(19)
(11)EP 3 121 423 B1

(12)EUROPEAN PATENT SPECIFICATION

(45)Mention of the grant of the patent:
14.03.2018 Bulletin 2018/11

(21)Application number: 16179876.4

(22)Date of filing:  18.07.2016
(51)Int. Cl.: 
F02D 29/02  (2006.01)
F02D 41/10  (2006.01)
B60W 30/16  (2012.01)
B60W 30/18  (2012.01)
F02D 41/12  (2006.01)

(54)

DRIVING ASSISTANCE APPARATUS FOR VEHICLE

FAHRASSISSTENT FÜR EIN FAHRZEUG

APPAREIL D'ASSISTANCE À LA CONDUITE POUR 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: 22.07.2015 JP 2015145028

(43)Date of publication of application:
25.01.2017 Bulletin 2017/04

(73)Proprietor: Toyota Jidosha Kabushiki Kaisha
Toyota-shi, Aichi 471-8571 (JP)

(72)Inventor:
  • NAKADORI, Minoru
    Toyota-shi, Aichi 471-8571 (JP)

(74)Representative: TBK 
Bavariaring 4-6
80336 München
80336 München (DE)


(56)References cited: : 
WO-A1-2010/088869
DE-A1-102007 036 787
DE-A1-102014 010 106
DE-A1- 19 843 395
DE-A1-102009 004 102
  
      
    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

    BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION


    1. Field of the Invention



    [0001] The invention relates to a driving assistance apparatus for a vehicle, the driving assistance apparatus being configured to execute following control for a host vehicle, which is a control for causing the host vehicle to follow a preceding vehicle.

    2. Description of Related Art



    [0002] As proposed in Japanese Patent Application Publication No. 2008-2456 (JP 2008-002456 A), a drive mode can be switched between a plurality of modes including a normal mode, an eco-mode, and a sport mode. The drive modes specify output characteristics of an engine (as a drive source) relative to accelerator depression amounts. In the eco-mode, the engine output relative to the accelerator depression amount is limited in comparison with the normal mode in order to conserve fuel. In the sport mode, on the other hand, the engine output relative to the accelerator depression amount is set to be slightly larger than in the normal mode so as to improve a responsiveness by which the engine output responds to an accelerator operation. The drive mode is switched by a selection operation performed by a driver (i.e. in accordance with preferences of the driver).

    [0003] Incidentally, a driving assistance apparatus that causes a host vehicle to travel so as to follow a preceding vehicle travelling in front of the host vehicle may be employed in a vehicle to lighten a driving operation load of the driver. This control for causing the host vehicle to follow the preceding vehicle will be referred to as following control. During the following control, a target acceleration that enables the host vehicle to follow the preceding vehicle is calculated such that a vehicle-to-vehicle distance between the host vehicle and the preceding vehicle is maintained at a distance within a predetermined range, whereupon an engine or a brake apparatus is controlled on the basis of the target acceleration.

    [0004] In a vehicle having both switchable drive modes and a following control function, however, the drive mode selected by the driver is not reflected during execution of the following control. In other words, the target acceleration calculated during the following control is calculated without taking the drive mode into account, and therefore the following control cannot be implemented in accordance with the preferences of the driver.
    Further related art is known from the following documents:

    The document DE 198 43 395 A1 relates to speed and/or distance control in motor vehicles, wherein a selectable/adjustable longitudinal dynamics characteristic is superimposed on speed and/or acceleration and/or deceleration threshold values. In order to increase driving safety in the case of a driver-specific setting, it is proposed that current driving situations are sensitively detected and that a plurality of characteristic longitudinal dynamics profiles for various recurrent driving situations or traffic situations can be stored and retrieved in the event of a driver's need.



    [0005] The document DE 10 2009 004 102 A1 relates to speed control for a vehicle. The thus proposed technique involves recording information regarding traffic or driving situation in a continuous journey of a motor vehicle (S1), determining a target size (S2) regarding a maximum energy supply to a drive of the motor vehicle to continue journey taking into account the recorded information, recording a target acceleration predetermined by a driver of the motor vehicle, determining an actual acceleration (S4) taking into account the determined target size and the predetermined target acceleration, and accelerating the motor vehicle (S5) with the actual acceleration.

    [0006] The document DE 10 2007 036 787 A1 relates to a distance controller having an automatic stop and/or start function for motor vehicles, having a distance-measuring remote region sensor, a distance-measuring ultrasound sensor, and a control unit designed to intervene in the longitudinal guiding of the home vehicle as a function of the distance, measured by the remote region sensor, from a vehicle traveling ahead.

    SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION



    [0007] Hence, it is an object of the invention to overcome the above-described deficiencies of the related art. Specifically, the invention is directed to enable to implement following control for a host vehicle in accordance with preferences of a driver of the host vehicle.

    [0008] In order to achieve the above object, the invention provides a driving assistance apparatus, as defined in the claims.

    [0009] An aspect of the invention relates to a driving assistance apparatus for a vehicle that is applied to a vehicle in which a drive mode specifying an output characteristic of a drive source relative to an accelerator depression amount can be switched by a selection operation performed by a driver, and that executes following control, which is a control for causing a host vehicle to follow a preceding vehicle such that a vehicle-to-vehicle distance between the host vehicle and the preceding vehicle is maintained at a distance within a predetermined range. The driving assistance apparatus includes drive mode obtaining means for obtaining the drive mode of the host vehicle, target acceleration calculating means for calculating a target acceleration at which the following control is to be executed on the basis of the drive mode obtained by the drive mode obtaining means, and driving force controlling means for controlling a driving force of the drive source such that the host vehicle accelerates at the calculated target acceleration.

    [0010] The driving assistance apparatus is applied to a vehicle in which the drive mode specifying the output characteristic of the drive source relative to the accelerator depression amount can be switched by a selection operation performed by the driver. In addition to a normal mode serving as a normal drive mode, at least one of an eco-mode that is useful for conserving fuel, a sport mode in which an output response of the drive source relative to an accelerator operation is high, and so on can be selected, for example. An engine or a motor can be employed as the drive source of the host vehicle. Needless to mention, a drive source combining an engine and a motor, such as that of a hybrid vehicle, may also be employed.

    [0011] The driving assistance apparatus executes following control, which is a control for causing the host vehicle to follow the preceding vehicle such that the vehicle-to-vehicle distance between the host vehicle and the preceding vehicle is maintained at a distance within a predetermined range (wherein the predetermined range may depend on a vehicle speed of the host vehicle). To ensure that the following control can be implemented in accordance with the preferences of the driver of the host vehicle, the driving assistance apparatus includes the drive mode obtaining means, the target acceleration calculating means, and the driving force controlling means.

    [0012] The drive mode obtaining means obtains the drive mode of the host vehicle. The drive mode is set by a selection operation performed by the driver, or in other words in accordance with the preferences of the driver. The target acceleration calculating means calculates the target acceleration at which the following control is to be executed on the basis of the drive mode. The target acceleration calculating means calculates the target acceleration to be larger in a drive mode where the output of the drive source relative to the accelerator depression amount is larger in comparison to a drive mode where the output of the drive source relative to the accelerator depression amount is smaller.

    [0013] The driving force controlling means controls the driving force of the drive source so that the host vehicle accelerates at the calculated target acceleration. According to the aspect of the invention, therefore, the following control can be implemented in accordance with preferences of the driver.

