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United States Patent Application 20070288163
Kind Code A1
Meyer; Ulf ;   et al. December 13, 2007

Mobile station and method of a navigation system

Abstract

The present invention relates to a mobile station of a navigation system. In the system, the mobile station includes a transceiver for making a connection to a base station via a radio link. The base mobile is operable to receive an order from the base station. The order includes a description of the order and a destination corresponding to the order. The mobile station is operable to calculate a route to the received destination. The mobile station is operable to display the description of the order. The mobile station is operable to enter a change of a status of the order; and to send the change of the status to the base station.


Inventors: Meyer; Ulf; (Borsdorp, DE) ; Zanker; Sebastian; (Leiprig, DE) ; Sohmidt; Thomas; (Lipzio, DE)
Correspondence Address:
    Jacob Eisenberg;c/o TomTom
    Rembrandplein 35
    Amsterdam
    1017 CT
    NL
Serial No.: 712602
Series Code: 11
Filed: March 1, 2007

Current U.S. Class: 701/211; 340/825.72
Class at Publication: 701/211; 340/825.72
International Class: G01C 21/34 20060101 G01C021/34


Foreign Application Data

DateCodeApplication Number
Mar 8, 2006GB0604709.6
Mar 8, 2006GB0604708.8
Mar 8, 2006GB0604710.4
Mar 8, 2006GB0604704.7
Mar 8, 2006GB0604706.2

Claims



1. A mobile station of a navigation system; wherein said mobile station comprises a transceiver for a connection to a base station via a radio link; wherein said base mobile is operable to receive an order from said base station, said order containing a description of said order and a destination corresponding to said order; wherein said mobile station is operable to calculate a route to said received destination; wherein said mobile station is operable to display said description of said order; wherein said mobile station is operable to enter a change of a status of said order; wherein said mobile station is operable to send said change of said status to said base station.

2. A method for communication of a navigation device said method comprising the steps: receiving an order, said order containing a description of said order and a destination corresponding to said order; evaluating a current position from a GPS signal; calculating a route to said received destination depending on said current position; displaying said description of said order; changing a status of said order depending on user input; and sending said change of said status.

3. A method of claim 2: wherein said destination comprises a latitude and a longitude; and wherein said route is calculated depending on said longitude and said latitude.

4. A method of claim 2, further comprising: displaying said description of said order; and changing said status of the order to "start order" depending on user input.

5. A method of claim 2, further comprising: displaying said description of said order; and changing said status of the order to "accepted" or "rejected" depending on user input.

6. A method of claim 2, further comprising: sending a message entered by the user.

7. A method of claim 2, wherein said order further contains a phone number; wherein said phone number is send to a mobile phone and a phone call connection is established depending on user input.

8. A method of claim 2, wherein said order further contains a planned arrival time.

9. A method of claim 8, further comprising: calculating a current arrival time depending on the calculated route; sending said current arrival time.

10. A method of claim 9, further comprising: evaluating a matching of said current arrival time and said planned arrival time; and displaying a match or mismatch.

11. A method of claim 2, further comprising: updating said order depending of a received change of said order.

12. A method of claim 2, further comprising: sending an identification before receiving said order.

13. A method of claim 2, further comprising: switching to a privacy mode depending on user input; and suppressing the sending of said current position in said privacy mode.

14. A method of claim 2, further comprising: displaying said route and said status of said order simultaneously.

15. A system comprising a server operable to display a map with at least one position of a vehicle on said map; to enter an order containing a description of said order and a destination corresponding to said order, whereas said order is assignable to said vehicle for sending said order to said vehicle; and to display a current status of said order.

16. A system of claim 15, comprising said server further operable to calculate a route between two geo points; and to display said route on said map.

17. A system of claim 16, comprising said server further operable to calculate and display additional information associated with the route.

18. A system of claim 16, comprising said server further operable to synchronize said calculation of said route to a route calculation of a navigation device of said vehicle.

