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CONJOINT CONTROL OF VEHICLE SUB-UNITS OF DIFFERENT TYPE OR DIFFERENT FUNCTION; CONTROL SYSTEMS SPECIALLY ADAPTED FOR HYBRID VEHICLES; ROAD VEHICLE DRIVE CONTROL SYSTEMS FOR PURPOSES NOT RELATED TO THE CONTROL OF A PARTICULAR SUB-UNIT
Definition statement
This subclass/group covers:
  • Control systems for conjoint control of vehicle sub-units of different type or different function.
  • Control systems specially adapted for hybrid vehicles.
  • Purposes of road vehicle drive control systems for purposes that are
  • not related to control of any particular sub-unit, i.e. the controlled sub-unit is not specified, or related to conjoint control of vehicle sub-units of different type or different function.
  • Estimation or calculation of driving parameters for road vehicle drive systems that are used for purposes not related to a particular sub-unit, i.e. the controlled sub-unit is not specified, or for conjoint control of vehicle sub-units of different type or different function.
  • Details of control systems for road vehicle drive control, e.g. monitoring of signals for controllers that are used for purposes not related to a particular sub-unit, i.e. the controlled sub-unit is not specified, or for conjoint control of vehicle sub-units of different type or different function.

Philosophy of control in subclass B60W:

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Relationship between large subject matter areas

B60W is the application-oriented place covering vehicle drive control systems in general that are not related to a particular sub-unit or used for conjoint control of two or more sub-units. The control of a single particular sub-unit, or same type multiple sub-units for the same purpose are not covered by this subclass and have to be classified in the relevant class for the sub-unit, e.g. F02D or F16H. Where a single particular sub-unit is controlled by signal or commands from other sub-units, the control of this single sub-unit is classified in the relevant place for this sub-unit. For example the control of variable ratio gearing by means of signals from the engine or accelerator is classified in the subclass for gearing F16H.

Conjoint control of driveline units, e.g. engines, and variable-ratio gearing occurring only transiently during ratio shift and being also characterized by the control of the gearing is also classified in the subclass for gearing F16H.

One main group (B60W 20/00) is intended for all control systems specially adapted for hybrid vehicles. This group also covers control systems specially adapted for hybrid vehicles that do not reveal any use of conjoint control. The arrangement or mounting of plural diverse prime-movers for common propulsion of a hybrid vehicle will be classified in the subclass B60K. Conjoint control of pure electric drive units like motor and battery will be classified in subclass B60L. When the architecture or type of transmission of the hybrid vehicle is also of interest, it should be classified in the relevant groups of main group B60K 6/00.

This subclass also cover road vehicle drive control systems not related to any particular sub-unit, i.e. which do not specify which sub-unit is activated or actuated by the control system. For example a control system or control method for predicting a collision which is not related to the control of any specific sub-unit will be correctly covered by the appropriate group B60W 30/08.

Detecting means in general (e.g. ultrasonic radar, TV camera, image processing, or measuring means) are covered by the classes G01, G06 or H04 and their appropriate subclasses.

Informative references
Attention is drawn to the following places, which may be of interest for search:
Controlling combustion engines, such controlling being peculiar to the devices driven thereby, the devices being other than parts or accessories essential to engine operation, e.g. controlling of engines by signals external thereto
Combinations of clutches and brakes
Control functions within change-speed- or reversing-gearings for conveying rotary motion
Systems for controlling position, course, altitude, or attitude of land, water, air, or space vehicles
Anti-collision systems
Arrangement or mounting of plural diverse prime-movers for mutual or common propulsion, e.g. hybrid propulsion systems comprising electrical and internal combustion motors
Vehicle fittings for automatically controlling vehicle speed by acting on a single sub-unit
Propulsion of purely electrically-propelled vehicles with power supplied within the vehicle
Electrical circuits for triggering safety arrangements to protect or prevent injuries to occupants or pedestrians
Brake control systems for vehicle drive stability
Traffic control systems i.e. systems transmitting information to a plurality of vehicles simultaneously in order to co-ordinate the flow of vehicles or systems controlling platoons of vehicles
Special rules of classification within this subclass

Multi-aspect classification practice is used in this subclass for road vehicle drive control systems using conjoint control. Whenever one or more specific types of sub-units are controlled, classification in main group B60W 10/00 should be given for each of the different sub-units controlled. For each controlled sub-unit a classification symbol should be added in the relevant place. When documents classified in main group B60W 10/00 are also relevant for main groups B60W 20/00 to B60W 50/00, a classification in one of these groups is required.

