US Patent No. 11,032,875

SYSTEMS AND METHODS FOR HEATING AND SENSING PROXIMITY TO VEHICLE COMPONENTS


Patent No. 11,032,875
Issue Date June 08, 2021
Title Systems And Methods For Heating And Sensing Proximity To Vehicle Components
Inventorship Jason Lisseman, Shelby Township, MI (US)
Blaine Dolcetti, Oxford, MI (US)
Valerie D. Gardner, Shelby Township, MI (US)
Assignee Joyson Safety Systems Acquisition LLC, Auburn Hills, MI (US)

Claim of US Patent No. 11,032,875

1. A vehicle component heating system comprising:a computer controlling an electrical power source defining a duty cycle for an electrical power signal, the electrical power signal comprising a heating signal, a sensing signal, and an idle period within the duty cycle during which neither a heating signal nor a sensing signal is generated;
at least one electrode connected to the electrical power source and disposed within a sensing zone of a vehicle component, the electrode for generating heat for a surface of the vehicle component within the sensing zone in response to receiving the heating signal and for sensing proximity of a vehicle occupant to the sensing zone in response to receiving the sensing signal, wherein the at least one electrode is a first electrode and the system further comprises a second electrode disposed between the first electrode and a portion of the vehicle component, the second electrode receiving a shielding signal for reducing parasitic capacitance between the first electrode and the portion of the vehicle component;
a processor connected to the computer and in electrical communication with a memory, the memory storing instructions for controlling the processor, the instructions causing the processor and the electrical power source to control the duty cycle of the electrical power signal, wherein the processor performs the following steps with the instructions;
receive at least one input signal from the at least one vehicle control system;
based on the at least one input signal from the at least one vehicle control system, select a heating percentage of the duty cycle for generating the heating signal, a sensing percentage of the duty cycle for generating and measuring the sensing signal and reporting the sensing signal measured, and an idle percentage of the duty cycle during which no heating signal or sensing signal is generated, wherein a sum of the heating, sensing, and idle percentages is 100%; and
generate the heating signal and/or generate and measure the sensing signal and report the sensing signal measured based on the selected percentages; and
applying the electrical signal to the second electrode as the shielding signal, the electrical signal having the respective heating percentage, sensing percentage, and idle percentage of the duty cycle.