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Autonomous Vehicles

7 New(ish) Tesla Patents

Tesla is an innovation powerhouse. As part of that, it publishes a fair number of patents. We don’t get around to publishing stories on every interesting patent we see, so here’s a quick roundup of Tesla patents published in recent months that we haven’t covered.

Tesla is an innovation powerhouse. As part of that, it publishes a fair number of patents. We don’t get around to publishing stories on every interesting patent we see, so here’s a quick roundup of Tesla patents published in recent months that we haven’t covered. For more information on any of them, click the link in the subheading.

One thing to note regarding patents, though: they are sometimes filed long before they are published. So, for better consideration of when Tesla came up with an idea, I’m including the date each patent was filed. All of the patents were publish in the past 2–4 months or so.


1. Thermal System with High Aspect Ratio Vent

Filing date: March 3, 2016 (that’s almost one month before the Model 3 was first shown to the public!)

“A thermal system with high aspect ratio vents for a vehicle. The thermal system comprises: at least one HVAC unit; a first vent with a first high aspect ratio, the first vent coupled to the HVAC unit and configured to generate a first plane of air in a passenger compartment of the vehicle; and a second vent coupled to the HVAC unit and configured to generate a second plane of air in the passenger compartment, the second vent positioned so that the second plane of air intersects the first plane of air.”


2. Autonomous Driving Controller Parallel Processor Boot Order

Filing date: April 18, 2019

“An autonomous driving controller includes a plurality of parallel processors operating on common input data. Each of the plurality of parallel processors includes a general processor, a security processor subsystem (SCS), and a safety subsystem (SMS). The general processors, the SCSs, and the SMSs of the plurality of parallel processors are configured to first, boot the plurality of SCSs from ROM second, boot the plurality of SMSs of the plurality of parallel processors from RAM or ROM, and, third, boot the plurality of general processors of the plurality of parallel processors from RAM. Between booting of the SCSs and the SMSs, at least one of the plurality of SCSs may load SMS boot code into the RAM that is dedicated to the plurality of SMSs.”


3. Secure Initial Provisioning of a System on a Chip

Filing date: April 18, 2019

“Securely provisioning a System on a Chip (SoC) includes generating a public/private key pair having a public key and a private key, securely storing the private key external to the SoC, embedding the public key in Resistor Transistor Logic (RTL) of the SoC during manufacture of the SoC, encrypting provisioning data using the private key to create encrypted provisioning data, and programming the SoC using the encrypted provisioning data. The secure provisioning may further include generating a secret shared key, embedding the secret shared key in the RTL of the SoC during manufacture of the SoC, and encrypting the provisioning data using the secret shared key. The RTL may be the boot Read Only Memory (ROM) of the SoC. The secure provisioning technique may also be used for subsequent provisioning after the SoC is deployed.”


4. Autonomous Driving Controller Encrypted Communications

Filing date: April 18, 2019

“An autonomous driving controller includes a plurality of parallel processors operating on common input data received from the plurality of autonomous driving sensors. Each of the plurality of parallel processors includes communication circuitry, a general processor, a security processor subsystem (SCS), and a safety subsystem (SMS). The communication circuitry supports communications between the plurality of parallel processors, including inter-processor communications between the general processors of the plurality of parallel processors, communications between the SCSs of the plurality of parallel processors using SCS cryptography, and communications between the SMSs of the plurality of parallel processors using SMS cryptography, the SMS cryptography differing from the SCS cryptography. The SCS and/or the SMS may each include dedicated hardware and/or memory to support the communications.”


5. Hinged Building Integrated Photovoltaic Roof Tile Modules

Filing date: May 7, 2019

“Building integrated photovoltaic (BIPV) systems provide for solar panel arrays that can be aesthetically pleasing to an observer. BIPV systems can be incorporated as part of roof surfaces as built into the structure of the roof, particularly as multi-region roofing modules that have photovoltaic elements embedded or incorporated into the body of the module, in distinct tiles-sized regions. Such multi-region photovoltaic modules can replicate the look of individual roofing tiles or shingles. Further, multi-region photovoltaic modules can include hinged support structures along the upper edge of the modules, allowing for lifting of portions of an installed module, giving access to the underlying roof deck for more efficient installation, maintenance, or removal of roofing structures down-roof of the installed module.”


6. Trip Planning with Energy Constraint

Filing date: May 10, 2019

“A method includes: determining, based, at least in part, on a predicted driver characteristic, a first energy-versus-distance measure for a planned driving route of a vehicle, the first energy-versus-distance measure determined using an energy model; presenting the first energy-versus-distance measure on a user interface associated with the vehicle; identifying an already-driven part of the planned driving route; determining, based on information associated with the already-driven part of the planned driving route, a model error associated with the energy model; determining a second energy-versus-distance measure by modifying the first energy-versus-distance measure to account for the model error; and presenting the second energy-versus-distance measure on the user interface associated with the vehicle.”


7. Energy Storage System

Filing date: June 27, 2019

“An energy storage system includes a module housing and multiple battery cells with insulating material and discharge directing material positioned inside the module housing. Each of the battery cells has a first end and a second end. Further, each of the battery cells has a positive terminal and a negative terminal. The energy storage system includes a first interconnect and a second interconnect positioned over the battery cells. Multiple first cell connectors connect the positive terminals of the battery cells to the first interconnect. Multiple second cell connectors connect the negative terminals of the battery cells to the second interconnect. A top plate having an interior side and an exterior side is positioned over the first interconnect and the second interconnect. The top plate includes one or more weak areas with reduced integrity positioned above one or more battery cells.”

 
 
 
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Written By

Zach is tryin' to help society help itself one word at a time. He spends most of his time here on CleanTechnica as its director, chief editor, and CEO. Zach is recognized globally as an electric vehicle, solar energy, and energy storage expert. He has presented about cleantech at conferences in India, the UAE, Ukraine, Poland, Germany, the Netherlands, the USA, Canada, and Curaçao. Zach has long-term investments in Tesla [TSLA], NIO [NIO], Xpeng [XPEV], Ford [F], ChargePoint [CHPT], Amazon [AMZN], Piedmont Lithium [PLL], Lithium Americas [LAC], Albemarle Corporation [ALB], Nouveau Monde Graphite [NMGRF], Talon Metals [TLOFF], Arclight Clean Transition Corp [ACTC], and Starbucks [SBUX]. But he does not offer (explicitly or implicitly) investment advice of any sort.

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