B60W in CPC is in contrary to the IPC a multi-aspect classification system where classifications have to be given for all features of the independent claims and for all features of particular interest in the description. The use of the indexing scheme is mandatory.

Glossary of terms
In this subclass/group, the following terms (or expressions) are used with the meaning indicated:
Automatic control
Control system for mechanising or assisting, to a full- or partial extent, tasks associated with driving of the vehicle, e.g. those normally carried out by the driver or those necessary to control the motion of the vehicle.
Auxiliary equipment
Subsidiary or supplementary device of the propulsion, transmission or other units of the vehicle, e.g. a pump for supply of pressure for the control unit.
Conjoint Control
Programmed or condition-responsive automatic controller on-board the vehicle, embodying control logic for plural vehicle sub-units and sends control signals to actuators of two or more vehicle sub-units, so that the sub-units act together to solve a particular problem, in order to improve stability, comfort or safety by managing the global dynamics of the vehicle, or in response to a particular driving condition.
Conjoint control of diverse vehicle sub-units
Control of different sub-units within the same vehicle for those vehicles defined under note to class B60, and of general applicability to different types of vehicles normally under the control of a human driver.
Cruise control
System for automatically controlling vehicle speed, which may include additional functions e.g. control of distance between vehicles, so-called "Adaptive Cruise Control" (ACC).
Drive control system
Electronic system in a road vehicle for automatically controlling the movement of that vehicle in order to take certain actions.
Driving parameter
All input or output parameters of the road vehicle drive control systems, e.g. road specific parameters, driver or passenger related parameters, state variables of motion of the vehicle body or parameters related to the vehicle itself like load or weight of the vehicle.
Hybrid vehicle
Vehicles having two or more prime movers of more than one type, e.g. electrical and internal combustion motors, and that are either singularly or in combination used for propulsion of the vehicle.
Road Vehicle
Motorised passenger vehicle normally under the control of a human driver for transportation on roads, e.g. an automobile, truck or bus
Sub-Unit
one of the following vehicle systems: propulsion system, clutch system, change-speed gearing system, system for distributing drive torque between front and rear axles, axle differential system, brake system, steering system, suspension system, energy storage means, fuel cells or auxiliary equipment.
Conjoint control of vehicle sub-units of different type or different function (for propulsion of purely electrically-propelled vehicles with power supplied within the vehicle B60L 11/00)
Definition statement
This subclass/group covers:

Sub-units of different type or function, which are controlled by a controller on board of the vehicle. The controller sends control signals to two or more vehicle sub-units, so that the sub-units act together to solve a particular problem in order to improve stability, comfort or safety of the vehicle or to propel the vehicle. For each of the sub-units which are controlled by the controller a classification symbol (invention-type) should be added.

Special rules of classification within this group

When classifying in group B60W 10/00, classification must also be made in groups B60W 20/00-B60W 50/00 in order to identify the purpose or use of the control. The use of the indexing scheme is mandatory. For each of the sub-units which are controlled by the controller a classification symbol (invention-type) should be added.

Control systems specially adapted for hybrid vehicles, i.e. vehicles having two or more prime movers of more than one type, e.g. electrical and internal combustion motors, all used for propulsion of the vehicle
Definition statement
This subclass/group covers:

Control systems exclusively for hybrid vehicles, i.e. vehicles combining at least two different prime movers which convert energy taken from at least two different in vehicle storage devices, e.g. fuel tank and battery, into mechanical energy for the propulsion of the vehicle.

