By a News Reporter-Staff News Editor at Investment Weekly News -- A patent application by the inventors TAKABAYASHI, Yuki (Tokyo, JP); OBATA, Yasushi (Tokyo, JP); KONISHI, Kyosuke (Tokyo, JP), filed on April 27, 2016, was made available online on July 5, 2018, according to news reporting originating from Washington, D.C., by VerticalNews correspondents.
This patent application is assigned to Mitsubishi Electric Corporation.
The following quote was obtained by the news editors from the background information supplied by the inventors: "Recently, techniques for predicting safe routes to avoid collisions between moving bodies have been required in various fields including vehicle driving support systems and air traffic controls. With respect to vehicle driving support systems, for example, such a technique is developed that acquires positions of obstacles, such as vehicles and still objects around a host vehicle, by sensors installed in the host vehicle such as a millimeter wave radar, a laser radar, and a camera, determines collision risks from relative distances and relative speeds between the host vehicle and the obstacles, and then controls the host vehicle to prevent collisions. Further, as a more advanced technique, an automatic driving technique is being developed that recognizes surrounding environment by such sensors, automatically operates a steering wheel, a brake, or the like, without driver's operation, to reach the destination.
"Patent document 1 discloses a method of generating routes and evaluating control variables of the host vehicle in consideration of interaction between plural vehicles. However, because the optimum predicted route is calculated on the basis of predetermined control rules, if there is a surrounding vehicle that does not follow the predetermined control rules, the predicated route may be erroneous. In addition, because sensor errors are not considered when positions of surrounding vehicles are observed, if the sensor errors are influential, the predicted route may be erroneous. Furthermore, there are many parameters to be set, such as a predicted speed of each of the surrounding vehicles given as a parameter; this leads to a concern that the design is complicated.
"Patent document 2 discloses a method where plural predicted routes of vehicles are generated in advance, with respect to the generated predicted routes, degrees of interference of the predicted routes between the host vehicle and each of the surrounding vehicles are calculated, and thereby the route that best meets a predetermined selection criterion is selected. However, when calculating predicted routes of all surrounding vehicles, it is necessary to calculate the degree of interference for one predicted route of a surrounding vehicle considering all predicted routes of the other surrounding vehicles; this leads to a concern that the calculation load may be enormous. Further, only a method of calculating predicted routes of the host vehicle is disclosed, while no method of calculating the predicted routes of the surrounding vehicles is disclosed or suggested.
"A more specific description will be given of the problem in calculating a predicted route under the circumstances where plural surrounding vehicles are in proximity. As illustrated in FIG. 11, it is assumed that vehicles E and D collide with preceding vehicles C and B, respectively. It is also assumed that the vehicle E has a high probability of moving to the right lane by steering to avoid the collision with the vehicle C, while the vehicle D, having no space on the left lane to move to, has a high probability of avoiding the collision by braking. However, as illustrated in FIG. 12, if the routes are predicted where the vehicle E steers and the vehicle D brakes to avoid the collision with respective preceding vehicles, possibility of collision between the vehicle D and the vehicle E arises. In this case, even if the collision between the vehicles D and E is avoided by re-prediction, another collision possibility arises, so that no predicted route that avoids all possible collisions can be calculated."
In addition to the background information obtained for this patent application, VerticalNews journalists also obtained the inventors' summary information for this patent application: "Technical Problem
"Such a conventional route prediction system predicts a route of a surrounding vehicle by calculating the degree of interference for the predicted route of the surrounding vehicle considering all predicted routes of the other surrounding vehicles. Further, routes of surrounding vehicles are predicted individually. However, the conventional route prediction system does not calculate the degree of interference for a combination of a predicted route of a surrounding vehicle and predicted routes of other surrounding vehicles; thus, mutual movements of plural surrounding vehicles are not considered for a route prediction. As a result, contradictions, such as overlapping of predicted routes of plural surrounding vehicles, sometimes occur; thus, mutual routes of the plural surrounding vehicles cannot be predicted accurately. Since the degree of interference for a predicted route of a surrounding vehicle is calculated considering all predicted routes of the other surrounding vehicles, the calculation load is large.
"The present invention is made to solve the above problems, and aims to calculate, in a case where plural vehicles may collide in future, predicted routes of the plural vehicles without contradiction while reducing calculation load.
"Solution to Problem
"The route prediction system according to the invention includes an observation unit to observe a position of a host vehicle and positions and speeds of vehicles surrounding the host vehicle, a vehicle detection unit to detect the host vehicle and at least two of the surrounding vehicles having collision possibilities on the basis of observation results observed by the observation unit, a hypothesis generation unit to generate plural hypotheses for the at least two of the surrounding vehicles detected by the vehicle detection unit to avoid collision, a likelihood calculation unit to calculate a likelihood indicating probability of occurrence of each of the plural hypotheses generated by the hypothesis generation unit, and a predicted route analysis unit to analyze, on the basis of the likelihood calculated by the likelihood calculation unit, predicted routes of the at least two of the surrounding vehicles, and output the analysis result.
"Advantageous Effects of Invention
"According to the invention, in a case where plural surrounding vehicles may collide in future, predicted routes of the plural vehicles can be calculated without contradiction while reducing calculation load."
URL and more information on this patent application, see: TAKABAYASHI, Yuki; OBATA, Yasushi; KONISHI, Kyosuke. Route Prediction System. Filed April 27, 2016 and posted July 5, 2018. Patent URL: http://appft.uspto.gov/netacgi/nph-Parser?Sect1=PTO1&Sect2=HITOFF&d=PG01&p=1&u=%2Fnetahtml%2FPTO%2Fsrchnum.html&r=1&f=G&l=50&s1=%2220180182245%22.PGNR.&OS=DN/20180182245&RS=DN/20180182245
Keywords for this news article include: Business, Technology Companies, Electronics Companies, Mitsubishi Electric Corporation, Electrical Equipment Manufacturing Companies.
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