Patent Number: 6,298,311

Title: Infrared occupant position detection system and method for a motor vehicle

Abstract: An improved IR occupant position detection system that provides accurateand reliable classification and position information at a speed sufficientto timely inhibit or otherwise control deployment of occupant restraints.A two-dimensional array of IR emitters is selectively activated toperiodically illuminate two or more of predetermined viewing planes in thevicinity of a passenger seating area, and the reflected IR energy isdetected by a photo-sensitive receiver and analyzed to detect the presenceof an occupant, to classify the occupant, and to identify and dynamicallytrack the position of the occupant's head/torso relative to predefinedzones of the passenger compartment. Modulating the intensity of theemitted IR beams with a known carrier frequency, band-pass filtering thereceived signal, and synchronously detecting the filtered signaldistinguishes the reflected IR energy from other signals picked up by theIR receiver. Additionally, a two stage adaptive control mechanismcompensates for the variation in intensity of the reflected energy withdistance between the emitter and the occupant. The emitter is implementedwith orthogonal anode and cathode power rails with individual IR LEDelements placed at each anode-cathode intersection. Optical dispersionwithin the package is greatly reduced by an opaque cover layer thateffectively forms a well for each LED element.

Inventors: Griffin; Dennis Palmer (Noblesville, IN), Fultz; William W. (Carmel, IN), Perisho, Jr.; Robert Allan (Russiaville, IN), Thayer; Peter Alan (Indianapolis, IN), Wu; Cunkai (Kokomo, IN)


International Classification:

Expiration Date: 10/02/2013