    [0014] The driving assistance apparatus may further include delivery destination obtaining means for obtaining a delivery destination, which is a territory in which the host vehicle is sold, and the target acceleration calculating means may be configured to calculate the target acceleration at which the following control is to be executed on the basis of the drive mode obtained by the drive mode obtaining means and the delivery destination obtained by the delivery destination obtaining means. In this case, the target acceleration calculating means may configured to store following-control acceleration characteristics in a larger number than a number of drive modes that can be selected by the driver, select one of the plurality of stored following-control acceleration characteristics on the basis of a combination of the drive mode and the delivery destination, and calculate the target acceleration in accordance with the selected following-control acceleration characteristic. For example, the target acceleration calculating means may be configured to calculate the target acceleration on the basis of the selected following-control acceleration characteristic in accordance with an engine output characteristic of the drive mode of the host vehicle so as to be highest in a sport travel acceleration characteristic and to decrease sequentially in a normal HI travel acceleration characteristic, a normal LO travel acceleration characteristic and an eco-travel acceleration characteristic, wherein the normal LO travel acceleration characteristic is a normal travel acceleration characteristic closer to the eco-travel acceleration characteristic, and the normal HI travel acceleration characteristic is a normal travel acceleration characteristic closer to the sport travel acceleration characteristic. Further, in this case, the driving assistance apparatus may also comprise upper limit target acceleration calculation means for calculating an upper limit the target acceleration based on the drive mode of the host vehicle, a vehicle speed of the host vehicle and the selected following-control acceleration characteristic, and target acceleration arbitration means for selecting the smaller value among the a target acceleration calculated by the target acceleration calculating means and the upper limit target acceleration calculated by the upper limit target acceleration calculation means, and setting the selected smaller value as a final target acceleration for controlling the driving force of the drive source of the host vehicle.

    [0015] The delivery destination obtaining means obtains the delivery destination, i.e. the territory in which the host vehicle is sold (the territory in which the host vehicle is used). The delivery destination may represent a large area such as Europe, Asia, or North America, for example, or may be defined more narrowly, e.g. representing a country or state. The target acceleration calculating means calculates the target acceleration at which the following control is to be executed on the basis of the drive mode and the delivery destination. As a result, the following control can be implemented in accordance with the preferences of the driver within a range where a suitable following-control acceleration characteristic for the delivery destination is obtained.

    BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS



    [0016] Features, advantages, and technical and industrial significance of exemplary embodiments of the invention will be described below with reference to the accompanying drawings, in which like numerals denote like elements, and wherein:

    FIG. 1 is a schematic view showing a system configuration of a driving assistance apparatus for a vehicle according to an embodiment;

    FIG. 2 is a graph illustrating engine output characteristics in respective drive modes;

    FIG. 3 is a block diagram showing functions of a microcomputer provided in a driving assistance ECU 10;

    FIG. 4 is a following acceleration characteristic table on which following acceleration characteristics are set in accordance with the drive mode and a delivery destination;

    FIG. 5 is a graph illustrating a target vehicle-to-vehicle time map;

    FIG. 6 is a graph illustrating an acceleration side gain map;

    FIG. 7 is a graph illustrating a constant speed travel acceleration gain map; and

    FIG. 8 is a graph illustrating an upper limit acceleration map.


    DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF EMBODIMENTS



    [0017] An embodiment of the invention will be described in detail below using the drawings. FIG. 1 is a schematic view showing a system configuration of a driving assistance apparatus for a vehicle according to this embodiment. Herein, when the driving assistance apparatus for a vehicle is applied to a vehicle, especially when assisting the driving of the vehicle, this vehicle is referred to as host vehicle.

    [0018] The driving assistance apparatus for a vehicle according to this embodiment includes a driving assistance ECU 10. The driving assistance ECU 10 is a device for assisting driving performed by a driver, and includes a microcomputer as a main part thereof. The driving assistance ECU 10 according to this embodiment assists the driving performed by the driver by causing a host vehicle to follow a preceding vehicle such that a vehicle-to-vehicle distance between the preceding vehicle and the host vehicle is maintained at a distance within a predetermined range (namely, a following control), and by causing the host vehicle to travel at a constant speed, i.e. a set vehicle speed set by the driver, when no preceding vehicle exists (namely, a constant speed control). Note that herein, it is assumed as an example that the microcomputer includes a central processing unit (CPU), storage devices such as a read only memory (ROM) and a random access memory (RAM), and so on, and the CPU realizes various functions by executing instructions (programs) stored in the ROM. Further, ECU is an abbreviation of Electronic Control Unit.

    [0019] In the system configuration of Fig. 1, the driving assistance ECU 10 is connected to an engine ECU 30, a brake ECU 40, and a body ECU 50 by a controller area network (CAN) so as to be capable of exchanging signals.

    [0020] In the system configuration of Fig. 1, the driving assistance ECU 10 is connected to a preceding vehicle sensor unit 21, an assistance operation switch 22, a vehicle speed sensor 23, a yaw rate sensor 24, and a drive mode selection switch 25. The preceding vehicle sensor unit 21 has a function for obtaining information relating to a preceding vehicle existing in front of the host vehicle, and includes, for example, a radar sensor 21a and a camera sensor 21b. The preceding vehicle sensor unit 21 may be any device capable of detecting a preceding vehicle and detecting a distance between the host vehicle and the preceding vehicle, and does not necessarily have to include any one or both the radar sensor 21a and the camera sensor 21b. Instead, the preceding vehicle sensor unit 21 may be configured to include one of these sensors or another sensor.

    [0021] The radar sensor 21a emits millimeter wave radio waves frontward, for example, and when a preceding vehicle exists, receives reflected waves from the preceding vehicle. On the basis of a radio wave emission timing, a reflected wave reception timing, and so on, the radar sensor 21a calculates the presence of a preceding vehicle, a distance (to be referred to as a host-vehicle-to-preceding-vehicle distance) between the host vehicle and the preceding vehicle, a relative speed (to be referred to as a preceding vehicle relative speed) between the host vehicle and the preceding vehicle, and so on, and outputs calculation results to the driving assistance ECU 10. The camera sensor 21b includes a stereo camera, for example, and captures left and right images of the landscape in front of the vehicle. On the basis of left and right image data captured in this manner, the camera sensor 21b calculates the presence of a preceding vehicle, the host-vehicle-to-preceding-vehicle distance, the preceding vehicle relative speed, and so on, and outputs calculation results to the driving assistance ECU 10. Hereafter, information expressing the presence of a preceding vehicle, the host-vehicle-to-preceding-vehicle distance, the preceding vehicle relative speed, and so on will be referred to as preceding vehicle information.

    [0022] The assistance operation switch 22 is operable by a driver operation in order to output operation signals to the driving assistance ECU 10. The assistance operation switch 22 outputs the following operation signals.
    1. (1) A signal for switching a driving assistance function ON and OFF.
    2. (2) A signal for switching between a constant speed control mode and a following control mode.
    3. (3) A signal for setting a vehicle speed for constant speed travel, i.e. in the constant speed control mode.
    4. (4) A signal for setting a vehicle-to-vehicle distance (long/medium/short) for following travel, i.e. in the following control mode.


    [0023] In the constant speed control mode, constant speed control is implemented. In the following control mode, following control is implemented when a preceding vehicle exists, and constant speed control is implemented when a preceding vehicle does not exist (when a preceding vehicle that may serve as a vehicle-to-vehicle control subject is not found). The constant speed control is a control for causing the host vehicle to travel at a constant speed, i.e. a set vehicle speed set using the assistance operation switch 22. The following control is a control for causing the host vehicle to follow the preceding vehicle on the basis of the preceding vehicle information such that the vehicle-to-vehicle distance between the preceding vehicle and the host vehicle is maintained at a distance within a predetermined range, wherein the predetermined range may depend on or correspond to to the vehicle speed. When either the constant speed control or the following control is implemented, the driver is not required to perform an accelerator pedal operation.

