(19)
(11)EP 2 915 346 B1

(12)EUROPEAN PATENT SPECIFICATION

(45)Mention of the grant of the patent:
25.03.2020 Bulletin 2020/13

(21)Application number: 13852177.8

(22)Date of filing:  23.10.2013
(51)International Patent Classification (IPC): 
B60R 25/24(2013.01)
G08C 17/00(2006.01)
H04Q 9/00(2006.01)
H04W 84/18(2009.01)
H04W 4/80(2018.01)
B60R 25/04(2013.01)
G07C 9/00(2020.01)
H04W 8/00(2009.01)
H04L 29/08(2006.01)
(86)International application number:
PCT/SE2013/051234
(87)International publication number:
WO 2014/070076 (08.05.2014 Gazette  2014/19)

(54)

COMMUNICATIONS SYSTEM AND METHOD IN CONNECTION WITH VEHICLE

KOMMUNIKATIONSSYSTEM UND VERFAHREN IN VERBINDUNG MIT EINEM FAHRZEUG

SYSTÈME ET PROCÉDÉ DE COMMUNICATION CONNECTÉS À UN VÉHICULE


(84)Designated Contracting States:
AL AT BE BG CH CY CZ DE DK EE ES FI FR GB GR HR HU IE IS IT LI LT LU LV MC MK MT NL NO PL PT RO RS SE SI SK SM TR

(30)Priority: 30.10.2012 SE 1251216

(43)Date of publication of application:
09.09.2015 Bulletin 2015/37

(73)Proprietor: Scania CV AB
151 87 Södertälje (SE)

(72)Inventor:
  • CARLÉN, Andreas
    S-152 70 Södertälje (SE)

(74)Representative: Scania CV AB 
Patents, GP 117kv
151 87 Södertälje
151 87 Södertälje (SE)


(56)References cited: : 
EP-A1- 1 216 900
WO-A1-2011/047056
WO-A1-2013/016581
DE-A1-102010 037 271
US-A1- 2011 128 118
US-A1- 2013 090 781
EP-A2- 2 048 627
WO-A1-2012/134571
WO-A2-00/72463
US-A1- 2008 150 683
US-A1- 2012 164 989
US-A1- 2013 194 068
  
      
    Note: Within nine months from the publication of the mention of the grant of the European patent, any person may give notice to the European Patent Office of opposition to the European patent granted. Notice of opposition shall be filed in a written reasoned statement. It shall not be deemed to have been filed until the opposition fee has been paid. (Art. 99(1) European Patent Convention).


    Description

    Field of the invention



    [0001] The present invention pertains to a communications system according to the preambles for the independent patent claims.

    Background of the invention



    [0002] It is increasingly common to connect some form of mobile handheld device, for example a so-called smartphone, to a vehicle in order to e.g. start/stop different functions in the vehicle (e.g. a heater), to activate/deactivate the vehicle alarm, to lock/unlock the vehicle and to control the status for different functions in the vehicle and also to adjust e.g. the driver's seat, the steering wheel and the rear-view mirrors according to the given driver's personal preferences. The device is normally connected to a vehicle by a person who owns or usually drives it.

    [0003] In connection with the pairing (i.e. the establishment of the connection) with the vehicle, often some form of input is required to the mobile device in order to correctly identify the vehicle, where the input may comprise the vehicle's chassis number or another identity. Further, the driver may be required to identify themselves by inserting a PIN code. Communication is via a mobile network, for example the 3G network, and entails for example that the information is verified by a server belonging to the vehicle manufacturer. The vehicle comprises necessary communications equipment in order to establish the communication with the handheld device and also to initiate the measures which the user of the handheld device inserts or which are automatically generated in connection with the establishment of the connection.

    [0004] There are examples of wireless control of connection of different functions for a vehicle, and a number of these are discussed briefly below.

    [0005] US-20100233957 describes how near field communication (NFC) may be used to transmit data from a mobile telephone to a car. The information transmitted is personal data, so that the car is adjusted according to personal requirements. The document describes how the steering wheel, the driver's seat and the rear-view mirrors, etc. may be adjusted.

    [0006] US-20110234379 describes a system which may automatically send information between a mobile telephone and another device. Also in this case, near field communication is used.

    [0007] US-20110237186 describes a system which is able to send information between e.g. a mobile telephone and a vehicle.

