Kansas Patent of the Month – January 2021
Automated vehicles are a technology that is becoming increasingly more prevalent in today’s society. We see self-parking cars, self-driving cars, and even delivery systems that have no drivers. But, to automate a car, we need to know the terrain it will be traversing to avoid accidents. No one wants a car driving into a river, off of a mountain, or into a fence. AgJunction, LLC has created a three-dimensional terrain system to map the geographical area a vehicle may travel.
The novel terrain mapping system includes a control system that helps steer the vehicle with the help of an inertial measurement unit (IMU) and a global navigation satellite system (GNSS). To steer the vehicle, the position and route of the vehicle is first determined. To do this, the GNSS provides data and the IMU measures turn rates and acceleration. The system also includes sensors and cameras positioned on all sides of the vehicle to capture and record features on the terrain. Data from these sensors and cameras is used to generate a 3D map of the area. These maps can aid automated vehicles in various industries, such as agriculture, to complete their work with more information, for fewer accidents.
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