    [0024] The assistance operation switch 22 does not necessarily have to be configured so that the functions described above are achieved by a single operator element (a lever or the like), and may be configured so that the functions described above are realized by a combination of a plurality of operator elements. The driving assistance ECU 10 stores parameters (the vehicle speed used during constant speed travel, the vehicle-to-vehicle distance used during the following control, and so on) set by the driver using the assistance operation switch 22 in a nonvolatile memory. The vehicle speed set by the driver using the assistance operation switch 22 and used during constant speed travel will be referred to as a set vehicle speed Vset.

    [0025] The vehicle speed sensor 23 outputs a detection signal indicating a vehicle speed Vn of the host vehicle to the driving assistance ECU 10. The yaw rate sensor 24 outputs a detection signal indicating a yaw rate Yaw of the host vehicle to the driving assistance ECU 10.

    [0026] The drive mode selection switch 25 is an operation switch or the like, which is usable by the driver to select a drive mode in accordance with his/her preferences. In this embodiment, the drive mode selection switch 25 is configured to be capable of selecting one of three drive modes, namely a normal mode, an eco-mode, and a sport mode. A drive mode selection signal indicating the drive mode selected by the drive mode selection switch 25 is output to the driving assistance ECU 10 and the engine ECU 30. Note that the drive mode is not limited to these three modes, and any two or more drive modes may be provided in a selectable fashion.

    [0027] The drive mode specifies an output characteristic of an engine 31 (as a drive source) relative to an accelerator depression amount. FIG. 2 is a graph illustrating engine output characteristics in the respective drive modes. In the eco-mode, the engine output (a throttle valve opening) is set at a small value relative to the accelerator depression amount in order to conserve fuel in comparison with the normal mode. In the sport mode, on the other hand, the engine output is set at a large value relative to the accelerator depression amount in order to increase a responsiveness by which the engine output responds to an accelerator operation in comparison with the normal mode.

    [0028] The engine ECU 30 stores the engine output characteristics of the respective drive modes. The engine output characteristics of the respective drive modes may differ according to a territory (to be referred to as a delivery destination) in which the vehicle is sold or used, even among vehicles of the same model. In other words, the engine output characteristics of the respective drive modes that are stored in the engine ECUs 30 of vehicles sold or used at various delivery destinations differ according to the delivery destination. For example, at delivery destinations A, B, and C, the engine output relative to the accelerator depression amount in the sport mode may be set as (delivery destination A specification) < (delivery destination B specification) < (delivery destination C specification), for example. Further, the engine output relative to the accelerator depression amount in the normal mode at the delivery destinations A, B, and C may be set as (delivery destination A specification) < (delivery destination B specification) < (delivery destination C specification), for example. Furthermore, the engine output relative to the accelerator depression amount in the eco-mode at the delivery destinations A, B, and C may be set as (delivery destination A specification) = (delivery destination B specification) = (delivery destination C specification), for example. Hence, the engine output characteristics of the respective drive modes may be set individually using the delivery destination as a unit or parameter. Note that the delivery destination may represent a large area such as Europe, Asia, or North America, for example, but may be defined more narrowly, e.g. representing a country or state.

    [0029] In the system configuration of Fig. 1, the engine ECU 30 is connected to various sensors 33 required to control the engine 31 and to control a transmission 32. The engine ECU 30 implements fuel injection control, ignition control, and intake air amount control on the engine 31 on the basis of a required driving force calculated in accordance with the drive mode. Further, the engine ECU 30 performs shift control on the transmission 32 on the basis of an upshift line and a downshift line determined in advance in relation to the vehicle speed and the throttle valve opening.

    [0030] During the constant speed control and the following control, the driving assistance ECU 10 calculates a target acceleration of the host vehicle, and calculates a required driving force F* (including a negative value, or in other words a required braking force) required for the host vehicle to accelerate (including deceleration performed when the target acceleration takes a negative value) at the target acceleration. The driving assistance ECU 10 transmits the required driving force F* to the engine ECU 30. The engine ECU 30 controls the engine 31 and the transmission 32 in accordance with the required driving force F*. When the required driving force F* takes a value indicating that a large braking force is required, and the required braking force is too large to be realized by the engine 31 and the transmission 32 alone, the engine ECU 30 transmits the required braking force to the brake ECU 40 so that the shortfall is generated using a brake such as a hydraulic brake. Note that when the constant speed control is implemented, a constant speed travel target acceleration is calculated such that the need for a braking force requiring the brake such as the hydraulic brake does not arise.

    [0031] The brake ECU 40 includes a microcomputer as a main part thereof, and is connected to a brake actuator 41. The brake actuator 41 may be provided on a hydraulic circuit (not shown) between a master cylinder that pressurizes brake fluid in accordance with a brake pedal and a wheel cylinder built into a brake caliper of each brake-enabled vehicle wheel. Various sensors 42 required to control the brake actuator 41 are connected to the brake ECU 40. The brake ECU 40 controls an operation of the brake actuator 41 on the basis of the required braking force such that a frictional braking force is generated at the brake-enabled vehicle wheels.

    [0032] The body ECU 50 stores vehicle type information. The vehicle type information includes delivery destination information. The delivery destination information is information indicating the delivery destination, i.e. the territory in which the host vehicle is sold or used. Herein, the sales/use territory is divided into three delivery destinations, namely a delivery destination A, a delivery destination B, and a delivery destination C. The body ECU 50 transmits the vehicle type information (including the delivery destination information) to the CAN.

    [0033] Next, functions of the driving assistance ECU 10 will be described. The engine ECU 30 described above is set at specifications corresponding to the delivery destination at which the host vehicle is sold or used. For example, the engine ECU 30 is configured to store engine output characteristics corresponding to the respective delivery destinations and the delivery destination information indicating the delivery destination of the host vehicle so that engine output characteristics corresponding to the delivery destination of the host vehicle are obtained. Alternatively, the engine ECU 30 may be a dedicated ECU from which engine output characteristics corresponding to a specific delivery destination are obtained. The driving assistance ECU 10, on the other hand, is formed to common specifications in all of the delivery destinations in order to achieve component standardization. Hence, as will be described below, the driving assistance ECU 10 obtains the delivery destination information from the body ECU 50, and implements the following control using a following acceleration characteristic (also referred to as following-control acceleration characteristic) corresponding to the delivery destination.
    The driving assistance ECU 10 according to this embodiment includes drive mode obtaining means, target acceleration calculating means and driving force controlling means. The drive mode obtaining means, which may be represented by an acceleration characteristic setting unit 11 as illustrated in Fig. 3, obtains the drive mode of the host vehicle. The target acceleration calculating means, which may be represented by a following target acceleration calculation unit 13 as illustrated in Fig. 3, calculates a target acceleration, at which the following control is to be executed, based on the drive mode of the host vehicle. The driving force controlling means, which may be represented by a required driving force calculation unit 18 as illustrated in Fig. 3, controls a driving force of the drive source of the host vehicle such that the host vehicle accelerates at the target acceleration. The driving assistance ECU 10 according to this embodiment may additionally include delivery destination obtaining means, which may be represented by an acceleration characteristic setting unit 11 as illustrated in Fig. 3, and which obtains a delivery destination, which is a territory in which the host vehicle is sold or used. In this case, the target acceleration calculating means may calculate the target acceleration, at which the following control is to be executed, based on the drive mode and the delivery destination. Hence, in view of the exemplary illustration of Fig. 3, it is noted that the driving assistance ECU 10 according to this embodiment may include only the acceleration characteristic setting unit 11, the target vehicle to vehicle time calculation unit 12, the following target acceleration calculation unit 13 and the required driving force calculation unit 18, and operate accordingly. The driving assistance ECU 10 according to this embodiment may additionally include upper limit target acceleration calculation means and target acceleration arbitration means. The upper limit target acceleration calculation means, which may be presented by an upper limit target acceleration calculation unit 16 as illustrated in Fig. 3, calculates an upper limit the target acceleration based on the drive mode of the host vehicle, a vehicle speed of the host vehicle and the selected following-control acceleration characteristic. The target acceleration arbitration means, which may be represented by a target acceleration arbitration unit 17 as illustrated in Fig. 3, selects the smaller value among the a target acceleration calculated by the target acceleration calculating means and the upper limit target acceleration calculated by the upper limit target acceleration calculation means, and sets the selected smaller value as a final target acceleration for controlling the driving force of the drive source of the host vehicle. Hence, in view of the exemplary illustration of Fig. 3, it is noted that the driving assistance ECU 10 according to this embodiment may include only the target vehicle to vehicle time calculation unit 12, the following target acceleration calculation unit 13, the upper limit target acceleration calculation unit 16, the target acceleration arbitration unit 17, with or without the acceleration characteristic setting unit 11, and operate accordingly.
    Irrespective of the above-described implementations of a driving assistance apparatus according to this embodiment, a more detailed exemplary embodiment is described below.