    [0008] DE 10 2010 037271 A1 describes a system to provide vehicle access, wherein a connection is set up between an ID signal generator (key) assigned to the vehicle and a wireless communication device, involving a connection to a service provider.

    [0009] These documents essentially describe how to use near field communication (NFC) to transmit some form of data between e.g. a mobile telephone and a vehicle.

    [0010] In the case of a larger vehicle fleet with more than one or a couple of vehicles, it may sometimes be difficult to know to which vehicle to connect the mobile handheld device. There is a risk of connecting it to the wrong vehicle or not knowing to which vehicle to connect the device.

    [0011] Also, the input of a vehicle's identification data may be time-consuming and complicated, especially if there is a large number of vehicles to choose from, since you need to know the specific vehicle's identification data.

    [0012] In order for it to be useful to use a mobile handheld devices connected to a random vehicle in a vehicle fleet, the identification of different individual vehicles and the connection must be simple and secure to complete, so that a successful connection to the correct individual vehicle is always achieved.

    [0013] The objective of the present invention is to achieve a simplified pairing and connection with a given vehicle, without having to insert vehicle-related identification data in the handheld device.

    Summary of the invention



    [0014] The above-mentioned objectives are achieved with the invention as defined by the independent patent claim.

    [0015] The preferred embodiments are defined by the dependent patent claims.

    [0016] Generally, the present invention pertains to an automatic identification of a vehicle for connection with a mobile handheld device, for example a mobile telephone.

    [0017] According to one embodiment, the vehicle identifying information is accessed from a vehicle actuation device with radio communication, e.g. near field communication (NFC).

    [0018] According to another embodiment, the vehicle identifying information is accessed from the vehicle activation device through optical tracking.

    [0019] By applying the invention, it makes it very easy to connect a mobile handheld device to the correct vehicle. With e.g. a vehicle application in a smartphone you only need to swipe the mobile phone over the correct vehicle key in order for the application to know which vehicle it should connect to. This means it is possible in a simple way to use the potential of smartphone devices and to offer the possibility of simply and securely connecting to a vehicle.

    Brief description of drawings



    [0020] 

    Figure 1 is a schematic image which illustrates the present invention.

    Figure 2 is a schematic block diagram which illustrates the communications system according to one embodiment of the present invention.

    Figure 3 is a schematic block diagram which illustrates the communications system according to another embodiment of the present invention.

    Figure 4 is a flow diagram which illustrates the method according to the present disclosure.

    Figure 5 is a flow diagram which illustrates an embodiment of the method according to the disclosure.



    [0021] Detailed description of preferred embodiments of the invention The invention is described in detail below with reference to the enclosed figures.

    [0022] Figure 1 shows a schematic image which illustrates one embodiment of the invention. The driver has a handheld vehicle activation device 4, for example a vehicle key to a vehicle 1, which may be accessed by a handheld communication device 2, for example a mobile telephone. When the vehicle to which the vehicle activation device fits has been identified by the communication device, for example verification via a data storage server 3, a wireless, preferably two-way, communications link between the communication device and a communication module in the vehicle may be established. Thus, a number of functions in the vehicle may be activated and controlled by feeding control instructions via the communication device.

    [0023] Figures 2 and 3 show block diagrams which schematically illustrate the communications system according to two embodiments of the present invention.

    [0024] The invention thus pertains to a communications system in connection with a vehicle 1, comprising a mobile handheld communication device 2, preferably a mobile telephone, for example a so-called smartphone, and a handheld vehicle activation device 4, preferably a vehicle key, comprising vehicle identifying information, i.e. information which unambiguously identifies the vehicle to which the vehicle activation device 4 belongs. The communications system also comprises a communication module 6 arranged on the vehicle and adapted to establish wireless, preferably two-way, communication to the said communication device 2 directly (see figures 1 or 2).

    [0025] The communication device 2 comprises a receiving device 8 adapted to wirelessly receive vehicle identifying information 10 from the vehicle activation device 4. The vehicle identifying information 10 unambiguously identifies a specific vehicle and may, for example, comprise the vehicle's chassis number, registration number or other identifying information.

    [0026] The communications system is adapted to identify a vehicle based on the vehicle identifying information 10, and to establish a wireless communications link 12 between the communication device 2 and the communication module 6 in the identified vehicle 1.

