Thursday, May 1, 2014

Oh, patents! Mayday patents

Copyright © Françoise Herrmann
Since 1929, the word “Mayday”, repeated three times, is an internationally recognized distress call, meaning “help me” (derived from the French “m’aider”). This voiced distress signal replaced the SOS Morse code signal, and is used internationally on aircrafts and ships via radio communications.
Mayday patents refer to various on board emergency reporting and communication systems for automobiles and other types of water and air crafts. The Mayday patent selected here is one of many Toyota Mayday patents for automobiles.
In this particular Toyota Mayday patent, JP20003395292, titled Mayday System, the on board Mayday system is specifically designed as an anti-theft device, connected to a Mayday Center that remotely controls the stolen vehicle via radio communications. Indeed, the Mayday Center sends a signal to the Mayday system of the stolen vehicle, which then carries out instructions to alter the stolen vehicle’s gear box and speed, so that the moving capacity of the stolen vehicle is reduced ,and the stolen vehicle is “compelled to move at a slow speed”.

Below you will find one of the patent drawings, and  the English abstract for JP20003395292, titled Mayday System:
PROBLEM TO BE SOLVED: To improve the usability of the Mayday system at the time of controlling a stolen vehicle from a remote place and to more quickly secure the stolen vehicle by providing the Mayday system with a Mayday center for transmitting an operation control signal for fixing a change gear ratio at a high speed ratio to a target vehicle by using a radio communication means. SOLUTION: The Mayday center 11 has a function for transmitting a control signal to a stolen vehicle 12 by radio communication using the radio communication means. The control signal transmitted to the stolen vehicle 12 is received by an identification device of the vehicle 12. The identification device receiving the control signal starts operation, reads out a series of control instructions from the control signal and controls a speed change gear of the stolen vehicle at first in accordance with the instructions. The speed change ratio of the vehicle 12 is fixed on the high speed side by the control. Thereby the driving capacity of the vehicle 12 is reduced by the control and the moving capacity of the vehicle 12 can be reduced, so that the vehicle 12 is compelled to move at a low speed. 

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