US Pat. No. 10,017,037

VEHICLE HAVING A BATTERY PACK DIRECTLY ATTACHED TO THE CROSS RAILS OF A FRAME STRUCTURE

NIO USA, Inc., San Jose,...

1. A vehicle comprising:a body forming a passenger compartment;
a chassis supporting the body, the chassis including a frame structure comprising a pair of side rails connected by a plurality of rigid cross rails and defining a plurality of bays between the cross rails;
a battery pack including a plurality of electrical storage devices stored in a battery housing, the battery housing defining a plurality of channels; and
a fastening mechanism attaching the battery housing directly to the plurality of cross rails with at least a portion of the battery housing in the plurality of bays and the plurality of cross rails in the plurality of channels,
wherein the battery housing comprises:
a lower housing which includes a bottom wall which forms a support surface for the plurality of electrical storage devices; and
an upper housing which includes a top wall which forms a cover for the plurality of electrical storage devices,
wherein the plurality of channels are formed by the upper housing,
wherein the fastening mechanism includes a plurality of fasteners each inserted through the bottom wall, the top wall, and a bottom plate of a respective cross rail, and
wherein the bottom wall contacts the top wall in the areas where the plurality of fasteners are inserted.

US Pat. No. 10,083,604

METHOD AND SYSTEM FOR COLLECTIVE AUTONOMOUS OPERATION DATABASE FOR AUTONOMOUS VEHICLES

NIO USA, Inc., San Jose,...

1. An autonomous vehicle, comprising:a vehicle interior for receiving one or more occupants;
a plurality of sensors to collect vehicle-related information, occupant-related information, and exterior environmental and object information associated with the vehicle;
an automatic vehicle location system to determine a current spatial location of the vehicle;
a computer readable medium to store networking instructions to form an ad hoc network comprising the vehicle and a different vehicle;
an arithmetic logic unit that performs mathematical operations;
a data bus that, at the request of the arithmetic logic unit, sends data to or receives data from the computer readable medium;
an address bus that, at the request of the arithmetic logic unit, sends an address to the computer readable medium;
a read and write line that, at the request of the arithmetic logic unit, commands the computer readable medium whether to set or retrieve a location corresponding to the address;
one or more registers to latch a value on the data bus or output by the arithmetic logic unit; and
one or more buffers, wherein the arithmetic logic unit is coupled to the plurality of sensors, automatic vehicle location system, and computer readable medium, and
determines a current spatial location of the vehicle,
receives current vehicle-related information, current occupant-related information, and exterior environmental and object information,
generates, from the exterior environmental and object information, a three-dimensional map comprising exterior animate objects in spatial proximity to the vehicle, models, from the three-dimensional map, predicted behavior of one or more of the exterior animate objects and, from the occupant-related information, predicted behavior of one or more vehicle occupants,
based on the three-dimensional map and predicted behaviors of the one or more exterior animate objects and one or more vehicle occupants, issues a command to a vehicle component to perform a vehicle driving operation, and
communicates to the different vehicle not to transmit to a remote control source or navigation source exterior environmental and object information collected by a respective plurality of sensors of the different vehicle in temporal proximity to the vehicle collection of the exterior environmental and object information,
wherein the vehicle transmits, to a remote control source or navigation source, the current vehicle-related information and current occupant-related information, three-dimensional map, current spatial location of the vehicle, and predicted behavior of one or more of the exterior animate objects and/or one or more of the vehicle occupants.

US Pat. No. 10,342,119

THERMAL SPRING FRAME AND SHIELD FOR SEALED PROCESSING SYSTEMS

NIO USA, Inc., San Jose,...

1. A compliant electronics assembly mount frame, comprising:a substrate including a substantially planar electronics assembly mount area, the substrate having a width and length;
a first mount flange formed in the substrate and disposed along a first side of the width of the substrate;
a second mount flange formed in the substrate and disposed along an opposite second side of the width of the substrate;
a first spring feature integrally formed in the substrate between the first mount flange and a periphery of the substantially planar electronics assembly mount area, wherein the first spring feature mechanically couples the first mount flange with the substantially planar electronics assembly mount area via a first compliant connection;
a second spring feature integrally formed in the substrate between the second mount flange and the periphery of the substantially planar electronics assembly mount area, wherein the second spring feature mechanically couples the second mount flange with the substantially planar electronics assembly mount area via a second compliant connection; and
a first localized force spring feature integrally formed from a first portion of material in the substrate and disposed inside the substantially planar electronics assembly mount area, wherein the first portion of material is bent in a direction outwardly away from the substantially planar electronics assembly mount area, and wherein the first portion of material is bent at a non-zero angle relative to a surface of the substantially planar electronics assembly mount area.

US Pat. No. 10,032,319

BIFURCATED COMMUNICATIONS TO A THIRD PARTY THROUGH A VEHICLE

NIO USA, Inc., San Jose,...

1. A vehicle, comprising:a memory to store a user rule applicable to third party vendor communications associated with a user in the vehicle;
a processor in communication with the memory, the processor is programmed to:
determine a need for communication with a third party vendor;
retrieve the user rule from the memory, wherein the user rule defines to which third party vendor the vehicle can send a first communication to address the need, the need relating to a product or service of the third party vendor and wherein the user rule defines one or more of a geographic location of the third party vendor relative to a current location of the vehicle, a monetary amount the vehicle can pay to a third party vendor for a product or service to address the need, and a time limit for the third party vendor to provide the product or service to address the need;
based on the user rule, select a third party vendor from among multiple possible third party vendors, wherein each of the multiple possible third party vendors is capable of providing the product or service to meet the need; and
when determined by the user rule, automatically send the first communication to the selected third party vendor to address the need, wherein the first communication is associated with an order for the product or service, wherein the processor provides an authorization to the selected third party vendor to complete the order, wherein the authorization comprises the financial information of the user, and wherein the vehicle uses different antennas positioned at different physical locations on an exterior of the vehicle to provide the first communication and authorization to the selected third party vendor.

US Pat. No. 10,124,690

ELECTRIC VEHICLE CHARGING DEVICE POSITIONING AND METHOD OF USE

NIO USA, Inc., San Jose,...

1. A system for positioning a charging panel of an electrical vehicle to receive a charge, the system comprising:an armature disposed on an electrical vehicle;
a charging panel interconnected to the armature; and
an actuator that maneuvers the armature and positions the charging panel relative to a roadway surface, the roadway surface including a power source that provides a charge to the charging panel, wherein the power source is disposed on or within the roadway surface, wherein a first point of the charging panel is positioned at a selectable desired first distance from the roadway surface, and wherein the selectable desired first distance is selected from a vehicle database comprising desired charging panel separation distance with respect to stored roadway types;
wherein the charging panel receives the charge from the power source.

US Pat. No. 10,336,194

ELECTRIC VEHICLE CHARGING DEVICE ALIGNMENT AND METHOD OF USE

NIO USA, Inc., San Jose,...

1. A system for aligning a charging panel of an electrical vehicle with an external power source embedded in a roadway surface, the system comprising:a charging panel interconnected to the electrical vehicle;
an actuator interconnected to the charging panel;
a sensor configured to sense an alignment measurement between the charging panel and the external power source; and
an alignment controller that receives the alignment measurement and determines a required alignment adjustment, wherein the charging panel is configured to be adjusted in alignment with the external power source, and wherein a separation distance between the charging panel relative to the external power source is based on a roadway type and is selected from a vehicle database, the vehicle database including a plurality of separation distances and a plurality of roadway types.

US Pat. No. 9,946,906

VEHICLE WITH A SOFT-TOUCH ANTENNA FOR COMMUNICATING SENSITIVE INFORMATION

NIO USA, Inc., San Jose,...

1. A vehicle, comprising:two or more soft touch radio frequency (RF) antennas, placed outside the vehicle, to communicate sensitive information associated with a user of the vehicle, wherein the soft touch RF antenna makes physical contact, outside the vehicle, with a receiver;
two or more RF transceivers, each RF transceiver associated with one of the two or more soft touch RF antennas, the two or more RF transceivers to communicate sensitive information associated with a user of the vehicle;
a processor in communication with the two or more RF transceivers, the processor to:
receive an input to deploy one of the two or more RF antennas;
select a first RF transceiver associated with the deployed RF antenna to send the sensitive information; and
send the sensitive information to the first RF transceiver.

US Pat. No. 9,944,192

ELECTRIC VEHICLE CHARGING STATION SYSTEM AND METHOD OF USE

NIO USA, Inc., San Jose,...

1. A system for charging an electric vehicle, the system comprising:an electrical storage unit disposed on the electric vehicle;
a charging panel disposed on the electric vehicle and in electrical communication with the electrical storage unit;
a robotic unit, comprising:
an external power source;
a charging plate;
a database including charging compatibility data stored therein, wherein the charging compatibility data defines charging capability information and charging requirements information for the robotic unit; and
a robotic arm, the charging plate interconnected to the robotic arm and configured to provide a charge to the charging panel disposed on the electric vehicle; and
a vehicle controller configured to communicate with the robotic unit, request the charging compatibility data from the database of the robotic unit, and only when the robotic unit is determined to be compatible with the charging panel, direct the robotic unit to position the charging plate with respect to the charging panel;
wherein the charging panel receives the charge from the external power source and charges the electrical storage unit disposed on the electric vehicle.

US Pat. No. 10,093,195

INTEGRATED VEHICLE CHARGING PANEL SYSTEM AND METHOD OF USE

NIO USA, Inc., San Jose,...

1. A system for vehicle charging, the system comprising:an electrical storage unit disposed on a charge receiving vehicle;
at least one integrated charging panel in electrical communication with the electrical storage unit, wherein the at least one integrated charging panel is configured to receive a charge at a charging site, wherein the at least one integrated charging panel is configured to operate in a plurality of states including a retracted state and a deployed state, and wherein the at least one integrated charging panel conforms to an exterior surface shape of the charge receiving vehicle when in the retracted state; and
a charge receiving vehicle controller configured to communicate with the charging site to determine a compatibility of the at least one integrated charging panel to receive charging the charge from the charging site.

US Pat. No. 10,031,523

METHOD AND SYSTEM FOR BEHAVIORAL SHARING IN AUTONOMOUS VEHICLES

NIO USA, Inc., San Jose,...

1. An autonomous vehicle, comprising:a vehicle interior for receiving one or more occupants;
a plurality of sensors to collect vehicle-related information, occupant-related information, and exterior environmental and object information associated with the vehicle;
an automatic vehicle location system to determine a current spatial location of the vehicle;
a computer readable medium to store selected information;
an arithmetic logic unit that performs mathematical operations;
a data bus that, at the request of the arithmetic logic unit, sends data to or receives data from the computer readable medium;
an address bus that, at the request of the arithmetic logic unit, sends an address to the computer readable medium;
a read and write line that, at the request of the arithmetic logic unit, commands the computer readable medium whether to set or retrieve a location corresponding to the address;
one or more registers to latch a value on the data bus or output by the arithmetic logic unit; and
one or more buffers, wherein the arithmetic logic unit is coupled to the plurality of sensors, automatic vehicle location system, and computer readable medium, and:
determines a current spatial location of the vehicle,
receives current vehicle-related information, current occupant-related information, and exterior environmental and object information,
generates, from the exterior environmental and object information, a three-dimensional map comprising exterior animate objects in spatial proximity to the vehicle, the exterior animate objects comprising a selected exterior animate object,
models from the three-dimensional map a first predicted behavior of the selected exterior animate object,
receives a different second predicted behavior of the selected exterior animate object generated by another vehicle, and
based on the three-dimensional map and the first and second predicted behaviors of the selected exterior animate object, issues a command to a vehicle component to perform a vehicle driving operation,
wherein the first and second predicted behaviors, each executed alone by the arithmetic logic unit, cause the arithmetic logic unit to produce different commands.

US Pat. No. 10,074,846

BATTERY MODULE INCLUDING A WELDLESS BUSBAR HAVING AN INTEGRATED FUSIBLE LINK

NIO USA, Inc., San Jose,...

1. A battery module, comprising:a plurality of battery cells each configured to store an electric charge, each battery cell including a first end surface, a second end surface, a perimeter surface, a positive terminal and a negative terminal;
a busbar interconnecting the plurality of battery cells, wherein the busbar includes a layered structure comprising a plurality of parallel-extending layers, including:
a first conductive layer contacting each of the positive terminals of the plurality of battery cells;
a second conductive layer contacting each of the negative terminals of the plurality of battery cells; and
at least one isolating layer connected to each of the plurality of battery cells and holding the plurality of battery cells in position relative to each other in at least a lateral direction.

US Pat. No. 10,031,521

METHOD AND SYSTEM FOR USING WEATHER INFORMATION IN OPERATION OF AUTONOMOUS VEHICLES

NIO USA, Inc., San Jose,...

1. A vehicle, comprising:a vehicle interior for receiving one or more occupants;
a climate control system to control a temperature in at least a portion of the vehicle interior or exterior;
a plurality of sensors to collect sensed information associated with the vehicle interior and exterior of the vehicle;
rechargeable energy storage:
an automatic vehicle location system to determine a current spatial location of the vehicle;
a computer readable medium to store an autonomous driving agent to operate autonomously vehicle operations; and
a microprocessor, coupled to the plurality of sensors, climate control system, automatic vehicle location system, and computer readable medium, that receives weather forecast information associated with a current geographic location of the vehicle and at least one of: (a) alters or implement a change to an autonomous driving operational setting to be employed when the vehicle is in a full automation level in which the microprocessor requires no human driver interaction in any driving operation of the vehicle or (b) selects and activates one or more climate control settings based on a selected state of charge of the rechargeable energy storage to condition the vehicle interior for one or more occupants while maintaining a sufficient amount of energy in the rechargeable energy storage to meet a predicted energy demand for the vehicle using the selected state of charge.

US Pat. No. 10,053,089

SYSTEM FOR CONTROLLING A VEHICLE BASED ON THERMAL PROFILE TRACKING

NIO USA, Inc., San Jose,...

1. A control system of a vehicle, comprising:at least one thermal imaging sensor configured to track a thermal profile of a wheel of a nearby vehicle and provide data indicative of the thermal profile; and
a computing device including a processor and a memory, the computing device configured to:
receive the data;
determine a wheel angle parameter of the front wheel of the nearby vehicle based on the data; and
generate a control command to change at least one of a direction or an acceleration of the vehicle based on the determined wheel angle parameter.

US Pat. No. 10,300,808

PRECONDITIONED CHARGING USING AN AUTONOMOUS VEHICLE

NIO USA, Inc., San Jose,...

1. A vehicle, comprising:an electric motor;
a battery electrically connected to the electric motor, the battery to supply power to the electric motor; and
a thermal management unit fluidly connected to the battery, the thermal management unit providing cooling to the battery, the thermal management unit comprising:
a thermal management controller; and
a memory coupled with and readable by a processor of the thermal management controller and storing therein instructions that, when executed by the processor, cause the processor to:
determine a charging time when a charge will occur on the battery via a charging station;
determine a current temperature of the battery;
determine, prior to reaching the charging station, a rate of cooling for the thermal management unit to cool the battery from the determined current temperature to a charging temperature by the determined charging time, wherein the charging temperature is lower than the determined current temperature;
determine a start time to begin cooling the battery based on the determined charging time and the determined rate of cooling for the thermal management unit; and
command, at the determined start time, the thermal management unit to begin cooling the battery at the determined rate of cooling.

US Pat. No. 10,040,414

DASH PANEL EXTERIOR MOUNTED PASSENGER AIRBAG

NIO USA, Inc., San Jose,...

1. A vehicle, comprising:a passenger compartment;
a front compartment forward of the passenger compartment;
a dividing structure separating the passenger compartment from the front compartment, the dividing structure comprising a dash panel facing the passenger compartment and a wall facing the front compartment; and
an airbag module mounted on the wall in the front compartment, the airbag module comprising an inflator and a cushion module, wherein the cushion module comprises a deployable chute containing an airbag cushion;
wherein the airbag cushion, when fully inflated, comprises a tube portion extending from the airbag module through the deployable chute to the passenger compartment, and a main portion that fills a volume of the passenger compartment.

US Pat. No. 10,059,213

CHARGING DEVICES WITHIN WHEEL PORTIONS

NIO USA, Inc., San Jose,...

1. A method of charging an electrical storage unit of an electric vehicle, the method comprising:receiving, at a charge storage device within a wheel assembly of the electric vehicle, an induced charge resulting from one or more coil windings passing through an electromagnetic field created by at least one power transmission line;
measuring a strength of the electromagnetic field created by the at least one power transmission line with one or more electromagnetic field detectors while the electric vehicle is moving at a velocity greater than a first threshold;
only storing the induced charge in the charge storage device when the electric vehicle is moving at the velocity greater than the first threshold and when the strength of the electromagnetic field is greater than a second threshold; and
transferring the charge stored in the charge storage device to the electrical storage unit of the electric vehicle via a rim of a wheel assembly.

US Pat. No. 9,963,106

METHOD AND SYSTEM FOR AUTHENTICATION IN AUTONOMOUS VEHICLES

NIO USA, Inc., San Jose,...

1. A vehicle, comprising:a vehicle interior for receiving one or more occupants;
a plurality of sensors to collect sensed information associated with the vehicle interior and an exterior of the vehicle;
an automatic vehicle location system to determine a current spatial location of the vehicle;
a computer readable medium to store authentication information and the sensed information when the vehicle is in a Level 4 or 5 level of autonomous operation; and
a microprocessor, coupled to the automatic vehicle location system and computer readable medium, that, when in the Level 4 or 5 level of autonomous operation and in the absence of interaction of the microprocessor with a driver of the vehicle, is programmed to:
based on the sensed information collected by the plurality of sensors, construct a three-dimensional map in spatial proximity to the vehicle that enables the microprocessor to identify and spatially locate animate and inanimate objects in the spatial proximity;
detect, in the three-dimensional map, an individual exterior to the vehicle;
combine navigation information received from a remote navigation source based on a current spatial location of the vehicle with the three-dimensional map to provide aggregate mapping information;
select a behavioral model of the detected individual;
process in real time the aggregate mapping information and the selected behavioral model to determine a command regarding operation of the vehicle;
based on the three-dimensional map and authentication information, attempt to perform primary authentication to authenticate the detected individual or a computing device associated with the detected individual;
when the detected individual or computing device is authenticated successfully by the primary authentication, attempt to perform secondary authentication of the detected individual or the computing device using different authentication information than the authentication information used in the primary authentication; and
when the primary and secondary authentication are successful, perform the vehicle operation command to enable the individual to access the vehicle interior.

US Pat. No. 10,343,558

FIXED STRUCTURE SEAT

NIO USA, Inc., San Jose,...

1. A vehicle seat, comprising:a back frame member comprising a vertical slot;
a pair of side frame elements fixedly secured to the back frame member;
an intermediate frame supported by the pair of side frame elements;
an upper seat frame slidably connected to the intermediate frame;
a pair of sliding links fixedly secured to a pivot bar, the pivot bar slidably and pivotably contained within the vertical slot;
a pair of adjustable back members pivotably connected to the upper seat frame, each of the pair of adjustable back members comprising a track that is slidably engaged with one of the pair of sliding links; and
an upper back member pivotably connected to each of the pair of adjustable back members.

US Pat. No. 10,071,641

ELECTRIC CONTACT DEVICE FOR ELECTRIC VEHICLES AND METHOD OF USE

NIO USA, INC., San Jose,...

1. A system for charging an electrical storage unit of an electric vehicle through a contact device, the system comprising:a contact device interconnected to the electrical storage unit of an electric vehicle and configured to receive an electrical charge from an external power source;
a contact arm interconnected to the contact device, the contact arm configured to position the contact device at a first position relative to the external power source; and
a contact device controller interconnected to the contact arm and configured to control the contact arm;
wherein the first position is maintained;
wherein the contact device controller maintains the first position through a feedback control;
wherein the contact device receives the electrical charge from the external power source; and
wherein the electrical storage unit of the electric vehicle is charged.

US Pat. No. 10,074,223

SECURED VEHICLE FOR USER USE ONLY

NIO USA, Inc., San Jose,...

1. A vehicle security system, comprising:a security license system to lock one or more vehicle systems using encryption;
one or more sensors to detect that an authorized user of the vehicle is no longer proximate to the vehicle;
a communications system to provide, in response to the one or more sensors detecting that the authorized user of the vehicle is no longer proximate to the vehicle, a decryption key to a communication device associated with the authorized user, wherein the decryption key is configured to decrypt the encryption used for locking the one or more vehicle systems;
the communications system further configured to receive a plurality of factors for authentication in response to a request for authentication, wherein the plurality of factors includes the decryption key;
a multi-factor authentication system in communication with the communication system to determine whether access to the vehicle should be provided based on the received plurality of factors;
a low-level controller that allows access to the one or more vehicle systems upon authentication confirmation from the multi-factor authentication system; and
the multi-factor authentication system further allowing access to user profile information associated with the authorized user of the vehicle based on the authentication and only when the decryption key is received by the communications system.

US Pat. No. 10,250,983

DISTRIBUTED AND UPGRADABLE AUDIO SYSTEM

NIO USA Inc., San Jose, ...

1. A vehicle, comprising:an interior of the vehicle; and
a modular audio system provided in the interior of the vehicle, the audio system comprising:
an audio network backbone including a single strand of cable circling the interior of the vehicle;
a digital audio controller (DAC) connected to the single strand of cable; and
two or more digital signal processor (DSP), amp, speaker (DAS) modules connected to the single strand of cable at different locations in the interior of the vehicle, wherein each of the two or more DAS modules are in communication with the DAC via the connection to the single strand of cable, wherein each DAS module of the two or more DAS modules receives a digital sound signal from the DAC and converts the digital sound signal into sound through the corresponding speaker, and wherein the DAC identifies each of the two or more DAS modules connected to the single strand of cable without requiring a direct connection to the two or more DAS modules.

US Pat. No. 10,286,915

MACHINE LEARNING FOR PERSONALIZED DRIVING

NIO USA, Inc., San Jose,...

1. An automated vehicle control system, comprising:a plurality of sensors that collect sensor information when a driver is driving a vehicle manually, the collected sensor information including information associated with one or more manual driving actions provided by the driver during a drive;
a personalized driving unit that determines first context information from the sensor information and conditions associated with the vehicle at a time when the one or more manual driving actions are provided by the driver during the drive, wherein the conditions include information for vehicle settings other than settings associated with the one or more manual driving actions provided by the driver during the drive; and
an autonomous driving planning unit that is programmed to:
based on the first context information, generate first personalization information, the first personalization information mapping a first observed driver behavior to the one or more manual driving actions and the conditions, the first observed driver behavior corresponding to one or more automated driving actions that produce a vehicle behavior similar to the one or more manual driving actions when at least one condition of the conditions is detected by the plurality of sensors; and
when the vehicle is in a high or full automation level, detects an event associated with the first personalization information, wherein the event includes the at least one condition of the conditions and, in response, causes the vehicle to perform autonomously the one or more automated driving actions.

US Pat. No. 10,183,584

MULTI-MODE RECHARGEABLE ELECTRIC VEHICLE

NIO USA, Inc., San Jose,...

1. A rechargeable electric vehicle, comprising:a power rectifier to convert first alternating current electrical energy to first direct current electrical energy;
a power inverter to convert second direct current electrical energy to second alternating current electrical energy;
a rechargeable energy storage, electrically coupled to the power rectifier and power inverter, for storing the first direct current electrical energy;
a coil electrically coupled to the power rectifier and power inverter, wherein:
in a first mode, the first alternating current electrical energy is received by the coil and passed through the power rectifier to form the first direct current electrical energy for storage in the rechargeable energy storage; and
in a second mode, the second direct current electrical energy is passed through the power inverter to form the second alternating current electrical energy and the second alternating current electrical energy is passed through the coil for wireless transfer, over an air gap, to a secondary coil;
a switch, in electrical communication with the power inverter, power rectifier, and rechargeable energy storage, to selectively direct the second direct current electrical energy from the rechargeable energy storage through the power inverter to the coil and the first alternating current electrical energy from the coil through the power rectifier;
a controller, in signal communication with the switch, to select between the first and second modes; and
a transceiver, in signal communication with the controller, to process a gating signal, the gating signal comprising a field indicating whether the vehicle will receive a charge from or provide a charge to a charging segment, the charging segment being located along a roadway traveled by the vehicle.

US Pat. No. 10,073,463

SNOW PLOW MODE FOR AUTONOMOUS DRIVING

NIO USA, Inc., San Jose,...

1. A system comprising:a wireless communications network;
a fleet management system coupled with the wireless communications network and comprising:
a processor, and
a memory coupled with and readable by the processor and storing therein a set of instructions which, when executed by the processor, causes the processor to generate management instructions managing operations of a plurality of autonomous vehicles according to weather conditions within a geographic area around each of the plurality of autonomous vehicles and one or more predetermined factors for each of the plurality of autonomous vehicles and send the generated management instructions to one or more of the plurality of autonomous vehicles over the wireless communications network; and
an autonomous vehicle of the plurality of autonomous vehicles, the autonomous vehicle coupled with the wireless communications network and comprising:
a processor, and
a memory coupled with and readable by the processor and storing therein a set of instructions which, when executed by the processor, causes the processor to receive the management instructions from the fleet management system over the wireless communications network and operate the vehicle to autonomously clear snow or other debris from a paved surface based in part on the received management instructions from the fleet management system.

US Pat. No. 9,964,415

TRACKING POWER CONSUMPTION AND PAYMENT

NIO USA, Inc., San Jose,...

