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Details of Tesla latest patent - 'Vehicle Positioning Technology'

by Eva Fox January 23, 2020

Details of Tesla latest patent - 'Vehicle Positioning Technology'

Navigation satellites transmit signals to a location receiver, which will determine the location with a certain accuracy. Some factors, such as satellite geometry, signal blockage, ionospheric perturbation, atmospheric conditions, or others, influence the signals so that the accuracy of determining the position of the receiver can be reduced.

For example, a smartphone with a positioning receiver can determine its location with an accuracy of five meters from the smartphone. Location accuracy may be impaired when the receiver is in close proximity to buildings, bridges, trees or other structures. This may be sufficient for some positioning applications. But for other applications, greater accuracy is desirable, including for autonomous driving. Tesla seeks to provide greater positioning accuracy, despite factors that influence the signals from navigation satellites.

This patent relates to vehicle positioning (also known as localization), and relates to methods and systems for improving the accuracy of position estimation.

Application Date: 01.06.2017
Publication Date: 20.12.2018
Grant Date: 14.01.2020

This patent discloses inventions that improve positioning accuracy, despite factors that affect signals from navigation satellites. The inventions increase such positioning accuracy by determining and applying offsets (corrections) in various ways or by exchanging raw positioning data between multiple devices, where at least one knows its location accurately enough for use in differential algorithms.

For example, the offset can be a positioning offset, that is, an actual offset, a correction offset for each satellite or for multiple satellites, a vehicle offset generated by the raw data of the vehicle when the vehicle is not in signal communication with the base station or others.

An embodiment includes:

  • a method for extending a range of a reference station.
  • system for extending a range of a reference station.
  • an apparatus for extending a range of a reference station.
  • a method for using a vehicle as a reference station.
  • a system for using a vehicle as a reference station.
  • an apparatus for using a vehicle as a reference station.
  • a method for using a set of vehicles as a stationary cooperative reference station.
  • a system for using a set of vehicles as a stationary cooperative reference station.
  • an apparatus for using a set of vehicles as a stationary cooperative reference station.
  • a method for using a set of vehicles as a set of moving reference stations for map-relative localization.
  • a system for using a set of vehicles as a set of moving reference stations for map-relative localization.
  • an apparatus for using a set of vehicles as a set of moving reference stations for map-relative localization.

An apparatus for using a vehicle as a reference station, the apparatus comprising a vehicle including a processor and a memory, the processor being in communication with the memory, the memory storing a set of instructions and a threshold, and the set of instructions, when executed via the processor, causes the processor to:

  • generate a plurality of positioning measurements of the vehicle's position over a period of time as the vehicle is stationary;
  • determine whether variances in the positioning measurements satisfy the threshold;
  • generate a set of correction data based on the positioning measurements and the threshold being satisfied; and
  • send the set of correction data to a server.

Shows a schematic diagram of an embodiment of a vehicle according to this disclosure. A system 100 includes a vehicle 102, a vehicle 120, a satellite 126, a network 118, a server 114, and a reference station 116/ Tesla patent

FIG. 2a shows a flowchart of an embodiment of a method for extending a range of a reference station according to this disclosure. A method 200a includes a plurality of blocks 202-210, which are performed via the system 100 / Tesla patent

FIG. 2shows a data flow diagram of a method for extending a range of a reference station according to this disclosure. A data flow diagram 200b depicts the vehicle 102 hosting a GNSS module and an inertial measurement unit (IMU) module as a single unit 122, although this configuration can vary such the based on the GNSS module and the IMU model being housed separately in different units / Tesla patent

FIG. 3 shows a flowchart of an embodiment of a method for using a vehicle as a reference station according to this disclosure. A method 300 includes a plurality of blocks 302318, which are performed via the system 100

FIG. 4shows a flowchart of an embodiment of a method for using a set of vehicles as a stationary cooperative reference station according to this disclosure. A method 400a includes a plurality of blocks 402a-414a, which are performed via the system 100

FIG. 4shows a flowchart of an embodiment of a method for using a set of vehicles as a stationary cooperative reference station according to this disclosure. A method 400includes a plurality of blocks 402b-414b, which are performed via the system 100. Also, note that the except for the blocks 410b-412b, the processor 400is similar to the process 400b. As such, only the blocks 410b-412are described

FIG. 5 shows a flowchart of an embodiment of a method for using a set of vehicles as a set of moving reference stations for map-relative localization according to this disclosure. A method 500 includes a plurality of blocks 502-514, which are performed via the system 100

FIG. 6 shows a flowchart of an embodiment using a vehicle as a reference station according to this disclosure. A method 600 includes a plurality of blocks 602-610, which are performed via the system 100

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