    [0034] FIG. 3 is a block diagram showing functions of the microcomputer provided in the driving assistance ECU 10. In the system configuration of Fig. 3, the driving assistance ECU 10 includes an acceleration characteristic setting unit 11, a target vehicle-to-vehicle time calculation unit 12, a following target acceleration calculation unit 13, a constant speed travel target acceleration calculation unit 14, a curve travel target acceleration calculation unit 15, an upper limit target acceleration calculation unit 16, a target acceleration arbitration unit 17, and a required driving force calculation unit 18. The respective control blocks (11 to 18) implement calculation processing, to be described below, repeatedly at predetermined calculation period intervals in parallel during a period in which the driving assistance function has been switched ON, e.g. by the assistance operation switch 22. Note that in actuality, the CPU of the driving assistance ECU 10 realizes the functions of the respective control blocks (11 to 18) by executing a program stored in the ROM of the driving assistance ECU 10. Further, the driving assistance ECU 10 uses various sensor detection values while executing the various calculations, and unless specified otherwise, the most recent values at the time of calculation are used as the sensor detection values.

    [Acceleration characteristic setting unit]



    [0035] The acceleration characteristic setting unit 11 is a control block that sets the following acceleration characteristic on the basis of the drive mode selected by the driver and the delivery destination of the host vehicle. The acceleration characteristic setting unit 11 receives a mode selection signal output from the drive mode selection switch 25 and the delivery destination information transmitted from the body ECU 50. A following acceleration characteristic setting table shown in FIG. 4 is stored in the acceleration characteristic setting unit 11. On the following acceleration characteristic setting table, the drive mode indicated by the mode selection signal and the delivery destination indicated by the delivery destination information are associated with each other such that one of four following acceleration characteristics is determined univocally from a combination of the drive mode and the delivery destination.

    [0036] The following acceleration characteristic (also referred to as following-control acceleration characteristic) is an acceleration characteristic exhibited when the host vehicle is caused to follow the preceding vehicle (i.e. in the following control), and in this embodiment, an eco-travel acceleration characteristic, a sport travel acceleration characteristic, and two normal travel acceleration characteristics are prepared. Magnitudes of control parameters used to determine the target acceleration when the host vehicle is caused follow the preceding vehicle are set in accordance with the applicable following acceleration characteristic (following-control acceleration characteristic). The number of following acceleration characteristics is larger than the number of drive modes that can be set by the driver using the drive mode selection switch 25 so as to be able to respond to the engine output characteristic in each drive mode at all of the delivery destinations.

    [0037] The normal travel acceleration characteristic is provided in two types, namely a normal LO travel acceleration characteristic close to the eco-travel acceleration characteristic, and a normal HI travel acceleration characteristic close to the sport travel acceleration characteristic.

    [0038] The acceleration at which the host vehicle is caused to follow the preceding vehicle is largest in the sport travel acceleration characteristic, and decreases sequentially in the normal HI travel acceleration characteristic, the normal LO travel acceleration characteristic, and the eco-travel acceleration characteristic.

    [0039] The following acceleration characteristics at the respective delivery destinations are set in accordance with the engine output characteristics of the respective delivery destination specifications. More specifically, a following acceleration characteristic according to which the following control is implemented at a large acceleration is set in a vehicle having delivery destination specifications according to which the engine output characteristic (the engine output relative to the accelerator depression amount) is set on the high side, while a following acceleration characteristic according to which the following control is implemented at a small acceleration is set in a vehicle having delivery destination specifications according to which the engine output characteristic is set on the low side.

    [0040] For example, the engine output characteristic when the drive mode is the sport mode may be set as (delivery destination A specification) < (delivery destination B specification) < (delivery destination C specification), and therefore the following acceleration characteristic is set accordingly. In this example, the following acceleration characteristic when the drive mode is the sport mode may be set at the normal LO travel acceleration characteristic at delivery destination A, the normal HI travel acceleration characteristic at delivery destination B, and the sport travel acceleration characteristic at delivery destination C.

    [0041] Further, the engine output characteristic when the drive mode is the normal mode may be set as (delivery destination A specification) = (delivery destination B specification) < (delivery destination C specification), and therefore the following acceleration characteristic is set accordingly. In this example, the following acceleration characteristic when the drive mode is the normal mode may be set at the normal LO travel acceleration characteristic at delivery destinations A and B, and at the normal HI travel acceleration characteristic at delivery destination C. Note that the same following acceleration characteristic may be set at delivery destinations A and B to avoid an unnecessary increase in the number of following acceleration characteristics.

    [0042] Further, in the eco-mode, the engine output characteristic may be set as (delivery destination A specification) = (delivery destination B specification) = (delivery destination C specification), and therefore the eco-travel acceleration characteristic may be set as the following acceleration characteristic at all of the delivery destinations A, B, and C.

    [0043] Note that this way of setting the following acceleration characteristics is merely an example, and the following acceleration characteristics should be set in accordance with the incline of the engine output characteristics in the respective drive modes and the respective delivery destination specifications.

    [0044] By referring to the acceleration characteristic setting table (FIG. 4), the acceleration characteristic setting unit 11 sets a following acceleration characteristic AF in accordance with a combination of the drive mode expressed by the mode selection signal and the delivery destination expressed by the delivery destination information. The acceleration characteristic setting unit 11 then supplies the set following acceleration characteristic AF to the following target acceleration calculation unit 13 and the upper limit target acceleration calculation unit 16.

    [Target vehicle-to-vehicle time calculation unit]



    [0045] The target vehicle-to-vehicle time calculation unit 12 is a control block that calculates a target vehicle-to-vehicle time when the host vehicle follows the preceding vehicle. The target vehicle-to-vehicle time calculation unit 12 calculates the target vehicle-to-vehicle time on the basis of the vehicle speed Vn detected by the vehicle speed sensor 23, and a set vehicle-to-vehicle distance (long/medium/short) that is set by the driver and stored. More specifically, the target vehicle-to-vehicle time calculation unit 12 stores a target vehicle-to-vehicle time map. On the target vehicle-to-vehicle time map, as shown in FIG. 5, a target vehicle-to-vehicle time td* is set to decrease as the vehicle speed Vn increases and the set vehicle-to-vehicle distance decreases. The target vehicle-to-vehicle time calculation unit 12 calculates the target vehicle-to-vehicle time td* by applying the vehicle speed Vn and the set vehicle-to-vehicle distance to the target vehicle-to-vehicle time map. The target vehicle-to-vehicle time calculation unit 12 then supplies the calculated target vehicle-to-vehicle time td* to the following target acceleration calculation unit 13.