References relevant to classification in this group
This subclass/group does not cover:
Hybrid vehicle design
Electric vehicles
{ controlling the power contribution of each of the prime movers to meet required power demand}
Definition statement
This subclass/group covers:

Conjoint control of the prime movers to meet power demand including also situations in which the power is not demanded for propelling the vehicle, to keep one prime mover in an off-state or an on-state, e.g. engine is kept on for warming up with high battery charge state or engine is kept off even with low battery charge state in a traffic jam.

{ using model predictive control [MPC} strategies, i.e. control methods based on models predicting performance]
Definition statement
This subclass/group covers:

Control strategies using performance models of prime movers and sub-units, e.g. battery or gearing, are predicted and adjusted to be controlled at their optimal working points; Control is based on internal vehicle information only;

Control strategies to operate the vehicle or one or more sub-units at the point of highest energy efficiency with MPC providing the data for selecting optimal points of operation to meet the required power demand.

References relevant to classification in this subclass/group
This subclass/group does not cover:
Utilising navigation and traffic information in the control strategy
Special rules of classification within this subclass/group

If the particular effect is fuel economy, no additional classification is necessary. If it is another effect, additional classification in B60W 20/108 is necessary.

Glossary of terms
In this subclass/group, the following terms (or expressions) are used with the meaning indicated:
MPC
Model Predictive Control; Control relying on one or more models of the drive train or vehicle sub-units. For example, the current status of the vehicle, e.g. vehicle dynamics or weight, torque at drive wheels, the driver input, e.g. accelerator pedal position, steering and the status of various sub-units, e.g. engine speed, motor torque, gear ratio engaged, clutch position or torque, temperature, battery charge state. These data are fed into the models. Based on this information, MPC simulates possible changes to the sub-units, e.g. changing engine speed or gear ratio, switching from series hybrid to parallel hybrid. The models may deliver several results. These results are analysed to determine the most suitable sub-unit status in order to arrive at a particular effect.
{ using control strategies considering route information}
Definition statement
This subclass/group covers:

Control systems using path-dependent information, e.g. road slope, curve radius, distance to intersection, traffic information, weather conditions, emission or noise restrictions;

The sub-units are brought into the most suitable status depending on this information, e.g. keeping the engine switched off and propelling the vehicle using only the motor if there is a traffic jam.

References relevant to classification in this subclass/group
This subclass/group does not cover:
Estimation or calculation of [non-directly measurable] driving parameters
{ in order to stay within battery power input and output limits or to prevent overcharging or over-discharging}
Definition statement
This subclass/group covers:

Control strategies aiming at maintaining battery state of charge (SOC) within defined limits to extend battery lifetime.

Informative references
Attention is drawn to the following places, which may be of interest for search:
Control methods based on models predicting performance
{ in conjunction with braking regeneration}
Definition statement
This subclass/group covers:

Control systems only usable for hybrid vehicles controlling power contribution of prime movers to keep battery healthy in combination with braking regeneration.

References relevant to classification in this subclass/group
This subclass/group does not cover:
Braking regeneration
Special rules of classification within this subclass/group

Mandatory classification in Braking Regeneration: B60W 30/18127

{ Special control strategies to achieve a particular effect}
Definition statement
This subclass/group covers:

Control strategies directed to performance or operation of the vehicle in such a way so as to provide a specific benefit.

{ Control strategies to reduce engine exhaust emissions}
Definition statement
This subclass/group covers:

Control strategies lowering the level of emissions leaving the exhaust, i.e. downstream of catalytic converter or particle filter, not the emissions leaving the engine.

{ Control strategies to reduce noise}
Definition statement
This subclass/group covers:

Control strategies mitigating vehicle noise.

{ Control strategies to avoid aging of fuel}
Definition statement
This subclass/group covers:

Control strategies preventing the fuel from getting old.

{ Control strategies to achieve boost-effect}
Definition statement
This subclass/group covers:

Control strategies to provide enhanced acceleration, e.g. the electrical motor assists the engine for better acceleration.