    [0027] According to the invention, the received vehicle identifying information 10 is compared with a set of vehicle identifying information 16 relating to several vehicles. The objective is to identify the vehicle identified by the received vehicle identifying information in this set. The set of vehicle identifying information may, for example, comprise information regarding several vehicles belonging to the same haulage firm. For example, the information may comprise similar information as the information tracked from the vehicle activation device, i.e. for example chassis number or registration number, so that the comparison is easy to carry out.

    [0028] According to one variation which is not part of the present invention, the set of vehicle identifying information 16 is available on a data storage server 3 (see Fig. 2) with which the communication device is adapted to communicate. This may be a server held by e.g. the vehicle manufacturer.

    [0029] According to the invention, the communication device 2 comprises a memory device 14 comprising a set of vehicle identifying information 16 relating to several vehicles. The received vehicle identifying information 10 is compared to the set of vehicle identifying information 16 in order to identify the vehicle identified by the received vehicle identifying information 10 in this set. The set of vehicle identifying information 16 may, for example, comprise information regarding several vehicles belonging to the same haulage firm.

    [0030] In connection with data which is stored for each vehicle included in the set of vehicle identifying information, there is specific information relating to the specific vehicle and also, preferably, to the driver. This may relate to special settings for the driver seat, rear-view mirrors, heating/cooling, etc.

    [0031] According to one embodiment of the invention, the vehicle identifying information is received from a vehicle actuation device with radio communication, and preferably near field communication (NFC).
    This method entails that the vehicle identity is received via near field communication from the mobile handheld communication device from the vehicle activation device, such as the vehicle's key or equivalent which is equipped with an NFC information carrier, often called an NFC tag. The technology requires that the communication device actively generates a radio frequency field which may energize the passive NFC information carrier in the vehicle activation device. This makes it possible to make the NFC information carrier very simple and it may therefore be arranged in e.g. vehicle keys, access cards, etc. The information on the NFC information carrier may typically only be read, but with specific instructions the information may also be amended.
    Since the range of this communication is limited to a few centimetres, it is therefore necessary to have the key or similar item at hand during identification. This ensures that a connection is made with the correct individual vehicle, and that it is easy to connect to several different vehicles as long as you have access to the correct key.

    [0032] According to another embodiment, the tracking of the vehicle identifying information is carried out via optical tracking.
    This embodiment entails that via optical identification with the mobile handheld communication device, the vehicle identity stored in the form of a one- or two-dimensional bar code (for example a so-called EAN code or QR code), or similar, is received from the vehicle activation device, i.e. the vehicle's key or similar. This method also ensures that a connection is made with the correct individual vehicle, and that it is easy to connect to several different vehicles as long as you have access to the correct bar code or similar.

    [0033] According to yet another variation, the tracking of the vehicle identifying information is carried out via magnetic tracking.

    [0034] In the wireless communications link, which is established between the communication device and the communication module in the vehicle, communication takes place preferably according to an established mobile telephone standard. In figures 1 and 2, the communications link 12 has been indicated so that it passes via the vehicle manufacturer's server or directly between the devices after having been verified via the vehicle manufacturer's server (this is not part of the present invention). This normally occurs via a mobile telephone network (mobile data network) and/or wireless network (WLAN). The communication is preferably IP-based and uses mobile data only, or consists of a combination of mobile data and a wireless network (WLAN).

    [0035] Once the wireless communications link has been established, it is adapted to transmit control instructions from the communication device to the said communication module in order to impact various functions for the vehicle, but also in order to be able to receive e.g. status information from the vehicle.

    [0036] Herein is also presented a method in connection with a vehicle, which method is described below with reference to the flow chart in Fig. 4.
    As described above, the vehicle comprises a communication module adapted to establish wireless communication to an intelligent mobile handheld communication device, where the handheld device comprises a tracking device adapted to track vehicle identifying information from a handheld vehicle activation device, and the vehicle identifying information unambiguously identifies a specific vehicle.

    [0037] The method comprises the steps to:
    1. A - track vehicle identifying information from the said vehicle activation device,
    2. B - identify a vehicle based on the said information,
    3. C - establish a wireless communications link between the said communication device and the communication module in the identified vehicle.