    [Following target acceleration calculation unit]



    [0046] The following target acceleration calculation unit 13 is a control block that calculates a target acceleration used as a basis when the following control is implemented upon detection of a preceding vehicle. The following target acceleration calculation unit 13 calculates a following target acceleration Afollow* upon reception of the following acceleration characteristic AF set by the acceleration characteristic setting unit 11, the target vehicle-to-vehicle time td* calculated by the target vehicle-to-vehicle time calculation unit 12, the preceding vehicle information (the host-vehicle-to-preceding-vehicle distance and the preceding vehicle relative speed) transmitted from the preceding vehicle sensor unit 21, and the vehicle speed Vn detected by the vehicle speed sensor 23.

    [0047] The following target acceleration calculation unit 13 calculates an acceleration side following target acceleration Afollow1* and a deceleration side following target acceleration Afollow2* using Equations (1) and (2), shown below. When the deceleration side following target acceleration Afollow2* takes a negative value (Afollow2* < 0 m/s2), the following target acceleration calculation unit 13 employs the deceleration side following target acceleration Afollow2* as the following target acceleration Afollow* (Afollow* = Afollow2*), and in all other cases, the following target acceleration calculation unit 13 employs the acceleration side following target acceleration Afollow 1* as the following target acceleration Afollow* (Afollow* = Afollow1*).





    [0048] Here, ΔD is a vehicle-to-vehicle deviation, to be described below, K1 and K2 are gains, Vr is the preceding vehicle relative speed, to be described below, and Ka is an acceleration side gain. Further, the acceleration side following target acceleration Afollow1* has a lower limit value of zero, and therefore, when the calculation result indicates a negative value, the acceleration side following target acceleration Afollow1* is set at zero by lower limit processing. Moreover, the deceleration side following target acceleration Afollow2* has an upper limit value of zero, and therefore, when the calculation result indicates a positive value, the deceleration side following target acceleration Afollow2* is set at zero by upper limit processing.

    [0049] The vehicle-to-vehicle deviation ΔD is a value obtained by subtracting a target vehicle-to-vehicle distance (which is calculated by multiplying the vehicle speed Vn by the target vehicle-to-vehicle time td*) from the actual host-vehicle-to-preceding-vehicle distance. Hence, in a situation where the actual host-vehicle-to-preceding-vehicle distance is greater than the target vehicle-to-vehicle distance, the vehicle-to-vehicle deviation ΔD takes a positive value so as to act in a direction for increasing the following target acceleration Afollow*. The gains K1 and K2 are positive adjustment values, and may be set at fixed values or values that are adjusted in accordance with other parameters. The preceding vehicle relative speed Vr is the speed of the preceding vehicle relative to the host vehicle, and takes a value obtained by subtracting the vehicle speed of the host vehicle from the vehicle speed of the preceding vehicle. Hence, in a situation where the preceding vehicle is speeding away from the host vehicle, the preceding vehicle relative speed Vr takes a positive value so as to act in a direction for increasing the following target acceleration Afollow*.

    [0050] The acceleration side gain Ka is a positive value used to adjust the magnitude of the acceleration side following target acceleration Afollow1. The acceleration side gain Ka is calculated on the basis of the following acceleration characteristic AF set by the acceleration characteristic setting unit 11, and the vehicle speed Vn. More specifically, the following target acceleration calculation unit 13 stores an acceleration side gain map shown in FIG. 6, and calculates the acceleration side gain Ka by applying the following acceleration characteristic AF and the vehicle speed Vn to the acceleration side gain map.

    [0051] The acceleration side gain map is set such that the acceleration side gain Ka increases when the following acceleration characteristic AF corresponds to a drive mode in which the required engine output characteristic is high. In other words, the acceleration side gain Ka is set to take a maximum value in the sport travel acceleration characteristic, and to decrease sequentially in the normal HI travel acceleration characteristic, the normal LO travel acceleration characteristic, and the eco-travel acceleration characteristic. Hence, the acceleration side gain Ka is set to increase as the engine output characteristic of the drive mode selected by the driver increases. Further, the acceleration side gain Ka of each following acceleration characteristic AF is set to decrease gradually as the vehicle speed Vn increases.

    [0052] The following target acceleration calculation unit 13 calculates the acceleration side following target acceleration Afollow1 by inserting the acceleration side gain Ka set in this manner into Equation (1).

    [0053] The following target acceleration calculation unit 13 calculates the following target acceleration Afollow* at predetermined calculation period intervals, and supplies each calculated following target acceleration Afollow* to the target acceleration arbitration unit 17. Note that when a preceding vehicle is not detected, the following target acceleration calculation unit 13 sets the following target acceleration Afollow* at a value that is in effect too large to be generated by the host vehicle.

    [Constant speed travel target acceleration calculation unit]



    [0054] The constant speed travel target acceleration calculation unit 14 is a control block that calculates a target acceleration to be used when the constant speed control is implemented. As shown below in Equation (3), the constant speed travel target acceleration calculation unit 14 calculates a constant speed travel target acceleration Aconst* on the basis of the vehicle speed Vn detected by the vehicle speed sensor 23 and the set vehicle speed Vset set by the driver using the assistance operation switch 22.



    [0055] Here, K3 is a constant speed travel acceleration gain that is set at a positive value corresponding to the vehicle speed Vn. More specifically, the constant speed travel target acceleration calculation unit 14 stores a constant speed travel acceleration gain map. On the constant speed travel acceleration gain map, as shown in FIG. 7, for example, the constant speed travel acceleration gain K3 is set to be smaller when the vehicle speed Vn is high than when the vehicle speed Vn is low. The constant speed travel target acceleration calculation unit 14 calculates the constant speed travel acceleration gain K3 by applying the actual vehicle speed Vn to the constant speed travel acceleration gain map.

    [0056] When a vehicle speed deviation (Vset - Vn) serving as the first term on the right side of Equation (3) is positive, the constant speed travel target acceleration Aconst* is calculated so as to act in a direction for accelerating the host vehicle, and when the vehicle speed deviation (Vset - Vn) is negative, the constant speed travel target acceleration Aconst* is calculated so as to act in a direction for decelerating the host vehicle.

    [0057] The constant speed travel target acceleration calculation unit 14 calculates the constant speed travel target acceleration Aconst* at predetermined calculation period intervals, and supplies each calculated constant speed travel target acceleration Aconst* to the target acceleration arbitration unit 17.

    [Curve travel target acceleration calculation unit]



    [0058] The curve travel target acceleration calculation unit 15 is a block that calculates a curve travel target acceleration Acurve* as a target acceleration to be used when traveling on a curved road. The curve travel target acceleration calculation unit calculates the curve travel target acceleration Acurve* on the basis of the vehicle speed Vn detected by the vehicle speed sensor 23 and the yaw rate Yaw detected by the yaw rate sensor 24 using Equations (4), (4-1), and (4-2), shown below.



    [0059] Here, Vcurve is an allowable speed allowed during travel on a curve, and is calculated using Equation (4-1). In Equation (4-1), sqrt denotes a function used to determine a square root value.



    [0060] R is an estimated curve radius of the road in the travel position of the host vehicle, and is calculated using Equation (4-2). In Equation (4-2), Kr is a conversion coefficient. Note that the estimated curve radius R may be obtained by, for example, detecting left and right lane markers (white lines) of a travel lane using the camera sensor 21b and calculating the curve radius from the lines serving as the lane markers.



    [0061] Further, Gcy is an allowable lateral acceleration during travel on a curve, and is set in advance. K4 is a gain having a preset magnitude.

    [0062] The curve travel target acceleration Acurve* has a lower limit value of zero, and therefore, when the calculation result indicates a negative value, the curve travel target acceleration Acurve* is set at zero by lower limit processing.

    [0063] The curve travel target acceleration calculation unit 15 calculates the curve travel target acceleration Acurve* at predetermined calculation period intervals, and supplies each calculated curve travel target acceleration Acurve* to the target acceleration arbitration unit 17.

