South Dakota Patent of the Month – July 2022

Raven Industries, Inc., an AgTech company focused on advancing farming with new technology, has recently patented their brake control system for their autonomous vehicles.

The company’s mission is based on the notion of utilizing autonomous control and automation to make the most of everything – every yielded crop, every minute of up-time, and every labor resource. Making the most of it means more efficiency, greater yield, greater profit, and greater resources.

Great steps were made towards autonomous vehicles following the widespread adoption of GPS systems for non-military use. One of the key limitations to the widespread adoption of autonomous vehicles is the interaction with the existing, manually controlled vehicles. These self-driving vehicles must reliably anticipate and respond to changing and unpredictable movements of human-driven cars. While, eventually, we may see roads filled with autonomous vehicles, there is a current need for ways to retrofit existing manually controlled vehicles with autonomous capabilities.

Raven’s brake control system is activated using autonomous control and designed to be easily installed in existing cars. The autonomous control system uses sensors to evaluate the conditions around the vehicle including the GPS location of other vehicles, speed sensors to track acceleration, direction, and speed, and obstacle sensors. The bifurcated brake system can replace a vehicle’s existing brake system, connecting to the in-line actuator. The key difference between the physical structure of the brake systems is the inclusion of an in-line length-adjusting actuator and adjustment member which facilitates the autonomous control of the brake. The driver can still manually override the brakes at any time.

The conversion of manually-driven cars to autonomous vehicles is all a part of Raven’s “Path to Autonomy” – or the journey to gaining efficiency by implementing stages of technology that gradually simplifies and automates your operation.. 

Are you developing new technology for an existing application? Did you know your development work could be eligible for the R&D Tax Credit and you can receive up to 14% back on your expenses? Even if your development isn’t successful your work may still qualify for R&D credits (i.e. you don’t need to have a patent to qualify). To find out more, please contact a Swanson Reed R&D Specialist today or check out our free online eligibility test.

Who We Are:

Swanson Reed is one of the U.S.’ largest Specialist R&D tax advisory firms. We manage all facets of the R&D tax credit program, from claim preparation and audit compliance to claim disputes.

Swanson Reed regularly hosts free webinars and provides free IRS CE and CPE credits for CPAs. For more information please visit us at or contact your usual Swanson Reed representative.

Recent Posts