    [0038] Step B comprises the steps to:

    B1 - compare the said tracked vehicle identifying information with a set of vehicle identifying information relating to one or several vehicles;

    B2 - decide whether the tracked vehicle identifying information is included in the said set, and

    B3 - identify the vehicle if the vehicle identifying information is included in the said set.



    [0039] The communications system intended to implement the method has been described in detail in connection with the above description and will therefore not be described here, but instead reference is made to the above description.

    [0040] A computer program product is provided comprising instructions intended to implement the method described above.
    Preferably, the computer program product is a so-called application program adapted to be installed in the communication device. The application program comprises instructions to generate an input menu for display on a screen in the communication device and where instructions are showed to the user. Examples of instructions include tracking vehicle identifying information from the vehicle activation device and feeding control instructions to the vehicle when a communications link to the vehicle has been established.


    Claims

    1. A communications system related to a vehicle (1) of a vehicle fleet comprising several vehicles, the communications system comprising a mobile handheld communication device (2);
    a handheld vehicle activation device (4);
    a communication module (6) adapted to be arranged on the vehicle and adapted to establish wireless communication with the said communication device (2), characterised by that
    the communication device (2) comprises a receiving device (8) adapted to wirelessly receive vehicle identifying information (10) from said vehicle activation device (4),where the vehicle identifying information (10) unambiguously identifies a specific vehicle among said several vehicles, and wherein said received vehicle identifying information (10) is compared to a set of vehicle identifying information (16) comprised in a memory device (14) comprised in said communication device (2), wherein said set includes the vehicle identifying information related to said several vehicles, and, if said received vehicle identifying information is included in said set, establish a wireless communication link (12) between the communication module (6) arranged on the vehicle and the communication device (2), wherein the vehicle is one of said several vehicles and is the vehicle that is unambiguously identified by said vehicle identifying information.
     
    2. The communications system according to claim 1, where said mobile communication device is a mobile telephone.
     
    3. The communications system according to any of claims 1-2, where said vehicle activation device is a vehicle key.
     
    4. The communications system according to any of claims 1-3, where said receiving of vehicle identifying information is done via radio communication.
     
    5. The communications system according to claim 4, where said receiving of vehicle identifying information is done via near field communication (NFC).
     
    6. The communications system according to any of claims 1-3, where said receiving of vehicle identifying information is done optically or magnetically.
     
    7. The communications system according to any of claims 1-6, where said wireless communications link communicates according to an established mobile telephone standard.
     
    8. The communications system according to any of claims 1-7, where said wireless communication link is adapted to transmit control instructions from said communication device to said communication module.
     


    Ansprüche

    1. Kommunikationssystem betreffend ein Fahrzeug (1) einer Fahrzeugflotte aus mehreren Fahrzeugen, wobei das Kommunikationssystem aufweist
    eine mobile handgehaltene Kommunikationseinrichtung (2),
    ein handgehaltenes Fahrzeugaktivierungsgerät (4),
    ein Kommunikationsmodul (6), welches dazu eingerichtet ist, am Fahrzeug angeordnet zu werden, und dazu eingerichtet ist, eine Drahtloskommunikation mit der Kommunikationseinrichtung (2) herzustellen,
    dadurch gekennzeichnet, dass
    die Kommunikationseinrichtung (2) eine Empfangseinrichtung (8) umfasst, die dazu eingerichtet ist, drahtlos Fahrzeugidentifikationsinformation (10) von dem Fahrzeugaktivierungsgerät (4) zu empfangen, wobei die Fahrzeugidentifizierungsinformation (10) ein bestimmtes Fahrzeug unter den mehreren Fahrzeugen eindeutig identifiziert und wobei die empfangene Fahrzeugidentifizierungsinformation (10) mit einem Satz von Fahrzeugidentifizierungsinformationen (16) verglichen wird, der in einer in der Kommunikationseinrichtung (2) enthaltenen Speichereinrichtung (14) vorhanden ist, wobei der Satz die die mehreren Fahrzeuge betreffenden Fahrzeugidentifizierungsinformationen enthält und, falls die empfangene Fahrzeugidentifizierungsinformation in dem Satz enthalten ist, eine Drahtloskommunikationsverbindung (12) zwischen dem an dem Fahrzeug angeordneten Kommunikationsmodul (6) und der Kommunikationseinrichtung (2) herzustellen, wobei das Fahrzeug eines der mehreren Fahrzeuge ist und dasjenige Fahrzeug ist, welches eindeutig durch die Fahrzeugidentifizierungsinformation identifiziert ist.
     
