US 9,809,250 B2
Intuitive driver interface for trailer backup assist
Erick Michael Lavoie, Dearborn, MI (US); Douglas Scott Rhode, Farmington Hills, MI (US); Matthew Y. Rupp, Canton, MI (US); David Dean Smit, Ann Arbor, MI (US); Thomas Edward Pilutti, Ann Arbor, MI (US); and Roger Arnold Trombley, Ann Arbor, MI (US)
Assigned to Ford Global Technologies, LLC, Dearborn, MI (US)
Filed by Ford Global Technologies, LLC, Dearborn, MI (US)
Filed on Jan. 19, 2015, as Appl. No. 14/599,625.
Application 14/599,625 is a continuation of application No. 13/336,042, filed on Dec. 23, 2011, granted, now 8,972,109.
Claims priority of provisional application 61/477,136, filed on Apr. 19, 2011.
Prior Publication US 2015/0134183 A1, May 14, 2015
Int. Cl. B62D 13/06 (2006.01); B60W 30/18 (2012.01); B62D 15/02 (2006.01); B60W 10/20 (2006.01)
CPC B62D 13/06 (2013.01) [B60W 30/18036 (2013.01); B62D 15/027 (2013.01); B60K 2350/102 (2013.01); B60W 10/20 (2013.01); B60W 2300/14 (2013.01); B60W 2520/22 (2013.01)] 20 Claims
OG exemplary drawing
 
1. A steering input apparatus for a trailer backup assist system, comprising:
a control element manually operable while the trailer reverses to a select position of a plurality of commanding positions, including a zero curvature position and two positions in two opposing ranges of motion that directionally oppose the zero curvature position; and
a control module generating a vehicle steering command based on a commanded trailer path corresponding to the select position of the control element, wherein the steering command is a curvature command that controls a path of the trailer to follow a predetermined curvature based on the select position of the control element while reversing the trailer.
 
7. A backup assist system for a vehicle reversing a trailer, comprising:
an input device having a control element movable in two opposing ranges of motion to a first position providing a zero curvature command defined by a longitudinal centerline axis of the trailer and at least two additional positions providing curvature commands in opposing directions relative to the zero curvature command; and
a control module generating a steering command for the vehicle based on a commanded curvature of the trailer provided by the control element, wherein the commanded curvature controls a path of the trailer to follow a predetermined curvature based on a select position of the input device while reversing the trailer.
 
15. A method, comprising:
providing a control element movable to a select position of a first position providing a zero curvature command defined by a longitudinal centerline axis of the trailer and movable in two opposing ranges of motion to second and third positions providing curvature commands in opposing directions from the zero curvature command;
sensing a hitch angle between a vehicle and a trailer; and
generating a steering command for the vehicle based on the hitch angle and a commanded curvature of the trailer provided by the control element, wherein the commanded curvature controls a path of the trailer to follow a predetermined curvature based on the select position while reversing the trailer.