1. A server, comprising:a processor; and
a computer-readable storage medium having instructions stored thereon that, when executed by the processor, cause the processor to:
send, in response to a charging request, a power source message to a vehicle, wherein the power source message is configured for display to a graphical user interface of a vehicle display device, wherein the power source message includes information describing charging capabilities of a determined at least one power source that is available to provide charging power to the vehicle based on the charging request; and
receive, based on a selection of the determined at least one power source made at the graphical user interface of the vehicle display device, an acceptance message from the vehicle, the acceptance message authorizing a power transfer from the determined and selected at least one power source to the vehicle.

US Pat. No. 9,937,818

VEHICLE HAVING A RIGID FRAME STRUCTURE FOR RECEIVING A REPLACEABLE BATTERY PACK

NIO USA, Inc., San Jose,...

1. A vehicle, comprising:a body forming a passenger compartment;
a chassis supporting the body, the chassis including a frame structure comprising:
a pair of side rails running longitudinally along the body;
a pair of end rails extending perpendicular to the side rails and disposed at longitudinal ends of the side rails;
a plurality of rigid cross rails extending perpendicular to the side rails and attached at opposing ends to the side rails, wherein each cross rail of the plurality of rigid cross rails are disposed between the pair of end rails and spaced apart from one another; and
a bay defined between each adjacent pair of cross rails of the plurality of rigid cross rails; and
a battery system including a battery pack having a plurality of electrical storage devices, the battery pack being secured to the side rails and removably positioned in the bay, the battery pack having a container including a plurality of channels extending perpendicular to the side rails, and wherein each channel of the plurality of channels receives a respective cross rail of the plurality of rigid cross rails,
wherein each cross rail includes a first portion and a second portion that extends perpendicular to the first portion,
wherein each first portion contacts a top surface of the container adjacent to a respective channel and each second portion extends into the respective channel, and
wherein each first portion is hollow and includes a flange which extends outwardly and contacts the top surface of the container.

US Pat. No. 10,245,957

SMART REGENERATIVE BRAKING CONTROL

NIO USA, Inc., San Jose,...

1. A method for controlling, via a smart braking system, a speed of a vehicle while a cruise control system of the vehicle is deactivated, comprising:determining, at a first time, that an accelerator of the vehicle is deactivated;
recording a travel speed of the vehicle at the first time;
determining, at a second time, that the vehicle is accelerating while the accelerator is deactivated; and
responsive to determining that the vehicle is accelerating while the accelerator is deactivated, activating a braking system of the vehicle to maintain the speed of the vehicle at the recorded travel speed of the vehicle at the first time.

US Pat. No. 10,166,875

DEPLOYABLE SAFETY SHIELD FOR CHARGING

NIO USA, Inc., San Jose,...

1. A system for charging an electric vehicle, the system comprising:a charging system including a power source and a charging plate wirelessly coupled to the power source, wherein the power source wirelessly transfers power to the charging plate; and
at least one shield portion between the charging plate and a passenger compartment of the electric vehicle,
wherein,
the at least one shield portion includes at least two states, a first state being a non-deployed state and a second state being a deployed state, and
the at least one shield portion is configured to attenuate an electromagnetic field provided by the charging system when in the second state.

US Pat. No. 10,118,503

SUPERCOOLING OF COMPONENTS DURING EXTREME CONDITIONS

NIO USA, Inc., San Jose,...

1. A vehicle comprising:a plurality of components; and
a cooling system adapted to cool each of the plurality of components, the cooling system comprising:
a refrigerant compressor;
a network of coolant flow tubing coupled with the refrigerant compressor and each of the plurality of components, wherein the refrigerant compressor circulates coolant through the coolant flow tubing to each of the plurality of components; and
a cooling system controller electrically connected with the refrigerant compressor, wherein the cooling system controller operates the refrigerant cooler at a first output level during operation of the vehicle and, upon detection of a predetermined condition, operates the refrigerant cooler at a second output level, wherein the second output level of the refrigerant compressor provides a greater cooling capacity to the cooling system than the first output level of the refrigerant compressor.

US Pat. No. 9,928,734

VEHICLE-TO-PEDESTRIAN COMMUNICATION SYSTEMS

NIO USA, Inc., San Jose,...

1. A vehicle-to-pedestrian information system comprising:a cloud computing system configured to communicate with a vehicle configured for autonomous piloting, the vehicle including a directional speaker,
wherein the cloud computing system is configured to:
identify a message for a pedestrian based on a location of the pedestrian;
transmit the message to the vehicle; and
cause the vehicle to play the message for the pedestrian via the directional speaker.

US Pat. No. 10,304,261

DUPLICATED WIRELESS TRANSCEIVERS ASSOCIATED WITH A VEHICLE TO RECEIVE AND SEND SENSITIVE INFORMATION

NIO USA, Inc., San Jose,...

1. A vehicle, comprising:two or more radio frequency (RF) antennas to communicate wirelessly sensitive information associated with a user of the vehicle, the two or more RF antennas being at different physical locations on an exterior of the vehicle;
two or more RF transceivers, each RF transceiver associated with one of the two or more RF antennas, the two or more RF transceivers to communicate wirelessly sensitive information associated with the user of the vehicle;
a processor in communication with the two or more RF transceivers, the processor to:
determine which one of the two or more RF antennas is receiving a strongest signal from a common signal source;
select a first RF transceiver associated with the RF antenna with the strongest signal to send the sensitive information associated with the user to the common signal source; and
send the sensitive information associated with the user to the first RF transceiver for transmission to the common signal source, wherein the vehicle uses different communication protocols to send the sensitive information to the common signal source.

US Pat. No. 10,286,810

INTEGRATED SENSOR ARRANGEMENT FOR AUTOMATED AUXILIARY COMPONENT ADJUSTMENTS

NIO USA, Inc., San Jose,...

1. A vehicle adjustment assembly comprising:a sensor connected to a vehicle that detects physical characteristics associated with a body of a user and generate measurement data regarding distances between parts of the body of the user based on the detected physical characteristics;
a computer that receives the measurement data generated by the sensor regarding the distances between parts of the body of the user and determines a reach zone for the user based on the measurement data; and
an auxiliary system including touch buttons on a display, wherein a position of the touch buttons on the display are adjusted via input signals from the computer in response to determining the reach zone for the user such that the touch buttons on the display are adjusted to a position within the reach zone of the user;
wherein the sensor detects that a seat belt of the vehicle is positioned too high or too low relative to a torso of the user, and wherein the display renders an alert for adjusting the seat belt to a predetermined position.

US Pat. No. 10,144,292

SANITY MONITOR FOR POWER MODULE

NIO USA, Inc., San Jose,...

1. A sanity monitoring system, comprising:at least one sensor connected to each transistor in an inverter circuit configuration, wherein each sensor is configured to measure a transistor parameter;
a sanity monitor connected to each sensor, wherein the sanity monitor is configured to determine a defective transistor based on at least one measured transistor parameter; and
a failure handling device connected to each sanity monitor, wherein the failure handling device is configured to perform a corrective action based on a detection of at least one defective transistor, and wherein the corrective action deactivates the defective transistor of the inverter circuit and reduces an overall amount of current output by non-defective transistors of the inverter circuit.

US Pat. No. 10,338,594

NAVIGATION OF AUTONOMOUS VEHICLES TO ENHANCE SAFETY UNDER ONE OR MORE FAULT CONDITIONS

NIO USA, Inc., San Jose,...

1. A method comprising:determining, by a processor, a position of an autonomous vehicle relative to a roadway over which the autonomous vehicle is configured to transit via a path of travel, wherein the path of travel comprises predetermined travel points corresponding to discrete geographic locations disposed along the path of travel;
accessing, by the processor, map data to identify locations of one or more safe zones associated with each of the predetermined travel points along the path of travel;
determining, by the processor, a set of driving instructions for a vehicle controller to autonomously control the autonomous vehicle along the path of travel;
determining, by the processor prior to detecting any anomalous events associated with the autonomous vehicle or an environment external to the autonomous vehicle, one or more subsets of alternate driving instructions for the vehicle controller to autonomously control the autonomous vehicle to a safe zone of the one or more safe zones via a recovery path of travel from at least one of the predetermined travel points;
controlling, autonomously by the vehicle controller, the autonomous vehicle along the path of travel based on the set of driving instructions;
detecting, by the processor, an anomalous event associated with the autonomous vehicle or the environment external to the autonomous vehicle; and
controlling, autonomously by the vehicle controller and in response to detecting the anomalous event, the autonomous vehicle based on a subset of the one or more subsets of alternate driving instructions to guide the autonomous vehicle to the safe zone of the one or more safe zones via the recovery path of travel.

US Pat. No. 10,234,302

ADAPTIVE ROUTE AND MOTION PLANNING BASED ON LEARNED EXTERNAL AND INTERNAL VEHICLE ENVIRONMENT

NIO USA, Inc., San Jose,...

1. A vehicle, comprising:a first set of sensors to sense an environment surrounding the vehicle and to gather information about a location in which the vehicle is within physical proximity;
a second set of sensors to sense an inside of the vehicle, wherein the second set of sensors determines a number of occupants currently in the vehicle;
a vehicle control system to operate the vehicle in a high or a full automation level;
wherein the vehicle control system and/or a remote route engine, based on information gathered by first sets of sensors of multiple different vehicles, a number of occupants currently in the vehicle, and a destination selected by a current occupant of the vehicle, selects at least one of (a) from among multiple possible routes from the location and the selected destination, a route from the location to the selected destination, the selected route, relative to the other possible routes, being optimal for high or full automation level operation of the vehicle and (b) a set of maneuvers for the selected route to be executed by the vehicle control system while operating in the high or full automation level along the selected route, the set of maneuvers being optimal relative to a selected characteristic for the route.

US Pat. No. 9,984,522

VEHICLE IDENTIFICATION OR AUTHENTICATION

NIO USA, Inc., San Jose,...

1. A vehicle, comprising:a power source to propel the vehicle;
a user interface to receive commands from an occupant and provide output to the occupant;
a plurality of on board sensors to sense an operating parameter of the vehicle;
a computer readable medium for storing multiple authentication factors; and
an on board microprocessor, coupled with the computer readable medium, that is programmed to:
receive and transmit the multiple authentication factors or a key derived therefrom to a remote server to authenticate the vehicle or a vehicle occupant to the remote server, the multiple authentication factors comprising a plurality of an electronic address of a portable communication device of the occupant sensed by an on board sensor, a wireless remote signal description sensed by an on board sensor, a vehicle-related identifier, a vehicle parameter sensed by the on board processor, an environmental parameter sensed by the on board processor, and a passcode received by the microprocessor from the remote server.

US Pat. No. 10,383,253

SEALABLE MULTI-SURFACE ELECTRONICS THERMAL CONDUCTION PACKAGE

NIO USA, Inc., San Jose,...

1. An electronics package, comprising:a body having a peripheral shape including a first side and an opposite second side, and an upper portion and a lower portion disposed between the first and second sides, the peripheral shape extending along a length, the body including a first end surface disposed at a first end of the length and a second end surface disposed at a second end of the length;
a receiving cavity disposed inside the peripheral shape between the first and second sides and the upper and lower portions, the receiving cavity passing through the body from the first end surface to the second end surface; and
a controlled bend feature disposed in the upper portion of the peripheral shape of the body, wherein the controlled bend feature includes an elastically flexible region of material shaped to direct forces applied to the first and/or second sides along the upper portion and in a direction outwardly from a center of the receiving cavity, and wherein the controlled bend feature includes a cross-sectional area less than a cross-sectional area of the upper portion.

US Pat. No. 10,243,381

ELECTROCHROMIC VEHICLE WINDOW

NIO USA, Inc., San Jose,...

1. An electrochromic assembly for a vehicle, the electrochromic assembly comprising:a plurality of electrochromic layers integrated into a vehicle window, wherein each electrochromic layer of the plurality of electrochromic layers is configured to transition between a transparent state and an at least partially opaque state when energized, and wherein each electrochromic layer of the plurality of electrochromic layers is configured to display message information through the vehicle window when energized; and
an electrochromic control unit interconnected with the plurality of electrochromic layers via respective switches, wherein the electrochromic control unit maintains the transparent state of each electrochromic layer of the plurality of electrochromic layers when a state of a vehicle system does not require messaging to be displayed by any of the plurality of electrochromic layers and transitions at least one of the plurality of electrochromic layers from the transparent state to the at least partially opaque state in response to detecting a state of the vehicle system that requires a message to be displayed by the at least one of the plurality of electrochromic layers, wherein at least a portion of the at least partially opaque state of the at least one electrochromic layer displays the message in the plurality of electrochromic layers in the vehicle window conveying information indicative of the detected state of the vehicle system through the vehicle window to an interior and an exterior of the vehicle.

US Pat. No. 10,217,693

METHODS AND SYSTEMS FOR HIGH VOLTAGE COMPONENT COOLING IN ELECTRIC VEHICLE FOR FAST CHARGE

NIO USA, Inc., San Jose,...

1. A junction box of a vehicle, the junction box comprising:one or more relays;
one or more bus bars connected to one or more of the one or more relays;
one or more terminals that interconnect with a battery of the vehicle and one of the one or more relays; and
one or more phase change materials contained in one or more malleable plastic containers, wherein the one or more malleable plastic containers are attached to at least one of the relays, bus bars, and/or terminals, wherein the one or more phase change materials limit heat generation during a charging of a battery of the vehicle.

US Pat. No. 10,209,981

STRUCTURE FOR UPDATING SOFTWARE IN REMOTE DEVICE

NIO USA, Inc., San Jose,...

1. A method for updating software in a remote device, the method comprising:operating, by an Electronic Control Unit (ECU), on a first image of an operating system code;
updating, by the ECU, to a second image of the operating system code, wherein updating to the second image comprises operating, by the ECU, on the second image while maintaining the first image in memory accessible by the ECU; and
in response to detecting an error in operating on the second image, operating, by the ECU, on the first image of the operating system code maintained in the memory accessible by the ECU,
wherein operating on the first image of the operating system code comprises:
saving, by the ECU, the first image in the memory accessible by the ECU;
setting, by the ECU, a pointer to the first image saved in the memory; and
executing, by the ECU, the first image based on the set pointer to the first image,
wherein updating to the second image of the operating system code comprises:
saving, by the ECU, the second image in the memory accessible by the ECU without overwriting or erasing the first image;
setting, by the ECU, a pointer to the second image saved in the memory while maintaining the set pointer to the first image; and
executing, by the ECU, the second image based on the set pointer to the second image,
wherein operating on the first image of the operating system code maintained in the memory accessible by the ECU in response to detecting an error in operating on the second image comprises:
setting, by the ECU, another pointer to the first image based on the maintained set pointer to the first image; and
executing, by the ECU, the first image based on the set another pointer to the first image, and
wherein the ECU comprises an ECU for a component of a vehicle or a system of the vehicle.

US Pat. No. 10,189,363

ELECTRIC VEHICLE ROADWAY CHARGING SYSTEM AND METHOD OF USE

NIO USA, Inc., San Jose,...

1. A system for charging an electric vehicle comprising:an electrical storage unit disposed on an electric vehicle;
a power source disposed external to the electric vehicle and configured to charge the electrical storage unit;
a charging panel in electrical communication with the electrical storage unit;
a vehicle database comprising required conditions for deployment of the charging panel; and
a vehicle controller that determines if the electrical storage unit requires charging and when the electrical storage unit is determined to require charging, the vehicle controller determines if conditions allow for deployment of the charging panel, wherein determining if conditions allow for deployment include the vehicle controller querying the vehicle database for the required conditions for deployment of the charging panel, the required conditions including information on charging services associated with a particular roadway the electric vehicle is on;
wherein the charging panel receives the charge from the power source and charges the electrical storage unit.

US Pat. No. 10,214,112

COMMUNICATIONS BETWEEN VEHICLE AND CHARGING SYSTEM

NIO USA, Inc., San Jose,...

1. A method for charging an electric vehicle, comprising:receiving, at a charging system, a charge request message from a vehicle;
determining, via a processor of the charging system, charging information contained in the charge request message, wherein the charging information includes charging requirements for charging the vehicle;
determining, via the processor of the charging system, to provide electrical charge to the vehicle via an electrical interconnection between the vehicle and the charging system in accordance with the charging requirements;
providing electrical charge to a power storage system of the vehicle via the charging system as part of a charging transaction; and
sending, across a wireless communication network, to a power tracking server details of the charging transaction and electrical charge provided to the vehicle.

US Pat. No. 10,160,339

SMART GRID MANAGEMENT

NIO USA, Inc., San Jose,...

1. A control system for a power grid, comprising:a processor; and
a non-transitory computer readable medium, coupled to the processor, comprising processor executable instructions that, when executed, cause the processor to:
determine, for a selected time interval, an amount of electrical energy from a power grid that can be used to charge rechargeable electric vehicles by a plurality of charging segments, the charging segments being positioned along transportation routes in a transportation network; and
regulate, via a switching fabric and over the selected time interval, the electrical energy provided by the charging segments in accordance with the determined amount of electrical energy from the power grid that can be used to charge rechargeable vehicles,
wherein the determined amount of electrical energy from the power grid that can be used to charge rechargeable vehicles is dependent upon one or more of current power consumption levels by grid users other than rechargeable electric vehicles, historical power consumption levels by rechargeable electric vehicles and/or other grid users, and a number of rechargeable electric vehicles currently on the transportation network.

US Pat. No. 10,131,238

CHARGING TRANSMISSION LINE UNDER ROADWAY FOR MOVING ELECTRIC VEHICLE

NIO USA, Inc., San Jose,...

1. A system, comprising:a plurality of charging segments positioned throughout a transportation network, wherein the plurality of charging segments charge a plurality of rechargeable electric vehicles while the plurality of rechargeable electric vehicles are in motion, each charging segment comprising:
a primary coil embedded in a roadway of the transportation network to charge a selected rechargeable electric vehicle while the selected rechargeable electric vehicle is in motion on the roadway;
a power inverter, in electrical communication with the primary coil, to convert direct current electrical energy from a power grid to alternating current electrical energy to pass the alternating current electrical energy through the primary coil;
a switch, in electrical communication with the primary coil, to activate and deactivate the ability of the primary coil to charge the selected rechargeable electric vehicle;
a transceiver to transmit signals to and receive signals from the selected rechargeable electric vehicle in spatial proximity to the charging segment; and
a controller to control the switch in response to signals received from the transceiver, the controller determining whether an oncoming vehicle is a rechargeable electric vehicle; enabling the switch to activate the primary coil when the oncoming vehicle is a rechargeable electric vehicle; and disabling the switch to deactivate the primary coil when the oncoming vehicle is not a rechargeable electric vehicle.

US Pat. No. 10,275,797

SYSTEMS AND METHODS FOR AUTOMATICALLY DISENGAGING A BRAKING FUNCTION OF A VEHICLE

NIO USA, Inc., San Jose,...

1. A vehicle, comprising:one or more sensors sensing an environment surrounding the vehicle;
a vehicle control system autonomously controlling a braking function of the vehicle;
a processor in communication with the one or more sensors and the vehicle control system, the processor programmed to:
identify an object within the environment via information received from the one or more sensors;
determine, based on the information received from the one or more sensors, that the object is about to collide with the vehicle;
determine a location of other objects in proximity to the vehicle;
determine, prior to a collision with the object and based on the location of the other objects in proximity to the vehicle, an escape path and escape angle for the vehicle to follow upon colliding with the object;
determine, based on the information received from the one or more sensors, to control the braking function of the vehicle to reduce a force of impact when colliding with the object;
disengage the braking function of the vehicle prior to and during a collision with the object; and
control autonomously a steering function of the vehicle to steer the vehicle at the escape angle and along the escape path around the other objects in proximity to the vehicle.

US Pat. No. 10,249,104

LEASE OBSERVATION AND EVENT RECORDING

NIO USA, Inc., San Jose,...

1. An apparatus for observing and recording vehicle events, the apparatus, comprising:one or more sensors;
one or more thermal imagers;
one or more high definition imagers, wherein the one or more thermal imagers and one or more high definition imagers are part of an advanced driver assistance system (ADAS) that continuously collects data about the vehicle and the environment surrounding the vehicle;
a real time communication interface;
a short range communication interface; and
a vehicle computer communicatively coupled to the one or more sensors, the one or more thermal imagers, the one or more high definition imagers, the real time communication interface, and the short range communication interface;
wherein the vehicle computer:
acquires a plurality of sensor data from the one or more sensors,
acquires a plurality of thermal images from the one or more thermal imagers,
acquires a plurality of high definition images from the one or more high definition imagers,
identifies one or more key vehicle events based on the plurality of the sensor data, the plurality of the thermal images, and the plurality of the high definition images,
generates a record based on data identified as the one or more key vehicle events,
stores the record, and
selectively transmits, via the real time communication interface, information based on the plurality of the sensor data, the plurality of the thermal images, and the plurality of the high definition images containing the one or more key vehicle events to a database server.

US Pat. No. 10,245,924

AUTOMATIC VEHICLE CABIN AIR FILTRATION SYSTEM

NIO USA, Inc., San Jose,...

1. A vehicle cabin air filtration system, comprising:an electronic air filter configured to remove unwanted particles from an air flow received from an exterior of the vehicle;
a location sensor configured to generate a signal indicative of a geographical location of the vehicle in an environment; and
a controller operatively connected to the electronic air filter and the sensor, the controller configured to:
receive the signal indicative of the geographical location of the vehicle from the sensor;
compare the geographical location of the vehicle to a known stored geographical location of a poor air quality zone in the environment; and
selectively activate or deactivate the electronic air filter based on the comparison.

US Pat. No. 9,984,572

METHOD AND SYSTEM FOR SHARING PARKING SPACE AVAILABILITY AMONG AUTONOMOUS VEHICLES

NIO USA, Inc., San Jose,...

1. A vehicle, comprising:a vehicle interior for receiving one or more occupants;
a plurality of sensors to collect sensed information associated with the vehicle interior and exterior of the vehicle;
an automatic vehicle location system to determine a current spatial location of the vehicle;
a computer readable medium to store an autonomous driving agent to operate autonomously vehicle operations; and
a microprocessor, coupled to the plurality of sensors, automatic vehicle location system, and computer readable medium, that, while executing the autonomous driving agent operating at a full automation level, one or more of (a) identifies a parking space and forwards parking information associated with the parking space to a navigation source or nearby vehicle and (b) negotiates with another autonomous driving agent of a currently parked vehicle for access to the parking space occupied by the currently parked vehicle, the autonomous driving agent of the currently parked vehicle operating at the full automation level, wherein in the full automation level an autonomous driving agent of a vehicle, based on vehicle sensor feedback, constructs a three-dimensional map in spatial proximity to the vehicle that identifies and spatially locates nearby animate and inanimate objects and parking spaces.

US Pat. No. 10,252,631

COMMUNICATIONS BETWEEN VEHICLE AND CHARGING SYSTEM

NIO USA, Inc., San Jose,...

1. A method for charging an electric vehicle, comprising:receiving, at a charging system, a charge request message from a vehicle;
determining, via a processor of the charging system, charging information contained in the charge request message, wherein the charging information includes charging requirements for charging the vehicle;
determining, via the processor of the charging system, to provide electrical charge to the vehicle via an electrical interconnection between the vehicle and the charging system in accordance with the charging requirements;
providing electrical charge to a power storage system of the vehicle via the charging system as part of a charging transaction; and
sending, across a wireless communication network, to a power tracking server details of the charging transaction and electrical charge provided to the vehicle.

US Pat. No. 10,328,853

METHOD AND SYSTEM FOR PROVIDING AN ESCAPE ROUTE FROM A VEHICLE

NIO USA, Inc., San Jose,...

1. A vehicle control system, comprising:a microprocessor; and
a computer readable medium coupled to the microprocessor and comprising instructions stored thereon that cause the microprocessor to:
receive an output signal from a power system sensor associated with a power system of a vehicle, wherein the output signal indicates a fault in the power system of the vehicle;
determine, based on the output signal received, information about the fault in the power system, wherein the information about the fault in the power system includes a type of the fault in the power system;
determine, based on a location of the power system sensor in the vehicle, a physical location inside the vehicle of the fault in the power system;
determine a state of the vehicle;
determine, based on a signal received from an interior sensor of the vehicle, a position of an occupant inside the vehicle relative to the physical location inside the vehicle of the fault in the power system;
determine, based on the position of the occupant relative to the physical location inside the vehicle of the fault in the power system, an escape route from the vehicle for the occupant that avoids the physical location inside the vehicle of the fault in the power system; and
render the escape route to at least one display device associated with the vehicle.

US Pat. No. 10,274,532

RESILIENT HIGH-VOLTAGE INTERLOCK LOOP

NIO USA, Inc., San Jose,...

1. A system, comprising:a high-voltage loop comprising a high-voltage conductor between a source, providing a high-voltage current, and a load, utilizing the high-voltage current;
a first signal generator that produces a first signal;
a second signal generator that produces a second signal;
a first signal detector that receives a received signal;
a low-voltage loop comprising a low-voltage conductor between each of the first and second signal generators and the first signal detector, the low-voltage loop comprising at least a portion of the conductor being co-located with the high-voltage conductor;
the first signal detector determines whether the received signal is in accordance with a combination of the first and second signal and output a first state indicia in accordance with the determination;
a switch, upon receiving the first state indicia from the first signal detector indicating that the first signal detector received the combination of the first and second signals, enables operation of the high-voltage loop; and
the switch, upon receiving the first state indicia from the first signal detector indicating the absence of receipt of the received signal comprising any of the first signal or the second signal, disables operation of the high-voltage loop.

US Pat. No. 10,562,524

ROLLOVER CONTROL ALGORITHM

NIO USA, Inc., San Jose,...