    [Upper limit target acceleration calculation unit]



    [0064] The upper limit target acceleration calculation unit 16 is a control block that calculates an upper limit value of the target acceleration. The upper limit target acceleration calculation unit 16 calculates an upper limit target acceleration Alimit* upon reception of the vehicle speed Vn detected by the vehicle speed sensor 23, the following acceleration characteristic AF set by the acceleration characteristic setting unit 11, and the preceding vehicle information (here, information indicating the presence or absence of a preceding vehicle) transmitted from the preceding vehicle sensor unit 21).

    [0065] The upper limit target acceleration calculation unit 16 stores an upper limit acceleration map shown in FIG. 8, and calculates the upper limit target acceleration Alimit* by referring to the upper limit acceleration map. On the upper limit acceleration map, the upper limit target acceleration Alimit* is set in accordance with the following acceleration characteristic AF with respect to a case in which a preceding vehicle is detected and a case in which a preceding vehicle is not detected. The upper limit acceleration map is set such that the upper limit target acceleration Alimit* increases when the following acceleration characteristic AF corresponds to a drive mode in which the required engine output characteristic is high. In other words, the upper limit target acceleration Alimit* is set to take a maximum value in the sport travel acceleration characteristic, and to decrease sequentially in the normal HI travel acceleration characteristic, the normal LO travel acceleration characteristic, and the eco-travel acceleration characteristic. Hence, the upper limit target acceleration Alimit* is set to increase as the engine output characteristic of the drive mode selected by the driver increases. Further, the upper limit target acceleration Alimit* is set to be larger when a preceding vehicle is detected than when a preceding vehicle is not detected.

    [Target acceleration arbitration unit]



    [0066] The target acceleration arbitration unit 17 receives the following target acceleration Afollow* calculated by the following target acceleration calculation unit 13, the constant speed travel target acceleration Aconst* calculated by the constant speed travel target acceleration calculation unit 14, the curve travel target acceleration Acurve* calculated by the curve travel target acceleration calculation unit 15, and the upper limit target acceleration Alimit* calculated by the upper limit target acceleration calculation unit 16.

    [0067] As shown below in Equation (5), the target acceleration arbitration unit 17 selects the smallest value among the received following target acceleration Afollow*, constant speed travel target acceleration Aconst*, curve travel target acceleration Acurve*, and upper limit target acceleration Alimit*, and sets the selected value as a final target acceleration A*.



    [0068] Here, min denotes a function for selecting the minimum value among the numerical values in parentheses.

    [0069] The target acceleration arbitration unit 17 calculates the target acceleration A* (i.e. performs minimum value selection processing) at predetermined calculation period intervals, and supplies each calculated target acceleration A* to the required driving force calculation unit 18.

    [Required driving force calculation unit]



    [0070] The required driving force calculation unit 18 calculates an acceleration deviation ΔA (= A* - An), which is a deviation between the target acceleration A* and an actual acceleration An serving as the actual acceleration of the host vehicle, and calculates the required driving force F* on the basis of the acceleration deviation ΔA. As shown below in Equation (6), for example, the required driving force calculation unit 18 sets a value obtained by adding the required driving force F*(n-1) of the previous calculation period to a value obtained by multiplying the acceleration deviation ΔA by a gain K5 as the required driving force F*.



    [0071] The required driving force calculation unit 18 calculates the required driving force F* at predetermined calculation period intervals, and supplies each calculated required driving force F* to the engine ECU 30. Accordingly, the driving force is controlled such that the host vehicle accelerates (including deceleration) at the target acceleration A*. As a result, the vehicle can be caused to travel at an appropriate acceleration for the following control or the constant speed control. Note that the actual acceleration An used in Equation (6) may be obtained by performing a differential operation on the vehicle speed Vn, or obtained from a detection value of a front-rear acceleration sensor (not shown) provided on a vehicle body. When a large braking force is required such that the requirement cannot be met by the engine 31 and the transmission 32 alone, the engine ECU 30 transmits the required braking force to the brake ECU 40 so that the shortfall is generated using the brake such as the hydraulic brake.

    [0072] With the driving assistance apparatus for a vehicle according to this embodiment, as described above, the magnitudes of the respective values of the following target acceleration Afollow* and the upper limit target acceleration Alimit* are adjusted on the basis of the drive mode selected by the driver in accordance with the engine output characteristic specified by the drive mode. For example, the following target acceleration Afollow* and the upper limit target acceleration Alimit* are set at larger values in a drive mode having a high engine output characteristic, and at smaller values in a drive mode having a low engine output characteristic. As a result, the following control can be implemented in accordance with the preferences of the driver. Further, the following acceleration characteristic AF is set in accordance with the delivery destination of the vehicle, and therefore the following control can be implemented in accordance with the preferences of the driver within a range where a suitable acceleration characteristic for the delivery destination is obtained.

    [0073] The driving assistance apparatus for a vehicle according to this embodiment was described above, but the invention is not limited to the above embodiment, and may be subjected to various modifications within a scope that does not depart from the object of the invention and/or the subject-matter of the claims.

    [0074] For example, in this embodiment, four target accelerations are input into the target acceleration arbitration unit 17 and the smallest value thereof is selected as the final target acceleration A*, but the invention is not limited to this configuration, and instead, for example, the smaller of the following target acceleration Afollow* and the upper limit target acceleration Alimit* may be employed as the final target acceleration A*. Moreover, only the following target acceleration Afollow* may be calculated and used as the final target acceleration A*, without any target acceleration arbitration function.

    [0075] Further, in this embodiment, the following acceleration characteristic AF is set on the basis of the drive mode selected by the driver and the delivery destination, but the following acceleration characteristic AF does not necessarily have to correspond to the delivery destination. Instead, for example, the following acceleration characteristic AF may be set on the basis of only the drive mode selected by the driver.

    [0076] Furthermore, the driving assistance apparatus according to this embodiment is applied to a vehicle that includes an engine as the drive source, but the invention is not limited thereto, and the driving assistance apparatus may be applied to another vehicle such as an electric vehicle, a hybrid vehicle, or a fuel cell vehicle, for example.

    [0077] An acceleration characteristic setting unit (11) sets a following acceleration characteristic (AF) on the basis of a drive mode selected by a driver and a delivery destination of a host vehicle. A following acceleration set on the basis of the following acceleration characteristic (AF) is set in accordance with an engine output characteristic of the drive mode so as to be highest in a sport travel acceleration characteristic, and to decrease sequentially in a normal HI travel acceleration characteristic, a normal LO travel acceleration characteristic, and an eco-travel acceleration characteristic. A following target acceleration calculation unit (13) calculates a following target acceleration (Afollow*) on the basis of the following acceleration characteristic (AF).


    Claims

    1. A driving assistance apparatus for a vehicle that, when being applied to a host vehicle in which a drive mode specifying an output characteristic of an output of a drive source relative to an accelerator depression amount can be selected from a number of drive modes by a driver using a drive mode selection switch (25), is configured to execute following control for the host vehicle, which is a control for causing the host vehicle to follow a preceding vehicle such that a vehicle-to-vehicle distance between the host vehicle and the preceding vehicle is maintained at a distance within a predetermined range, the driving assistance apparatus comprising:

    drive mode obtaining means (11) for obtaining the drive mode of the host vehicle by receiving a mode selection signal output from the drive mode selection switch (25);

    target acceleration calculating means (13) for calculating a target acceleration, at which the following control is to be executed, based on the drive mode obtained by the drive mode obtaining means (11) such that the calculated target acceleration is larger in a drive mode where the output of the drive source relative to the accelerator depression amount is larger in comparison to a drive mode where the output of the drive source relative to the accelerator depression amount is smaller; and

    driving force controlling means (18) for controlling a driving force of the drive source of the host vehicle such that the host vehicle accelerates at the target acceleration.


