripheral Interface (SPI) bus, and/or Local Interconnect Network (LIN).

[0063] The battery 224 may be a source of electric power for one or more electric circuits or loads (not shown). For example, the loads may include, but are not limited to various lights, such as headlights and interior cabin lights, electrically powered adjustable components, such as vehicle seats, mirrors, windows or the like, and/or other in-vehicle infotainment system components, such as radio, speakers, electronic navigation system, electrically controlled, powered and/or assisted steering, such as the steering system 214. The battery 224 may be a rechargeable battery. The battery 224 may be a source of electrical power to the ECU 104 (shown by dashed lines), the one or more sensors of the sensing system 218, and/or one or hardware units, such as the display 210, of the in-vehicle infotainment system. The battery 224 may be a source of electrical power to start an engine of the first vehicle 106 by selectively providing electric power to an ignition system (not shown) of the first vehicle 106.

[0064] The vehicle power system 226 may regulate the charging and the power output of the battery to various electric circuits and the loads of the first vehicle 106, as described above. When the first vehicle 106 is a hybrid vehicle or an autonomous vehicle, the vehicle power system 226 may provide the required voltage for all of the components and enable the first vehicle 106 to utilize the battery 224 power for a sufficient amount of time. In accordance with an embodiment, the vehicle power system 226 may correspond to power electronics, and may include a microcontroller that may be communicatively coupled (shown by dotted lines) to the in-vehicle network 222. In such an embodiment, the microcontroller may receive command from the powertrain control system 212 under the control of the microprocessor 202.

[0065] In operation, the microprocessor 202 may be configured to receive the first unique identifier when the first vehicle 106 reaches (or passes) the first location along the first portion of the path. The unique identifier may be received from the communication device 102, via the wireless communication system 206. In accordance with an embodiment, the unique identifier may be received from another communication device, such as a radio frequency identification (RFID) device, situated at the first location.

[0066] In accordance with an embodiment, the microprocessor 202 may be configured to establish a communication channel between the first vehicle 106 and the communication device 102. Such communication may occur based on the unique identifier received via the wireless communication system 206.

[0067] In accordance with an embodiment, the microprocessor 202 may be configured to communicate sensor data associated with the first vehicle 106 to the communication device 102, via the wireless communication system 206. The sensor data may correspond to signals received by the microprocessor 202 from the sensing system 218, such as the RADAR and/or the image-capturing unit, installed at the front side of a vehicle body of the first vehicle 106. The communicated sensor data may comprise a direction of travel, lane information in which lane the first vehicle 106 drives, vehicle type, vehicle size, weight of a vehicle, error information of a device embedded on the first vehicle 106, geospatial position, steering angle, yaw rate, speed, and/or rate of change of speed of the first vehicle 106. In instances when there is a breakdown in the first vehicle 106, the communicated sensor data may also comprise breakdown information of the first vehicle 106. The vehicle type may correspond to certain information, such as a model number or a brand name set by a car manufacturer. The vehicle type may further correspond to a category based on vehicle size, such as a truck, a compact car, a Sport Utility Vehicle (SUV). The vehicle type may further correspond to characteristics of a vehicle, such as an electric vehicle (EV), an internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicle, an autonomous vehicle that may be capable to sense its environment and navigate without a driver manual operation, a vehicle operated by a human driver, a vehicle with advanced driving assisted system, a semi-autonomous vehicle, a vehicle capable of vehicle to vehicle communication, a vehicle incapable of vehicle to vehicle communication, a taxi, or a rental car.

[0068] In accordance with an embodiment, the microprocessor 202 may be configured to receive data associated with the second portion of the path from the communication device 102, via the wireless communication system 206. In accordance with an embodiment, the microprocessor 202 may be configured to receive data associated with the second portion of the path from one or more other communication devices. The received data associated with the second portion of the path may comprise road surface characteristics of the path and one or more road hazards along the path.

[0069] In accordance with an embodiment, the microprocessor 202 may be configured to generate alert information associated with the second portion of the path, based on the received data. In accordance with an embodiment, the microprocessor 202 may be configured to generate the alert information when a current speed of the second vehicle 108 is higher than a pre-specified threshold speed. In accordance with an embodiment, the microprocessor 202 may be configured to generate the alert information when a current speed of the first vehicle 106 is higher than a pre-specified threshold speed.