1. A method for providing stability and rollover control in a vehicle, the method comprising:reading, by a drive-by-wire control system of the vehicle, an input signal of one or more transducers, each transducer being coupled with and indicating a physical position of a vehicle control device, the one or more transducers comprising at least a steering wheel transducer and wherein the drive-by-wire control system operates one or more subsystems of the vehicle to control movement of the vehicle based on the input signals of the one or more transducers;
reading, by a stability control system of the vehicle, an input signal from one or more sensors of the vehicle;
calculating, by the stability control system, a rollover potential for the vehicle based on the input signals from the one or more sensors of the vehicle and input from the steering wheel transducer indicating the physical position of the steering wheel or a change in the physical position of the steering wheel;
determining, by the stability control system, whether a rollover condition is present based on the calculated rollover potential; and
in response to determining that the rollover condition is present, overriding, by the stability control system, operation of the one or more subsystems of the vehicle by the drive-by-wire control system to control movement of the vehicle based on the rollover condition.

US Pat. No. 10,199,626

SPRING LOADED BUSBAR FOR LASER WELDING OPERATION

NIO USA, Inc., San Jose,...

1. A busbar for connection to an electrical cell, comprising:a first end;
a second end opposite the first end;
a top surface extending along a length of the busbar from the first end to the second end;
a bottom surface extending along the length of the busbar and opposite the top surface;
a first pair of notches disposed on opposite sides of the busbar at a first point along the length of the busbar, the first point closer to the first end than the second end, the first pair of notches separating an extension tab from a connector tab; and
a second pair of notches disposed on opposite sides of the busbar at a second point along the length of the busbar, the second point closer to the second end than the first end, the second pair of notches separating the connector tab from a contact tab,
wherein the connector tab is oriented at a first angle relative to the extension tab and the contact tab is oriented at a second angle relative to the extension tab.

US Pat. No. 10,471,838

HIGH VOLTAGE FAST CHARGE UTILIZING TWO CHARGE PORTS

NIO USA, Inc., San Jose,...

1. A vehicle, comprising:a first charging port at a first location on the vehicle and that receives charge from a first source that is external to the vehicle;
a second charging port at a second location on the vehicle and that receives charge from a second source that is external to the vehicle, wherein the first charging port and the second charging port include charging receptacles of a same standard;
a first charge storage device;
a second charge storage device; and
switching circuitry to selectively couple the first charging port to at least one of the first charge storage device and the second charge storage device, and to selectively couple the second charging port to at least one of the first charge storage device and the second charge storage device, wherein the switching circuitry comprises:
a first switch including a first output coupled to the first charging port;
a second switch including a second output coupled to the second charging port;
a first converter coupled to the first switch;
a second converter coupled to the second switch;
a third switch coupled to the first converter; and
a fourth switch coupled to the second converter;
wherein the first charge storage device is coupled to a third output of the third switch, and
wherein the second charge storage device is coupled to a fourth output of the fourth switch.

US Pat. No. 10,259,454

SYSTEM FOR CONTROLLING A VEHICLE BASED ON WHEEL ANGLE TRACKING

NIO USA, Inc., San Jose,...

1. A control system of a vehicle, comprising:at least one sensor configured to track an angular orientation of a front wheel of a nearby vehicle and provide data indicative of the angular orientation of the front wheel while the nearby vehicle is traveling parallel to a longitudinal axis of the vehicle; and
a computing device including a processor and a memory, the computing device configured to:
receive the data;
determine, while the nearby vehicle is traveling parallel to the longitudinal axis of the vehicle, a wheel angle parameter of the front wheel of the nearby vehicle based on the data, wherein the wheel angle parameter defines an angle of the front wheel relative to the longitudinal axis of the vehicle; and
generate a control command to change at least one of a direction or an acceleration of the vehicle based on the determined wheel angle parameter.

US Pat. No. 10,260,617

TRANSMISSION PACKAGING FOR AN EPICYCLIC/PLANETARY GEARBOX UNIT WITH INTEGRATED OIL PUMP

NIO USA, Inc., San Jose,...

1. A packaging for a transmission, comprising:a gearbox comprising:
a gearbox housing,
a sun gear,
a carrier holding one or more planetary gears that intermesh with and are spatially arranged around the periphery of the sun gear, and
a ring gear that intermeshes with and surrounds the planetary gear; and
an oil pump contained in the housing and configured to be driven by the carrier, wherein the oil pump is directly driven by the carrier.

US Pat. No. 10,347,887

BATTERY MODULE WITH AUXILIARY COMPONENTS

NIO USA, Inc., San Jose,...

1. A battery module, comprising:a plurality of battery module spaces arranged adjacent to one another inside a footprint of the battery module, wherein each space in the plurality of battery module spaces is sized to receive a battery cell of the battery module;
a plurality of battery cells disposed in a first set of the plurality of battery module spaces, wherein a number of the plurality of battery cells is less than a total number of the plurality of battery module spaces for the footprint of the battery module; and
a plurality of auxiliary components disposed in a different second set of the plurality of battery module spaces, wherein a number of battery module spaces in the second set of the plurality of battery module spaces is at most equal to a difference between the total number of the plurality of battery module spaces for the footprint of the battery module and the number of the plurality of battery cells disposed in the first set of the plurality of battery cells.

US Pat. No. 10,486,512

COMPACT SIDE-BY-SIDE MOTOR GEARBOX UNIT

NIO USA, Inc., San Jose,...

1. A motor gearbox unit, comprising:a motor housing comprising a base that mounts to a frame of a vehicle and two motor receptacles formed in the motor housing and arranged side-by-side axially offset from one another;
a first electric motor attached to the motor housing, the first electric motor including a first motor body and a first drive shaft extending from a portion of the first motor body, wherein the first motor body is disposed in a first motor receptacle of the two motor receptacles, wherein the first motor body includes a front face disposed at an end of the first motor body and a rear face disposed at an opposite end of the first motor body, and wherein the first drive shaft lies in a first plane that is substantially parallel to and offset a first distance from the base;
a second electric motor attached to the motor housing, the second electric motor including a second motor body and a second drive shaft extending from a portion of the second motor body, wherein the second motor body is disposed in a second motor receptacle of the two motor receptacles, wherein the second motor body includes a front face disposed at an end of the second motor body and a rear face disposed at an opposite end of the second motor body, wherein the second drive shaft lies in the first plane, wherein the first electric motor is arranged adjacent to the second electric motor, the first electric motor oriented such that the first drive shaft is disposed facing a first direction and the second electric motor oriented such that the second drive shaft is disposed facing a second direction opposite the first direction, wherein the first drive shaft is not coaxial with the second drive shaft, and wherein the front face of the first motor body is substantially coplanar with the rear face of the second motor body and the front face of the second motor body is substantially coplanar with the rear face of the first motor body;
a first gearbox mechanically interconnected to the first drive shaft; and
a second gearbox mechanically interconnected to the second drive shaft, wherein a power output axis of the first gearbox is colinear with a power output axis of the second gearbox, wherein the power output axis of the first gearbox and the power output axis of the second gearbox lie in a second plane that is substantially parallel to and offset a second distance from the base, and wherein the second distance is greater than the first distance.

US Pat. No. 10,369,974

CONTROL AND COORDINATION OF DRIVERLESS FUEL REPLENISHMENT FOR AUTONOMOUS VEHICLES

NIO USA, Inc., San Jose,...

1. A method, comprising:monitoring an amount of fuel units based on data representing a threshold indicative of a portion of a fuel reservoir capacity;
predicting a fuel expenditure of an autonomous vehicle to identify a predicted fuel expenditure during a range of time in which the amount of fuel units is predicted to be equivalent to the threshold, comprising:
accessing an energy expenditure profile describing rates of energy expended during time intervals during the range of time; and
calculating an amount of energy expenditure over one or more of the time intervals at which the amount of fuel units is predicted to be equivalent to the threshold;
identifying a subset of time during the range of time as a candidate time frame to replenish at least a portion of the fuel reservoir capacity;
transmitting electronic messages from the autonomous vehicle to reserve a replenishment station at a specific time associated with the candidate time frame and a geographic location; and
activating, via an autonomy controller, the autonomous vehicle to drive autonomously to the geographic location to receive a fuel replenishment from the replenishment station.

US Pat. No. 10,369,898

RECHARGEABLE VEHICLE THERMAL MANAGEMENT CHARGING SYSTEM

NIO USA, Inc., San Jose,...

1. A charging system, comprising:a rechargeable electric vehicle comprising an interior and exterior, the interior comprising a rechargeable energy storage unit in electrical communication with one or more electric motors to propel the electric vehicle and a receptacle to receive electrical energy to recharge the energy storage unit, and a first thermal management unit to control an operating temperature of the energy storage unit;
an external power source in electrical communication, by the receptacle, with the energy storage unit;
a second thermal management unit located outside the rechargeable electric vehicle exterior and in fluid communication with the energy storage unit; and
a microprocessor programmed, based on an energy storage unit-related parameter, to control an operating temperature of the energy storage unit by passing, via the second thermal management unit, a thermal management fluid through at least part of the first thermal management unit or a thermal management fluid recycle loop in fluid communication with the first thermal management unit, wherein the microprocessor is programmed to isolate the first thermal management unit from flow of the thermal management fluid by closing one or more valves in fluid communication with the recycle loop, and wherein, in a first operating mode, the thermal management fluid is cooled by the first but not the second thermal management unit and, in a different second operating mode, the thermal management fluid is cooled by the second but not the first thermal management unit.

US Pat. No. 10,363,828

SYSTEMS AND METHODS FOR REGULATING CHARGING OF ELECTRIC VEHICLES

NIO USA, Inc., San Jose,...

15. A power system for an electric vehicle, comprising:a first battery;
a second battery;
a converter including:
a first switching element coupled to a first control signal line that controls switching of the first switching element according to a first control signal;
a second switching element coupled to a second control signal line that controls switching of the second switching element according to a second control signal;
a third switching element coupled to a third control signal line that controls switching of the third switching element according to a third control signal;
a fourth switching element coupled to a fourth control signal line that controls switching of the fourth switching element according to a fourth control signal, the first, second, third, and fourth switching elements being connected in series and coupled between power signal lines that receive a first voltage from an external power source;
at least one capacitance coupled between the power signal lines and coupled to the plurality of switching elements, the first battery and the second battery; and
a resonant circuit coupled to the plurality of switching elements, the resonant circuit having a resonant frequency; and
a controller to supply the first, second, third, and fourth control signals such that the converter converts the first voltage into a second voltage to charge the first battery and the second battery,
wherein the first battery is coupled between an output line and a first power signal line of the power signal lines that is coupled to a positive terminal of the external power source,
wherein the second battery is coupled between the output line and a second power signal line of the power signal lines that is coupled to a negative terminal of the external power source, and
wherein the controller supplies the first, second, third, and fourth control signals to:
turn ON and OFF the first, second, and third switching elements such that i) the first and third switching elements are ON for a first time period while the second switching element is OFF for the first time period, ii) the first and third switching elements are OFF for a second time period while the second switching element is ON for the second time period, iii) the third switching element is pulsed ON and OFF at least once during the second time period, and iv) the fourth switching element is OFF for the first and second time periods.

US Pat. No. 10,471,829

SELF-DESTRUCT ZONE AND AUTONOMOUS VEHICLE NAVIGATION

NIO USA, Inc., San Jose,...

1. A vehicle control system, comprising:a microprocessor; and
a computer readable medium coupled to the microprocessor and comprising instructions stored thereon that cause the microprocessor to:
receive output from sensors associated with a power system in a vehicle monitoring a state of the power system while the vehicle is in a connected charging state with an external charging system at a parked location, wherein the vehicle is in park and a charging connector of the external charging system is physically connected with a charging receptacle of the vehicle in the connected charging state;
determine, based on at least one output from the sensors exceeding a predetermined threshold value, that the state of the power system includes a power system fault;
determine that a user of the vehicle is outside of the vehicle;
eject, in response to determining that the state of the power system includes the power system fault, the charging connector of the external charging system from the charging receptacle of the vehicle physically separating the vehicle from the external charging system;
determine whether the parked location of the vehicle is in a safe destruction location; and
autonomously drive the vehicle from the parked location to an identified safe vehicle destruction location when the parked location of the vehicle is determined not to be in a safe destruction location.

US Pat. No. 10,410,250

VEHICLE AUTONOMY LEVEL SELECTION BASED ON USER CONTEXT

NIO USA, Inc., San Jose,...

1. A vehicle, comprising:a sensor configured to sense driving functions associated with an operation of the vehicle;
a vehicle control system configured to autonomously control driving functions of the vehicle; and
a processor in communication with the sensor and the vehicle control system, the processor configured to:
receive information from the sensor when a driver of the vehicle is operating the vehicle in a manual operational mode, wherein the information corresponds to driving functions performed by the driver in the manual operational mode;
determine, based on the information received from the sensor, a manual control behavior for the driving functions performed by the driver in the manual operational mode, the manual control behavior defining a manual driving style of the driver;
determine, based on the determined manual control behavior, an autonomous operational mode for controlling driving functions of the vehicle during an autonomous operation of the vehicle, wherein the autonomous operational mode includes an autonomous control behavior that mimics the manual control behavior and matches the manual driving style of the driver;
send the autonomous operational mode to the vehicle control system to control driving functions of the vehicle during the autonomous operation of the vehicle using the determined autonomous control behavior that mimics the determined manual control behavior and matches the manual driving style of the driver;
monitor, while the vehicle control system is autonomously controlling a driving function of the vehicle using the determined autonomous control behavior, a biometric characteristic of the driver to determine a level of anxiety of the driver; and
present, in response to determining an increased level of anxiety of the driver above a baseline level of anxiety for the driver, an option for the driver to take control over the vehicle.

US Pat. No. 10,392,853

POWERED ACCESSORY PORT CLOSURE LID

NIO USA, Inc., San Jose,...

1. An accessory port, comprising:a motor comprising a shaft and configured to rotate the shaft when energized;
a screw cam attached to the shaft and comprising a cam channel traversing the exterior of the screw cam partially rotationally traversing the exterior of the screw cam and partially longitudinally traversing the exterior of the screw cam;
a housing, comprising a guide pin engaging the cam channel; and
a lid attached to the screw cam;
wherein the motor, in response to being energized to rotate the shaft a first direction, provides a rotational force to the screw cam, the cam channel engaging the guide pin to translate a portion of the rotational force into a longitudinal force and thereby cause the lid to simultaneously be lifted away from the housing and rotated along the longitudinal axis.

US Pat. No. 10,262,469

CONDITIONAL OR TEMPORARY FEATURE AVAILABILITY

NIO USA, Inc., San Jose,...

1. A method for controlling availability of features of a vehicle, the method comprising:receiving, at a control system of a vehicle over a network connection from a remote server and at a first time, a set of initial parameters, each parameter of the set of initial parameters is related to a feature of a set of features of the vehicle and defines availability of the feature, wherein the set of initial parameters defines at least one feature of the vehicle as unavailable and further defines the unavailability of the at least one feature of the vehicle as overridable upon detection of an emergency condition by the control system of the vehicle;
saving, by the control system of the vehicle, the set of initial parameters;
applying, by the control system of the vehicle, the set of initial parameters to operations of the vehicle, wherein applying the set of initial parameters to operations of the vehicle comprises controlling operations of one or more features of the vehicle to levels indicated by the set of initial parameters;
receiving, at the control system of the vehicle over the network connection from the remote server, a notification associated with a status of payment of a fee associated with the vehicle;
receiving, at the control system of the vehicle over the network connection from the remote server and at a second time, a set of updated parameters associated with the status of fee payment, the set of updated parameters comprising at least one parameter corresponding to a parameter in the initial set of parameters but having a different value;
saving, by the control system of the vehicle, the set of updated parameters; and
applying, by the control system of the vehicle, the set of updated parameters to operations of the vehicle, wherein applying the set of updated parameters to operations of the vehicle comprises controlling operations of one or more features of the vehicle to levels indicated by the set of updated parameters.

US Pat. No. 10,423,162

AUTONOMOUS VEHICLE LOGIC TO IDENTIFY PERMISSIONED PARKING RELATIVE TO MULTIPLE CLASSES OF RESTRICTED PARKING

NIO USA, Inc., San Jose,...

1. A method, comprising:determining a parking area for an autonomous vehicle;
based at least in part on the parking area, determining a parking place for the autonomous vehicle comprising capturing an image of a parking place sign;
determining a parking duration for the autonomous vehicle in the parking place;
based at least in part on the parking duration and on the image, determining a classification of the parking place; and
based at least in part on the classification, initiating a command to position the autonomous vehicle in the parking place.

US Pat. No. 10,369,966

CONTROLLING ACCESS TO A VEHICLE USING WIRELESS ACCESS DEVICES

NIO USA, Inc., San Jose,...

1. A method for controlling access to a vehicle, the method comprising:maintaining, by a security system controller of the vehicle, a plurality of security profiles, each security profile associated with a different access device or type of access device;
detecting, by the security system controller through a wireless communications interface, presence of an access device in proximity to the vehicle or a request to access the vehicle;
retrieving, by the security system controller from the plurality of security profiles, a security profile associated with the detected access device or the request to access the vehicle;
determining, by the security system controller, whether to grant access to the vehicle based on the detected access device or the request to access the vehicle and the retrieved security profile, wherein determining whether to grant access to the vehicle further comprises:
determining whether to authenticate a user associated with the detected access device or request to access the vehicle based on the retrieved security profile,
in response to determining to authenticate the user, performing an authentication process indicated by the retrieved security profile, and
determining whether to grant access to the vehicle based on a result of performing the authentication process; and
in response to determining to grant access to the vehicle, granting, by the security system controller, access to the vehicle according to an access level for the detected access device or the request to access the vehicle, wherein the access level is identified in the retrieved security profile and is selected from a plurality of different access levels.

US Pat. No. 10,267,075

SELF-CONTAINED DOOR HINGE MECHANISM

NIO USA, Inc., San Jose,...

1. A self-contained hinge mechanism, comprising:a housing;
a shaft having a body section disposed inside the housing, the shaft rotationally coupled to the housing;
a plurality of friction rings arranged along an axial length of the body section of the shaft, wherein each friction ring in the plurality of friction rings is rotationally-locked to the body section of the shaft;
a plurality of pressure contact disks rotationally-locked inside the housing, wherein each friction ring of the plurality of friction rings is in contact with and sandwiched between two pressure contact disks of the plurality of pressure contact disks;
a first force member adjacent to a first end of the body section and in compressive contact with a first pressure contact disk of the plurality of pressure contact disks; and
a second force member adjacent to a second end of the body section and opposing the first force member, wherein the second force member is in compressive contact with a second pressure contact disk of the plurality of pressure contact disks, wherein the first force member and the second force member are both contained within the housing, and wherein the first force member and the second force member apply a compressive force toward one another clamping the plurality of friction rings and the plurality of pressure contact disks together and providing a resistance to rotational movement of the shaft relative to the housing.

US Pat. No. 10,606,274

VISUAL PLACE RECOGNITION BASED SELF-LOCALIZATION FOR AUTONOMOUS VEHICLES

NIO USA, Inc., San Jose,...

1. An autonomous vehicle control system, comprising:a processor in communication with a sensor, the sensor sensing an environment surrounding a vehicle associated with the vehicle control system, wherein a feature vector describes at least a portion of the environment at a current location of the vehicle on a route, the processor being programmed to:
receive view image information from the sensor comprising the feature vector;
extract extraneous information from the received view image information, wherein the extraneous information comprises view information other than the feature vector, and wherein extracting the extraneous information isolates the feature vector;
retrieve feature vector information associated with one or more segments of a route of travel for the vehicle;
compare the isolated feature vector to the retrieved feature vector information;
determine if the isolated feature vector and the retrieved feature vector information match; and
if the isolated feature vector and the retrieved feature vector information match, determine that the current location of the vehicle is at a segment location of the one or more segments associated with the retrieved feature vector information.

US Pat. No. 10,399,445

METHOD AND SYSTEM FOR EJECTING A CHARGING HANDLE FROM A VEHICLE

NIO USA, INC., San Jose,...

1. A vehicle, comprising:a power storage system;
a charging receptacle including at least one connector electrically coupled to the power storage system and configured to selectively interconnect with a charging connector of an external vehicle charging system;
a charging connection separation mechanism, comprising:
an ejection actuator configured to provide a separation force between the charging receptacle and the charging connector;
a microprocessor; and
a computer readable medium coupled to the microprocessor and comprising instructions stored thereon that cause the microprocessor to:
detect an interconnection between the charging receptacle and the charging connector;
receive, while the charging receptacle and the charging connector are interconnected, a signal indicating a power system fault has been detected, wherein the power system fault is associated with the power storage system of the vehicle;
determine, based on the signal received, a severity level of the power system fault;
determine, based on the severity level of the power system fault exceeding a predetermined threshold value, to automatically disconnect the interconnection between the charging receptacle and the charging connector; and
actuate the charging connection separation mechanism to disconnect the interconnection between the charging receptacle and the charging connector.

US Pat. No. 10,363,938

AUTHENTICATION USING ELECTROMAGNET SIGNAL DETECTION

NIO USA, Inc., San Jose,...

1. A vehicle, comprising:at least one motor being configured for selective mechanical coupling with at least one drive wheel of the vehicle; and
a motor controller that provides a motor control signal to the at least one motor or an electrical component connected to the at least one motor, wherein the motor controller further utilizes the at least one motor to transmit an electromagnetic signal to a receiver system, and wherein the motor controller comprises a motor speed controller that selectively adjusts a rotational speed of the at least one motor thereby causing the at least one motor to emit the electromagnetic signal at a predetermined frequency.

US Pat. No. 10,396,631

DUAL INVERTER AND ELECTRIC MOTOR SPLIT-FLOW COOLING SYSTEM

NIO USA, Inc., San Jose,...

1. A cooling system, comprising:a cooling supply chamber disposed adjacent to and along a length of an inverter, the cooling supply chamber configured to receive coolant;
a first cooling channel extending from and in fluid connection with the cooling supply chamber, the first cooling channel following a path arranged to cool a first area of the inverter;
a second cooling channel extending from and in fluid connection with the cooling supply chamber, the second cooling channel following a path arranged to cool a different second area of the inverter, wherein the first cooling channel ends at a first outlet, and wherein the second cooling channel ends at a different second outlet;
a first motor cooling channel interconnected with the first outlet of the first cooling channel, the first motor cooling channel configured to follow a length of a first electric motor; and
a second motor cooling channel interconnected with the second outlet of the second cooling channel, the second motor cooling channel configured to follow a length of a second electric motor, wherein the first and second motor cooling channels interconnect to a single cooling system exit channel.

US Pat. No. 10,388,081

SECURE COMMUNICATIONS WITH SENSITIVE USER INFORMATION THROUGH A VEHICLE

NIO USA, Inc., San Jose,...

1. A vehicle, comprising:a memory to:
store user information associated with a user in the vehicle;
store vehicle information associated with the vehicle, wherein the vehicle information comprises at least one of a vehicle identification number of the vehicle, an electronic serial number associated with the vehicle, and an engine code of the vehicle;
a processor in communication with the memory, the processor configured to:
determine that the user desires to interact with a third party;
retrieve the user information from the memory;
retrieve the vehicle information from the memory;
combine the user information and the vehicle information into a first communication for the third party; and
automatically send the first communication to the third party for the user to authenticate the user to the third party,
wherein the third party is a vendor,
wherein the user is a passenger of the vehicle, wherein a first sensor detects a presence of the passenger in the vehicle, wherein the processor receives the presence and provides a user interface for the passenger to enter the user information, and
wherein, while the vehicle is in motion, the processor:
receives a plurality of transaction options from a plurality of vendors, each transaction option comprising an offer for the user to purchase a good or service;
retrieves user preferences from the memory;
in response to the transaction options and based on the user preferences, pre-filters the plurality of transaction options to identify which of the plurality of transaction options to present to the user by the user interface;
in response to identifying a transaction option to present to the user, renders the user interface for a display to request authorization from the user to allow a financial transaction for the user to purchase the good or service from the vendor associated with the identified transaction option, wherein the user interface is rendered for the display such that the display displays a plurality of time periods for which the financial transaction is authorized;
receives user input associated with the identified transaction option regarding the authorization of the financial transaction to purchase the good or service, the user input indicating that the user authorizes the financial transaction for a selected time period of the plurality of time periods;
in response to the user input, renders the user interface for the display such that the display continuously displays a remaining amount of time in the selected time period; and
based on the user input and while the vehicle is in motion, automatically sends, by a secure session, the authorization to the vendor on behalf of the user, the authorization enabling the vendor to complete the financial transaction using the first communication.

US Pat. No. 10,436,306

METHODS AND SYSTEMS FOR NOISE MITIGATION IN MULTIPLE MOTOR GEARBOX DRIVE UNITS

NIO USA, Inc., San Jose,...

1. A method for controlling noise in a multiple motor gearbox drive unit, comprising:operating first and second motor drive units of the multiple motor gearbox drive unit at a first time, the multiple motor gearbox drive unit having a first synchronization between engaging drive elements in the first and second motor drive units at the first time;
determining, via a processor, a cumulative noise sound wave having a first intensity emitted from the multiple motor gearbox drive unit, wherein the cumulative noise sound wave is a combination of a first noise sound wave generated by the first motor drive unit and a second noise sound wave generated by the second motor drive unit at the first time;
determining, via the processor, that the first intensity of the cumulative noise sound wave exceeds a predetermined noise intensity threshold; and
sending, via the processor, a control signal to the first motor drive unit changing the first synchronization to a second synchronization between engaging drive elements in the first and second motor drive units, wherein changing to the second synchronization shifts a phase angle of the first noise sound wave relative to the second noise sound wave and changes the first intensity to a lower second intensity within the predetermined noise intensity threshold.

US Pat. No. 10,395,440

BATTERY AGNOSTIC PROVISIONING OF POWER

NIO USA, Inc., San Jose,...