{ Control strategies including selection of hybrid configuration, e.g. selection between series or parallel configuration}
Definition statement
This subclass/group covers:

Control systems deciding which hybrid configuration is used.

References relevant to classification in this subclass/group
This subclass/group does not cover:
Architecture of the hybrid electric vehicle
{ Control strategies including selection of transmission gear ratio}
Definition statement
This subclass/group covers:

Control systems deciding selection of transmission gear ratio.

References relevant to classification in this subclass/group
This subclass/group does not cover:
HEV transmission gearing
Control of change speed gearings, together with other vehicle sub-units
Gearings and control of gearings
Special rules of classification within this subclass/group

Control systems deciding selection of gear ratio and prime mover power distribution should receive classification B60W 20/10.

Synonyms and Keywords

In patent documents the following expressions/words "transmission" and "gearing" are often used as synonyms.

{ controlling the transition between prime movers, i.e. engaging or disengaging a prime mover}
Definition statement
This subclass/group covers:

Control systems for enabling smooth transition between motor and engine propulsion, e.g. during hill hold.

References relevant to classification in this subclass/group
This subclass/group does not cover:
Power-up or power down of the driveline
{ Control strategies for fault diagnosis, failsafe operation or limp home mode}
Definition statement
This subclass/group covers:

Control strategies evaluating or monitoring of an operational condition of the vehicle to identify any potential failure, or operation of the vehicle with minimum or no harm to the vehicle in the event of failure, e.g. driving the vehicle to a reasonable distance without necessarily damaging the engine.

Purposes of road vehicle drive control systems not related to the control of a particular sub-unit, e.g. of systems using conjoint control of vehicle sub-units, { or advanced driver assistance systems for ensuring comfort, stability and safety or drive control systems for propelling or retarding the vehicle (anti-lock brake systems (ABS) B60T 8/00) }
Definition statement
This subclass/group covers:

Advanced Driver Assistance Systems for ensuring comfort, stability and safety or purposes of road vehicle drive control systems for propelling or retarding the vehicle

Relationship between large subject matter areas

Control of a single sub-unit or of sub-units of the same type or function is classified in the relevant place for the sub-unit.

Informative references
Attention is drawn to the following places, which may be of interest for search:
Braking, in particular anti-lock braking systems
Control of vehicle driving stability
Definition statement
This subclass/group covers:
  • Control of vehicle driving stability when claimed in general and not related to a specific sub-unit.
  • Control of vehicle driving stability using conjoint control of more than one sub-unit, e.g. propulsion unit, brake system and steering.
References relevant to classification in this group
This subclass/group does not cover:
Exclusive brake control systems for vehicle drive stability
Informative references
Attention is drawn to the following places, which may be of interest for search:
Suspension control characterised by the regulation being combined with other vehicle control systems
Improving turning performance
Definition statement
This subclass/group covers:

Systems influencing the drivability or agility of a vehicle in a curve

Informative references
Attention is drawn to the following places, which may be of interest for search:
Arrangements for automatically controlling steering depending on driving conditions sensed and responded to
Automatic manoeuvring for parking (controlling only the steering B62D 15/0285)
Informative references
Attention is drawn to the following places, which may be of interest for search:
Steering aids
Parking performed automatically
{ Active safety systems} predicting or avoiding probable or impending collision { or attempting to minimise its consequences}
Definition statement
This subclass/group covers:

Control systems for predicting coming or possible collisions or taking measures to prevent or weaken the impact of a collision.

References relevant to classification in this group
This subclass/group does not cover:
Electrical circuits for triggering safety arrangements to protect or prevent injuries to occupants or pedestrians
Means for detecting collisions, impeding collision or roll-over
Informative references
Attention is drawn to the following places, which may be of interest for search:
Anti-collision systems for land vehicles
{ Adaptive} cruise control
Definition statement
This subclass/group covers:

Control systems for adapting vehicle speed to particular conditions, e.g. for controlling distance to preceding vehicle or taking actions when preceding vehicles is going to stop.