19. A system of claim 15, comprising said server further operable to geocode a postal address into a geo coordinate.

20. A method running on a server comprising the steps of: displaying a map with at least one position of a vehicle on said map; storing an entered order containing a description of said order and a destination corresponding to said order, whereas said order is assignable to said vehicle for sending said order to said vehicle; calculating a route to said destination from another geo point; and displaying said calculated route on said map.
Description



FIELD OF THE INVENTION

[0001] The present invention relates to a mobile station and a method of a navigation system.

BACKGROUND

[0002] GPS based navigation devices are well known and are widely employed as in-car navigation devices. Software that, when running e.g. on a PDA connected to an external GPS receiver, enables a user to input to the PDA a start and destination address. The software then calculates the best route between the two end-points and displays instructions on how to navigate that route. By using the positional information derived from the GPS receiver, the software can determine at regular intervals the position of the PDA (typically mounted on the dashboard of a vehicle) and can display the current position of the vehicle on a map and display (and speak) appropriate navigation instructions (e.g. `turn left in 100 m`).

[0003] Graphics depicting the actions to be accomplished (e.g. a left arrow indicating a left turn ahead) can be displayed in a status bar and also be superimposed over the applicable junctions/turnings etc in the roads shown in the map itself. Reference may also be made to devices that integrate a GPS receiver into a computing device programmed with a map database and that can generate navigation instructions on a display. These integrated devices are often mounted on or in the dashboard of a vehicle. The term `navigation device` refers to a device that enables a user to navigate to a pre-defined destination. The device may have an internal system for receiving location data, such as a GPS receiver, or may merely be connectable to a receiver that can receive location data.

[0004] The device is a portable device and hence has to be securely mounted onto a dock that is itself firmly attached to the dashboard or windscreen, usually with a suction cup. The device is connected to an external antenna to pick up GPS signals (the term GPS covers not only US Navstar but other similar GNSS--Global Navigation Satellite Systems such as Galileo). The RF signals from the external antenna (mounted on the roof or on the dashboard but with better external visibility, i.e. line of sight to GPS satellites) are routed along a coaxial cable that has to be plugged directly into the navigation device.

[0005] A GPS navigation system of the WO 2005/090919 A1 comprises dock for a portable navigation device that comprises a RF connector designed to automatically interface with a RF connector in the device in order to feed GPS RF signals from an external antenna to the device when the device is correctly mounted on the dock. RF signals from an external antenna are routed along a co-axial cable that is plugged directly into the navigation device. A user has to first dock the device and then hook up the RF cable. Using the teaching of the WO 2005/090919 A1 a user merely has to dock the navigation device onto the platform for an automatic connection to any external antenna connected to the dock to be made.

[0006] Route planners combine aspects of appointment planning and position determination. In particular, said type of systems still exist for traveling sales representatives, where their route planning is highly complex due to a large number of clients. The WO 2006/081816 A1 relates to the planning of a non-determined amount of appointments. The mobile stations are wirelessly connected to a PC to adjust data of the mobile station to data of a central PC at a central base station.

SUMMARY

[0007] It may be desirable to provide an improved mobile station and an improved method of a navigation system that enables a stuff member to manage his fleet of vehicles more precisely.

[0008] This need may be met by a mobile station and a method according to the independent claims.

[0009] In one embodiment of the invention a mobile station of a navigation system comprises a transceiver for a connection to a base station via a radio link. The radio link is preferably bidirectional. In further refinements the transceiver is operable for at least one of a GSM (Global System for Mobile Communications), UMTS (Universal Mobile Telecommunications System), WLAN (wireless local area network) and satellite connection. Preferably the transceiver is operable to send and receive data via said radio link, whereas said base station is further connected via a wired and/or wireless network. In a further refinement said base station comprises a server operable to run a software program using said connection to said mobile station.

[0010] Said mobile station is operable to receive an order from said base station. Said order contains a description of said order and a destination corresponding to said order. In further refinements said order contains a description of a service or a pick up or a delivery. Said destination corresponds to said order in a way that said order has to be fulfilled at said destination. The order could be entered by a stuff members into said base station from a computer connected to said base station, whereas the computer is located in an office. After entering the order is sent to said mobile station via said radio link.