1. A method for provisioning an amount of power for one or more vehicles, the method comprising:receiving, at a service provider system and over a communications network, a request indicating a requirement for an amount of power for the one or more vehicles, the request indicating the requirement for the amount of power for the one or more vehicles individually or in total;
reading, by the service provider system, a set of management rules from one or more databases;
reading, by the service provider system, a set of service configuration information from one or more databases;
reading, by the service provider system, a set of vehicle specific information for the one or more vehicles from one or more databases;
determining, by the service provider system, one or more power sources to meet the requirement for the amount of power for the one or more vehicles based on applying the management rules and using the set of service configuration information and the set of vehicle information;
providing, from the service provider system over the communications network to a controller of a battery exchange facility, an indication of the determined power sources; and
operating, by the controller of the battery exchange facility, equipment of the battery exchange facility to affect a battery exchange on the one or more vehicles based on the indication of the determined power sources.

US Pat. No. 10,551,838

METHOD AND SYSTEM FOR MULTIPLE SENSOR CORRELATION DIAGNOSTIC AND SENSOR FUSION/DNN MONITOR FOR AUTONOMOUS DRIVING APPLICATION

NIO USA, Inc., San Jose,...

1. A vehicle, comprising:a vehicle interior for receiving one or more occupants;
a plurality of sensors to collect sensed information associated with an environment around the vehicle;
an automated driving system; and
a sensor control processor in communication with the plurality of sensors and the automated driving system, wherein the sensor control processor:
receives a first sensor signal from a first sensor of the plurality of sensors;
receives a second sensor signal from a second sensor of the plurality of sensors;
determines a zone in the environment where a first coverage of the first sensor overlaps with a second coverage of the second sensor;
determines a degradation of at least one of the first sensor and the second sensor based on a test of information, in the first sensor signal and the second sensor signal, associated with the zone;
stores, in a memory of the vehicle and based on the degradation determined, sensor qualification data for the at least one of the first sensor and the second sensor associated with the zone;
receives a fused sensor signal from the plurality of sensors, wherein the fused sensor signal comprises the sensed information associated with the environment around the vehicle;
determines, based on the fused sensor signal received and the sensor qualification data stored, that the zone is associated with a disqualification; and
modifies, based on disqualification, the fused sensor signal received into a verified fused sensor signal generated excluding at least one of the first sensor signal, the second sensor signal, and the zone.

US Pat. No. 10,430,833

SENSOR SURFACE OBJECT DETECTION METHODS AND SYSTEMS

NIO USA, Inc., San Jose,...

1. A method, comprising:receiving, via a processor, output from sensors of a vehicle monitoring an environment around a portion of the vehicle;
determining, via the processor, a first output over time for a first sensor of the sensors of the vehicle;
determining, via the processor, a second output over time for a second sensor of the sensors of the vehicle;
identifying, via the processor and based on sensor information in the first output over time and the second output over time, an obstructed sensor from at least one of the first sensor and the second sensor; and
sending, via the processor, a message including information about the obstructed sensor to one or more devices of the vehicle,
wherein the sensor information in the first output over time includes a time of flight defining a time for a detection signal emitted by the first sensor to be detected by the first sensor,
wherein the first sensor is identified as the obstructed sensor when the time of flight in the first output over time is less than a time of flight minimum threshold, the time of flight minimum threshold being defined as a minimum time of flight for maintaining a desired distance between the first sensor and possible obstructions,
wherein the message instructs a sensor cleaning system of the vehicle to clean the obstructed sensor,
wherein the sensor cleaning system includes:
an actuator attached to the obstructed sensor that moves the obstructed sensor between a first position and a second position;
a support structure around the obstructed sensor and set back from a wall of the vehicle; and
at least one flexible cleaning member that covers the obstructed sensor in the second position and that bends over the support structure at a location between the obstructed sensor and the support structure,
wherein, as the actuator moves the obstructed sensor between the first position and the second position and vice versa, the at least one flexible member cleans the surface of the obstructed sensor.

US Pat. No. 10,507,783

ADAPTIVE BACKUP STRUCTURE FOR AIRBAG SUPPORT

NIO USA, Inc., San Jose,...

1. A vehicle comprising:a driver seat;
a passenger seat;
a display mounted on a dashboard positioned in front of the passenger seat, the display movable between a first position flush with the dashboard and a second position angled toward the driver seat; and
an airbag system comprising an airbag cushion configured to deploy into a space between the passenger seat and the display, the airbag cushion further configured to inflate in a controlled manner that pushes the display from the second position to the first position.

US Pat. No. 10,502,318

REMOTE LOCKING SYSTEM FOR AN AUTONOMOUS VEHICLE

NIO USA, Inc., San Jose,...

1. A locking system for a vehicle, comprising:a locking mechanism operably connected to an axle of the vehicle, the locking mechanism being selectively actuatable to prevent a power system from rotating the axle; and
a control station connected to the locking mechanism through a wireless network and configured to remotely actuate the locking mechanism,
wherein the locking mechanism includes:
a rotatable member attached to the axle;
a stationary member attached to the vehicle;
a bracket including a C-shaped channel that accommodates a portion of the rotatable member such that a perimeter surface of the portion of the rotatable member is within the C-shaped channel, wherein the bracket has a first side attached to the stationary member;
a controller attached to a second side of the bracket; and
a pin controllable by the controller to extend through the second side of the bracket to penetrate and deform the rotatable member to prevent rotation of the axle by locking the rotating member to the stationary member,
wherein the power system is autonomously controlled by an electronic control system and the controller that controls the pin independent from the electronic control system.

US Pat. No. 10,479,241

AUTOMOTIVE SEATBACK AIR VENT

NIO USA, Inc., San Jose,...

1. A vehicle, comprising:a seat comprising a fixed frame and a movable structure, the fixed frame comprising a bottom frame element and a back frame element and the movable structure comprising a bottom support and a back support, the fixed frame supporting the movable structure for movement relative to the fixed frame; and
an air duct fixedly connected to the fixed frame, the air duct terminating in an air vent positioned on a rearward side of the seat at a height between a bottom of the fixed frame and a top of the fixed frame,
wherein movement of the movable structure relative to the fixed frame has no effect on a position of the air vent relative to the fixed frame;
wherein the back support is movable independently of the bottom support; and
wherein the bottom support is movable in forward and backward directions independently of the back support.

US Pat. No. 10,410,064

SYSTEM FOR TRACKING AND IDENTIFYING VEHICLES AND PEDESTRIANS

NIO USA, Inc., San Jose,...

1. An apparatus for locating objects specified in an emergency alert, the apparatus comprising:one or more imagers, each imager having a respective bubble of vision,
a real time communication interface,
a short range communication interface,
a geo locating system to determine a location of a vehicle at a selected point in time; and
a vehicle computer communicatively coupled to the one or more imagers, the geo locating system, the real time communication interface, and the short range communication interface;
wherein the vehicle computer:
acquires a plurality of images from the one or more imagers,
determines if the plurality of images contain another vehicle,
determines if an active alert has been received via the real time communication interface,
when the plurality of images contain the another vehicle and the active alert has been received via the real time communication interface, selectively transmits via the real time communication interface the plurality of images to a database server based on a vehicle analysis, and
when the plurality of images contain the another vehicle and the active alert has not been received via the real time communication interface, stores the plurality of images in a storage medium of the vehicle.

US Pat. No. 10,220,717

ELECTRIC VEHICLE EMERGENCY CHARGING SYSTEM AND METHOD OF USE

NIO USA, Inc., San Jose,...

1. A system for charging an electric vehicle moving along a roadway, the system comprising:an electrical storage unit disposed on the electric vehicle;
a charging panel in electrical communication with the electrical storage unit;
a vehicle controller that determines if the electrical storage unit requires charging and determines if an emergency external power source is available to charge the electrical storage unit, wherein the emergency external power source is a vehicle including a towed charging plate; and
a vehicle database including emergency charging data that positions and controls the charging panel relative to the towed charging plate of the emergency external power source;
wherein the vehicle controller retrieves a separation distance from the vehicle database, the separation distance defining a distance between the charging panel and the roadway, and wherein the towed charging plate is configured to position within the separation distance at a threshold distance from the charging plate and inductively charge the electrical storage unit without contacting the charging panel; and
wherein the charging panel receives a charge from the towed charging plate of the emergency external power source disposed at the threshold distance from the charging plate and inductively charges the electrical storage unit.

US Pat. No. 10,532,663

ELECTRIC VEHICLE OVERHEAD CHARGING SYSTEM AND METHOD OF USE

NIO USA, Inc., San Jose,...

1. A system for charging a moving electric vehicle, the system comprising:an electrical storage unit disposed on the moving electric vehicle;
a charging panel in electrical communication with the electrical storage unit;
a vehicle controller that determines if the electrical storage unit requires charging and configured to determine if an overhead power source is available and able to charge the electrical storage unit, wherein the charging panel is configured to receive a charge from the overhead power source to charge the moving electric vehicle;
at least one distance sensor disposed at the charging panel and configured to measure a distance between the charging panel and the overhead power source;
a movement controller configured to adjust a position of the charging panel; and
at least one environmental sensor mounted on the moving electric vehicle,
wherein the movement controller controls the charging panel to be initially positioned at a selectable desired separation distance from the overhead power source such that the charging panel does not contact the overhead power source and the measured distance between the charging panel and the overhead power source is the same as the selectable desired separation distance,
wherein the selectable desired separation distance is selected from a vehicle database,
wherein the vehicle database includes a minimum visibility and a maximum wind speed desired for charging with the overhead power source,
wherein the environmental sensor senses environmental conditions surrounding the moving electric vehicle, the sensed environmental conditions including information regarding a possible roadway hazard or roadway event for the moving electric vehicle, a measured visibility, and a measured wind speed,
wherein the vehicle controller accesses the vehicle database and determines that the overhead power source is able to charge the moving electric vehicle when the measured visibility is above the minimum visibility and when the measured wind speed is below the maximum wind speed, and
wherein the movement controller adjusts the position of the charging panel while the moving electric vehicle is moving based on the information in order to maintain the selectable desired separation distance between the overhead power source and charging panel.

US Pat. No. 10,354,460

METHODS AND SYSTEMS FOR ASSOCIATING SENSITIVE INFORMATION OF A PASSENGER WITH A VEHICLE

NIO USA, Inc., San Jose,...

1. A vehicle, comprising:a sensor to:
detect a first presence of a driver in a vehicle; and
detect a second presence of a passenger in the vehicle;
a memory to:
store first sensitive information for the driver of the vehicle; and
store second sensitive information for the passenger in the vehicle, wherein the first and second sensitive information comprises financial information of the driver and the passenger, respectively; and
a processor in communication with the sensor and the memory, the processor to:
receive the first presence and second presence;
provide a user interface for the passenger to enter the second sensitive information;
receive the second sensitive information for the passenger;
associate the second sensitive information with the vehicle;
send the second sensitive information to the memory for storage; and
while the vehicle is in motion, communicate with an external third party positioned along a selected route of the vehicle to perform a financial transaction on behalf of the passenger using the second sensitive information, wherein the external third party is a vendor, wherein the processor is programmed to initiate automatically the financial transaction on behalf of the passenger, wherein the financial transaction is initiated by a request from the vendor, and wherein, in response to the request, the processor pre-filters an associated transaction request before presenting the transaction request to the driver or passenger by a different second user interface.

US Pat. No. 10,586,254

METHOD AND SYSTEM FOR ADAPTIVE VEHICLE CONTROL IN AUTONOMOUS VEHICLES

NIO USA, Inc., San Jose,...

1. A vehicle, comprising:a vehicle interior for receiving a plurality of occupants;
a plurality of sensors to collect sensed information associated with the vehicle interior and an exterior of the vehicle;
an automatic vehicle location system to determine a current spatial location of the vehicle;
a computer readable medium to store one or more occupant profiles describing a behavioral response of the vehicle to the sensed information when the vehicle is in an autonomous mode of operation; and
a microprocessor, coupled to the plurality of sensors, automatic vehicle location system, and computer readable medium, that, when in the autonomous mode of operation:
identifies a first occupant of the vehicle;
accesses a first occupant profile corresponding to the identified first occupant, the first occupant profile comprising one or more behavior segments for the first occupant, the one or more behavior segments mapping a vehicle behavior response for the first occupant, the vehicle behavior response being one of more of an acceleration event, an acceleration rate, a deceleration event, a deceleration rate, a steering angle relative to a reference axis, and a spacing distance between an exterior surface of the vehicle and a nearby object for the first occupant, against one or more sensed inputs and wherein the vehicle collects sensed information during manual and autonomous control of the vehicle;
identifies a second occupant of the vehicle;
accesses a second occupant profile corresponding to the identified second occupant, the second occupant profile comprising one or more behavior segments for the second occupant;
determines, based on the sensed information collected while the first occupant and the second occupant are both in the vehicle, that at least one of the one or more behavior segments for the first occupant and the one or more behavior segments for the second occupant are different than when only one of the first occupant and the second occupant are in the vehicle;
generates, based on the first and the second occupant profiles and the determined difference in the at least one of the one or more behavior segments, a composite group profile comprising a combination of the first and the second occupant profiles that defines an autonomous control behavior for the one or more of an acceleration event, an acceleration rate, a deceleration event, a deceleration rate, a steering angle relative to a reference axis, and a spacing distance between an exterior surface of the vehicle and a nearby object in accordance with the combination of the first and the second occupant profiles;
selects the composite group profile for use by the vehicle while the first occupant and the second occupant are both in the vehicle; and
causes the vehicle to autonomously execute the selected one or more of an acceleration event, an acceleration rate, a deceleration event, a deceleration rate, a steering angle relative to a reference axis, and a spacing distance between an exterior surface of the vehicle and a nearby object in accordance with the composite group profile.

US Pat. No. 10,515,390

METHOD AND SYSTEM FOR DATA OPTIMIZATION

NIO USA, Inc., San Jose,...

1. A vehicle, comprising:a vehicle interior for receiving one or more occupants;
a powertrain to transmit power from a power source to an electric motor to propel the vehicle;
a user interface to receive input from an occupant and provide output to the occupant;
a plurality of sensors to sense information related to occupants;
an automatic vehicle location system to determine a current spatial location of the vehicle;
a computer readable medium to store a composite occupant profile; and
a microprocessor, coupled to the user interface, plurality of sensors, automatic vehicle location system, and computer readable medium, to:
determine that the vehicle interior comprises a group of plural occupants;
identify each occupant of the group of plural occupants;
based on individual profiles of the group of plural occupants, create a composite occupant profile that represents the group of plural occupants, the composite occupant profile comprising an identity of each occupant of the group of plural occupants and group preferences for various vendor products or services, wherein each occupant of the group of plural occupants has a corresponding individual occupant profile, each individual occupant profile comprising individual preference values, wherein the composite occupant profile and the group preferences are created by combining, for a selected preference, a preference value for the selected preference retrieved from the individual preference values for each occupant using one or more of a role value for each occupant of the group of plural occupants, an unweighted average of the individual preference values of each occupant of the group of plural occupants for the selected preference, a mode of the individual preference values of each occupant of the group of plural occupants for the selected preference, and a median of the individual preference values of each occupant of the group of plural occupants for the selected preference; and
based on the composite occupant profile and received inputs from the user interface, automatic vehicle location system, and plurality of sensors, one or more of: (a) propose one or more vendor products or services for the group of plural occupants; (b) publish the one or more vendor products or services selected by the group of plural occupants, via a social network, to associated or selected associates of one or more of the occupants in the group of plural occupants; and (c) present advertisement information from a vendor server associated with the proposed or selected one or more vendor products or services to one or more of the occupants in the group of plural occupants.

US Pat. No. 10,464,530

VOICE BIOMETRIC PRE-PURCHASE ENROLLMENT FOR AUTONOMOUS VEHICLES

NIO USA, Inc., San Jose,...

10. A computer implemented method of enabling vehicle features based on a voice of a user, the method comprising:receiving, by a processor of a vehicle, a voice command from a user via an array of microphones adapted to detect a user's voice from within the vehicle;
determining, by the processor, a location of the user based on the received voice command;
transmitting, by the processor, the voice command to an external server via a network connection;
generating, by the processor, a first voice biometric match score based on the voice command by processing the voice command;
receiving via the network connection a second voice biometric match score based on the voice command from the external server;
comparing, by the processor, the first voice biometric match score based on the voice command with the second voice biometric match score based on the voice command;
determining a user identity, by the processor, based on the comparison of the first voice biometric match score based on the voice command with the second voice biometric match score based on the voice command;
based on the determined user identity, associating, by the processor, a user identification with the voice command;
determining, by the processor, a user permission associated with the user based on the associated user identification and the determined location of the user;
allowing, by the processor, access to one or more vehicle features, wherein the one or more vehicle features are associated with the determined user identity and the determined location of the user; and
after allowing access to the one or more vehicle features, activating a vehicle function based on the voice command.

US Pat. No. 10,608,301

POWER ELECTRONICS WITH INTEGRATED BUSBAR COOLING

NIO USA, Inc., San Jose,...

1. A battery module comprising:power electronics;
a busbar coupled to one or more batteries; and
a cooling device, wherein the power electronics are mounted to the cooling device, wherein the cooling device is mounted to the busbar, wherein the cooling device thermally cools both the power electronics and the busbar,
wherein the cooling device includes a top portion and a bottom portion,
wherein the power electronics are mounted to a first side of the bottom portion,
wherein the busbar is sandwiched between a second side of the bottom portion and the top portion, the second side being opposite the first side,
wherein the bottom portion includes a cavity in which a cooling substance circulates, and
wherein the bottom portion includes at least one vertical interconnection access (via) traveling through the cavity between the first side and the second side to make electrical connection between the power electronics and the busbar.

US Pat. No. 10,601,090

USING A SPACER TO BLOCK PATH OF THERMALLY CONDUCTIVE STRUCTURAL ADHESIVE IN LITHIUM ION CELLS

NIO USA, Inc., San Jose,...

1. A power source module comprising:one or more power cells, each power cell comprising a pressure vent on a side of the power cell, the pressure vent adapted to relieve an internal pressure of the cell when the internal pressure exceeds a threshold;
a cooling plate disposed adjacent and substantially parallel to a side of the one or more power cells having the pressure vent;
one or more spacers, each spacer disposed between one of the one or more power cells and the cooling plate and substantially surrounding the pressure vent of one of the one or more power cells; and
a thermally conductive potting material disposed between the one or more power cells and the cooling plate, wherein the potting material prevents any of the one or more power cells from directly contacting the cooling plate, provides a thermally conductive layer between the one or more power cells and the cooling plate, and comprises a structural member between and joining the one or more power cells and the cooling plate, and wherein each spacer prevents flow of the liquid potting material into an area around the vent of one of the one or more power cells while the potting material cures.

US Pat. No. 10,556,599

CONDITIONAL PROGRESSIVE DEGRADATION OF ELECTRIC VEHICLE POWER SUPPLY SYSTEM

NIO USA, Inc., San Jose,...

1. An electric vehicle, comprising:a power source;
an electric motor electrically connected to the power source, wherein the power source is configured to provide electrical energy to the electric motor according to a selective power capability; and
a power management controller electrically interconnected with the power source, the power management controller comprising:
a microprocessor; and
a computer readable medium coupled to the microprocessor and comprising instructions stored thereon that cause the microprocessor to:
determine a first power capability of the power source, wherein the first power capability corresponds to a capacity of electrical charge set as available for the power source;
receive, at a first time, a first power degradation signal from a remote administrative server to selectively degrade the first power capability of the power source;
determine, based on the first power degradation signal received, that the electric vehicle is not authorized to receive power at the first power capability from the power source;
degrade, based on the first power degradation signal received, the first power capability of the power source to a decreased second power capability of the power source, wherein the decreased second power capability corresponds to a reduced percentage of the capacity of electrical charge set as available for use by the electric vehicle;
receive, at a second time, a second power degradation signal from the remote administrative server to selectively degrade the decreased second power capability of the power source:
determine, based on the second power degradation signal received, that the electric vehicle is not authorized to receive power at the decreased second power capability from the power source; and
degrade, based on the second power degradation signal received, the decreased second power capability of the power source to a further decreased third power capability of the power source, wherein the further decreased third power capability maintains a minimum usable capacity of electrical charge for the power source.

US Pat. No. 10,556,614

BODY MOUNTED SLIDING STEERING COLUMN WITH OFFSET FEEDBACK ACTUATOR

NIO USA, Inc., San Jose,...

1. A vehicle, comprising:a frame defining a passenger cabin having a front and a back;
a plurality of parallel rails mounted to the frame near the front of the passenger cabin;
a sliding steering assembly, comprising:
an arm having two ends, the first end slidably connected to the plurality of parallel rails and the second end supporting a housing;
a steering column extending from the housing and comprising a first section rotatably connected to the arm, a second section slidably engaged with the first section, and a third section slidably engaged with the second section; and
a steering wheel affixed to an end of the steering column; and
a force feedback motor configured to selectively exert a rotational force on the steering column.

US Pat. No. 10,671,271

JOG DIAL USER INTERFACE DEVICE

NIO USA, Inc., San Jose,...

1. A user interface device, comprising:a longitudinal support shaft having a lumen extending a length along an axis of the longitudinal support shaft;
a rotary dial having a first end and an opposite second end, the rotary dial including an internal cavity that opens to the first end, the rotary dial rotationally coupled to the longitudinal support shaft;
a touchpad disposed adjacent to the first end of the rotary dial and at least partially surrounded by a periphery of the rotary dial, the touchpad rotationally fixed to the longitudinal support shaft;
an encoder wheel affixed to the rotary dial, the encoder wheel including a plurality of position identifications features disposed in a pattern around a periphery of the encoder wheel; and
an encoder sensor operatively coupled to read the plurality of position identification features of the encoder wheel, wherein the encoder sensor is rotationally fixed relative to the rotary dial, and wherein the encoder sensor is configured to detect the plurality of position identification features as the rotary dial and encoder wheel rotate relative to the encoder sensor,
wherein the rotary dial rotates about the longitudinal support shaft while the touchpad remains rotationally fixed to the longitudinal support shaft, wherein the encoder wheel and the encoder sensor are disposed in the internal cavity of the rotary dial, and wherein an electrical lead for the encoder sensor passed through the lumen of the longitudinal support shaft.

US Pat. No. 10,657,818

EXTERNAL ALERT SYSTEM FOR VEHICLE DOOR OPENING

NIO USA, Inc., San Jose,...

1. A vehicle, comprising:an interior cabin;
an interior sensor that senses an action taken by an occupant of the vehicle within the interior cabin; and
a processor in communication with the interior sensor, the processor to:
detect a trigger event associated with the vehicle;
receive information from the interior sensor regarding the action taken by the occupant;
determine, in response to detecting the trigger event and based on the information, that the action corresponds to an exit behavior associated with the occupant;
determine a location in the interior cabin where the action corresponding to the exit behavior is sensed by the interior sensor;
determine an exit door of the vehicle closest to the location in the interior cabin where the exit behavior is sensed by the interior sensor; and
based on the determination that the action corresponds to the exit behavior and the determination of the exit door closest to the location in the interior cabin where the exit behavior is sensed by the interior sensor, provide an alert external to the vehicle to warn that the occupant is exiting the vehicle and to identify a side of the vehicle including the exit door through which the occupant is exiting, wherein the alert comprises a visual indicia projected as a sign from the vehicle onto a sidewalk or roadway in physical proximity to the vehicle and the exit door.

US Pat. No. 10,616,259

REAL-TIME NETWORK VULNERABILITY ANALYSIS AND PATCHING

NIO USA, Inc., San Jose,...

1. A method for real-time network vulnerability analysis and patching on one or more networks within a vehicle, the method comprising:executing, by a network security system within the vehicle, a policy enforcer, the policy enforcer applying, in real-time, a plurality of security policies controlling access to the one or more networks within the vehicle, wherein the one or more networks within the vehicle include a Controller Area Network (CAN) of the vehicle;
executing, by the network security system within the vehicle, an anti-virus and anti-malware detection application performing real-time monitoring of the one or more networks within the vehicle based on a set of virus and malware signatures;
monitoring, by the network security system within the vehicle, the one or more networks within the vehicle in real-time and continuously using a set of risk definitions defining risks based on a set of changes and use patterns on the one or more networks within the vehicle;
determining, by the network security system within the vehicle, whether the vehicle is in use and whether the vehicle can be temporarily disconnected and isolated from an external network;
in response to determining that the vehicle is not in use and can be temporarily disconnected and isolated from the external network, performing, by the network security system within the vehicle, one or more penetration tests of the one or more networks within the vehicle and one or more network components of the one or more networks within the vehicle to determine if the one or more networks within the vehicle or one or more network components of the one or more networks within the vehicle are open to one or more attack methods defined in the penetration tests;
identifying, by the network security system, one or more vulnerabilities in the one or more of the networks within the vehicle based on one or more of the policy enforcer applying the security policies, the execution of the anti-virus and anti-malware detection application, the monitoring of the one or more networks within the vehicle, and the one or more penetration tests; and
performing, by the network security system, a remedial action directed to eliminating the identified one or more vulnerabilities, wherein the remedial action comprises isolating, at least temporarily, a user, application, or component of the vehicle creating the vulnerability from the one or more networks within the vehicle.

US Pat. No. 10,576,994

AUTONOMOUS SYSTEM OPERATOR COGNITIVE STATE DETECTION AND ALERTING

NIO USA, Inc., San Jose,...

