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Microsoft Cloud-based Connected Car Service Insights from Patents

Microsoft Cloud-based Connected Car Service Insights from Patents

Microsoft patent application US20150262486 and patents US9092984 and US9218740 illustrate a cloud computing service to assist drivers with respect to improving driver safety. The cloud-based driver assistive system can warn drivers upon impending collisions.

The cloud-based driver assistive system includes many grid cloud servers. Each grid cloud server is associated with a grid of grids, in which each grid corresponds to a geographic area. For example, each grid cloud server divides space into square grids that have approximately even load. To do this efficiently, the cloud-based driver assistive system identifies geographic regions of varying sizes and quickly determines which server is responsible for any location. To this end, each cloud service uses the standard military grid reference system (MGRS).The MGRS enables the cloud-based driver assistive system uniquely identifies varying sized regions in a hierarchical manner.

Each grid cloud server receives information corresponding to trajectories of the vehicles that are known to the cloud server via the wireless communications that are sent from mobile devices associated with the vehicles. The mobile devices can be implemented in drivers’ smartphones or the devices built into vehicles (e.g., vehicle navigation or entertainment system). The cloud-based driver assistive system periodically collects from a GPS device and other sensors on the mobile device of a vehicle. The information includes data regarding location, speed, course, acceleration, and yaw. For example, in a normal-to-heavy traffic situation, the cloud-based driver assistive system uploads its location information every 100 ms; in lighter traffic situations, the cloud-based driver assistive system uploads its location information less frequently, e.g., every 200 ms.

Each grid cloud server determines from the trajectory-related information whether vehicles that are known to the server to be in or approaching its associated grid are at risk of collision. If so, the grid cloud server warns drivers by transmitting the alert to the vehicles that is at risk of collision. The risk of the collision can be whether a vehicle is within a threshold distance of another vehicle and/or whether the vehicle is in a lane departure state.

Using mobile devices and relatively inexpensive sensors and wireless connections to the cloud service, the cloud-based driver assistive system can be implemented inexpensively for enriching the driving experience without needing new roadside infrastructure for vehicle-to-infrastructure (V2I) communications and embedding the Dedicated Short-Range Communications (DSRC) device to every vehicle for inter-vehicle (V2V) communications.


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