     
    2. The driving assistance apparatus according to claim 1, further comprising delivery destination obtaining means (11) for obtaining a delivery destination, which is a territory in which the host vehicle is sold or used, by receiving delivery destination information transmitted from an electronic control unit storing vehicle type information including the delivery destination information,
    wherein the target acceleration calculating means (13) is configured to calculate the target acceleration, at which the following control is to be executed, by referring to a following-control acceleration characteristic setting table in which drive modes and delivery destinations are associated with each other such that one acceleration characteristic, which is set in accordance with an output characteristic of the output of the drive source relative to the accelerator depression amount, is determined from a combination of the drive mode obtained by the drive mode obtaining means (11) and the delivery destination obtained by the delivery destination obtaining means (11).
     
    3. The driving assistance apparatus according to claim 2, wherein the target acceleration calculating means (13) is configured to
    store following-control acceleration characteristics in a larger number than the number of drive modes that can be selected by the driver,
    select one of the plurality of stored following-control acceleration characteristics using the following-control acceleration characteristic setting table such that the one acceleration characteristic is determined from a combination of the drive mode and the delivery destination, and
    calculate the target acceleration in accordance with the selected following-control acceleration characteristic.
     
    4. The driving assistance apparatus according to claim 3, wherein the target acceleration calculating means (13) is configured to calculate the target acceleration on the basis of the selected following-control acceleration characteristic so as to be highest in a sport travel acceleration characteristic and to decrease sequentially in a normal HI travel acceleration characteristic, a normal LO travel acceleration characteristic and an eco-travel acceleration characteristic,
    wherein the normal LO travel acceleration characteristic is a normal travel acceleration characteristic closer to the eco-travel acceleration characteristic, and the normal HI travel acceleration characteristic is a normal travel acceleration characteristic closer to the sport travel acceleration characteristic.
     
    5. The driving assistance apparatus according to claim 4, further comprising
    upper limit target acceleration calculation means (16) for calculating an upper limit target acceleration by referring to an upper limit acceleration map in which the following control of the host vehicle, a vehicle speed of the host vehicle and the selected following-control acceleration characteristic are associated with each other such that the upper limit target acceleration is determined, wherein the upper limit target acceleration is set to be larger when a preceding vehicle is detected than when a preceding vehicle is not detected; and
    target acceleration arbitration means (17) for selecting the smaller value among the target acceleration calculated by the target acceleration calculating means (13) and the upper limit target acceleration calculated by the upper limit target acceleration calculation means (16), and setting the selected smaller value as a final target acceleration for controlling the driving force of the drive source of the host vehicle.
     
    6. The driving assistance apparatus according to any one of claims 1 to 5, wherein the predetermined range depends on a vehicle speed of the host vehicle.
     


    Ansprüche

    1. Fahrassistenzvorrichtung für ein Fahrzeug, die, wenn sie auf ein Hostfahrzeug angewandt ist, bei dem ein Antriebsmodus, der eine Abgabecharakteristik einer Leistung einer Antriebsquelle relativ zu einem Fahrpedalabsenkungsbetrag spezifiziert, aus einer Anzahl von Antriebsmodi durch einen Fahrer unter Verwendung eines Antriebsmodusauswahlschalters (25) ausgewählt werden kann, konfiguriert ist zum Ausführen einer Folgesteuerung für das Hostfahrzeug, die eine Steuerung ist, um zu bewirken, dass das Hostfahrzeug einem vorausfahrenden Fahrzeug derart folgt, dass ein Fahrzeug-Fahrzeug-Abstand zwischen dem Hostfahrzeug und dem vorausfahrenden Fahrzeug auf einem Abstand in einem vorbestimmten Bereich gehalten wird, wobei die Fahrassistenzvorrichtung aufweist:

    eine Antriebsmoduserfassungseinrichtung (11) zum Erfassen des Antriebsmodus des Hostfahrzeugs durch Empfangen eines von dem Antriebsmodusauswahlschalter (25) ausgegebenen Modusauswahlsignals;

    eine Sollbeschleunigungsberechnungseinrichtung (13) zum Berechnen einer Sollbeschleunigung, mit der die Folgesteuerung auszuführen ist, basierend auf dem durch die Antriebsmoduserfassungseinrichtung (11) erfassten Antriebsmodus, sodass die berechnete Sollbeschleunigung in einem Antriebsmodus, in dem die Leistung der Antriebsquelle relativ zu dem Fahrpedalabsenkungsbetrag größer ist, größer ist verglichen mit einem Antriebsmodus, in dem die Leistung der Antriebsquelle relativ zu dem Fahrpedalabsenkungsbetrag kleiner ist; und

    eine Antriebskraftsteuereinrichtung (18) zum Steuern einer Antriebskraft der Antriebsquelle des Hostfahrzeugs, sodass das Hostfahrzeug mit der Sollbeschleunigung beschleunigt.


     
    2. Fahrassistenzvorrichtung gemäß Anspruch 1, zusätzlich mit einer Auslieferungszielerfassungseinrichtung (11) zum Erfassen eines Auslieferungsziels, das ein Gebiet ist, in dem das Hostfahrzeug verkauft oder benutzt wird, durch Empfangen von Auslieferungszielinformationen, die von einer elektronischen Steuereinheit übertragen werden, die Fahrzeugtypinformationen einschließlich der Auslieferungszielinformationen speichert,
    wobei die Sollbeschleunigungsberechnungseinrichtung (13) konfiguriert ist zum Berechnen der Sollbeschleunigung, mit der die Folgesteuerung auszuführen ist, durch Bezugnahme auf eine Folgesteuerungsbeschleunigungscharakteristik-Einstellungstabelle, in der Antriebsmodi und Auslieferungsziele miteinander in Beziehung gebracht sind, sodass eine Beschleunigungscharakteristik, die im Einklang mit einer Abgabecharakteristik der Leistung der Antriebsquelle relativ zu dem Fahrpedalabsenkungsbetrag eingestellt wird, aus einer Kombination des durch die Antriebsmoduserfassungseinrichtung (11) erfassten Antriebsmodus und des durch die Auslieferungszielerfassungseinrichtung (11) erfassten Auslieferungsziels bestimmt wird.
     
    3. Fahrassistenzvorrichtung gemäß Anspruch 2, wobei die Sollbeschleunigungsberechnungseinrichtung (13) konfiguriert ist zum
    Speichern von Folgesteuerungsbeschleunigungscharakteristika in einer größeren Anzahl als die Anzahl von Antriebsmodi, die durch den Fahrer ausgewählt werden können,
    Auswählen von einer der Vielzahl von gespeicherten Folgesteuerungsbeschleunigungscharakteristika unter Verwendung der Folgesteuerungsbeschleunigungscharakteristik-Einstellungstabelle, sodass die eine Beschleunigungscharakteristik aus einer Kombination des Antriebsmodus und des Auslieferungsziels bestimmt wird, und
    Berechnen der Sollbeschleunigung gemäß der ausgewählten Folgesteuerungsbeschleunigungscharakteristik.
     
    4. Fahrassistenzvorrichtung gemäß Anspruch 3, wobei die Sollbeschleunigungsberechnungseinrichtung (13) konfiguriert ist zum Berechnen der Sollbeschleunigung auf Grundlage der ausgewählten Folgesteuerungsbeschleunigungscharakteristik, sodass sie in einer Sportfahrbeschleunigungscharakteristik am Höchsten ist und in einer Normal-HI-Fahrbeschleunigungscharakteristik, einer Normal-LO-Fahrbeschleunigungscharakteristik und einer Ökofahrbeschleunigungscharakteristik der Reihe nach abnimmt,
    wobei die Normal-LO-Fahrbeschleunigungscharakteristik eine normale Fahrbeschleunigungscharakteristik ist, die näher an der Ökofahrbeschleunigungscharakteristik liegt, und die Normal-HI-Fahrbeschleunigungscharakteristik eine normale Fahrbeschleunigungscharakteristik ist, die näher an der Sportfahrbeschleunigungscharakteristik liegt.
     