1. An alerting component for an autonomous system, comprising:a user sensor configured to sense a cognition-indicating attribute of a user utilizing the autonomous system and the user sensor is further configured to output a user sensor signal in accord with the sensed cognition-indicating attribute;
a system state input configured to receive a system state indicating whether the autonomous system requires the attention of the user;
a processor, comprising a memory for storing instructions for execution by the processor, and receiving the user sensor signal and the system state sensor; and
the processor, upon determining that each of the system state indicates the autonomous system is in a state that requires an action from the user and the user sensor signal indicates the user is presently inattentive, executes an alerting protocol; and
wherein the processor, as an output of the execution of the alerting protocol, signals the autonomous system to perform an alerting action; and
wherein the processor, having at least initiated execution of the alerting protocol, fails to receive an acknowledgement input to a device configured to receive an input from the user, provides a subsequent alerting signal to the autonomous system to perform an alerting action.

US Pat. No. 10,560,253

SYSTEMS AND METHODS OF CONTROLLING SYNCHRONICITY OF COMMUNICATION WITHIN A NETWORK OF DEVICES

NIO USA, Inc., San Jose,...

1. A method for controlling synchronization of signals in a system of devices, the method comprising steps of:receiving, by a processor of a computing device, a first signal from a first transmitting device to a first destination device;
initializing an estimator by setting a first initial sampling time estimate and a first initial covariance of estimation error;
determining a first time interval of the received first signal between a first current time step and a first previous time step;
estimating a first probability of synchronicity, wherein the first probability is estimated by applying a first Mahalanobis distance as a metric;
based on the estimated first probability of synchronicity, determining that the first signal is synchronous with an internal clock of the computing device;
based on the determination that the first signal is synchronous with the internal clock of the computing device:
flagging the first transmitting device as a synchronous device; and
transmitting the first signal to the first destination device;
receiving, by the processor of the computing device, a second signal from a second transmitting device to a second destination device;
initializing the estimator by setting a second initial sampling time estimate and a second initial covariance of estimation error;
determining a second time interval of the received second signal between a second current time step and a second previous time step;
estimating a second probability of synchronicity, wherein the second probability is estimated by applying a second Mahalanobis distance as a second metric;
based on the estimated second probability of synchronicity, determining that the second signal is asynchronous with the internal clock of the computing device; and
based on the determination that the second signal is asynchronous with the internal clock of the computing device:
flagging the second transmitting device as an asynchronous device; and
transmitting the second signal to a synchronization device.

US Pat. No. 10,551,207

AUTONOMOUS VEHICLE SENSOR DATA AND MAP INTEGRATION

NIO USA, Inc., San Jose,...

1. A method, comprising:rendering, by a display device of a vehicle, a map display presentation at a first time including a map representing a geographical area surrounding the vehicle, the map disposed on a first viewing plane and a second viewing plane of a multiple-plane map surface, wherein the first viewing plane is disposed at a non-zero angle relative to the second viewing plane, wherein the first viewing plane and the second viewing plane are joined by a transition surface, wherein the first viewing plane is visible in a first section of the display device, wherein the transition surface is visible in a second section of the display device disposed adjacent to and above the first section, and wherein the second viewing plane is visible in a third section of the display device disposed adjacent to and above the transition surface; and
moving, as the vehicle moves in a physical environment at a second time, a portion of the map rendered to the second viewing plane at the first time in a direction toward and onto the first viewing plane at the second time while simultaneously moving a portion of the map rendered to the first viewing plane at the first time off the first viewing plane at the second time.

US Pat. No. 10,538,174

REAL-TIME NONLINEAR RECEDING HORIZON CONTROL OF BATTERIES FOR POWER SYSTEMS

NIO USA, Inc., San Jose,...

1. A computer-implemented method for controlling nonlinear battery degradation through real-time nonlinear receding horizon control, the method comprising steps for:determining, by a processor, a current time;
determining, by the processor, a current state of charge of a battery;
integrating, by the processor, a two-point boundary value problem from the current time to an optimization horizon time;
obtaining, by the processor, based on the integrated two-point boundary value problem, a differential equation of a costate associated with the current state of charge of the battery;
integrating, by the processor, the differential equation of the costate in real-time;
computing, by the processor, a distributed optimal control protocol for controlling a degradation of the battery; and
generating, by the processor, a real-time optimal control scheme based on the distributed optimal control protocol, wherein the real-time optimal control scheme is used by the processor to adjust an output power of the battery to track a desired trajectory for the output power of the battery.

US Pat. No. 10,476,115

BATTERY CELL COOLING PLATE WITH CELL VENTS

NIO USA, Inc., San Jose,...

1. A battery module comprising:a cooling plate comprising:
a first chamber disposed within a body of the cooling plate to circulate a first material that cools the cooling plate;
a second chamber disposed within a portion of the first chamber, wherein the second chamber is physically separate from the first chamber; and
an opening in a top portion of the cooling plate that opens into the second chamber; and
a battery joined to the cooling plate over the opening, wherein a vent in a bottom of the battery vents through the opening in the cooling plate and into the second chamber.

US Pat. No. 10,443,282

ARTICULATING MECHANISM FOR A VEHICLE DOOR

NIO USA, Inc., San Jose,...

1. An articulating mechanism for a vehicle door, comprising:a supporting member having a first end and a second end, the first end being pivotably connected directly to a vehicle frame and the second end being pivotably connected to a door bracket, wherein the supporting member supports substantially all of a vehicle door weight;
an aligning member having a third end and a fourth end, the third end being pivotably connected directly to the vehicle frame and the fourth end being pivotably connected to the door bracket, wherein the aligning member supports substantially none of the vehicle door weight, and wherein the supporting member is larger than the aligning member; and
a rail secured to a vehicle door,
wherein the door bracket is slideably connected to the rail, the supporting member and the aligning member rotate to move the vehicle door toward or away from the vehicle frame without rotating the vehicle door, and the door bracket slides relative to the rail to move the door forward or backward along the vehicle frame.

US Pat. No. 10,442,307

INTEGRATED POWER SYSTEMS FOR ELECTRIC VEHICLES

NIO USA, Inc., San Jose,...

1. A power module for a vehicle, comprising:a bidirectional voltage converter to i) convert a first voltage to a second voltage and convert the second voltage back to the first voltage, and ii) convert the first voltage to a third voltage and convert the third voltage back to the first voltage;
one or more power sources that are coupled to the bidirectional voltage converter and that supply power to auxiliary components of the vehicle; and
a controller to control the bidirectional voltage converter and the one or more power sources,
wherein the first voltage is for supplying power to a powertrain of the vehicle, and
wherein the second voltage and the third voltage are for supplying power to the one or more power sources.

US Pat. No. 10,442,375

INTEGRATED POWER SYSTEMS FOR ELECTRIC VEHICLES

NIO USA, Inc., San Jose,...

1. A power module for a vehicle, comprising:a first bidirectional voltage converter to convert a first voltage to a second voltage and convert the second voltage back to the first voltage;
a second bidirectional voltage converter to convert the first voltage to a third voltage and convert the third voltage back to the first voltage;
a first battery coupled to the first bidirectional voltage converter to receive the second voltage;
a second battery coupled to the second bidirectional voltage converter to receive the third voltage; and
a controller to control the first and second bidirectional voltage converters and the first and second batteries,
wherein the first voltage is for supplying power to a powertrain of the vehicle, and
wherein the second voltage and the third voltage are for supplying power to the first and second batteries, respectively.

US Pat. No. 10,360,020

VIRTUAL MACHINE (VM) APPROACH TO EMBEDDED SYSTEM HOT UPDATE

NIO USA, Inc., San Jose,...

1. A software updating apparatus that operates on an electric vehicle, comprising:a memory;
a hardware interface in communication with a system of the electric vehicle, wherein the system controls a function of the electric vehicle;
reserved resources for loading and testing an updated version of an active operating system (OS) of the electric vehicle;
a processor in communication with the memory, wherein the processor:
deploys a first virtual machine (VM) that executes a first operating system, the first OS being the active OS for the system of the electric vehicle;
deploys a second VM in the reserved resources that executes the updated version of the first OS; and
deploys a third VM that executes a backup copy of the first OS, the backup copy being used for hot swapping the active OS executed by the first OS in case of a failure of the first OS or the first VM; and
a hypervisor in communication with the first VM, the second VM, the third VM, and the hardware interface, wherein the hypervisor:
receives an input from the hardware interface and forwards the input to the first VM executing the first OS and the second VM executing the updated version of the first OS;
receives a first output from the first VM and forwards the first output to the hardware interface for controlling the function of the electric vehicle;
receives a second output from the second VM and blocks the second output from being sent to the hardware interface such that the second output is not used for controlling the function of the electric vehicle;
compares the first output and the second output;
in response to the comparison, deploys, based on one or more rules, the updated version of the first OS executed by the second VM as the active OS and deconstructs a connection between the first VM and the hypervisor;
updates the third VM to the updated version of the first OS and assign the third VM as a backup version of the active OS executed by the second VM, the updated version of the first OS in the third VM being used for hot swapping the active OS executed by the second VM in case of a failure of the second VM or a failure of the active OS in the second VM; and
reserves resources of the first VM for a future update of the active OS being executed by the second VM.

US Pat. No. 10,668,823

SMART CRUISE CONTROL AND ADAS FOR RANGE EXTENSION

NIO USA, Inc., San Jose,...

1. A vehicle, comprising:an energy storage system including at least one battery;
one or more motors operatively coupled to the energy storage system and configured to produce, via the energy storage system, mechanical energy, to move the vehicle;
a braking system configured to slow the vehicle via one or more brakes; and
a control system operatively coupled to the one or more motors and the braking system, the control system configured to:
detect a modified operation trigger by detecting a slowing condition while the vehicle operates in cruise control, the slowing condition including a detection of an approaching stationary object,
determine a modified operation sequence for improving energy efficiency of the energy storage system based on the modified operation trigger, the modified operation sequence including determining a coasting position for the vehicle based on a distance to the approaching stationary object and road conditions, the coasting position being a position at which the vehicle can begin coasting and continue coasting to stop at the approaching stationary object without use of the one or more motors and the one or more brakes from the coasting position to the approaching stationary object, and
perform the modified operation sequence to improve energy efficiency of the energy storage system by controlling the vehicle to begin coasting at the coasting position and continue coasting to stop at the approaching stationary object without use of the one or more motors and the one or more brakes.

US Pat. No. 10,643,402

SYSTEM AND METHOD FOR ASSOCIATING USER AND VEHICLE INFORMATION FOR COMMUNICATION TO A THIRD PARTY

NIO USA, Inc., San Jose,...

1. A vehicle, comprising:a sensor that detects a first presence of a driver in a vehicle;
a memory that stores first sensitive information of the driver of the vehicle; and
a processor in communication with the sensor and the memory, the processor:
receives the first presence;
based upon receiving the first presence, provide a first user interface for the driver to enter first user information, the first user information comprising financial information of the driver and one or more of a biometric, a username, a password, mobile device information, payment information, a personal identification number, identifiers, an address, limits, preferences, and/or rules;
receives vehicle information associated with the vehicle;
combines the first user information and the vehicle information to generate a first sensitive information;
sends the first sensitive information to the memory for storage, wherein the first sensitive information is encrypted in the memory; and
communicates the first sensitive information to a vendor to authenticate the driver to enable the vendor to perform a financial transaction with the driver using the first sensitive information while the vehicle is in motion, wherein the processor is programmed to initiate automatically, on behalf of the driver, the financial transaction with the vendor in response to a sensed state or location of the vehicle, and wherein the processor authorizes the financial transaction with the vendor in response to a plurality of vehicle speed, proximity to a location of the vendor, and historical information associated with the driver or passenger.

US Pat. No. 10,598,734

REPORTING OF VEHICLE BATTERY STATE OF HEALTH AND CHARGE

NIO USA, Inc., San Jose,...

1. A vehicle, comprising:a plurality of battery sensors, each of the plurality of sensors being configured to translate one or multiple battery performance parameters into an electrical signal indicative of the one or multiple battery performance parameters; and
a energy management system comprising:
one or more sensor interfaces that enable the energy management system to receive electrical signals from the plurality of battery sensors;
a State of Charge (SOC) manager that prepares SOC information describing a SOC of one or more batteries in the vehicle based on the received electrical signals and reports the SOC information via an instrument panel of the vehicle;
a State of Health (SOH) manager that prepares first SOH information describing a SOH of the one or more batteries in the vehicle based on the received electrical signals and reports the first SOH information via the instrument panel of the vehicle; and
SOH optimizer instructions that, when executed by a processor, cause the processor to:
identify a plurality of vehicles;
determine a subset of vehicles in the identified plurality vehicles having better SOH performance than remaining vehicles in the identified plurality of vehicles;
analyze second SOH information describing a SOH of batteries in the subset of vehicles;
identify commonalities within the analyzed second SOH information that contribute to the subset of vehicles having the better SOH performance; and
determine a suggested change in a particular use of the one or more batteries by the user of the vehicle based on the identified commonalities.

US Pat. No. 10,514,088

AUTOMATIC OIL EXCHANGE SERVICE FOR ELECTRIC VEHICLE GEARBOXES

NIO USA, Inc., San Jose,...

1. A system for automatic oil in servicing of an electric vehicle gearbox, comprising:a station;
an actuator having a retracted state and an extended state;
a supporting structure coupled to the actuator; and
a return hose, a supply hose, and an oil level sensor wire coupled to the station and the supporting structure, wherein the return hose is coupled with a return hose coupling attached to the supporting structure and the supply hose is coupled with a supply hose coupling attached to the supporting structure, wherein the return hose coupling is separated a distance from the supply hose coupling, wherein the return hose coupling and the supply hose coupling are configured to be received by and coupled with corresponding parts of a gearbox in the electric vehicle when the actuator is in the extended state, and wherein the return hose coupling and the supply hose coupling are configured to be detached from and decoupled from the corresponding parts of the gearbox in the electric vehicle when the actuator is in the retracted state;
wherein, when the actuator is in the extended state, the oil level sensor wire sends gearbox oil level information to the station, the return hose drains oil from the gearbox, and the supply hose supplies clean oil to the gearbox, thereby facilitating the automatic oil servicing.

US Pat. No. 10,457,314

RETRACTABLE TELESCOPIC MECHANISM FOR STEERING COLUMN WITH FEEDBACK ACTUATOR

NIO USA, Inc., San Jose,...

1. A vehicle, comprising:a passenger compartment having a front and a back;
a retractable telescopic steering column mounted near the front of the passenger compartment and configured to selectively extend rearwardly into the passenger compartment, the retractable telescopic steering column comprising a second segment slidably mounted to a first segment, and a third segment slidably mounted to the second segment;
a steering wheel fixedly connected to the retractable telescopic steering column; and
a force feedback motor configured to selectively exert a rotational force on the retractable telescopic steering column,
wherein the second segment comprises a first spline and a first slot, the first slot configured to receive a second spline of one of the first and third segments, and the first spline configured to be received by a second slot of one of the first and third segments; and
wherein the first spline and the second spline ensure that a rotational force applied to one of the first segment, the second segment, or the third segment is transmitted to the other segments of the telescopic steering column.

US Pat. No. 10,427,530

VEHICLE CHARGE QUERY AND EXCHANGE SYSTEM AND METHOD OF USE

NIO USA, Inc., San Jose,...

1. A system for charging an electric vehicle, the system comprising:an electrical storage unit;
a charging panel in electrical communication with the electrical storage unit, the charging panel configured to receive a charge from one or more external charging sources and charge the electrical storage unit; and
a vehicle controller configured to identify the one or more external charging sources, to transmit a query to the one or more external charging sources for charging data, and to receive the charging data from a charging source controller of the one or more external charging sources,
wherein if the vehicle controller determines that the charging data received from the charging source controller of the one or more external charging sources is acceptable, the charging panel of the electric vehicle receives charge from a charging plate of the one or more external charging sources while the one or more external charging sources is moving,
wherein the charging data includes pricing term data indicating an asking price of the charge from the charging plate of the one or more external charging sources,
wherein the charging data includes charging rate data indicating a maximum charging rate offered by the one or more external charging sources,
wherein the vehicle controller determines that the charging data is acceptable by determining that the asking price is less than a maximum threshold price set by a user of the electric vehicle, and determines that the maximum charging rate data received from the charging source controller is above a minimum threshold rate set by the user of the electric vehicle, and
wherein if the vehicle controller determines that the charging data is not acceptable, the vehicle controller automatically negotiates unmatched terms within the charging data with the charging source controller using negotiating parameters stored in a vehicle database in communication with the vehicle controller.

US Pat. No. 10,668,578

SYSTEMS AND METHOD FOR PUSHING A BUSBAR AGAINST A BATTERY CELL USING MAGNETIC FORCE

NIO USA, Inc., San Jose,...

1. A contactless welding system, comprising:a magnet disposed on a first side of a battery cell, wherein the first side of the battery cell is arranged opposite a second side of the battery cell, and wherein the magnet emits a magnetic field that causes a magnetic force to be applied to a tab for the battery cell;
a laser welder disposed on the second side of the battery cell, the laser welder configured to weld, via a laser beam emitted from the laser welder, the tab to a terminal disposed on the second side of the battery cell;
a controller, configured to:
send a control signal to an actuator and move a position of the magnet relative to the battery cell producing the force that causes the tab to come into physical contact with the terminal of the battery cell without touching the tab or the terminal of the battery cell with the magnet or other physical member; and
while the magnetic force causes the tab to come into physical contact with the terminal of the battery cell, activate the laser welder to weld the tab to the terminal of the battery cell from the second side of the battery cell, via the laser beam emitted from the laser welder.

US Pat. No. 10,632,863

SYSTEMS AND METHODS FOR REGULATING CHARGING OF ELECTRIC VEHICLES

NIO USA, Inc., San Jose,...

1. A converter, comprising:a plurality of switching elements including:
a first switching element coupled to a first control signal line that controls switching of the first switching element according to a first control signal;
a second switching element coupled to a second control signal line that controls switching of the second switching element according to a second control signal;
a third switching element coupled to a third control signal line that controls switching of the third switching element according to a third control signal; and
a fourth switching element coupled to a fourth control signal line that controls switching of the fourth switching element according to a fourth control signal, the first, second, third, and fourth switching elements being connected in series and coupled between power signal lines that receive a first voltage from an external power source;
at least one capacitance coupled between the power signal lines and coupled to the plurality of switching elements, a first battery and a second battery; and
a resonant circuit coupled to the plurality of switching elements, wherein the plurality of switching elements, the resonant circuit, and the at least one capacitance operate to convert the first voltage into a second voltage that balances voltages of the first battery and the second battery,
wherein the first battery is coupled between an output line and a first power signal line of the power signal lines that is coupled to a positive terminal of the external power source,
wherein the second battery is coupled between the output line and a second power signal line of the power signal lines that is coupled to a negative terminal of the external power source, and
wherein the controller supplies the first, second, third, and fourth control signals to:
turn ON and OFF the first, second, and third switching elements such that i) the first and third switching elements are ON for a first time period while the second switching element is OFF for the first time period, ii) the first and third switching elements are OFF for a second time period while the second switching element is ON for the second time period, iii) the third switching element is pulsed ON and OFF at least once during the second time period, and iv) the fourth switching element is OFF for the first and second time periods.

US Pat. No. 10,625,626

CHARGING SYSTEMS AND METHODS FOR ELECTRIC VEHICLES

NIO USA, Inc., San Jose,...

1. A converter for an electric vehicle, comprising:a plurality of switching elements connected in series and coupled between power signal lines that receive a first voltage from an external power source external to the electric vehicle;
at least one capacitance coupled between the power signal lines and coupled to the plurality of switching elements, a first battery and a second battery; and
a resonant circuit coupled to the plurality of switching elements, a switching frequency of the plurality of switching elements being matched to a resonant frequency of the resonant circuit such that, during a charging mode that charges the first battery and the second battery, the plurality of switching elements, the resonant circuit and the at least one capacitance operate to convert power of the first voltage from the external power source into a second voltage that balances charging of the first battery and the second battery, wherein the first voltage is greater than the second voltage, and wherein the first voltage and the second voltage are direct current (DC) voltages.

US Pat. No. 10,611,205

AUTO-LEVELING SUSPENSION AND METHOD FOR THE SAME

NIO USA, Inc., San Jose,...

1. A method for accounting for a mismatch that exists between a bumper of a vehicle and a potential impact point associated with an object using an active suspension of the vehicle, the method comprising:detecting, by sensors of the vehicle, an impending collision between the vehicle and the object;
determining, prior to the collision, an amount of braking applied for the vehicle;
determining, based on the amount of braking applied for the vehicle and prior to the collision, that a mismatch will exist between the bumper of the vehicle and the potential impact point associated with the object at a time of the collision;
determining, based on the amount of braking applied for the vehicle and prior to the collision, an amount of offset between the bumper of the vehicle and the potential impact point associated with the object at a time of the collision; and
actuating, prior to the collision, the active suspension of the vehicle to account for the determined mismatch and continually remove a portion of the amount of offset until the time of the collision.

US Pat. No. 10,604,120

SENSOR CLEANING DEVICES AND SYSTEMS

NIO USA, Inc., San Jose,...

1. A sensor cleaning system, comprising:at least one sensor cleaning device including an obstruction cleaning element;
a microprocessor; and
a computer readable medium coupled to the microprocessor and comprising instructions stored thereon that cause the microprocessor to:
communicate with a sensor processor of a vehicle, wherein the sensor processor receives output from sensors of the vehicle monitoring an environment outside of the vehicle, the sensors of the vehicle comprising a first sensor and a second sensor configured to provide a substantially similar output over time when the first sensor and second sensor are in an unobstructed state, the substantially similar output comprising target characteristics of a plurality of targets in the environment outside of the vehicle that are visible to the first sensor and the second sensor in the unobstructed state;
determine a difference between an output from the first sensor over a measured period of time compared to an output from the second sensor over the measured period of time, wherein the output from the first sensor over the measured period of time comprises changes in the target characteristics of the plurality of targets, and wherein the output from the second sensor over the measured period of time does not include the changes in the target characteristics of the plurality of targets;
receive, based on the determined difference, a cleaning command from the sensor processor identifying the second sensor of the vehicle as having an obstructed sensor surface;
determine a sensor cleaning device associated with the second sensor from the at least one sensor cleaning device; and
send an electrical signal to the determined sensor cleaning device associated with the second sensor, wherein the electrical signal actuates the obstruction cleaning element of the determined sensor cleaning device.

US Pat. No. 10,530,816

METHOD FOR DETECTING THE USE OF UNAUTHORIZED SECURITY CREDENTIALS IN CONNECTED VEHICLES

NIO USA, Inc., San Jose,...

1. A method for detecting potential tampering with security features of a vehicle the method comprising:maintaining, by one or more systems of the vehicle, a plurality of credentials, each credential comprising a key value and a set of one or more attributes identifying the credential and each credential being associated with a component of a plurality of components of the vehicle connected with a communications network of the vehicle and used by the component to access the communications network;
maintaining, by a network security system of the vehicle, separate from the credentials, information related to and identifying each credential of the plurality of credentials;
performing, by the network security system, a plurality of checks on the credentials using the maintained information, wherein the plurality of checks comprise one or more checks on each of the plurality of credentials individually and one or more checks on the plurality of credentials together in aggregate, wherein the one or more checks on each of the plurality of credentials individually comprises at least a check to determine whether one or more attributes of the credential has changed since last performing the plurality of checks, and wherein the one or more checks on the plurality of credentials together in aggregate comprises at least a check to determine whether a total number for the plurality of credentials has changed since last performing the plurality of checks; and
determining, by the network security system, whether one or more of the credentials have been changed based on the one or more checks.

US Pat. No. 10,466,061

AUTONOMOUS OVERRIDE SAFETY

NIO USA, Inc., San Jose,...

1. A vehicle, comprising:an emergency shut off switch;
a shut down module connected to the emergency shut off switch, the shut down module determining whether an emergency stop or an emergency shut down should be performed based on a signal from the emergency shut off switch;
a vehicle control system in communication with the shut down module to activate a plurality of emergency stop or emergency shut down procedures; and
a shut down coordination module in communication with the shut down module, the shut down coordination module determining a new safe stop location for the vehicle based on feedback received from one or more other vehicles in response to a transmitted emergency beacon.

US Pat. No. 10,457,181

METHOD AND APPARATUS FOR SEAT AND BOLSTER ADJUSTMENT

NIO USA, Inc., San Jose,...

1. An active vehicle bolster system, comprising:a seat;
at least one bolster disposed on one side of the seat;
a detector;
a drive motor coupled to the at least one bolster and the detector, the drive motor operable, upon receiving a first signal from the detector, to cause the at least one bolster to alter position from a first position to a second position, the second position being a position in which a surface of the seat and a surface of the at least one bolster are in a substantially same first plane, the first position being a position in which the surface of the at least one bolster forms a non-zero angle with the first plane,
wherein the seat includes a mat,
wherein the at least one bolster includes a first bolster having a first bolster insert at a first side of the seat, and a second bolster having a second bolster insert at a second side of the seat opposite the first side,
a first cable interlaced through first openings formed through the first bolster insert and first openings formed through the mat;
a second cable interlaced through second openings formed through the second bolster insert and second openings formed through the mat; and
a shaft coupled to the at least one bolster insert and driveable by the drive motor such that in the first position the first and second cables have a level of slack and such that in the second position the first and second cables are pulled tight,
wherein the first openings in the first bolster insert are aligned with one another at an edge of the first bolster insert that is closest to the mat,
wherein the first openings in the mat are aligned with one another at an edge of the mat that is closest to the first bolster insert,
wherein the second openings in the second bolster insert are aligned with one another at an edge of the second bolster insert that is closest to the mat, and
wherein the second openings in the mat are aligned with one another at an edge of the mat that is closest to the second bolster insert.

US Pat. No. 10,710,633

CONTROL OF COMPLEX PARKING MANEUVERS AND AUTONOMOUS FUEL REPLENISHMENT OF DRIVERLESS VEHICLES

NIO USA, Inc., San Jose,...