[0011] Said mobile station is operable to calculate a route to said received destination. In a further refinement said mobile station is operable to receive a GPS (global position system) signal and to evaluate a current position from said GPS signal. The route is preferably calculated depending on said received destination and said current position. In a further refinement said mobile station is operable to display at least one of said current position and said route and said destination within a map.

[0012] Said mobile station is operable to display said description of said order. The description could preferably be converted to at least on of a text and an icon for displaying.

[0013] Said mobile station is operable to enter a change of a status of said order. In further refinements said status can be changed either by user input or automatically by a program running on said mobile station. Preferably a current status and possible changes of said status are displayed.

[0014] Said mobile station is operable to send said change of said status to said base station via said radio link. This change of said status could be displayed at the base station and could be analyzed by a stuff member.

[0015] In another embodiment of the invention, a method for communication of a navigation device via a radio link is presented. Said method comprises the step of receiving an order. The order could be sent from a base station or another mobile station. Said order contains a description of said order and a destination corresponding to said order. A current position is evaluated preferably from a GPS signal. A route is calculated to said received destination depending on said current position.

[0016] Said description of said order is displayed at said mobile station side. The status of said order is changed by user input. This changing can be done once or several times. Additionally it is possible that the status is also changed automatically by a program running on the mobile station.

[0017] Said change of said status is sent via the radio link. Further exemplary, said sent change of said status is received by a base station and displayed.

[0018] The following describes exemplary features and refinements of the method in accordance with the invention, although these features and refinements will also apply to the mobile station as well. In this case the mobile station is operable to run a program comprising at least on of the method steps described.

[0019] In one exemplary embodiment said destination comprises a latitude and a longitude. The latitude could be in 10.sup.-6 degrees, whereas negative values depict southern hemisphere. The longitude could be in 10.sup.-6 degrees, whereas negative values depict western hemisphere. In a further refinement a text of the destination is received. This may be name and address of a customer or a description derived from reverse geocoding. In a further refinement said route is calculated depending on said longitude and said latitude.

[0020] In further refinements the description of said order contains at least one of an order number and an order identification and an order type and an order text and an order status and a status allowance and a planned arrival time.

[0021] In one exemplary embodiment said description of said order is displayed at the mobile station side. For this a descriptive order text or an icon is displayed.

[0022] Additionally a sound could be generated. After displaying said status of the order is changed to "start order" depending on user input. For example the status could change to "start order" immediately after a user read the descriptive order text.

[0023] Further exemplary, after said description of said order is displayed said status of the order is changed to "accepted" or "rejected" depending on user input. For example the user could click on a corresponding icon for "accepted" or a corresponding icon for "rejected". This change of said status is preferably sent to the base station.

[0024] Further exemplary, a message is entered by the user and sent as well. The message could be predefined text, editable or free typed text. In a further refinement the message is assigned to said order.

[0025] In one exemplary embodiment said order further contains a phone number. The phone number is sent preferably from the base station. The phone number is assigned to the order, for example the phone number of the corresponding customer. Said phone number is sent to a mobile phone and a phonecall connection is established depending on user input.

[0026] Further exemplary, said order further contains a planned arrival time. This planned arrival time could be entered at the base station side by a stuff member. In further refinements a current arrival time is calculated depending on the calculated route and said current arrival time is sent to the base station for evaluation purposes.

[0027] In further refinements a matching of said current arrival time and said planned arrival time is evaluated. A match or mismatch is displayed afterwards. A mismatch is preferably sent as a warning message to the base station, therefore the stuff member can cancel this order or change it to another vehicle.

[0028] In one exemplary embodiment said order is updated depending of a received change of said order. In case the updated order is inactive, this could set a new icon decoration in an order list without informing the user. In case the updated order is active the user is informed about the update.

[0029] In one exemplary embodiment an identification is sent before said order is received. This identification could be a digital data that corresponds to at least one of a users personnel number stored in a reference list of the mobile station and a entered personnel number and a device serial number.