    5. Fahrassistenzvorrichtung gemäß Anspruch 4, zusätzlich mit:

    einer Obergrenzensollbeschleunigungsberechnungseinrichtung (16) zum Berechnen einer Obergrenzensollbeschleunigung durch Bezugnahme auf ein Obergrenzenbeschleunigungskennfeld, in dem die Folgesteuerung des Hostfahrzeugs, eine Fahrzeuggeschwindigkeit des Hostfahrzeugs und die ausgewählte Folgesteuerungsbeschleunigungscharakteristik miteinander in Zusammenhang gebracht sind, sodass die Obergrenzensollbeschleunigung bestimmt wird, wobei die Obergrenzensollbeschleunigung so eingestellt ist, dass sie größer ist, wenn ein vorausfahrendes Fahrzeug detektiert wird, als dann, wenn ein vorausfahrendes Fahrzeug nicht detektiert wird; und

    einer Sollbeschleunigungsentscheidungseinrichtung (17) zum Auswählen des kleineren Werts unter der durch die Sollbeschleunigungsberechnungseinrichtung (13) berechneten Sollbeschleunigung und der durch die Obergrenzensollbeschleunigungsberechnungseinrichtung (16) berechneten Obergrenzensollbeschleunigung und Einstellen des ausgewählten kleineren Werts als eine endgültige Sollbeschleunigung zur Steuerung der Antriebskraft der Antriebsquelle des Hostfahrzeugs.


     
    6. Fahrassistenzvorrichtung gemäß einem der Ansprüche 1 bis 5, wobei der vorbestimmte Bereich von einer Fahrzeuggeschwindigkeit des Hostfahrzeugs abhängt.
     


    Revendications

    1. Appareil d'assistance à la conduite pour un véhicule qui, lorsqu'il est appliqué à un véhicule hôte dans lequel un mode d'entraînement spécifiant une caractéristique de sortie d'une sortie d'une source d'entraînement par rapport à une quantité d'enfoncement d'accélérateur peut être sélectionné parmi un certain nombre de modes d'entraînement par un conducteur en utilisant un commutateur de sélection de mode d'entraînement (25), est configuré pour exécuter une commande de suivi pour le véhicule hôte, qui est une commande pour amener le véhicule hôte à suivre un véhicule précédent de sorte qu'une distance de véhicule à véhicule entre le véhicule hôte et le véhicule précédent soit maintenue à une distance dans une plage prédéterminée, l'appareil d'assistance à la conduite comprenant :

    des moyens d'obtention de mode d'entraînement (11) pour obtenir le mode d'entraînement du véhicule hôte en recevant un signal de sélection de mode délivré par le commutateur de sélection de mode d'entraînement (25) ;

    des moyens de calcul d'accélération cible (13) pour calculer une accélération cible, à laquelle la commande de suivi doit être exécutée, sur la base du mode d'entraînement obtenu par les moyens d'obtention de mode d'entraînement (11) de sorte que l'accélération cible calculée soit plus grande dans un mode d'entraînement où la sortie de la source d'entraînement par rapport à la quantité d'enfoncement d'accélérateur est plus grande comparé à un mode d'entraînement où la sortie de la source d'entraînement par rapport à la quantité d'enfoncement d'accélérateur est plus petite ; et

    des moyens de commande de force d'entraînement (18) pour commander une force d'entraînement de la source d'entraînement du véhicule hôte de sorte que le véhicule hôte accélère à l'accélération cible.


     
    2. Appareil d'assistance à la conduite selon la revendication 1, comprenant en outre des moyens d'obtention de destination de distribution (11) pour obtenir une destination de distribution, qui est un territoire dans lequel le véhicule hôte est vendu ou utilisé, en recevant les informations de destination de distribution transmises par une unité de commande électronique mémorisant des informations de type de véhicule comprenant les informations de destination de distribution,
    dans lequel les moyens de calcul d'accélération cible (13) sont configurés pour calculer l'accélération cible, à laquelle la commande de suivi doit être exécutée, en se référant à une table d'établissement de caractéristiques d'accélération de commande de suivi dans laquelle des modes d'entraînement et des destinations de distribution sont associés les uns aux autres de sorte qu'une caractéristique d'accélération, qui est établie conformément à une caractéristique de sortie de la sortie de la source d'entraînement par rapport à la quantité d'enfoncement d'accélérateur, soit déterminée à partir d'une combinaison du mode d'entraînement obtenu par les moyens d'obtention de mode d'entraînement (11) et de la destination de distribution obtenue par les moyens d'obtention de destination de distribution (11).
     
    3. Appareil d'assistance à la conduite selon la revendication 2, dans lequel les moyens de calcul d'accélération cible (13) sont configurés pour
    mémoriser des caractéristiques d'accélération de commande de suivi en un nombre plus grand que le nombre de modes d'entraînement qui peuvent être sélectionnés par le conducteur,
    sélectionner l'une de la pluralité de caractéristiques d'accélération de commande de suivi mémorisées en utilisant la table d'établissement de caractéristiques d'accélération de commande de suivi de sorte que ladite une caractéristique d'accélération soit déterminée à partir d'une combinaison du mode d'entraînement et de la destination de distribution, et
    calculer l'accélération cible conformément à la caractéristique d'accélération de commande de suivi sélectionnée.
     
    4. Appareil d'assistance à la conduite selon la revendication 3, dans lequel les moyens de calcul d'accélération cible (13) sont configurés pour calculer l'accélération cible sur la base de la caractéristique d'accélération de commande de suivi sélectionnée de manière à ce qu'elle soit la plus élevée dans une caractéristique d'accélération de déplacement sportif et à ce qu'elle diminue séquentiellement dans une caractéristique d'accélération de déplacement HI normale, une caractéristique d'accélération de déplacement LO normale et une caractéristique d'accélération de déplacement économique,
    dans lequel la caractéristique d'accélération de déplacement LO normale est une caractéristique d'accélération de déplacement normale plus proche de la caractéristique d'accélération de déplacement économique, et la caractéristique d'accélération de déplacement HI normale est une caractéristique d'accélération de déplacement normale plus proche de la caractéristique d'accélération de déplacement sportif.
     
    5. Appareil d'assistance à la conduite selon la revendication 4, comprenant en outre
    des moyens de calcul d'accélération cible de limite supérieure (16) pour calculer une accélération cible de limite supérieure en se référant à une carte d'accélération de limite supérieure dans lequel la commande de suivi du véhicule hôte, une vitesse de véhicule du véhicule hôte et la caractéristique d'accélération de commande de suivi sélectionnée sont associées les unes aux autres de sorte que l'accélération cible de limite supérieure soit déterminée, dans lequel l'accélération cible de limite supérieure est établie pour être plus grande lorsqu'un véhicule précédent est détecté que lorsqu'un véhicule précédent n'est pas détecté ; et
    des moyens d'arbitrage d'accélération cible (17) pour sélectionner la plus petite valeur parmi l'accélération cible calculée par les moyens de calcul d'accélération cible (13) et l'accélération cible de limite supérieure calculée par les moyens de calcul d'accélération cible de limite supérieure (16), et établir la plus petite valeur sélectionnée en tant qu'accélération cible finale pour commander la force d'entraînement de la source d'entraînement du véhicule hôte.
     
    6. Appareil d'assistance à la conduite selon l'une quelconque des revendications 1 à 5, dans lequel la plage prédéterminée dépend d'une vitesse de véhicule du véhicule hôte.
     




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    REFERENCES CITED IN THE DESCRIPTION



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    Patent documents cited in the description