1. A method comprising:computing vehicular drive parameters to apply to a vehicle controller to facilitate driverless transit of an autonomous vehicle coextensive with a path of travel to a destination geographical location;
accessing map data to identify a boundary including the destination geographical location and a portion of the path of travel;
detecting that the autonomous vehicle is in proximity with the boundary;
accessing, in response to detecting that the autonomous vehicle is in proximity with the boundary, executable instructions to facilitate vectoring the autonomous vehicle in accordance with the portion of the path of travel;
applying a first subset of the vehicular drive parameters to guide the autonomous vehicle along the portion of the path of travel to arrive at a termination point at the destination geographical location in a first position and a first orientation;
detecting, while the autonomous vehicle is within the boundary, passenger entry to or exit from the autonomous vehicle at a point along the portion of the path of travel; and
automatically applying, in response to detecting the passenger entry to or exit from the autonomous vehicle, a second subset of the vehicular drive parameters to arrive at the termination point in at least one of an adjusted position and an adjusted orientation compared to the first position and the first orientation,
wherein the second subset of the vehicular drive parameters is computed prior to detecting that the autonomous vehicle is in proximity with the boundary.

US Pat. No. 10,635,109

VEHICLE PATH-PLANNER MONITOR AND CONTROLLER

NIO USA, Inc., San Jose,...

1. An autonomous driving system, comprising:a processor, the processor further comprising circuitry and a memory;
a sensor, in communication with the processor;
an actuator control programmed to receive a motion control command and convert the motion control command into an actuator command;
an actuator configured, in response to receiving an actuator command, to execute an operation controlling an aspect of locomotion for a vehicle and further provide an actuator feedback signal;
a motion control system programmed to determine a path boundary and provide motion control commands to the actuator to cause the vehicle to traverse the path boundary, wherein the path boundary defines an expected location of the vehicle for a particular timeframe; and
wherein the processor, in communication with the actuator control and the motion control system, is programmed to:
access a safe zone boundary for the vehicle, wherein the safe zone boundary defines a dynamic envelope that the vehicle may operate in to avoid identified objects while traversing the path boundary;
determine whether the path boundary has breached the safe zone boundary;
in response to determining that the safe zone boundary has been breached, determine whether the actuator feedback is divergent from the motion control command;
in response to determining that the actuator feedback is divergent from the motion control command, process a failure in accordance with an actuator failure; and
wherein processing the failure comprises executing a mitigating action to mitigate the vehicle's breach or potential breach of the safe zone boundary.

US Pat. No. 10,608,299

COOLING SYSTEM FOR A BATTERY PACK SYSTEM FOR QUICKLY ADDRESSING THERMAL RUNAWAY

NIO USA, Inc., San Jose,...

1. A battery pack system, comprising:a battery pack module comprising a plurality of sealed battery cell containers, wherein each sealed battery cell container of the plurality of sealed battery cell containers comprises,
a plurality of sidewalls surrounding a battery cell receiving space;
a bottom wall connected to a first end of the plurality of sidewalls,
a top lid connected to an opposite second end of the plurality of sidewalls, wherein the plurality of sidewalls, the bottom wall, and the top lid form an enclosure having an interior including the battery cell receiving space;
a battery cell disposed completely within the interior of the enclosure, wherein the battery cell is supported by the bottom wall, and wherein the battery cell is configured to store electrical energy;
a port disposed in the top lid providing access into the interior of the enclosure,
a valve operatively connected to the port, wherein the valve is arranged at the port adjacent to the top lid; and
a sensor disposed in the enclosure and configured to monitor a performance parameter of the battery cell;
a battery pack management system comprising a controller operatively connected to the sensor and the valve of each sealed battery cell container; and
a cooling system comprising a coolant source, a fluid channel connecting the coolant source to each valve of the plurality of sealed battery cell containers, wherein the fluid channel is a single channel that interconnects with, and spans across, each sealed battery cell container along a single side of the battery pack module,
wherein the controller:
receives a signal from the sensor of a particular sealed battery cell container of the plurality of sealed battery cell containers, the signal indicative of an abnormal condition of the battery cell of the particular sealed battery cell container; and
controls the valve of the particular sealed battery cell container to selectively introduce coolant fluid from the fluid channel into the particular sealed battery cell container via the port of the particular sealed battery cell container, wherein the coolant fluid is a liquid that envelopes the battery cell disposed within the particular sealed battery cell container, and wherein the liquid is isolated in the particular sealed battery cell container enveloping the battery cell disposed therein.

US Pat. No. 10,604,020

FLOATING ARMATURE

NIO USA, Inc., San Jose,...

1. A system for reducing vibration in an electric vehicle, the system comprising:a charging panel;
an armature assembly coupled to the electric vehicle and the charging panel, the armature assembly including a floating section that isolates vibration between the charging panel and the electric vehicle, wherein the floating section includes a first portion coupled to one of the electric vehicle or the charging panel and a second portion coupled to the other one of the electric vehicle or the charging panel,
wherein the first portion includes a T-shaped element having a T-top that is substantially enclosed by the second portion and a T-leg that extends away from the T-top and that protrudes from the second portion,
wherein, in a cross-sectional view, the second portion conforms to a shape of the T-top to substantially enclose the T-top; and
a plurality of magnet assemblies, each magnet assembly of the plurality of magnet assemblies including a first magnet coupled to the first portion and a second magnet coupled to the second portion opposite the first magnet with like poles oriented toward each other,
wherein a first set of the plurality of magnet assemblies is located closer to a first end of the T-top than a second end of the T-top that is opposite the first end, and
wherein a second set of the plurality of magnet assemblies is located closer to the second end of the T-top than the first end.

US Pat. No. 10,608,941

DUAL-NETWORK FOR FAULT TOLERANCE

NIO USA, Inc., San Jose,...

1. A vehicle, comprising:a first plurality of devices associated with a first vehicle function;
a second plurality of devices associated with a second vehicle function;
a first communication network communicatively coupling each of the first plurality of devices to each other, communicatively coupling each of the second plurality of devices to each other, and communicatively coupling the first plurality of devices to the second plurality of devices;
a second communication network communicatively coupling less than all of the first plurality of devices to less than all of the second plurality of devices;
a third communication network communicatively coupling the first plurality of devices to the second plurality of devices for point-to-point communication therebetween; and
a communication manager that determines if a first communication message is a critical message and route the first communication message determined to be critical over the second communication network;
wherein,
the second communication network transmits messages determined to be critical from a first device of the first plurality of devices to a first device of the second plurality of devices;
the first device of the first plurality of devices includes a first communication interface coupled to the first communication network and a second communication interface coupled to the second communication network;
the first device of the second plurality of devices includes a first communication interface coupled to the first communication network and a second communication interface coupled to the second communication network;
the second communication network is a communication pathway directly connecting the second communication interface of the first device of the first plurality of devices to the second communication interface of the first device of the second plurality of devices; and
communication via the first communication network is in accordance with an Ethernet protocol, the communication via the second communication network is in accordance with a controller area network protocol, and the communication via the third communication network is in accordance with a wireless point-to-point network protocol.

US Pat. No. 10,672,060

METHODS AND SYSTEMS FOR AUTOMATICALLY SENDING RULE-BASED COMMUNICATIONS FROM A VEHICLE

NIO USA, Inc., San Jose,...

1. A vehicle, comprising:a memory that stores a data structure comprising a user rule applicable to third party vendor communications associated with a user in the vehicle; and
a processor in communication with the memory, wherein the processor:
determines, based on historic user behavior stored in the data structure of the memory and a current state of the vehicle, a need for communication with a third party vendor;
retrieves, automatically and in response to determining the need for communication with the third party vendor, the user rule from the data structure of the memory, wherein the user rule defines to which third party vendor the vehicle is pre-authorized to send a first communication to address the need, the need relating to a product or service of the third party vendor, and wherein the user rule defines a monetary limit the vehicle is pre-authorized to pay to a third party vendor for a product or service to address the need and a time limit the third party vendor is pre-authorized to receive payment for the product or service to address the need;
selects, based on the user rule, a third party vendor from among multiple possible third party vendors, wherein each of the multiple possible third party vendors is capable of providing the product or service to meet the need;
sends, automatically across a wireless communication network via a first communication protocol and based on the user rule, the first communication to a server of the selected third party vendor to address the need, wherein the first communication is associated with an order for the product or service, wherein the first communication comprises a pre-authorization comprising an incomplete portion of a complete financial information of the user; and
transmits, via a second communication protocol different from the first communication protocol, an authorization comprising a remaining portion of the complete financial information of the user to the selected third party vendor to complete the order and a financial transaction for the order.

US Pat. No. 10,644,279

DAMPING ARRANGEMENT FOR BATTERY CELL

NIO USA, Inc., San Jose,...

1. A battery pack comprising:a plurality of battery cells;
a battery housing comprising a plurality of receptacles that receive a respective one of the plurality of battery cells, wherein each receptacle of the plurality of receptacles is separated from one another by a flexible joint connection, wherein the flexible joint connection allows each receptacle of the plurality of receptacles to move independently of one another in the battery housing;
a plurality of guide sleeves each having an inner periphery and an outer periphery, wherein each guide sleeve of the plurality of guide sleeves contacts the respective one of the plurality of battery cells at the inner periphery; and
a plurality of damping inserts, each damping insert of the plurality of damping inserts positioned between the respective one of the plurality of battery cells and the battery housing, wherein each damping insert of the plurality of damping inserts contacts a respective one of the plurality of guide sleeves at the outer periphery and a portion of the battery housing surrounding the respective one of the plurality of battery cells, and wherein each damping insert of the plurality of damping inserts is separated and offset from the respective one of the plurality of battery cells by the respective one of the plurality of guide sleeves.

US Pat. No. 10,632,852

ELECTRIC VEHICLE OPTICAL CHARGING SYSTEM AND METHOD OF USE

NIO USA, Inc., San Jose,...

1. A system for vehicle optical charging, the system comprising:an optical charging station that transmits an optical signal, the optical charging station comprising a directive element that directs the transmitted optical signal; and
a receiver that receives the transmitted optical signal, the receiver being in electrical communication with an electrical storage unit of a vehicle and being tunable in accordance with the received optical signal,
wherein the received optical signal enables charging of the electrical storage unit,
wherein the optical charging station transmits another optical signal to gather initial information on an atmosphere through which the optical signal travels and to gather aiming data for the optical signal,
wherein the another optical signal is at lower-power than the optical signal, and
wherein the optical charging station receives a reflected version of the optical signal to produce additional information on rapidly changing characteristics of the atmosphere.

US Pat. No. 10,611,251

DISTRIBUTED PROCESSING NETWORK FOR RECHARGEABLE ELECTRIC VEHICLE TRACKING AND ROUTING

NIO USA, Inc., San Jose,...

1. A control system for a rechargeable vehicle control system, comprising:a processor; and
a non-transitory computer readable storage medium having stored thereon instructions that, when executed by the processor, cause the processor to:
identify rechargeable electric vehicles currently using a transportation network and track a last known position in the transportation network of each rechargeable electric vehicle; and
automatically direct the rechargeable electric vehicles to one of plural charging segments in the transportation network to receive a charge and balance (a) an electric load from charging of the rechargeable electric vehicles against (b) the available charging segments.

US Pat. No. 10,644,282

STAGGERED BATTERY CELL ARRAY WITH TWO-DIMENSIONAL INLINE TERMINAL EDGES

NIO USA, Inc., San Jose,...

1. A battery module, comprising:an array of battery cells arranged in a battery cell distribution pattern comprising a two-dimensional pattern, the two-dimensional pattern comprising:
a first row including a plurality of battery cell positions equispaced substantially in a first spacing along a first linear path extending in a first direction, the first row defining an outermost position for battery cells in the array of battery cells disposed along a first outer edge of the battery module;
a second row immediately adjacent to and offset a first distance from the first row in a second direction perpendicular to the first direction, wherein the second row includes a plurality of battery cell positions equispaced substantially in the first spacing along a second linear path extending in the first direction, wherein each of the plurality of battery cell positions in the second row are perpendicularly inline along the second direction with each of the plurality of battery cell positions in the first row; and
a staggered third row immediately adjacent to and offset a second distance from the second row in the second direction, wherein the second distance is less than the first distance, wherein the staggered third row includes a plurality of battery cell positions equispaced substantially in the first spacing along a third linear path extending in the first direction, wherein the plurality of battery cell positions in the staggered third row are offset in the first direction relative to the plurality of battery cell positions in the first and second rows such that the battery cell positions in the staggered third row are not inline along the second direction with the plurality of battery cell positions in the first and second rows.

US Pat. No. 10,775,263

SYSTEMS AND METHODS FOR DIAGNOSING SEAL INTEGRITY IN A BATTERY

NIO USA, Inc., San Jose,...

1. A method comprising:sending, with a processor, a command to an air compressor to alter air pressure within a battery housing;
measuring, with the processor, a first rate of change of the air pressure within the battery housing;
detecting that the air pressure within the battery housing is at one of a predetermined minimum or a predetermined maximum air pressure;
sending, with the processor, a command to the air compressor to cease altering the air pressure within the battery housing, wherein detecting that the air pressure within the battery housing is at the one of the predetermined minimum or the predetermined maximum air pressure triggers sending the command to cease altering the air pressure;
upon ceasing to alter the air pressure within the battery housing, determining a second rate of change of the air pressure within the battery housing; and
determining, by the processor, that an issue with the battery housing exists based on one or both of the first rate of change and the second rate of change of the air pressure within the battery housing.

US Pat. No. 10,703,201

MODULAR MOTOR GEARBOX UNIT AND DRIVE SYSTEM

NIO USA, Inc., San Jose,...

1. A modular drivetrain platform for an electric vehicle, comprising:a vehicle frame having a first end portion and a second end portion arranged opposite the first end portion, the vehicle frame comprising:
at least one mount surface extending from the first end portion of the vehicle frame to the second end portion of the vehicle frame;
a first modular drive unit mount set including first mount features spaced apart from one another in a first mount pattern having a first size and shape, the first modular drive unit mount set disposed in the at least one mount surface offset a first distance from the first end portion of the vehicle frame; and
a second modular drive unit mount set including second mount features spaced apart from one another in a second mount pattern having the first size and shape, such that the first mount pattern and first mount features match the second mount pattern and second mount features, respectively, the second modular drive unit mount set being disposed in the at least one mount surface offset a second distance from the second end portion of the vehicle frame;
wherein the first mount features and the second mount features are each configured to interchangeably engage with and retain a single-motor drive unit and a multiple-motor drive unit in a mounted position to the at least one mount surface via drive unit mount features formed from a portion of a motor of the single-motor drive unit and drive unit mount features formed from a portion of at least one motor of the multiple-motor drive unit, both drive unit mount features having a drive unit mount pattern having the first size and shape and matching the first mount pattern, and wherein, in the mounted position, at least one of the single-motor drive unit and the multiple-motor drive unit is disposed between the first end portion of the vehicle frame and the second end portion of the vehicle frame.

US Pat. No. 10,682,920

ULTRA-FAST CHARGE PROFILE FOR AN ELECTRIC VEHICLE

NIO USA, Inc., San Jose,...

1. A method of rapidly charging a battery, the method comprising the steps of:determining, by a battery management system, a voltage limit of a battery cell;
instructing, by the battery management system, a battery charging unit to apply increasing current to the battery cell;
determining, by the battery management system, that the current has reached a maximum current level;
instructing, by the battery management system, the battery charging unit to apply the maximum current level;
determining, by the battery management system, that a voltage level of the battery cell exceeds a voltage limit of the battery cell;
instructing, by the battery management system, the battery charging unit to apply decreasing current to a battery current level while keeping a voltage level of the battery cell at or near a constant level;
determining, by the battery management system, that a target state of charge of the battery cell has been reached based on a measurement of a resistance level of the battery cell;
instructing, by the battery management system, the battery charging unit to cease applying current;
determining, by the battery management system, that the battery cell has equalized;
instructing, by the battery management system, the battery charging unit to resume charging;
determining, by the battery management system, that the battery cell has reached an optimum voltage level for the battery cell; and
instructing, by the battery management system, the battery charging unit to cease charging.

US Pat. No. 10,685,503

SYSTEM AND METHOD FOR ASSOCIATING USER AND VEHICLE INFORMATION FOR COMMUNICATION TO A THIRD PARTY

NIO USA, Inc., San Jose,...

1. A vehicle, comprising:a sensor that detects a first presence of a driver in a vehicle;
a memory that stores first sensitive information of the driver of the vehicle; and
a processor in communication with the sensor and the memory, the processor:
receives the first presence;
based upon receiving the first presence, provides a first user interface for the driver to enter first user information, the first user information comprising financial information of the driver and one or more of a biometric, a username, a password, mobile device information, payment information, a personal identification number, identifiers, an address, limits, preferences, and/or rules;
receives vehicle information associated with the vehicle;
combines the first user information and the vehicle information to generate a first sensitive information;
sends the first sensitive information to the memory for storage, wherein the first sensitive information is encrypted in the memory; and
communicates the first sensitive information to a vendor to authenticate the driver to enable the vendor to perform a financial transaction with the driver using the first sensitive information while the vehicle is in motion, wherein the processor is programmed to initiate automatically, on behalf of the driver, the financial transaction with the vendor in response to a sensed state or location of the vehicle, and wherein the processor authorizes the financial transaction with the vendor in response to a plurality of vehicle speed, proximity to a location of the vendor, and historical information associated with the driver or passenger.

US Pat. No. 10,837,790

PRODUCTIVE AND ACCIDENT-FREE DRIVING MODES FOR A VEHICLE

NIO USA, Inc., San Jose,...

1. A vehicle, comprising:a first set of sensors to sense an environment surrounding the vehicle and to gather environment information about a location of the vehicle;
a second set of sensors to sense an inside of the vehicle and to gather occupant information about one or more occupants inside the vehicle; and
a vehicle control system to:
operate the vehicle in a high or a full automation level using the environment information;
identify the one or more occupants using the occupant information; and
retrieve, based on the identity of the one or more occupants, calendar information from a calendar of the one or more occupants;
wherein the vehicle control system determines, based on the calendar information, an event on the calendar scheduled to occur while the one or more occupants are inside the vehicle and a duration of the event, determines a number of possible routes from the location to a selected destination, selects, based on the duration of the event and from the number of possible routes, a first route from the location to the selected destination that ends after the event is scheduled to end, and executes the first route, wherein the first route comprises fewer interruptions to the one or more occupants while inside the vehicle relative to other routes of the number of possible routes and while the vehicle control system is operating in the high or full automation level,
wherein the vehicle control system automatically detects that the event ends during the first route using the occupant information and, in response to automatically detecting that the event ends during the first route, the vehicle control system automatically determines and executes a new route from a current location of the vehicle to the selected destination, and wherein the new route is a shortest route from the current location of the vehicle to the selected destination.

US Pat. No. 10,747,833

PERSONALIZED NEWS RECOMMENDATION ENGINE

NIO USA, Inc., San Jose,...

1. A system comprising:a microprocessor; and
a non-transitory computer readable medium, coupled with the microprocessor and comprising microprocessor readable and executable instructions that program the microprocessor to execute:
a network crawler that crawls one or more media sites to extract a plurality of titles for information contained in the one or more media sites and store the plurality of titles in a database that is separate and apart form the one or more media sites;
a data processor that removes one or more stop words and/or high frequency words from the plurality of titles in the database and applies a minimum cost flow maximum algorithm to find a maximum sum weighted match between the plurality of titles in the database wherein one or more of the following is true:
(a) a first group title similarity that is measured between the plurality of titles using a sum of a cosine of a word2vec of ordered words and a word2vec of vectors of the ordered words between the corresponding titles, divided by a total number of words in a corresponding title; and
(b) a second group title similarity that is measured considering an inverse document frequency wherein the second title similarity is measured between the plurality of titles using the sum of a cosine of a word2vec of ordered words and a word2vec of vectors of the ordered words between the corresponding titles, times a square root of an inverse document frequency of the ordered words of the corresponding titles and an inverse document frequency of the vectors of the ordered words of the corresponding titles, divided by the total number of words in a corresponding title; and
a personalized news recommendation engine, that receives a search request from a communication device of a user defining search criteria comprising a specific type of title of news media for the user and that, based on the one or more of the first group title similarity and the second group title similarity, identifies one or more titles from the plurality of titles that match the search criteria and one or more Uniform Resource Locators (URLs) for the identified one or more titles and sends the identified one or more titles and the one or more URLs for the identified one or more titles to the communication device of the user.

US Pat. No. 10,699,305

SMART REFILL ASSISTANT FOR ELECTRIC VEHICLES

NIO USA, Inc., San Jose,...

1. A rechargeable electric vehicle, comprising:an automatic vehicle location system that, based on input from a satellite location system, determines a current spatial location of the rechargeable electric vehicle relative to a selected coordinate system;
a graphical user interface to display map information to an operator of the rechargeable electric vehicle;
an electrical storage unit that stores and provides electrical energy to propel the rechargeable electric vehicle; and
a vehicle navigation system that, determines a driving range of the rechargeable electric vehicle based on a current state of the electrical storage unit, communicates with a plurality of charging stations in the driving range of the rechargeable electric vehicle, receives station information from the plurality of charging stations comprising an availability of each charging station in the plurality of charging stations, a charging type of each charging station in the plurality of charging stations, and information about a charging panel type for each charging station in the plurality of charging stations, determines whether a charging panel type for an available charging station in the plurality of charging stations is compatible with the electrical storage unit, selects the available charging station to provide a charge to the rechargeable electric vehicle based on determining that the charging panel type for the available charging station is compatible with the electrical storage unit, reserves the available charging station for the rechargeable electric vehicle to receive the charge, and displays a route to the operator via the graphical user interface, the route providing directions to the available charging station along a portion of the route and within the driving range of the rechargeable electric vehicle.

US Pat. No. 10,699,326

USER-ADJUSTED DISPLAY DEVICES AND METHODS OF OPERATING THE SAME

NIO USA, Inc., San Jose,...

1. A vehicle, comprising:a camera to monitor an interior of the vehicle;
a microprocessor; and
a computer readable medium coupled to the microprocessor and comprising instructions stored thereon that cause the microprocessor to:
render a first presentation of selected information on a display device of the vehicle, the selected information in the first presentation including a certain item in a first location on the display device;
identify, from output of the camera, a temporary condition including a counted number of hand motions of an operator of the vehicle toward the certain item in the first presentation;
determine a priority level associated with the certain item, a magnitude of the priority level being related to a level of occupant safety;
automatically determine, when the priority level exceeds a threshold priority level and when the counted number of hand motions exceeds a threshold count of hand motions, to alter the first presentation of the selected information currently displayed by the display device of the vehicle to a different second presentation of the selected information to be displayed by the display device, the second presentation being associated with a higher degree of occupant safety than the first presentation and including at least the certain item of the selected information in a second location on the display device that is closer to the operator compared to the first location;
automatically render, in response to the determination to alter the first presentation to the second presentation, the second presentation to the display device of the vehicle to replace the display of the first presentation; and
upon occurrence of a selected triggering event associated with the identified temporary condition, automatically re-render the first presentation to the display device of the vehicle to replace the second presentation so that the certain item of information returns to the first location on the display device.

US Pat. No. 10,675,943

METHOD AND APPARATUS FOR ADAPTIVE HVAC CONTROL

NIO USA, Inc., San Jose,...

1. A method of proactive climate control in a vehicle heating, ventilation, air conditioning (HVAC) system, comprising:determining preferred climate conditions for an occupant of one or more zones in a vehicle passenger compartment;
setting, automatically by a HVAC controller, a first HVAC system output producing an initial climate condition for the one or more zones in the vehicle passenger compartment based at least partially upon the preferred climate conditions for the occupant;
monitoring one or more inputs;
determining, based on the one or more inputs, that an orientation of the vehicle is going to change;
determining, based on the first HVAC system output, that the change in the orientation of the vehicle is predicted to alter a temperature in at least one zone of the one or more zones to an altered temperature that falls outside of the preferred climate conditions for the occupant;
changing, automatically by the HVAC controller in response to determining that the change in the orientation of the vehicle is predicted to alter the temperature in the at least one zone to the altered temperature, climate conditions for the at least one zone of the one or more zones based upon the predicted altered temperature, wherein changing the climate conditions comprises adjusting the first HVAC output to a second HVAC output that maintains the temperature in the at least one zone of the one or more zones within the preferred climate conditions for the occupant; and
storing, by the HVAC controller, data relating to the changed climate conditions for the occupant.

US Pat. No. 10,679,276

METHODS AND SYSTEMS FOR COMMUNICATING ESTIMATED TIME OF ARRIVAL TO A THIRD PARTY

NIO USA, Inc., San Jose,...

1. A vehicle, comprising:a navigation system to provide a location and/or a route of the vehicle;
a memory to:
store user preferences associated with a user in the vehicle, the user being an occupant of the vehicle; and
a processor in communication with the navigation system and the memory, the processor to:
retrieve user preferences from the memory;
identify, while the vehicle is in motion, a first event, associated with a third party having a location disposed along the route of the vehicle;
determine, at a first time in response to identification of the first event and based on the user preferences, that the user desires to perform a transaction with the third party as long as the vehicle is traveling along the route;
send, automatically and in response to determining that the user desires to perform the transaction, a pre-transaction communication to the third party for the user, the pre-transaction communication being part of a secure session and enabling a pre-transaction authentication of the user by the third party, the pre-transaction communication being a first part of a two-part transaction authentication required to complete the transaction with the third party;
identify, at a second later time and while the vehicle is in motion, a different second event comprising determining whether the vehicle is traveling along the route;
send, automatically and in response to determining that the vehicle is traveling along the route, the authorization communication to the third party different from the pre-transaction communication, the communication being part of the secure session and being a second part of the two-part transaction authentication enabling the third party to complete the transaction with the user; and
send, automatically and in response to determining that the vehicle is no longer traveling along the route, a revocation communication to the third party that revokes the pre-transaction authentication of the user by the third party.