[0030] Further exemplary, a privacy mode is used. Depending on user input the status is switched to privacy mode. During privacy mode the sending of said current position is suppressed.

[0031] Further exemplary, said route and said status of said order are displayed simultaneously on a screen of the mobile station. Therefore a user can view an order status and a navigation screen at the same time.

[0032] In one embodiment of the invention a system comprises a server operable to display a map with at least one position of a vehicle on said map. The server can be any suitable computer based system, host system, computer or a plurality of computers or host systems.

[0033] Said server is further operable to store an entered order containing a description of said order and a destination corresponding to said order, whereas said order is assignable to said vehicle for sending said order to said vehicle. For storing a register or nonvolatile memory cells could be used for example. Further said server is set up for displaying a current status of said order. The current status or a change of the status is received from a mobile station of said vehicle.

[0034] In a further refinement of said embodiment said server is further operable to calculate a route between two geo points. The two geo points could be geo coordinates comprising latitude and longitude. The two geo points can be estimated from an entered address by geocoding. Additionally said route is displayed on said map. In another embodiment said server further operable to geocode a postal address into a geo coordinate, which preferably comprises longitude and latitude.

[0035] In a further refinement said server is further operable to calculate and display additional information associated with the route. Such additional information comprises at least one of duration of said rout, a partial length, an overall route length, traffic conditions and points of interest, e.g. fuel stations.

[0036] In another embodiment said server is further operable to synchronize said calculation of said route running on said server with a route calculation of a navigation device of said vehicle. For example at least one of a version number of the software and a version of maps of the navigation device 10 is transmitted to the server at the base station 50. The server then uses the same version of the software to calculate the route.

[0037] In one embodiment of the invention a method is running on a server. Said method comprises the step of displaying a map with at least one current position of a vehicle on said map. Said method further comprises the step of entering an order containing a description of said order and a destination corresponding to said order. Said order is assignable to said vehicle for sending said order to said vehicle. A route is calculated to said destination from another geo point. Said calculated route is displayed on said map.

[0038] These and other aspects of the present invention will become apparent from and elucidated with reference to the embodiment described hereinafter.

BRIEF SUMMARY OF THE DRAWINGS

[0039] FIG. 1 illustrates a schematic view of a navigation system in accordance with the present invention.

[0040] FIG. 2 illustrates a schematic graph of a method in accordance with the present invention.

[0041] FIG. 3a illustrates a schematic view of a part of a graph for a service type order.

[0042] FIG. 3b illustrates a schematic view of a part of a graph for a pick up type order.

[0043] FIG. 3c illustrates a schematic view of a part of a graph for a delivery type order.

[0044] FIG. 4 illustrates a detailed description of an order displayed.

[0045] FIG. 5 illustrates displayed button for entering a change of a status.

[0046] FIG. 6 illustrates a schematic view of an order specific message to be sent.

[0047] FIG. 7 illustrates a schematic view of a vehicle fleet on the base station side.

[0048] FIG. 8 illustrates a schematic view of an input mask for an order to be sent to a vehicle.

[0049] For clarity, previously identified features retain their reference indicia in subsequent drawings.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF EXEMPLARY EMBODIMENTS

[0050] FIG. 1 illustrates a schematic view of a navigation system, comprising a mobile station 10 assembled in a vehicle 100, whereas the vehicle 100 could be a truck, van or a car. The navigation system further comprises a base station 50. The base station 50 and the mobile station 10 are connected via a radio link 20, 21. The mobile station 10 comprises a transceiver 11 for the connection to the base station 50 via that radio link 20, 21.

