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. 10,017,037

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. 10,032,319

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. 10,031,521

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. 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. 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. 10,124,690

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. 10,071,641

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. 10,031,523

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. 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. 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. 10,093,195

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. 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. 10,083,604

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. 10,040,414

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. 10,118,503

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. 10,073,463

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. 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. 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. 10,300,808

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. 10,074,223

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. 10,059,213

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. 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. 10,183,584

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. 10,383,253

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. 10,304,261

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. 10,250,983

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. 10,209,981

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. 10,160,339

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. 10,286,915

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. 10,245,957

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. 10,245,924

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. 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. 10,234,302

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. 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. 10,214,112

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. 10,131,238

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. 10,336,194

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. 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. 10,252,631

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. 10,249,104

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. 10,189,363

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. 10,343,558

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. 10,338,594

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. 10,166,875

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. 10,144,292

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. 10,275,797

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. 10,199,626

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. 10,347,887

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. 10,274,532

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. 10,267,075

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. 10,260,617

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. 10,262,469

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. 10,259,454

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. 10,363,828

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. 10,363,938

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. 10,423,162

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. 10,388,081

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. 10,369,966

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. 10,369,974

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. 10,430,833

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. 10,427,530

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. 10,410,250

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. 10,410,064

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. 10,399,445

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. 10,396,631

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. 10,392,853

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. 10,395,440

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.