Kansas Patent of the Month – January 2022

AgJunction, LLC has focused on improving the functionality of vehicle control systems. These systems can be used to automatically or semi-automatically move a vehicle along a desired path. The company has developed a system that allows the system to better account for the area’s terrain and to predict the optimal path to traverse the area.

The system generates a 3D terrain map through the use of cameras and sensors. These sensors identify features in the field of view. They work in conjunction with the global navigation satellite system (GNSS) and inertial measurement units (IMU). Data from the GNSS is combined with turn rates and accelerations from IMU to determine the heading and position of the vehicle, then use this to better steer the vehicle.

As part of the 3D map, the system generates ground surface topography and potential objects in the vehicle’s path. The system then evaluates the likelihood of passing these objects and marks them as:

  • Red for impassible
  • Green for passible
  • Yellow for “human operator must authorize the plotting of a path over or through the object”

The system allows for more realistic and reliable automated vehicle control when in non-typical road conditions.

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