[0051] In the exemplary embodiment of FIG. 1 the radio link 20, 21 is GSM-connection using a receiving channel 20 and a transmitting channel 21 for the transceiver 11, to receive and transmit data via said channels 20 and 21 respectively. The transceiver therefore includes an antenna suitable for the GSM-connection. The GSM-connection further includes stations 55, 56, 57 of a cellular system, whereas in FIG. 1 the transceiver is connected to the station 56 of the cellular system providing the receiving channel 20 and the transmitting channel 21. Instead of the GSM-connection a UMTS-connection could be used. The stations 55, 56, 57 of the cellular system are connected to the base station 50 via network 52, whereas the network could comprise wired or wireless connections or a combination of both. The base station 50 could be a server connected to the internet. A computer 51 is connected to said base station 50 via the internet. The computer 51 can access the base station 50 using a browser or the like. In the exemplary embodiment of FIG. 1 there is only one computer 51 shown for simplicity, although there could be a large number of computers of several different companies.

[0052] The mobile station 10 is operable to receive an order from said base station 50. The order contains a description of said order and a destination corresponding to said order. The description contains at least one of an order number, an order identification, an order type, a text and an order status. The mobile station 10 is operable to calculate a route to said received destination. To calculate the route the mobile station 10 comprises a navigation device 30 comprising a display 31, displaying the calculated route. The navigation device 30 further comprises an antenna operable to receive GPS-signals 80 from several satellites 70, 71. Therefore the mobile station 10 comprising the navigation device 30 is operable to estimate the current position of the vehicle 100. The mobile station 10 is operable to calculate the route from the current position of the vehicle 100 to at least one received destination.

[0053] Additionally the mobile station 10 is operable to display the description of said order on its display 31. For example a descriptive order text could be displayed. The mobile station 10 comprises a connection 13 between the transceiver 11 and the navigation device 30. The connection 13 could be wired or wireless. In the exemplary embodiment of FIG. 1 there is an additional wireless connection 41 to mobile phone 40 using for example the standard IEEE 802.15.1. It is also possible that the transceiver 11 is a mobile phone connected to the navigation device 30 using the connection 13 for example the standard IEEE 802.15.1.

[0054] Within the exemplary embodiment of FIG. 1 the mobile station 10 is operable to enter a change of a status of said order. The display of the exemplary embodiment of FIG. 1 is of a touch screen type. The user enters a change of status by touch a part of the display corresponding to a displayed icon. The mobile station 10 is operable to send said change of said status to said base station 50 via the transmitting channel 21.

[0055] In the beginning user/driver identification is possible. For use cases where there is a fleet of vehicles with alternating users/drivers, there is the need for identifying the user/driver using the vehicle 100. This could be achieved in different ways:

[0056] If the user/driver rarely changes, then the driver's personnel number will be set using a preferences menu. In this exemplary embodiment it is only changed there, producing a report to the base station 50 side.

[0057] In another exemplary embodiment the mobile station 10 asks for input of personnel number after the mobile station 10 was switched on and before allowing any further usage. If the user/driver changes, this will be send to the base station 50 side using a report or the like.

[0058] In another exemplary embodiment every user/driver has its personal navigation device 30. For identification purposes a serial number of the navigation device 30 is sent to the base station 50.

[0059] FIG. 2 illustrates a schematic workflow of a method of one exemplary embodiment. The shown order statuses are used to control and record the workflow of the order processing. All statuses shown in this graph are fixed and unchangeable. Step 5 of the graph depends on the type of order, because with different order types (like pickup order, service order and the like), different workflow statuses can be used. The order is active in one of the type dependent order statuses of step 5, hence inactive in one of the static statuses.

[0060] After initializing the device an order is received in step 1 "Received" is the first status every order has after it has been received. Said order contains a description of said order and a destination corresponding to said order. The order contains at least one of an order number, an order identification, an order type, a text, an order status, allowed status, destination latitude, destination longitude, textual destination description and planned arrival time.

[0061] In step 2 of within the exemplary embodiment of FIG. 1 it is checked, whether allowing or rejecting the order is allowed, depending on the allowed status information contained in the order itself. If it is allowed the workflow will continue to step 3; if it is not allowed the workflow will continue to step 9.

[0062] In step 3 the order has been displayed to the user (driver) now allowing the driver to enter an acceptance or a rejection of the order. If the order has been accepted by the user (driver), the workflow will continue to step 5. If there is no current active order, the driver will be asked whether he likes to start that specific order. If yes, this triggers the Start order transition.