[0070] In accordance with an embodiment, the microprocessor 202 (in first vehicle 106) may be configured to generate the alert information when the second vehicle 108 crosses a lane marking along the second portion of the path. The microprocessor 202 may be configured to determine the pre-specified threshold speed based on the one or more road surface characteristics of the path. In accordance with an embodiment, the microprocessor 202 may be configured to generate alert information when both the first vehicle 106 and the second vehicle 108 are detected approaching each other along a same lane of the path. Such alert information may be generated when the first vehicle 106 crosses a lane marking along the first portion of the path. The alert information may be shown on the display 210 via the UI 210a together with a buzzer sound. The microprocessor 202 may be configured to reproduce the audio data stored in the memory 204 to generate various buzzer sounds via the audio interface 208. The pitch of the buzzer sound may be controlled based on the type of safety alert.

[0071] In accordance with an embodiment, microprocessor 202 may be configured to communicate the generated alert information, such as wrong lane warning alert, directly to the second vehicle 108, via the communication network 110, such as the DSRC channel. The microprocessor 202 may be configured to update the generated alert information that corresponds to a position of the second vehicle 108 on the second portion of the path. Such an update at the first vehicle 106 may occur based on the data received from the communication device 102.

[0072] In accordance with an embodiment, the microprocessor 202 may be configured to dynamically update the generated alert information based one or more road hazards detected on the second portion of the path. Such dynamic update of the generated alert information may be further based on a change of the one or more road surface characteristics along the path. Conventionally, map data (2D/3D map data) or geospatial information pre-stored in a database, such as GPS information, may not be up-to-date, and/or may comprise only limited information. Therefore, dependency on such map data may pose a serious risk in an unfavorable environmental condition and/or terrain. The generated alert information and update of such generated alert information may ensure safety of occupant(s), such as the driver 112, of the first vehicle 106. Such an update at the first vehicle 106 and/or the second vehicle 108 may occur based on an update received from the communication device 102.

[0073] In accordance with an embodiment, the microprocessor 202 may be configured to control the display of a combined view of the first portion and the generated alert information associated with the second portion of the path, via the UI 210a. The combined view comprises one or more features based on the received data from the communication device 102. The one or more features may comprise information with regard to the second vehicle 108, such as vehicle type, size, and position along the second portion of the path. The one or more features may further comprise an indication of current speed of the second vehicle 108 and/or current distance to pass the second vehicle 108. In accordance with an embodiment, the combined view may further comprise an indication of a required change in speed of the first vehicle 106 to pass the second portion of the path and/or one or more road hazards on the second portion of the path.

[0074] In accordance with an embodiment, the microprocessor 202 may be configured to control the display of the generated alert information as a graphical view on the display 210, via the UI 210a (the generated alert information is shown in FIGS. 4C, 4D, 4F, 4G and 4H). In accordance with an embodiment, the microprocessor 202 may be configured to continuously update the position of the second vehicle 108 on the generated graphical view of the second portion of the path.

[0075] In accordance with an embodiment, the microprocessor 202 may be configured to control display of the combined view, such that the first portion and the generated second portion of the path may be rendered as a continuous road stretch on the display 210, via the UI 210a. In accordance with an embodiment, the microprocessor 202 may be configured to control display of the combined view, such that the generated alert information that includes the second portion may be overlaid on a part of the first portion. Such an overlaid view may include the one or more features that may be updated based on the data received from the communication device 102. In accordance with an embodiment, the microprocessor 202 may be configured to automatically control one or more components or systems, such as the powertrain control system 212, the steering system 214, the braking system 216, the sensing system 218, and/or the body control module 220 of the first vehicle 106, when the first vehicle 106 is in an autonomous operating mode. Such auto control may be based on the generated alert information to pass the second portion of the path and/or one or more road hazards on the second portion of the path.

[0076] FIG. 3 is a block diagram that illustrates an exemplary communication device, in accordance with an embodiment of the disclosure. FIG. 3 is explained in conjunction with elements from FIG. 1 and FIG. 2. With reference to FIG. 3, there is shown the communication device 102. The communication device 102 may comprise one or more processors, such as a processor 302, a memory 304, a sensing device 306, and a transceiver 308.

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