    2. Kommunikationssystem nach Anspruch 1, bei dem die mobile Kommunikationseinrichtung ein Mobiltelefon ist.
     
    3. Kommunikationssystem nach einem der Ansprüche 1 bis 2, bei dem das Fahrzeugaktivierungsgerät ein Fahrzeugschlüssel ist.
     
    4. Kommunikationssystem nach einem der Ansprüche 1 bis 3, bei dem das Empfangen von Fahrzeugidentifizierungsinformation über eine Funkverbindung erfolgt.
     
    5. Kommunikationssystem nach Anspruch 4, bei dem das Empfangen von Fahrzeugidentifizierungsinformation über eine Nahfeldkommunikation (NFC) erfolgt.
     
    6. Kommunikationssystem nach einem der Ansprüche 1 bis 3, bei dem das Empfangen von Fahrzeugidentifizierungsinformation optisch oder magnetisch erfolgt.
     
    7. Kommunikationssystem nach einem der Ansprüche 1 bis 6, bei dem die Drahtloskommunikationsverbindung gemäß einem etablierten Mobiltelefonstandard kommuniziert.
     
    8. Kommunikationssystem nach einem der Ansprüche 1 bis 7, bei dem die Drahtloskommunikationsverbindung dazu eingerichtet ist, Steueranweisungen von der Kommunikationseinrichtung an das Kommunikationsmodul zu senden.
     


    Revendications

    1. Système de communication lié à un véhicule (1) d'une flotte de véhicules comprenant plusieurs véhicules,
    le système de communication comprenant
    un dispositif de communication portable (2) ;
    un dispositif portable d'activation de véhicule (4) ;
    un module de communication (6) adapté pour être agencé sur le véhicule et adapté à établir une communication sans fil avec ledit dispositif de communication (2), caractérisé en ce que le dispositif de communication (2) comprend un dispositif de réception (8) adapté pour recevoir sans fil des informations d'identification de véhicule (10) à partir dudit dispositif d'activation de véhicule (4), où les informations d'identification de véhicule (10) identifient sans ambiguïté un véhicule spécifique parmi lesdits plusieurs véhicules, et dans lequel lesdites informations d'identification de véhicule reçues (10) sont comparées à un ensemble d'informations d'identification de véhicule (16) compris dans un dispositif de mémoire (14) compris dans ledit dispositif de communication (2), dans lequel ledit ensemble comprend les informations d'identification de véhicule liées auxdits plusieurs véhicules et, si lesdites informations d'identification de véhicule reçues sont comprises dans ledit ensemble, établir une liaison de communication sans fil (12) entre le module de communication (6) agencé sur le véhicule et le dispositif de communication (2), dans lequel le véhicule est l'un desdits plusieurs véhicules et est le véhicule qui est identifié sans ambiguïté par lesdites informations d'identification de véhicule.
     
    2. Système de communication selon la revendication 1, où ledit dispositif de communication mobile est un téléphone mobile.
     
    3. Système de communication selon l'une quelconque des revendications 1-2, où ledit dispositif d'activation du véhicule est une clé de véhicule.
     
    4. Système de communication selon l'une quelconque des revendications 1-3, où ladite réception d'informations d'identification du véhicule est effectuée par communication radio.
     
    5. Système de communication selon la revendication 4, où ladite réception d'informations d'identification de véhicule est effectuée via une communication de champ proche (NFC).
     
    6. Système de communication selon l'une quelconque des revendications 1-3, où ladite réception d'informations d'identification de véhicule est effectuée de manière optique ou magnétique.
     
    7. Système de communication selon l'une quelconque des revendications 1-6, où ledit lien de communications sans fil communique selon une norme téléphonique mobile établie.
     
    8. Système de communication selon l'une quelconque des revendications 1-7, où ledit lien de communication sans fil est adapté pour transmettre des instructions de contrôle à partir dudit dispositif de communication audit module de communication.
     




    Drawing











    Cited references

    REFERENCES CITED IN THE DESCRIPTION



    This list of references cited by the applicant is for the reader's convenience only. It does not form part of the European patent document. Even though great care has been taken in compiling the references, errors or omissions cannot be excluded and the EPO disclaims all liability in this regard.

    Patent documents cited in the description