[0063] If the order has been rejected by the user (driver), the workflow continues to step 8. If the user/driver selects to reject an order, he is first asked for confirmation, and then asked for input of the reason of rejecting (text input). He is not required to input any reason. If he continues, the order is marked as rejected and the user/driver is asked if he wants to delete that order. If yes, the order is deleted in the following step 7 and the workflow ends.

[0064] In step 9 of the exemplary embodiment of FIG. 2 the order has been displayed to the driver. A accept/reject decision is not allowed, so the order can start in step 5. When the user/driver changes the order status to "completed" in step 6, then he is asked if he wants to delete that order. If yes the order is deleted in the following step 7 and the workflow ends. Completing an order automatically cancels navigation to the order destination, if still active. Independent from the status of step 9, 4, 5, or 10 the order can always be cancelled, whereas the workflow continues to step 11. When the user/driver selects to cancel an order, he is first asked for confirmation ("Cancel order? Yes/No"), and then asked for input of the reason of canceling (text input). He is not required to input any reason. If he has continued, the order is cancelled and he is asked whether he wants to delete that order or not. If yes the order is deleted in step 7. Canceling an order automatically cancels navigation to the order destination, if active.

[0065] The type dependent order status of step 5 are always ordered in one sequence, with transitions between all states and from each state to completed, suspended or cancelled. The start order transition from "accepted" in step 4 or "read" in step 9 lead to the first status in a subsequence of step 5.

[0066] An exemplary subsequence of step 5 is illustrated in schematic workflows in FIG. 3a, FIG. 3b or FIG. 3c. In the FIGS. 3a, 3b and 3c different order types are defined to be able to adopt the workflow statuses according to a use case. For example, if the user/driver should pickup some freight at the order destination, the workflow graph should include begin loading/end loading status. On the other hand, if the user/driver is supposed to do some maintenance work at the order destination, then these status of pickup would not be suitable.

[0067] The steps 4, 6, 9, 10 and 11 are identical to those in FIG. 2. In FIG. 3a a schematic subsequence of a workflow for a service order type is shown. Therefore step 5 (as shown in FIG. 2) comprises the steps 5a1, 5a2, 5a3, 5a4 and 5a5. A transition back and forth within the steps 5a1, 5a2, 5a3, 5a4 and 5a5 is possible. From each status of the steps 5a1, 5a2, 5a3, 5a4 and 5a5 a transition to the status suspended in step 10 is possible. Also from each status of the steps 5a1, 5a2, 5a3, 5a4 and 5a5 a transition to the status cancelled in step 10 is possible. Not all possible transitions are shown in FIGS. 3a, 3b or 3c for simplicity reasons.

[0068] After the order is started in step 5a1 a route to the received destination is calculated. The start of said route can be the current position estimated from a GPS-signal or an estimated destination of a previous order. Additionally the description of said order is displayed. If several service orders have been received only one order can be currently active in step 5a1, 5a2, 5a3, 5a4 or 5a5. If the user/driver selects to start an order there may already be an active order. Still it is possible that one or more order have the status "suspended" in step 10, whilst one or none order is active.

[0069] For an active order, the user/driver can select to suspend it. If the route to the destination is still active, then the navigation is cancelled. The user/driver may resume a suspended order. It will then have the same order state it had before suspending. When resuming, there may also be a different active order. In this case, the user/driver is asked if he wants to suspend, cancel or retain the currently active order. When the order is resumed, the user/driver is asked if he likes to start navigating to the order destination using the navigation device 30.

[0070] In FIG. 3a the status of the order is changed by user input transiting to at least one of the status "order started", "arrived at destination", "work started", "work completed", "departed from destination" and "order completed" corresponding to the steps 5a1, 5a2, 5a3, 5a4, 5a5 and 6 respectively. Not shown in FIG. 3a is a possible skip of one step in the chain of steps 5a1, 5a2, 5a3, 5a4 and 5a5.