US Pat. No. 10,762,553

COLLECTING BATTERY PACK STATE INFORMATION

NIO USA, Inc., San Jose,...

1. A vehicle, comprising:a power source to propel the vehicle, the power source having one or more identifiers associated therewith;
a user interface to receive commands from an occupant and provide output to the occupant;
a plurality of on board sensors to sense one or more parameters associated with the power source;
a reader to determine the one or more identifiers for the power source;
a computer readable medium for storing the one or more sensed parameters for the power source; and
an on board microprocessor, coupled with the computer readable medium, that is programmed to:
provide the one or more identifiers and the one or more sensed parameters for the power source to a remote server to determine, based on stored parameter magnitudes over time for the power source identified by the one or more identifiers, whether the one or more sensed parameters for the power source fall within a standard deviation of the stored parameter magnitudes over time for the power source, the standard deviation defining a range of match values above and below the stored parameter magnitudes over time, and apply the following rules:
when the one or more sensed parameters for the power source fall below and outside the standard deviation of the stored parameter magnitudes over time for the power source, determine that a rule is violated and send, to the occupant via the user interface, a notice comprising information about the one or more sensed parameters for the power source falling below and outside the standard deviation of the stored parameter magnitudes over time for the power source;
when the one or more sensed parameters for the power source fall above and outside the standard deviation of the stored parameter magnitudes over time for the power source, determine that the rule is violated and send, to the occupant via the user interface, a notice comprising information about the one or more sensed parameters for the power source falling above and outside the standard deviation of the stored parameter magnitudes over time for the power source; and
when the one or more sensed parameters for the power source fall within the standard deviation of the stored parameter magnitudes over time for the power source, determine that the rule is not violated and transmit, to the occupant via the user interface, a response comprising information about the one or more sensed parameters for the power source falling within the standard deviation of the stored parameter magnitudes over time for the power source.

US Pat. No. 10,753,761

UNIVERSAL BATTERY AND MODULAR POWER SYSTEM

NIO USA, Inc., San Jose,...

1. A universal rechargeable battery, comprising:a body, comprising:
a top surface running from a front of the body to a rear of the body;
a bottom surface offset a distance from the top surface, wherein the bottom surface runs from the front of the body to the rear of the body;
a power cell area including one or more power cells electrically interconnected with one another, wherein each of the one or more power cells includes an electrolyte having positive and negative ions, and wherein the power cell area is housed in the body;
a protruding portion extending a distance from the bottom surface of the body, the protruding portion having a first sliding surface extending from the front of the body to the rear of the body that is arranged opposite the front of the body, wherein the first sliding surface is offset the distance from the bottom surface of the body; and
a receiving portion formed as a part of the body opposite the protruding portion, the receiving portion having a second sliding surface substantially matching the first sliding surface of the protruding portion, wherein the second sliding surface is inverse to the first sliding surface of the protruding portion, wherein the second sliding surface is disposed between the top surface and the bottom surface of the body, and wherein the protruding portion and the receiving portion are both disposed along a side of the universal rechargeable battery.

US Pat. No. 10,756,391

METHOD AND SYSTEM FOR SECONDARY INTERNAL CURRENT MECHANISMS FOR A LITHIUM-ION CELL

NIO USA, Inc., San Jose,...

1. An electrochemical cell, comprising:a positive electrode comprising a positive electrode active material in electrically conductive contact with a positive electrode current collector;
a negative electrode comprising a negative electrode active material in electrically conductive contact with a negative electrode current collector and a negative electrode tab including a first attachment end and a second attachment end;
an electrically insulative and ion conductive medium in ionically conductive contact with the positive electrode and the negative electrode, wherein the ionically conductive medium comprises an ion conductive layer and an electrolyte; and
an outer case containing the positive electrode, negative electrode and electrically insulative and ion conductive medium, wherein the outer case comprises a scored area connected to a cooling plate,
wherein the first attachment end of the negative electrode tab is connected to the negative electrode current collector and the second attachment end of the negative electrode tab is connected to an internal bottom of the outer case in an area within the scored area, and
wherein an electrically insulative tape is adhered on both sides of an exposed portion of the negative electrode tab except at an attached portion of the second attachment end where the attached portion is connected to the internal bottom of the outer case.

US Pat. No. 10,741,808

UNIFIED BATTERY MODULE WITH INTEGRATED BATTERY CELL STRUCTURAL SUPPORT

NIO USA, Inc., San Jose,...

1. A battery module, comprising:a housing comprising a base and sidewalls extending from a periphery of the base, the base and sidewalls defining a first containment cavity having a first volume, wherein the sidewalls comprise a flanged surface following at least a portion of the periphery of the base, the flanged surface offset from and substantially parallel to the base, wherein the base comprises a plurality of receptacles formed therein, the plurality of receptacles arranged in a battery cell distribution pattern, and wherein each receptacle in the plurality of receptacles is sized to receive a battery cell;
an array of battery cells at least partially disposed within the first volume, the array of battery cells comprising base portions disposed in the plurality of receptacles of the housing, thereby providing an open volume surrounding each battery cell in the array of battery cells;
a structural adhesive disposed in the first volume of the housing and around each battery cell in the array of battery cells, the structural adhesive filling the open volume surrounding each battery cell and mechanically coupling each battery cell in the array of battery cells together in a force distribution framework; and
a cover comprising an upper surface and walls extending from a periphery of the upper surface, the walls and upper surface defining a second containment cavity having a second volume, wherein the walls of the cover comprise a mating flanged surface that mates with the flanged surface of the sidewalls of the housing attaching the cover to the housing.

US Pat. No. 10,703,367

UTILIZATION OF SMOOTHING FUNCTIONS FOR ACCELERATION AND DECELERATION PROFILE GENERATION

NIO USA, Inc., San Jose,...

1. A method for controlling acceleration or deceleration of a vehicle, the method comprising:detecting, by a vehicle control system of the vehicle operating the vehicle at least semi-autonomously, a condition necessitating a change in a velocity of the vehicle;
determining, by the vehicle control system, a plurality of control parameters for the change in the velocity of the vehicle;
applying, by the vehicle control system, a Gompertz function using the plurality of control parameters, the Gompertz function producing a non-linear, asymmetrical curve for the velocity of the vehicle based on the plurality of control parameters, the non-linear, asymmetrical curve having a lower rate of change in the velocity of the vehicle at a beginning and an end of the curve than in a middle of the curve;
generating, by the vehicle control system, a profile for the change in the velocity of the vehicle based on the one or more control parameters and the non-linear, asymmetrical curve produced by applying the Gompertz function; and
applying, by the vehicle control system, the generated profile to control units of one or more subsystems of the vehicle, wherein the control units operate the one or more subsystems of the vehicle to change the velocity of the vehicle according to the generated profile, and wherein applying the smoothing function causes the control units to change the velocity of the vehicle according to the non-linear, asymmetrical curve produced by applying the Gompertz function using the plurality of control parameters.

US Pat. No. 10,707,471

SINGLE SIDE CELL-TO-CELL BATTERY MODULE INTERCONNECTION

NIO USA, Inc., San Jose,...

1. A battery cell group interconnection busbar, comprising:an electrically-conductive strip extending a length of a battery module in a first plane, the battery module including a group of battery cells oriented with all positive terminals facing a same direction;
a plurality of first terminal strips integrally formed from the electrically-conductive strip and extending in the first plane in a first direction away from the electrically-conductive strip, wherein the plurality of first terminal strips are disposed on a first side of the electrically-conductive strip, and wherein each of the plurality of first terminal strips are spaced apart from one another along the length of the battery module; and
a plurality of second terminal strips integrally formed from the electrically-conductive strip and extending in the first plane in a second direction away from the electrically-conductive strip, wherein the plurality of second terminal strips are disposed on a second side of the electrically-conductive strip opposite the first side of the electrically-conductive strip, and wherein each of the plurality of second terminal strips are spaced apart from one another along the length of the battery module,
wherein the first and second terminal strips are electrically-conductive forming an electrically-conductive path running from each of the plurality of first terminal strips disposed on the first side of the electrically-conductive strip through the electrically-conductive strip to each of the plurality of second terminal strips disposed on the second side of the electrically-conductive strip.

US Pat. No. 10,692,126

NETWORK-BASED SYSTEM FOR SELLING AND SERVICING CARS

NIO USA, Inc., San Jose,...

1. A method for selling cars, the method comprising:receiving, at a server, a registration of a vehicle that is available for showing;
storing, in a memory of the server, registration information about the vehicle in a table comprising registration information about a plurality of vehicles that are available for showing, wherein the vehicle and the plurality of vehicles are each owned by different owners;
receiving, at the server, information from a distributed plurality of car computers, wherein each of the plurality of car computers is installed in a respective vehicle of the plurality of vehicles;
receiving, at the server, geographic location information for each vehicle having registration information stored in the table, wherein the geographic location information is received from the plurality of car computers;
receiving, from a mobile computer of a prospective buyer, a first input selecting a type of vehicle having registration information stored in the table;
determining, by the server, a current geographic location of the mobile computer;
determining, by the server, a mapped location of one or more vehicles matching the type of vehicle selected relative to the current geographic location of the mobile computer, wherein the mapped location is based on the geographic location information;
causing, by the server, the mapped location of the one or more vehicles to be shown on a map displayed by the mobile computer, the map including indicators of the geographic location information for one or more vehicles that are available for showing and are the type of vehicle based on the current geographic location of the mobile computer, wherein the mapped location of the one or more vehicles is obfuscated as one or more shaded regions shown on the map;
receiving, from the mobile computer, a second input selecting one shaded region of the one or more shaded regions shown on the map, the one shaded region associated with one vehicle of the one or more vehicles shown on the map;
receiving, from the mobile computer, a request for a showing of the one vehicle for the prospective buyer;
receiving, at the server and from an owner of the one vehicle, a confirmation message that the showing of the one vehicle is allowed by the owner of the one vehicle;
revealing, in response to receiving the confirmation message, an exact geographic position of the one vehicle to the prospective buyer;
receiving, from a vehicle computer associated with the one vehicle, verification information validating an identity of the prospective buyer when the prospective buyer is at the one vehicle;
unlocking, via an instruction sent by the server across a wireless communication network and in response to validating the identity of the prospective buyer, a door of the one vehicle;
storing, in the memory of the server, information about the showing of the one vehicle to the prospective buyer; and
adjusting, by the server and based on the information about the showing stored in the memory of the server, a credit value of a credit account stored in the memory of the server and associated with the owner of the one vehicle.

US Pat. No. 10,688,882

POWER SYSTEMS AND METHODS FOR ELECTRIC VEHICLES

NIO USA, Inc., San Jose,...

1. A power device for an electric vehicle, comprising:a first bus associated with a first voltage;
a second bus associated with a second voltage, different than the first voltage; and
a plurality of switching elements coupled to a first battery, a second battery, the first bus, and the second bus, on/off states of the plurality of switching elements controlling electrical connections to the first bus, the second bus, the first battery and the second battery according to an operation mode,
wherein the plurality of switching elements includes:
a first pair of switching elements coupled to a charging port that receives the first voltage from an external power source;
a second pair of switching elements coupled to the first battery;
a third pair of switching elements coupled to the second battery;
a first switching element coupled between the first battery and the second battery;
a second switching element coupled to the first bus and the second battery; and
a third switching element coupled to the first battery, a voltage converter that converts the first voltage to the second voltage, and the first bus.

US Pat. No. 10,992,860

DYNAMIC SEAM ADJUSTMENT OF IMAGE OVERLAP ZONES FROM MULTI-CAMERA SOURCE IMAGES

NIO USA, INC., San Jose,...

1. A method for processing images of a vehicle's surroundings, comprising:obtaining a first image from a first camera having a first vantage of the vehicle's surroundings;
obtaining a second image from a second camera having a second vantage of the vehicle's surroundings that is different from the first vantage;
determining whether an object is present within a field of view of both the first camera and the second camera;
upon determining that the object is present within the field of view, selecting a portion of the first image and a portion of the second image to include an image of the object in one of the selected portion of the first image or the selected portion of the second image and not both the selected portion of the first image and the selected portion of the second image; and
stitching together the selected portion of the first image and selected portion of the second image into a unified image; and
wherein the selection of the portion of the first image and the portion of the second image is further selected based on a distance of the object and further comprising selecting a seam angle of the portion of the first image in accordance with the distance of the object applied to a sigmoid function.

US Pat. No. 10,952,243

METHOD, SYSTEM AND DEVICE FOR NETWORK COMMUNICATIONS WITHIN A VEHICLE

NIO USA, Inc., San Jose,...

1. A method of communicating over a network, comprising:providing a plurality of data terminal equipment (DTE) to the network;
providing each of the plurality of DTEs with data for transmission on the network, wherein the network is limited to convey the data from one DTE at a time, wherein data transmitted from two or more DTEs results in a data collision state;
substantially simultaneously transmitting data by a first DTE of the plurality of DTEs and a second DTE of the plurality of DTEs;
receiving, by the second DTE, a collision signal indicating the data collision state, wherein the first DTE continues transmitting;
in response to the data collision state, causing the second DTE to initiate a backoff process, wherein the backoff process comprises a determination of a backoffLimit having a value randomly selected as zero or one;
transmitting data, by the second DTE, upon selecting the backoffLimit with a value of zero; and
waiting to transmit data, by the second DTE, upon selecting of the backoffLimit with a value of one, whereby the second DTE waits a period of time associated with a slot time and wherein the slot time is determined as a time for one bit to be transmitted or received by a media access control (MAC) of the second DTE.

US Pat. No. 10,870,368

SYSTEMS AND METHODS OF BATTERY THERMAL MANAGEMENT

NIO USA, Inc., San Jose,...

1. A system comprising:a processor; and
a memory coupled to the processor and comprising computer-readable program code that when executed by the processor causes the processor to perform operations comprising:
determining a current temperature of a battery of a vehicle;
determining that the current temperature of the battery is within a threshold temperature range of the battery; and
in response to determining that the current temperature of the battery is within the threshold temperature range of the battery, performing operations comprising:
determining an estimated temperature at arrival of the battery;
determining that the estimated temperature at arrival of the battery is within the threshold temperature range of the battery;
determining an amount of time that the vehicle will be within the threshold temperature range of the battery;
determining that the amount of time the vehicle will be within the threshold temperature range of the battery exceeds a maximum amount of time within the threshold temperature range of the battery; and
in response to determining that the amount of time the vehicle will be within the threshold temperature range of the battery exceeds the maximum amount of time within the threshold temperature range of the battery, initiating a thermal management process.

US Pat. No. 10,857,889

HIGHLY-INTEGRATED FAIL OPERATIONAL E-POWERTRAIN FOR AUTONOMOUS DRIVING APPLICATION

NIO USA, Inc., San Jose,...

1. A method for providing a fail operational powertrain in an electric vehicle, the method comprising:executing, by each of a plurality of controllers of the vehicle, a plurality of functions, the plurality of controllers comprising a vehicle controller and a controller for each of a plurality of different powertrain systems, the plurality of functions comprising one or more functions for each of the plurality of powertrain systems, wherein none of the controllers for the plurality of different powertrain systems are redundant of each other or have redundant components, and wherein each of the plurality of functions executes on a plurality of the plurality of controllers;
detecting, by at least one of the plurality of controllers, a failure of a first controller of the plurality of controllers; and
in response to detecting the failure of the first controller of the plurality of controllers, transitioning, by the plurality of controllers, the plurality of functions executing on the first controller to one or more second controllers of the plurality of controllers based on prior execution of the plurality of functions executing on the first controller by the one or more second controllers.

US Pat. No. 10,812,469

SECURE VEHICLE COMMUNICATION INTERFACE DEVICE

NIO USA, Inc., San Jose,...

1. A system comprising:one or more communication networks;
a service device communicatively coupled with the one or more communication networks and comprising a processor and a memory coupled with and readable by the processor and storing therein a set of instructions which, when executed by the processor, causes the processor to access a secure communications interface in a vehicle by:
connecting to the vehicle using a communication channel of the vehicle,
receiving information uniquely identifying the vehicle from the vehicle through the communication channel of the vehicle, wherein receiving the information uniquely identifying the vehicle comprises receiving a Vehicle Identification Number (VIN),
providing the received information uniquely identifying the vehicle to the one or more servers over the one or more communication networks; and
one or more servers communicatively coupled with the one or more communication networks, each of the one or more servers comprising a processor and a memory coupled with and readable by the processor and storing therein a set of instructions which, when executed by the processor, causes the processor to authorize the service device to access the secure communication interface of the vehicle by:
receiving the information uniquely identifying the vehicle from the service device over the one or more communication networks,
retrieving a secret key corresponding to a factory installed key in the vehicle based on the received VIN identifying the vehicle,
generating a time-sensitive, vehicle-unique certificate using the retrieved secret key, and
providing the generated time-sensitive, vehicle-unique certificate to the service device over the one or more communication networks, and wherein the service device receives the time-sensitive, vehicle-unique certificate from the one or more servers over the communications network, provides the time-sensitive, vehicle-unique certificate to the vehicle through the communication channel of the vehicle, and communicates with the vehicle through the secure communication interface in response to the vehicle authenticating the time-sensitive, vehicle-unique certificate.

US Pat. No. 10,796,873

FUSIBLE LINK IN BATTERY MODULE VOLTAGE SENSING CIRCUIT

NIO USA, Inc., San Jose,...

1. An electrical interconnect device providing an electrical interconnection between a battery module and a battery management system, comprising:a first dielectric substrate layer comprising a first planar surface and a second planar surface disposed opposite the first planar surface by a thickness of the first dielectric substrate layer;
a first electrical trace formed from an electrically conductive material directly on the first planar surface of the dielectric layer, the first electrical trace running a first length from a first end of the first electrical trace electrically interconnected with a positive terminal of a first battery cell in the battery module to a second end of the first electrical trace disposed at a corresponding first terminal of the battery management system, wherein the first electrical trace provides a voltage measurement of the first battery cell to the battery management system;
a first fusible link portion integrally formed in the first electrical trace on the first planar surface and disposed along a middle of the first length of the first electrical trace between the first and second ends of the first electrical trace, the first fusible link portion including a first controlled cross-sectional area in the first electrical trace configured to melt at a predetermined electrical current and break the first electrical trace and the electrical interconnection between the positive terminal of the first battery cell and the first terminal of the battery management system at the predetermined electrical current, wherein a total length of the first controlled cross-sectional area runs from a first point along the middle of the first length of the first electrical trace to a second point along the middle of the first length of the first electrical trace, wherein a width of the first controlled cross-sectional area running from the first point to the second point is disposed entirely within a width of the first electrical trace measured at the first point and at the second point, and wherein the width of the first controlled cross-sectional area tapers to the width of the first electrical trace at the first point and at the second point;
a second electrical trace formed from the electrically conductive material directly on the first planar surface of the dielectric layer immediately adjacent to the first electrical trace, the second electrical trace running a second length from a first end of the second electrical trace electrically interconnected with a positive terminal of a second battery cell in the battery module to a second end of the second electrical trace disposed at a corresponding second terminal of the battery management system, wherein the second electrical trace provides a voltage measurement of the second battery cell to the battery management system, and wherein the second battery cell is disposed immediately adjacent to the first battery cell in the battery module;
a second fusible link portion integrally formed in the second electrical trace on the first planar surface and disposed along a middle of the second length of the second electrical trace between the first and second ends of the second electrical trace, the second fusible link portion including a second controlled cross-sectional area in the second electrical trace configured to melt at a predetermined electrical current and break the second electrical trace and the electrical interconnection between the positive terminal of the second battery cell and the second terminal of the battery management system at the predetermined electrical current; and
a second dielectric substrate layer comprising a contact surface and an outer surface disposed opposite the contact surface by a thickness of the second dielectric substrate layer, wherein the contact surface of the second dielectric substrate layer is disposed in direct contact with the first planar surface of the first dielectric substrate layer, the first electrical trace, and the second electrical trace;
wherein the first electrical trace has a first cross-sectional area at the first and second ends, and wherein the first controlled cross-sectional area is sized less than the first cross-sectional area.

US Pat. No. 10,749,156

BATTERY MODULE STRUCTURAL INTEGRATION

NIO USA, Inc., San Jose,...

1. A battery pack, comprising:a battery pack enclosure;
a plurality of battery modules arranged inside the battery pack enclosure, wherein each battery module of the plurality of battery modules arranged inside the battery pack enclosure comprises:
a plurality of battery cells; and
a battery module enclosure, wherein each battery cell of the plurality of battery cells is arranged inside the battery module enclosure; and
a metal foam material disposed in spaces inside the battery pack enclosure and outside a periphery of each battery module enclosure, and wherein the metal foam material is disposed between adjacent battery module enclosures of the plurality of battery modules arranged inside the battery pack enclosure,
wherein the metal foam material contacts all outer sidewalls of the plurality of battery cells, all inner sidewalls of the plurality of battery module enclosure, all outer sidewalls of the plurality of battery module enclosures, and all inner sidewalls of the battery pack enclosure,
wherein the metal foam material occupies substantially all spaces between the plurality of battery cells such that the metal foam material is continuous along the all outer side walls of the plurality of battery cells,
wherein the metal foam material occupies substantially all spaces between the plurality of battery modules such that the metal foam material is continuous along the all outer side walls of the plurality of battery modules, and
wherein the metal foam material occupies substantially all spaces between the plurality of battery modules and the battery pack enclosure such that the metal foam material is continuous along the all inner sidewalls of the battery pack enclosure.

US Pat. No. 10,741,889

MULTIPLE-ZONE THERMOCOUPLE BATTERY MODULE TEMPERATURE MONITORING SYSTEM

NIO USA, Inc., San Jose,...

1. A multiple-zone battery module temperature monitoring system, comprising:a first temperature probe comprising a first probe end spaced apart from a second probe end, wherein the first temperature probe is disposed at a first location of a battery module in an area between three or more immediately adjacent battery cells, wherein the first probe end is arranged adjacent to first ends of the three or more immediately adjacent battery cells, wherein the second probe end is arranged adjacent to second ends of the three or more immediately adjacent battery cells, and wherein the first temperature probe comprises:
a first temperature sensor that is disposed adjacent to the first probe end and that measures a temperature of a first stratum of the first ends of the three or more immediately adjacent battery cells; and
a second temperature sensor that is disposed adjacent to the second probe end and that measures a temperature of a second stratum of the second ends of the three or more immediately adjacent battery cells independently of the first temperature sensor; and
a processor that receives measurement data of the temperature of the first stratum from the first temperature sensor and different measurement data of the temperature of the second stratum from the second temperature sensor of the first temperature probe.

US Pat. No. 10,700,395

BATTERY MODULE HOUSING HAVING AN INTEGRALLY-FORMED COOLING PLATE

NIO USA, Inc., San Jose,...

1. A battery module housing, comprising:a lower housing formed from a plastic material, comprising:
a plurality of generally vertical sidewalls surrounding a plate area and defining a space for receiving a plurality of battery cells; and
a generally horizontal bottom wall;
a cooling plate integrally formed from the plastic material in a portion of the lower housing, the cooling plate comprising:
a support wall extending generally parallel to the bottom wall and configured to contact and support each of the plurality of battery cells;
a plurality of generally vertical channel walls extending between the bottom wall and the support wall in the plate area, the plurality of channel walls offset from one another by a channel distance, the plurality of channel walls including a first set of channel walls attached to a first sidewall of the lower housing and offset from an opposite second sidewall of the lower housing, the plurality of channel walls including a second set of channel walls attached to the second sidewall and offset from the first sidewall, wherein each of the second set of channel walls are disposed between adjacent channel walls in the first set of channel walls;
a continuous cooling channel for receiving a coolant fluid therein, at least a portion of the continuous cooling channel being defined at sides thereof by the first set of channel walls and the second set of channel walls, the continuous cooling channel defining a cooling path in the plate area that changes flow direction at each point where a channel wall of the plurality of channel walls is offset from a sidewall of the plurality of sidewalls, wherein the continuous cooling channel spans each of the plurality of battery cells;
a single inlet disposed in a third sidewall of the generally vertical sidewalls, the third sidewall in contact with the first and second sidewalls, wherein the single inlet is in fluid communication with the continuous cooling channel on an inlet side of the lower housing; and
a single outlet disposed in a fourth sidewall of the generally vertical sidewalls, the fourth sidewall in contact with the first and second sidewalls, wherein the fourth sidewall is disposed on an opposite outlet side of the lower housing from the inlet side, wherein the single outlet is in fluid communication with the continuous cooling channel on the outlet side of the lower housing, and wherein the cooling path defines a coolant flow direction from the single inlet to the single outlet via the continuous cooling channel; and
an upper housing configured to cover a top opening of the lower housing to form an enclosure for the plurality of battery cells,
wherein the first, second, third, and fourth sidewalls are a same height that is greater than a height of the plurality of channel walls and a height of the plurality of battery cells,
wherein the single inlet and the single outlet are aligned with one another in a direction in which the first and second sidewalls extend,
wherein the first and second sidewalls are shorter in length than the third and fourth sidewalls, and
wherein the upper housing is configured to be fixed to the first, second, third, and fourth sidewalls.

US Pat. No. 10,694,357

USING VEHICLE SENSOR DATA TO MONITOR PEDESTRIAN HEALTH

NIO USA, Inc., San Jose,...

