Image Number 15 for United States Patent #6430486.
A communication system architecture (SA) for a vehicle which may be integrated into the vehicle's multiplexed electronic component communication system, and a process for communicating with the vehicle to provide information for and about the vehicle's operational status and coordinating the vehicle's activities. The communication system will include a multi-functional antenna system for the vehicle that will have the capability to receive AM/FM radio and television signals, and transmit and receive citizens band (CB) radio signals, satellite and microwave and cellular phone communications. The antenna may be installed as original equipment or as a back-fit part in the after-market. In either case the multi-functional antenna will be integrated with the vehicle's multiplexed electronic component communication system. The process for communicating with the vehicle will involve a communication service for which the vehicle's driver will enroll for and service will continue so long as maintenance fees are paid. The service will be capable of providing various levels of information transfer and coordination. The levels may include vehicle information such as (1) the need for servicing and location of the nearest service center with the necessary parts in stock, (2) routing, and (3) load brokering and coordination. The modular design of the system architecture (SA) will allow it to be employed with the vehicle platform that does not possess a full multiplexed electronic component communications system. The resulting vehicle, using an after-market application package, will be able to participate in some of the services.