Rivian Patents Genius UWB-Enabled Accessory for Dog Lovers

rivian news Rivian Patents Genius UWB-Enabled Accessory for Dog Lovers

Rivian Patents Genius UWB-Enabled Accessory for Dog Lovers

Rivian celebrated Independence Day by publishing several patents, including one dedicated to dog lovers. The patented dog collar uses UWB technology to track the pet's position and provide various automations. These include adjusting the climate settings and lowering the vehicle when the pet approaches.

Rivian recently launched the refreshed R1 lineup, introducing many new features and optimizations. Among them is the support for Ultra-Wideband (UWB) technology. This short-range communication tech can identify an object's position accurately while providing outstanding safety. Carmakers use UWB to enable advanced digital key (Phone as a Key) features based on the owner's phone position outside or inside the vehicle.

Although relatively new, UWB has been used by almost all iPhone owners to find objects thanks to Airtags or friends and family with Find My. The use of this technology in vehicles is relatively new, with BMW and Tesla pioneering UWB digital keys. Rivian has joined the fray with the refreshed R1S and R1T, and it wants to expand its use beyond unlocking and starting the car.

The EV startup patented a smart dog collar that connects with a Rivian vehicle, offering advanced functions thanks to the UWB technology. Based on two patent filings filed in December 2022, the collar allows the vehicle to identify the dog and perform various automations. For instance, the vehicle's suspension can be automatically lowered, and the tailgate can be opened as the dog approaches to facilitate access. Pet Comfort mode could also be automatically activated if the battery state of charge allows it.

The same technology will allow the vehicle to "know" the pet's position inside the car and adjust the climate settings accordingly. This has implications for preserving battery, as the vehicle management system can allocate resources more efficiently. Instead of cooling the entire cabin, the UWB tech would allow your vehicle to cool the precise climate zone where the dog sits. The patent also shows how this can improve safety by deactivating the appropriate airbag or seat belt chime if the dog occupies a specific seat.

If the system detects the dog's presence but not the driver's, it can generate an alert to notify the owner. The collar tag can also be tracked using both proximity (UWB) and long-distance (GPS) positioning. This can be useful when the animal is lost, providing a visual clue of its position on the vehicle's display or in the app. There are a lot of benefits and associated functions that can be set.

For instance, the patent filings include provisions for determining the animal's state of agitation and playing pre-recorded audio and video to comfort it. It can also allow the owner to communicate directly with the dog via the mobile app and the vehicle control module using audio and video. The control module can also dispense an animal treat to comfort the pet.

There are many benefits of using UWB, not only for pets but also for humans. The simplest is identifying the person approaching the vehicle and automatically selecting the associated driver profile based on the smartphone's proximity and position in the cabin. Tesla also uses it to open the trunk when a person with an associated car profile pauses behind it. This can be useful when the person's hands are occupied with bags or suitcases.