1. An apparatus of a vehicle for monitoring pedestrian health comprising:one or more thermal imagers,
one or more high definition imagers,
a real time communication interface,
a short range communication interface, and
a vehicle computer communicatively coupled to the one or more thermal imagers, the one or more high definition imagers, the real time communication interface and the short range communication interface;
wherein the vehicle computer:
acquires a plurality of thermal images of a pedestrian sidewalk from the one or more thermal imagers as the vehicle is driving on a roadway located adjacent the pedestrian sidewalk,
acquires a plurality of high definition images of the pedestrian sidewalk from the one or more high definition imagers as the vehicle is driving on the roadway located adjacent the pedestrian sidewalk,
determines whether the plurality of thermal images and the plurality of high definition images contain one or more pedestrians on the pedestrian sidewalk,
determines, based on the plurality of thermal images and the plurality of high definition images containing the one or more pedestrians on the pedestrian sidewalk, whether a pedestrian of the one or more pedestrians who was previously walking on the pedestrian sidewalk is falling or lying on the pedestrian sidewalk and exhibiting an injured pedestrian behavior,
selectively displays an alert on a display communicatively coupled to the vehicle computer in response to determining that the pedestrian is falling or lying on the pedestrian sidewalk, and
selectively transmits via the real time interface the plurality of thermal images and the plurality of high definition images to a database server in response to determining that the pedestrian is falling or lying on the pedestrian sidewalk.

US Pat. No. 10,981,468

SPLIT BATTERY FOR AUTONOMOUS DRIVING

NIO USA, Inc., San Jose,...

1. A system, comprising:a first battery;
a second battery;
a first battery sensor, the first battery sensor monitors an attribute of the first battery and outputs a first sensor data determined by a sensed attribute of the first battery;
a first battery switch, the first battery switch receives a first control signal and, in response thereto, selectively opens or closes an electrical circuit comprising the first battery and a load;
a main controller; and
wherein the first battery and the second battery are arranged in an electrically parallel configuration to supply power to the load; and
the main controller, upon determining that the first sensor data indicates a fault with the first battery, provides the first control signal to the first battery switch to isolate the first battery from the load while maintaining uninterrupted power to the load with the second battery during a period of time in which the first battery switch is switched to isolate the first battery from the load.

US Pat. No. 10,950,899

ABUSE TOLERANCE IN BATTERY MODULES

NIO USA, Inc., San Jose,...

1. A battery module, comprising:a plurality of energy storage cells, each of the plurality of energy storage cells having side surface areas, wherein the plurality of energy storage cells are arranged in a pattern with each energy storage cell in the plurality of energy storage cells being spaced apart a specified distance from one another; and
an expandable material adhered, by an adhesive backing, to at least a portion of a side surface area of one or more of the energy storage cells in the plurality of energy storage cells,
wherein the expandable material, in an expanded state, expands within the specified distance, and
wherein the expandable material is adhered to only every other cell in the plurality of energy storage cells, and wherein the expandable material has a fully expanded height that is at least 125% of the specified distance.

US Pat. No. 10,946,868

METHODS AND DEVICES FOR AUTONOMOUS VEHICLE OPERATION

NIO USA, Inc., San Jose,...

1. A device for controlling an autonomous vehicle, the device comprising:a processor; and
a memory including instructions that when executed by the processor cause the processor to:
detect that the autonomous vehicle has one or more malfunctioning components;
determine, in response to the detection, a likelihood that the autonomous vehicle is able to reach a desired stop location based on one or more factors associated with the one or more malfunctioning components;
determine at least one maneuver for the autonomous vehicle based on the determined likelihood; and
cause the autonomous vehicle to perform the determined at least one maneuver,
wherein the memory further comprises instructions that cause the processor to determine the at least one maneuver to be one or more first maneuvers toward the desired stop location when the determined likelihood is at or above a threshold, and
wherein the memory further comprises instructions that cause the processor to determine, when the likelihood is at or below the threshold, whether the autonomous vehicle is operable in a degraded driving mode based on the one or more factors.

US Pat. No. 10,906,549

SYSTEMS AND METHODS OF AUTONOMOUSLY CONTROLLING VEHICLE LANE CHANGE MANEUVER

NIO USA, Inc., San Jose,...

1. A method of controlling a vehicle, the method comprising:receiving, by a vehicle control system of the vehicle, data associated with one or more vehicles;
determining, by the vehicle control system, a range of lane change initiation times based on the data associated with the one or more vehicles;
for a plurality of lane change initiation times in the range of lane change initiation times, determining, by the vehicle control system, a set of reachable states, the set of reachable states comprising a plurality of reachable states;
for two or more reachable states of the plurality of reachable states, computing, by the vehicle control system, a corresponding ensuing trajectory;
comparing, by the vehicle control system, each of the computed corresponding ensuing trajectories corresponding to the two or more reachable states; and
based on the comparison of each of the computed corresponding ensuing trajectories, determining, by the vehicle control system, an optimal lane change maneuver from a first lane to a second lane to be executed by the vehicle; and
causing, by the vehicle control system, the vehicle to perform the optimal lane change maneuver.

US Pat. No. 10,891,048

METHOD AND SYSTEM FOR USER INTERFACE LAYER INVOCATION

NIO USA, Inc., San Jose,...

1. A system, comprising:a processor, comprising memory for storing instructions for execution by the processor;
an output component that presents a representation of an output of the processor;
an input component that receives a gesture provided by a user and provides a logical representation of the gesture to the processor; and
wherein the processor, receives the logical representation of the gesture, and compares the logical representation of the gesture to a representation of a model gesture, wherein the representation of a model gesture is associated with a first application;
wherein, upon the logical representation of the gesture being determined to end outside a portion of an output device displaying an interface element of a second application, the processor further determines whether the logical representation of the gesture matches the representation of the model gesture associated with the first application, and if a match is determined, outputs a representation of the first application to the output component for presentation by the output component;
wherein, upon the logical representation of the gesture being determined to end inside the portion of the output device displaying an interface element of the second application, the processor outputs a representation of the second application, in response to the logical representation of the gesture, to the output component for presentation by the output component; and
wherein the logical representation of the gesture is received while the output device is displaying a second application and while the first application is not active.

US Pat. No. 10,892,465

BATTERY CELL COVER INCLUDING TERMINAL SHORT ISOLATION FEATURE

NIO USA, Inc., San Jose,...

1. A battery cell array terminal cover, comprising:a substrate having a first surface and a second surface disposed opposite to and offset from the first surface by a thickness, wherein the substrate extends planarly along a length and a width of the substrate; and
a plurality of terminal access receptacles arranged in an array of receptacle groups disposed in the substrate in a distribution pattern extending in a row along the length of the substrate, wherein each receptacle group of the array of receptacle groups comprises:
a first terminal aperture having a first opening size passing from the first surface to the second surface through the thickness of the substrate; the first terminal aperture providing an access opening to a first terminal contact surface of a battery cell in an array of battery cells in a battery module;
a second terminal aperture disposed adjacent to the first terminal aperture, the second terminal aperture having a second opening size smaller than the first opening size passing from the first surface to the second surface through the thickness of the substrate, the second terminal aperture providing an access opening to a second terminal contact surface of the battery cell in the array of battery cells in the battery module, wherein the first terminal aperture is separated a distance from the second terminal aperture by a bridging portion of the substrate formed in the thickness of the substrate and extending from an inner surface of the first terminal aperture to an inner surface of the second terminal aperture; and
a dielectric protrusion disposed on the bridging portion of the substrate and extending from the second surface of the substrate in a direction away from the substrate and toward the battery cell in the battery module, the dielectric protrusion extending beyond the first and second terminal contact surfaces wherein the dielectric protrusion fits in an area between a first terminal of the battery cell and a second terminal of the battery cell and blocks a path running from the first terminal contact surface to the second terminal contact surface.

US Pat. No. 10,885,712

CAMERA POSE ESTIMATION METHOD FOR AUGMENTED REALITY MANUAL FOR CARS

NIO USA, Inc., San Jose,...

1. A method for providing an augmented reality user manual for a vehicle, the method comprising:creating, by one or more processors, a three-dimensional model of the vehicle and content of the user manual;
identifying, by the one or more processors, one or more features of the vehicle;
creating, by the one or more processors, a three-dimensional model and content of the user manual for each identified feature;
organizing, by the one or more processors, the identified one or more features and the created content of the user manual in a hierarchical tree structure having a plurality of feature nodes, each feature node representing one of the identified one or more features of the vehicle or created content of the user manual and wherein at least one feature node representing an identified feature of the vehicle has at least one child representing created content of the user manual related to the identified feature;
training, by the one or more processors, a neural network to recognize a plurality of views of the vehicle and associate each view with a portion of the three-dimensional model of the vehicle;
capturing, by a mobile device, an image of the vehicle through a camera of the mobile device;
calculating, by the mobile device, one or more intrinsic parameters for the camera of the mobile device, the one or more intrinsic parameters comprising one or more of a focal length, an image sensor format, and a principal point;
estimating, by the mobile device, a camera pose for the captured image using the trained neural network, wherein the estimated camera pose comprises a camera position and a camera rotation for the camera when capturing the image of the vehicle;
finding, by the mobile device, one or more relevant features of the vehicle based on the estimated camera pose position for the captured image; and
rendering, by the mobile device, a portion of the three-dimensional model of the vehicle and a portion of the content of the user manual overlaid on the image of the vehicle captured by a camera of the mobile device based on the image of the vehicle captured by the camera of the mobile device, the estimated camera pose for the captured image, the calculated one or more intrinsic parameters of the camera, and the association of one or more views with one or more portions of the three-dimensional model of the vehicle in the trained neural network, wherein the portion of the three-dimensional model of the vehicle rendered by the mobile device provides an augmented view of one or more features of the vehicle, the one or more features comprising at least one physical feature of the vehicle otherwise hidden from view of a user of the mobile device.

US Pat. No. 10,865,668

FOUR-WAY HYDRAULIC VALVE FLOW CONTROL BODY

NIO USA, Inc., San Jose,...

1. A valve comprising:a housing, the housing having a cavity and comprising first, second, third, and fourth flow ports in fluid communication with the cavity, wherein the first flow port is at a location extending vertically from a center of the housing and wherein the second, third, and fourth flow ports are at radially spaced apart locations extending horizontally from the center of the housing; and
a rotatable rotor positioned within the cavity about a rotation axis, the rotor comprising:
a first fluid passageway extending from a first opening, the first opening at a position extending from a center of the rotor to a second opening at a first outer radial position of the surface of the rotor;
a second fluid passageway extending through the rotor between third and fourth openings at second and third outer radial positions of the surface of the rotor;
a first sealing face; and
a second sealing face,
wherein in a first position:
the first sealing face blocks flow to and from one of the second, third, and fourth flow ports, wherein no flow is possible to and from the first flow port; and
the second passageway allows for flow between the other two of the second, third, and fourth flow ports.

US Pat. No. 10,811,663

MAGNETICALLY COATED BUSBAR TABS

NIO USA, Inc., San Jose,...

1. A welding system, comprising:a magnet within physical proximity to a tab, wherein the magnet emits a magnetic field that causes a magnetic force to be applied to the tab, wherein the tab comprises a first material that is electrically conductive and a second material that is magnetic;
a welder that welds the tab to a terminal of a battery cell;
a controller that:
presents the magnet in physical proximity to the tab to produce a magnetic force on the second material that causes the tab to come into physical contact with the terminal of the battery cell; and
while the magnetic force causes the tab to come into physical contact with the terminal of the battery cell, activates the welder to weld the tab to the terminal of the battery cell.

US Pat. No. 10,708,547

USING VEHICLE SENSOR DATA TO MONITOR ENVIRONMENTAL AND GEOLOGIC CONDITIONS

NIO USA, Inc., San Jose,...

1. An apparatus of a vehicle for monitoring environmental conditions surrounding the vehicle, the apparatus comprising:a plurality of sensors of the vehicle comprising at least one thermal imager, at least one high-definition imager, and an air quality sensor, wherein each of the at least one thermal imager and the at least one high-definition imager has a respective bubble of vision;
a real-time communication interface that communicates information from the vehicle across a wireless communications channel while the vehicle is in motion;
a short-range communication interface that communicates information from the vehicle across a short-range communications channel when the vehicle is stopped and is in range of the short-range communications channel;
a geolocation system to determine a location of the vehicle at a selected point in time; and
a vehicle computer communicatively coupled to the plurality of sensors, the geolocation system, the real-time communication interface, and the short-range communication interface, wherein the vehicle computer:
receives, from the plurality of sensors, environmental information of the environment in which the vehicle is traveling, the environmental information comprising a plurality of thermal images, a plurality of high-definition images, and gas and particulate information defining a condition of the environment;
determines, based on the environmental information, whether a hazard exists in the environment;
determines, when the hazard is determined to exist in the environment, whether the hazard is a low-priority hazard associated with the environmental information comprising information about structures in the environment, a medium-priority hazard associated with the environmental information comprising information about a change in lighting or weather conditions in the environment, and a high-priority hazard associated with the environmental information comprising information about a fire or a fallen tree in the environment;
stores, in a memory of the vehicle, the environmental information associated with the determined hazard along with a location of the vehicle at a time when the environmental information is received;
displays, via a display device inside the vehicle only when the hazard that exists in the environment is determined to be the medium-priority hazard or the high-priority hazard, an alert informing occupants of the vehicle of the medium-priority hazard or the high-priority hazard;
transmits, via the real-time communication interface, only the stored environmental information associated with the high-priority hazard when the hazard that exists in the environment is determined to be the high-priority hazard, to a database server in real time, and
transmits, via the short-range communication interface, only the stored environmental information associated with the low-priority hazard or the medium-priority hazard when the hazard that exists in the environment is determined to be the low-priority hazard or the medium-priority hazard, to the database server when the vehicle is stopped and is in range of the short-range communications channel.

US Pat. No. 10,982,968

SENSOR FUSION METHODS FOR AUGMENTED REALITY NAVIGATION

NIO USA, INC., San Jose,...

1. A method for providing an Augmented Reality (AR) navigation display in a vehicle, the method comprising:initializing, by a processor of a control system of the vehicle, a camera of the vehicle and one or more sensors of the vehicle, wherein initializing the camera and the one or more sensors comprises calculating an intrinsic camera matrix for the camera, calculating route world positions for a route being navigated by the vehicle, initializing the camera for capturing video data, and initializing the one or more sensors for capturing sensor data;
receiving, by the processor, the sensor data from the one or more sensors of the vehicle, the received sensor data comprising an indication of a current geographic location of the vehicle;
receiving, by the processor, the video data from the camera of the vehicle, the received video data comprising a plurality of frames with each frame representing a scene from a route being navigated by the vehicle;
determining, by the processor, a current fused camera pose for each frame of the received video data based on a combination of the received sensor data and visual tracking of features in the frames of the received video data, wherein determining the current fused camera pose for each frame of the received video data based on a combination of the received sensor data and the received video data comprises performing the visual tracking of the features in the frames of the received video data, determining a visual camera pose for the camera for each frame of the received video data based on the visual tracking, determining a sensor camera pose for the camera for each frame of the received video data based on the received sensor data, and combining the determined visual camera pose and the determined sensor camera pose into the determined current fused camera pose for each frame of the received video data based on a previous camera pose; and
rendering, by the processor, each frame of the received video data and one or more AR route position indicators in the navigation display, wherein the one or more AR route position indicators are aligned with each frame of the received video data in a rendered display based at least in part on the determined current fused camera pose.

US Pat. No. 10,970,746

AUTONOMY FIRST ROUTE OPTIMIZATION FOR AUTONOMOUS VEHICLES

NIO USA, Inc., San Jose,...

1. A vehicle, comprising:a first set of sensors to sense an environment surrounding the vehicle;
a second set of sensors to sense an activity of an occupant in the vehicle;
a third set of sensors to sense a state of the vehicle;
a vehicle control system for autonomously controlling driving functions of the vehicle;
a navigation system, in communication with the first, second, and third sets of sensors and the vehicle control system, to provide a selected route to the vehicle control system for autonomously controlling the vehicle along the selected route; and
a processor in communication with the first, second, and third sets of sensors, the navigation system, and the vehicle control system, the processor:
receiving, from a database external to the vehicle and for each of two or more routes between a common start point and a common end point, static route characteristics that do not change for each of the two or more routes;
receiving, in real-time from one or more other vehicles, dynamic route characteristics that change for each of the two or more routes, wherein each of the two or more routes has a different set of the static route characteristics and the dynamic route characteristics;
receiving user route characteristics that indicate route preferences of the occupant of the vehicle;
receiving vehicle characteristics that indicate a state of one or more components of the vehicle;
selecting a level of autonomy, from among a plurality of levels of autonomy, based on the sensed activity of the occupant;
selecting, based on the static route characteristics, the dynamic route characteristics, the user route characteristics, and the vehicle characteristics for each of the two or more routes, a route of the two or more routes that best fits the selected level of autonomy, the sensed environment surrounding the vehicle, and the sensed state of the vehicle; and
providing the selected route to the navigation system.

US Pat. No. 10,949,885

VEHICLE AUTONOMOUS COLLISION PREDICTION AND ESCAPING SYSTEM (ACE)

NIO USA, Inc., San Jose,...

1. A vehicle, comprising:a sensor to sense an environment surrounding the vehicle;
a vehicle control system to autonomously control driving functions of the vehicle;
a processor in communication with the sensor and the vehicle control system, the processor to:
identify an object within the environment surrounding the vehicle;
determine a probabilistic vector for the object;
determine, based on the probabilistic vector for the object, if the object may collide with the vehicle;
determine a best path to avoid the object from a tree comprising potential paths for the vehicle generated by the processor by:
determining a root node for the tree, the root node associated with a current position of the vehicle at a first time;
determining two or more child nodes depending from the root node in the tree and corresponding to two or more different possible positions for the vehicle at a second time subsequent to the first time;
determining probabilities of collision between the object and the vehicle for the two or more child nodes;
determining weights for the two or more child nodes;
normalizing the two or more child nodes by multiplying a respective weight by a respective probability of collision for each of the two or more child nodes;
determining, prior to the second time and based on the probabilistic vector for the object and the two or more different possible positions for the vehicle at the second time, a single child node of the two or more child nodes having a lowest probability of a collision between the object and the vehicle at the second time;
determining two or more grandchild nodes depending from the single child node in the tree and corresponding to two or more different possible positions for the vehicle at a third time subsequent to the second time;
determining, prior to the third time and based on the probabilistic vector for the object and the two or more different possible positions for the vehicle at the third time, a single grandchild node of the two or more grandchild nodes having a lowest probability of a collision between the object and the vehicle at the third time, wherein the best path to avoid the object is one of the potential paths linking the root node to the single grandchild node via the single child node in the tree; and
provide the best path to the vehicle control system to control the vehicle along the best path and avoid collision with the object.

US Pat. No. 10,926,787

BODY MOUNTED SLIDING STEERING COLUMN WITH OFFSET FEEDBACK ACTUATOR

NIO USA, Inc., San Jose,...

1. A vehicle, comprising:a frame defining a passenger cabin having a front and a back;
a plurality of parallel rails mounted to the frame near the front of the passenger cabin;
a sliding steering assembly, comprising:
an arm having two ends, a first end of the two ends slidably connected to the plurality of parallel rails and a second end of the two ends supporting a housing;
a steering column extending from the housing; and
a steering wheel affixed to an end of the steering column; and
a force feedback motor configured to selectively exert a rotational force on the steering column.

US Pat. No. 10,924,008

DEVICES, SYSTEMS, AND METHODS FOR CHARGING ELECTRIC VEHICLES

NIO USA, Inc., San Jose,...

1. A converter, comprising:a plurality of switching elements connected in series and coupled between power signal lines that receive a first voltage from an external power source;
at least one capacitance coupled between the power signal lines and coupled to the plurality of switching elements;
at least one connector including:
a first port that couples to a first battery and a first power signal line of the power signal lines;
a second port that couples to a second battery and a second power signal line of the power signal lines;
a third port coupled to an output line, the output line coupling to the first battery and the second battery; and
a resonant circuit coupled to the plurality of switching elements, a switching frequency of the plurality of switching elements being matched to a resonant frequency of the resonant circuit such that, during a charging mode that charges the first battery and the second battery, the plurality of switching elements, the resonant circuit and the at least one capacitance operate to convert the first voltage into a second voltage that is lower than the first voltage and that balances voltages of the first battery and the second battery through the first, second, and third ports.

US Pat. No. 10,871,952

METHOD AND SYSTEM FOR PROVIDING SECURE OVER-THE-AIR VEHICLE UPDATES

NIO USA, Inc., San Jose,...

1. A method for providing a secure Over-The-Air (OTA) firmware update, the method comprising:generating, by one or more servers, a firmware update package for a plurality of vehicles;
applying, by the one or more servers, a version-specific encryption to the generated firmware update package using a version key, the version key comprising a key specific to a version for the firmware update;
applying, by the one or more servers, a vehicle-specific encryption to the version key using a plurality of vehicle keys, each vehicle key comprising a private key maintained by the one or more servers and specific to each of the plurality of vehicles, wherein applying the vehicle-specific encryption to the version key using the plurality of vehicle keys generates a plurality of encrypted version keys; and
distributing, by the one or more servers, the encrypted generated firmware update package and the plurality of encrypted version keys to the plurality of vehicles, wherein distributing the encrypted generated firmware update package and the plurality of encrypted version keys to the plurality of vehicles comprises sending the encrypted generated firmware update package and the plurality of encrypted version keys over one or more communication networks to a service tool and transferring the encrypted generated firmware update package and one of the plurality of encrypted version keys from the service tool to each of the plurality of vehicles for installation through an On-Board Diagnostics (OBD) port of each of the plurality of vehicles, wherein the one of the plurality of encrypted version keys transferred to each of the plurality of vehicles is selected by the service tool based on a vehicle identification of the corresponding vehicle, and wherein each vehicle decrypts the one of the plurality of encrypted version keys transferred from the service tool using a private key maintained by the corresponding vehicle, decrypts the encrypted generated firmware update package using the decrypted one of the plurality of encrypted version keys, and applies the decrypted generated firmware update package.

US Pat. No. 10,857,915

FIXED STRUCTURE SEAT

NIO USA, Inc., San Jose,...

1. A vehicle seat, comprising:a back frame member;
a pair of side frame elements fixedly secured to the back frame member and supporting an intermediate frame;
an upper seat frame slidably connected to the intermediate frame;
a pair of sliding links fixedly secured to a pivot bar, the pivot bar slidably and pivotably connected to the back frame member;
a pair of adjustable back members pivotably connected to the upper seat frame, each of the pair of adjustable back members slidably engaged with one of the pair of sliding links; and
an upper back member pivotably connected to each of the pair of adjustable back members.

US Pat. No. 10,836,346

METHODS AND SYSTEMS FOR PROVIDING A PROTECT OCCUPANTS MODE WITH AN AUTONOMOUS VEHICLE

NIO USA, Inc., San Jose,...

1. A vehicle, comprising:a sensor to sense an environment surrounding the vehicle;
a vehicle control system to control autonomous driving functions of the vehicle;
a processor in communication with the sensor and the vehicle control system, the processor to:
identify a first object and another object outside the vehicle;
determine a vulnerability of the first object and the another object to a collision;
identify a second object within the environment;
determine a probabilistic vector for the second object;
determine, based on the probabilistic vector for the second object, that the second object will collide with the first object and the another object;
determine, in response to the determination that the second object will collide with the first object and the another object, a first path to intercept the second object before the second object collides with the first object, and a second path different from the first path to intercept the second object before the second object collides with the another object;
determine that the first object and the another object belong to a same class of objects;
determine, in response to determining that the first object and the another object belong to the same class of objects, a first sub-class within the same class of objects for the first object and a second sub-class within the same class of objects for the another object;
determine, based on the first sub-class and the second sub-class, that the first object should be protected more than the another object;
select, based on the determination that the first object should be protected more than the another object, the first path instead of the second path; and
direct the vehicle control system to maneuver the vehicle along the selected first path to prevent the second object from colliding with the first object instead of the another object.

US Pat. No. 10,836,437

IMPACT PERFORMANCE

NIO USA, Inc., San Jose,...

1. A vehicle, comprising:a frame having an outer side and an inner side and comprising a door opening;
a door sill secured to the frame and extending along an edge of the door opening, the door sill extruded to comprise an elongate cavity; and
a door secured to the frame in proximity to the door opening and comprising an elongate protrusion, the door being movable, relative to the door opening, between an open position and a closed position,
wherein the elongate cavity is positioned to receive the elongate protrusion when the door is in the closed position,
wherein the elongate cavity comprises a slanted first interior surface, and
wherein the slanted first interior surface is positioned to deflect an end of the elongate protrusion if the elongate protrusion contacts the slanted first interior surface.

US Pat. No. 10,818,110

METHODS AND SYSTEMS FOR PROVIDING A MIXED AUTONOMY VEHICLE TRIP SUMMARY

NIO USA, Inc., San Jose,...

1. A vehicle, comprising:a sensor that senses data collected during a trip conducted by the vehicle;
an autonomous vehicle control system, comprising:
a processor in communication with the sensor; and
a memory coupled with and readable by the processor and storing therein instructions that, when executed by the processor, cause the processor to:
determine when the vehicle is in an autonomous driving mode and when the vehicle is in a manual driving mode during the trip;
receive information from the sensor regarding a characteristic of the trip;
store the characteristic, wherein the characteristic is associated either with the autonomous driving mode or the manual driving mode;
determine, based on the characteristic, that the vehicle made an evasive maneuver during the trip while the vehicle was in the autonomous driving mode;
determine, based on the characteristic, that the evasive maneuver prevented an accident;
receive an input to provide a journey summary comprising data about the trip; and
render, to a display device associated with the vehicle in response to receiving the input, a user interface window including the journey summary comprising mixed autonomy data about the trip, wherein the mixed autonomy data is categorized into the autonomous driving mode and the manual driving mode, and wherein the mixed autonomy data categorized into the autonomous driving mode includes information about the evasive maneuver made by the vehicle during the trip and a result of the evasive maneuver.