No assignee for this patent application has been made.
News editors obtained the following quote from the background information supplied by the inventors: "The present invention relates to a smart phone application, and more specifically, a smart phone application for assisting a used car shopper in verifying a vehicle's identity, including year, make, and model, so as to avoid a fraudulent purchase.
"Automobiles may be sold as new or used. If new, then purchasers are generally not concerned about wear and tear of the vehicle or broken components because new vehicles are tested at the factory. However, after the new vehicle has been purchased by a buyer and driven for a certain amount of time and mileage, various components of the vehicle may develop wear and tear thereby degrading the performance and reliability of the vehicle. Once the vehicle has been driven, purchasers become concerned that the vehicle may contain hidden defects which may not be readily noticeable.
"Another concern associated with purchasing a used vehicle is that the used vehicle may be stolen or may be tampered with to hide negative information associated with the vehicle. For instance, some sellers may tamper with the vehicle identification number (VIN) to obtain a better history report for the vehicle, which in turn allows the seller to ask for a higher selling price.
"The prior art has addressed the above-mentioned concerns of buyers through means which are generally expensive. For example, the buyer may have an automobile mechanic inspect the major and minor components of the vehicle to be purchased, which may require repair upon purchase of the vehicle. Furthermore, the inspection may also entail confirming that the vehicle actually matches the VIN. However, an inspection of the vehicle by the mechanic may be too expensive in view of the overall cost of the vehicle. Accordingly, except for highly priced vehicles, a mechanic typically does not pre-inspect vehicles for buyers prior to purchase of the vehicle.
"Another method by which the buyer may address the concerns regarding the vehicle is to access public records obtained from the
"In view of the foregoing, there is a need in the art for an efficient means by which a used car shopper may obtain information pertaining to the vehicle under consideration, such as information to verify the identity of the vehicle, as well as information pertaining to the health of the vehicle.
"As described below, the present invention addresses these and other improvements to contemporary vehicle authentication and diagnostic prediction systems."
As a supplement to the background information on this patent application, VerticalNews correspondents also obtained the inventor's summary information for this patent application: "There is provided a system for verifying a vehicle for sale on a smart phone, wherein the smart phone is capable of capturing an image of a vehicle identification number (VIN) of the vehicle for sale. The system comprises a verification and repair estimate module including a VIN decoder capable of matching a VIN with characteristic data of a vehicle associated with the VIN, wherein the characteristic data includes the vehicle year, make, and model. The verification and repair estimate module further includes a defect database in operative communication with the VIN decoder. The defect database includes information related to defects that have occurred in different vehicles and the reference mileage at which such defects occurred. A defect predictor is in communication with the VIN decoder and the defect database and is configured to identify defects in vehicles having similar characteristic data to the vehicle associated with the VIN. The system further includes a computer readable medium downloadable onto the smart phone for configuring the smart phone to communicate a first signal to the verification and repair estimate module, wherein the first signal includes information corresponding to the captured image of the VIN. The computer readable medium further configures the smart phone to receive a second signal from the verification and repair module including the characteristic data of the vehicle associated with the VIN communicated in the first signal, and the defects identified by the defect predictor. The smart phone is further configured by the computer readable medium to display the characteristic data and defects received in the second signal.
"In another embodiment, the system utilizes the vehicle's license plate to verify the vehicle and conduct a diagnostic prediction. In such an embodiment, the system includes a verification and repair estimate module including a license plate decoder capable of matching a license plate with characteristic data of a vehicle associated with the license plate, wherein the characteristic data includes the vehicle year, make, and model. The verification and repair estimate module also includes a defect database in operative communication with the license plate decoder. The defect database includes information related to defects that have occurred in different vehicles and the reference mileage at which such defects occurred. A defect predictor is in communication with the license plate decoder and the defect database and is configured to identify defects in vehicles having similar characteristic data to the vehicle associated with the license plate.
"It is also contemplated that other embodiments of the system employ a diagnostic tool, such as a scan tool, or the like, to retrieve data from the onboard computer, which may be used to verify the vehicle and make a diagnostic prediction. The diagnostic tool may retrieve an electronic VIN from the onboard computer and upload the electronic VIN to a verification and diagnostic prediction module including a VIN decoder and a diagnostic predictor to determine at least the year, make and model of the vehicle, and defects associated with similar vehicles. The information from the verification and diagnostic prediction module may be communicated to a smart phone for display.
"The present invention is best understood by reference to the following detailed description when read in conjunction with the accompanying drawings.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
"These as well as other features of the present invention will become more apparent upon reference to the drawings wherein:
"FIG. 1 is a schematic overview of an embodiment of a smart phone based vehicle verification and predictive diagnostic system;
"FIG. 2 is a schematic view of a smart phone application used to configure the smart phone;
"FIG. 3 is a schematic view of one embodiment of a predictive diagnostic system;
"FIG. 4 is a flow chart listing the steps of one embodiment of a predictive diagnostic method;
"FIG. 5 is one embodiment of a preliminary diagnostic matrix;
"FIG. 6 is one embodiment of a predictive diagnostic report;
"FIG. 7A is a schematic view of adjusting a mileage bracket to identify defects within an adjusted mileage bracket; and
"FIG. 7B is a schematic view of adjusting defects and identifying adjusted defects within a mileage bracket.
"Common reference numerals are used throughout the drawings and detailed description to indicate like elements."
For additional information on this patent application, see: Chen, Ieon C. Smart Phone App-Based Method and System of Collecting Information for Purchasing Used Cars. Filed
Keywords for this news article include: Patents, Legal Issues.
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