[0071] At least each change of status in the chain of the steps 5a1, 5a2, 5a3, 5a4 and 5a5 is sent to the base station 50 via the sending channel 21 as shown in FIG. 1. Preferably each change of status included in FIGS. 2, 3a, 3b and 3c is sent.

[0072] Further exemplary, the FIG. 3b shows an exemplary embodiment of a subsequence of a pickup order, comprising the status "order started", "arrived at pick up site", "pick up started", "pick up completed" and "departed from pick up site" corresponding to the steps 5b1, 5b2, 5b3, 5b4, 5b5 respectively. The steps 4, 6, 9, 10 and 11 are identical to those in FIG. 2. Transitions are possible analogue to the transitions in FIG. 3a.

[0073] Further exemplary, the FIG. 3c shows an exemplary embodiment of a subsequence of a delivery order, comprising the status "order started", "arrived at delivery site", "delivery started", "delivery completed" and "departed from delivery site" corresponding to the steps 5c1, 5c2, 5c3, 5c4, 5c5 respectively. The steps 4, 6, 9, 10 and 11 are identical to those in FIG. 2. Transitions are possible analogue to the transitions in FIG. 3a.

[0074] During navigation a map is displayed on the display 31. During navigation at least one of an icon for a new order, an icon showing an error state, when the connection 20, 21 to the base station 50 could not be established, an icon displayed during privacy mode, an icon showing the current status of the order and an icon corresponding to the current work mode is displayed.

[0075] If a new order is received an indicator is displayed in the map view, for example in the upper left corner. This indicator is assigned to the new order. Tapping on that indicator enables to show the corresponding order.

[0076] In one exemplary embodiment the displayed icon shows the current working state, which is a combination of order and a work mode. Tapping on this icon opens the current order details view if the order status is displayed and the status of the order can be changed directly. However, tapping on this icon will lead to the working time reporting, if a free time icon or pause icon is shown.

[0077] Selecting a button "show orders" in the main menu (not shown) leads to the list of received messages and orders. Items can be displayed in the order received from the base station 50. In this list icons are used to discriminate between text and order messages. Icon decorations indicate at least one of several possible order statuses. For example, a star is used for a "received" or "updated" order. For example a green checkmark is used for a "completed" order. Selecting an item leads to the order detail view (description) in FIG. 4 or FIG. 5 depending on the current status.

[0078] In an exemplary embodiment further detailed below, a displaying of an order description is illustrated in FIG. 4. The layout of the order detail view depends on the current status. The display 31 shows a layout of an inactive service order corresponding to the status "accepted", therefore to step 4 of the workflow of FIG. 3a. Displayed is a text D32 "order" that this is a detailed view of said inactive order. An order number D31 "456945" is displayed. A status D4 "accepted" of said order is displayed, corresponding to step 4 of the workflow shown in FIG. 3a. The display further includes the time D41 "10:30" of the last change of the status of said order.

[0079] Further a planned arrival time D20 "11:09" is displayed. When navigation to the order destination is started and a planned arrival time D20 is included in the active order, then this time is automatically used as input for the navigation showing whether the calculated arrival time matches the planned arrival time D.sub.2O. At least one of the calculated arrival time, a match and a mismatch is sent to the base station 50 via the sending channel 21.

[0080] A textual description D30 of said order "Order text: . . . " is displayed as well. Additionally a textual description D50 of the destination is displayed. The display 31 is used as a touch screen, so that the user can enter the next status "Start" by touching the field T5. Touching the field T15 "Done" leads to the main menu. The field T11 "Options" leads to an option menu with possible transitions to the status "rejected" (in status "read" only), "cancel", "suspend" (if the order is active) or "deleted" (if the order is cancelled or rejected) and the items "start navigation" (if the order is active) and "call" (if the order contains a phone number).

[0081] If the item "call" has been chosen by the user, the phone number corresponding to the order is sent to the mobile phone 40 via the connection 41, as shown in FIG. 1. Afterwards a phonecall connection is established depending on said user input touching the item.