Informative references
Attention is drawn to the following places, which may be of interest for search:
Vehicle fittings for automatically controlling vehicle speed by acting on a single sub-unit
Traffic control systems i.e. systems transmitting information to a plurality of vehicles simultaneously in order to co-ordinate the flow of vehicles or systems controlling platoons of vehicles
Propelling the vehicle
Definition statement
This subclass/group covers:

Control systems for the driving or retarding of road vehicles controlling multiple sub-units

Informative references
Attention is drawn to the following places, which may be of interest for search:
Control systems specially adapted for hybrid vehicles
Controlling combustion engines, such controlling being peculiar to the devices driven thereby, the devices being other than parts or accessories essential to engine operation, e.g. controlling of engines by signals external thereto
Control functions within change-speed- or reversing-gearings for conveying rotary motion
Estimation or calculation of { non-directly measurable} driving parameters for road vehicle drive control systems not related to the control of a particular sub unit, { e.g. by using mathematical models}
Definition statement
This subclass/group covers:

The estimation or calculation of non-direct measurable parameters related to vehicle drive control and not used for a particular sub-unit, e.g. by using mathematic models for estimation of the parameters.

Details of control systems for road vehicle drive control not related to the control of a particular sub-unit, { e.g. process diagnostic or vehicle driver interfaces}
Definition statement
This subclass/group covers:
  • Process diagnostic or vehicle driver interfaces,
  • Failure detection models,
  • Failure correction strategy,
  • Monitoring means for the function of the control systems,
  • Interaction between the driver and the control system.
Special rules of classification within this group

This group does not cover detection of failures of or in single sub-units. Such detection is classified in the relevant place for the sub-unit.

Glossary of terms
In this subclass/group, the following terms (or expressions) are used with the meaning indicated:
Interaction between the driver and the control system
Communications or actions with a feedback loop between the driver and the control system
Ensuring safety in case of control system failures, e.g. by diagnosing, circumventing or fixing failures
Definition statement
This subclass/group covers:

On board failure detection

Failure correction strategies

Means or methods to repair failures

Work around methods in case of failure

Control input devices for limp home

Adapting to failures or work around with other constraints, e.g. circumvention by avoiding use of failed parts
Definition statement
This subclass/group covers:

Control methods for fail safe which will avoid situations where a defect part is involved, i.e. the control uses different parts or a method for a work around. No redundant parts are used and these methods could lead to constrains in functionality.

Bringing the control units into a predefined state, e.g. giving priority to particular actuators
Definition statement
This subclass/group covers:

Control methods for fail safe which will put the control in a predefined state, e.g. the transmission in particular gear ratio, or for giving priority to a particular actuator.

Interaction between the driver and the control system
Definition statement
This subclass/group covers:

Interfaces between driver and control system not for a single or particular sub-unit with interaction, i.e. communications or actions with a feedback loop between the driver and the control system. The interaction can be a tactile feedback to the driver, e.g. vibrations of the steering wheel.

Interpretation of driver requests or demands
Definition statement
This subclass/group covers:
  • Interpreting driver intention and initiating control based on different parameters, e.g. vehicle speed and driver activity
  • By monitoring actuating speed of the accelerator
Limiting control by the driver depending on vehicle state, e.g. interlocking means for the control input for preventing unsafe operation
Definition statement
This subclass/group covers:

Preventing particular driving manoeuvres based on the vehicle situation, e.g.

limiting driver control by drive assistance systems in critical driving situations

Means for informing the driver, warning the driver or prompting a driver intervention
Definition statement
This subclass/group covers:
  • Warning or informing the driver when the movement of the vehicle will be changed momentarily, e.g. adding a slight yaw rate, momentary deceleration
  • Informing the driver that the drive control mode will change, e.g. from comfort mode to performance mode
  • Assistance systems for warning the driver, e.g. warning the driver if approaching speed at a stopping location will be too high
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Last Modified: 10/11/2013