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(12) United States Patent ao) Patent No.: us 6,650,997 B2
Funk (45) Date of Patent: Nov. 18,2003
(54) SYSTEM AND METHOD FOR INTERFACING MOBILE UNITS USING A CELLPHONE
(75) Inventor: Karsten Funk, Mountain View, CA (US)
(73) Assignee: Robert Bosch GmbH, Stuttgart (DE)
( * ) Notice: Subject to any disclaimer, the term ol this patent is extended or adjusted under 35 U.S.C. 154(b) by 0 days.
(21) Appl. No.: 09/967,729
(22) Filed: Sep. 28, 2001
(65) Prior Publication Data
US 2003/0065441 Al Apr. 3, 2003
(51) Int. C I. II04Q 7 20
(52) U.S. CI 701/207; 701/208; 701/209;
(58) Field of Search 701/207, 208,
701/209, 213, 210, 211, 212, 201, 200; 342/357.1, 357.08, 357.12, 357.01; 455/456
(56) References Cited
U.S. PATENT DOCUMENTS
6,393,292 Bl * 5/2002 Lin 455/456
6,438,382 Bl * 8/2002 Boesch et al 342/357.1
* cited by examiner
A system for converting a voice input requested location to a destination location useable by a navigation device in a vehicle. The system includes a mobile communicator, preferably a mobile phone, in communication with a base station and a voice portal server. The voice portal server identifies through a voice recognition algorithm a destination location corresponding to a requested location verbally input by the vehicle occupant. The voice portal server may access the internet for additional information. The voice portal server may prompt the occupant to respond to interrogatories to narrow the possible matches for the requested location to one destination location. The destination location is transmitted from the voice portal server via the base station and via the mobile communicator to a decoder in an encoded format, preferably in DTMF (Dual Tone Multi-Frequency) format. The decoder decoding the destination location and transmitting the destination location to a navigation device. The navigation device plotting a selected route from the current location to the destination location. A method of using the system is provided. An in-vehicle apparatus using the system is also provided.
45 Claims, 2 Drawing Sheets
SYSTEM AND METHOD FOR INTERFACING
MOBILE UNITS USING A CELLPHONE
FIELD OF THE INVENTION
The present invention relates to a navigation system, and more specifically, to a navigation system for a vehicle using a voice portal server to aid in the identification of a destination location.
BACKGROUND INFORMATION 10
Navigation systems for both personal use and vehicle use are proliferating. These navigation systems may use any number of possible positioning methods. Especially important in the development of portable navigation systems is the reduction in size and cost of systems using GPS (Global 15 Positioning System). GPS uses satellites in low-earth orbit to position the user on the earth's surface. DGPS (Differential Global Position System) is a method of improving the position solution of GPS by correcting the pseudoranges received by a GPS receiver using fixed stations in the 2Q vicinity of the GPS receiver. AGPS (Assisted Global Positioning System) is a method of incorporating a mobile communicator into the GPS system and using the communicator to outsource all, or a portion, of the position computation to a remote processing center, and thereby reduce the computing power incorporated in the mobile GPS 25 receiver. AGPS can also incorporate the improved position solution possible with DGPS at a lower cost by correcting the pseudoranges of the AGPS receiver at the remote processing center. Cell-phone based positioning systems may use variations of traditional triangulation methods, cell 30 identification, and intersections of hyperbolic solutions of time-delays at either base stations or dedicated mobile phone positioning stations. Combinations of any of the abovementioned systems are also possible.
Most navigation devices require, in addition to the current 35 position that is calculated by the positioning system (e.g. GPS), a destination, and possibly a collection of possible routes (e.g. streets, roads, and highways). Therefore, most navigation devices require a destination to be input into the device. Various types of data input devices have been used 40 in different situations. Some exemplary data input devices include keypad inputs, touchscreen inputs, and voice inputs. However, each of these types of inputs suffers from some drawback in an implementation in a personal, mobile navigation device. For instance, keypad units are time- 45 consuming and attention-diverting, making them inappropriate for vehicle navigation because the driver is often the person inputting the information, and the vehicle is often in motion when the driver wants to access the navigation device. Touchscreen inputs also divert attention from the 50 driving process, and though they may be more time-efficient than keypad entry, they often require more computing power and more expensive components (e.g. a touch-sensitive screen) than a simple keypad entry system. Voice input has a tremendous advantage in that it diverts little, if any, of the 55 driver's attention from the driving act. However this advantage is counter-balanced by the fact that voice-recognition software is complex and expensive, and requires a relatively large amount of computing power to implement.
The goal of the present invention is to provide a system 60 that implements a voice input system for a mobile navigation device without the additional cost of incorporating a voice-recognition system into the mobile navigation device.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION 65
A system is provided for navigating a user. The system includes a mobile communicator, a decoder, a navigation
device, a base station, and a voice portal server. The voice portal server allows remote identification of a destination location from a requested destination through voice recognition and other means, and then communicates the identified destination location to the mobile navigation device over the mobile communicator, for instance over the voice channel of a mobile phone. The mobile navigation device is then able to assist the driver in navigating from the current position to the destination location, without the driver having to divert attention away from driving to input the destination location into the navigation device. Additionally, the present invention implements the voice data input system for the destination address without the addition to the navigation device of the substantial computing power associated with a stand-alone voice recognition system.
The present invention also provides a method for a vehicle occupant to obtain navigation information using the system of the present invention. The method provides for the occupant to communicate via the mobile communicator and the base station to the voice portal server a requested location. The voice portal server communicates in turn via the base station and the mobile communicator to the decoder a coded destination location. The coded destination location corresponds to an encoded version of the destination location and is decoded by the decoder to determine the destination location. This destination location is then communicated to the navigation device.
A vehicle navigation apparatus is additionally provided which includes a mobile communicator, a decoder, and a vehicle navigation device, all of which are situated in the vehicle. This navigation apparatus communicates via the mobile phone and a base station to a voice portal server. The voice portal server operates in a similar fashion to the system described above to receive and recognize a requested location and communicate back to the apparatus via the base station and the mobile communicator a destination location.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
FIG. 1 is a schematic representation of a first embodiment of the navigation system of the present invention.
FIG. 2 is a flow chart demonstrating the method according to an embodiment of the navigation system of the present invention.
Referring to FIG. 1, the system according to the present invention includes a mobile communicator 101, for instance a mobile phone; a decoder 102, for instance a DTMF (Dual Tone Multi-Frequency) decoder; a navigation device 103, for instance a GPS-based receiver; and a voice portal server 104. The voice portal server 104 is accessible from the mobile communicator 101 in the vehicle 106 communicating with a base station 110. The voice portal server 104 is able to access the internet 105 to obtain additional information. The system allows the occupant to request over the mobile phone to a base station 110, and from there to a voice portal server 104, a destination location. The system may provide for the voice portal server 104 to implement a voice recognition algorithm to produce a set of possible matches for the requested destination location.
The system may additionally provide for the voice portal server 104 to reduce the number of requested destinations to one address through any of several possible methods. One method for reducing the number of matches may be to audibly prompt the occupant with each possible match until an affirmative response is registered. Alternatively, the sys