GM secures patent for vehicle e-mail notification system

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Chennai | Published: February 20, 2016 1:20:44 AM

US-based auto major General Motors has secured an Indian patent for its invention relating to techniques for wirelessly collecting vehicle information and providing...

US-based auto major General Motors has secured an Indian patent for its invention relating to techniques for wirelessly collecting vehicle information and providing that to the vehicle’s owner or any other authorised person, through an e-mail.

The car maker claimed that the new technological invention would provide diagnostic and other useful vehicle inputs into an e-mail message that could be sent to an owner.  By deploying this method, the dynamic vehicle data such as mileage, oil life and vehicle safety system status could be obtained from the vehicle and supplied to the owner by an e-mail in a manner that is fully automated.

In practical terms, the owner of the vehicle will get an e-mail, automatically, when to change the oil or to give the vehicle for servicing, when those remedies are actually required, without any human intervention.

Nirmalya Sinha, deputy controller of patents & design, Kolkata, while granting the patent said the invention differs from the techniques that are available in the public domain.  The deputy controller opined that in the instant application, the triggers are owner-configurable which is a new concept with e-mail replacing other modes such as normal notification and messages.

According to a patent document filed by General Motors, the invention will help creating a time-based trigger that generates periodic e-mails to the subscriber, as well as a maintenance trigger that can be used to inform the subscriber when vehicle servicing is needed.

The vehicle communicates with vehicle data upload (VDU) system that lies at the operational heart of the notification system. In general, the VDU handles initial configuration of each subscriber’s notification account upon enrollment, the setting and processing of triggers, the acquisition of data needed for populating the e-mail notification message, and the initiation of actual e-mail generation.

The auto major claims that these functions are implemented utilising information obtained from a variety of databases and other systems, including, in particular, a VDU administration tool (VAT), an electronic message generating system, an email hosting facility, a wireless assistance services centre (WAS), as well as a user-configurable WAS website and several other systems that supply information to the WAS centre.

According to General Motors, the e-mail notification messages generated by the system include both static content (per-determined text and possibly graphics) as well as dynamic content (information that normally changes over time). The static and dynamic content will be accessed from different source and combined into one digital file that constitutes the e-mail message. The construction of  the e-mail message is preferably accomplished using one or more predefined templates with the VAT specifying which template is to be used. Different templates can be used for different vehicle types and or different types of triggers, it said.

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