[0082] FIG. 5 illustrates displaying an active order of an exemplary embodiment depending on the current status. The current status in FIG. 5 is "started", shown as textual description D4'. As well the time D41' of the change of the status is displayed. If the order is an active order that has been started, then only the upper half of the display shows the textual description D30 of the order, with a button T30 that leads to a full screen (scrollable). The lower half of the display shows three buttons T51, T52 and T53. The leftmost button T51 is a triangle arrow pointing left allowing switching to the previous status. In this case of the status "started" the button T51 is grayed-out and disabled, because the previous status is not reachable manually. The rightmost button T52 is a triangle arrow pointing right (next) allowing entering the following status (arrived at customer). The middle button T53 shows the current order status by a symbol with textual description below.

[0083] The user/driver changes the status by simply moving forward/backward in the workflow sequence using the left/right buttons T51, T52 respectively. The selected status will be applied when tapping on the field T15 "done" or on the middle button T53 alternatively. The field T11 "Options" has the same functions described in FIG. 4. The field T14 "Status" leads to the send order status view, as shown in FIG. 6.

[0084] Selecting the button "report to office" from the main menu (not shown) leads to a submenu with the options to send a text message or send a status message. A text message is plain text independent from the current status or a current order. For sending a status message however a list of configured status messages is presented to let the user/driver select one item. For example, the status messages are defined at the computer 51 side. After selecting any status message from the list, a confirmation screen is displayed as illustrated in FIG. 6. The predefined status message D60 is shown in the upper part of the display 31. By touching the field T17 the user/driver may add arbitrary text information D61 to this status message D60. In the exemplary embodiment of FIG. 6 it is important that the status message D60 is assigned to the current order. The field T16 "Send" enables the user/driver to send that status message D60 to the base station 50. The field T18 "Back" leads to the list of messages.

[0085] The main menu may further include a report of working time (not shown), whereas the user/driver is able to report begin, pause, continuation and end of work. As an option the user/driver may enter begin/end or work and pause times manually. It is also possible to change a logbook mode. If a users/drivers logbook has to be maintained, then the current logbook mode (private, commute to work, business) may be changed by selecting change logbook mode from the main menu. The current logbook mode is displayed letting the user/driver change the mode by touching a corresponding item. The view may be adaptable to different countries tax regulations. In privacy mode (not shown) no position information is transmitted from the mobile station 10 to the base station 50, so the user/driver and the vehicle 100 is not trackable at the base station 50 side. At base station 50 side only an information about the privacy mode is visible. The privacy mode can be enabled or disabled at base station 50 side.

[0086] If it is necessary to change the order (e.g. correct typing errors, add comments, change destination etc.) after it has already been read by the driver then the user/driver needs to be informed about this change. However, if the user/driver has not read the order there is no need to inform him. In case an inactive order is updated, this will only set a new icon decoration in the order list as mentioned above. In an update is performed on the currently active order, there different method steps performed depending on the update.

[0087] If the order destination is changed, and the navigation is currently leading the user/driver to the old destination, then a message is flashed in the map view ("Order destination updated, recalculation route") and the navigation is changed to the new order destination. If the navigation is not to the old destination, only the message "Order destination updated" is displayed, without changing the navigation. If the planned arrival time D20 is updated then a message is flashed in the map view: "Planned arrival time updated". If the navigation is currently leading the driver to the order destination, the new arrival time is used for leeway calculation. If order text, order number or textual description of the destination is changed by the update, a message "Order updated" is flashed in the map view only.

[0088] In a further exemplary embodiment the stuff member may want to cancel an order remotely from the base station 50 side, whereas the order is already sent to the mobile station 10, for example to dispatch that order to a different vehicle. In this case, the order status is changed to the status "cancelled" remotely. The order will still be in the order list so the user/driver could take notice of the cancellation. If an active order is cancelled remotely, then a full-screen message or a flash message on the map view is used to inform the user/driver that the order has been cancelled navigation is stopped subsequently. If an unread order is cancelled remotely, it is removed without notice, since the user/driver did not take notice of that order.

[0089] FIG. 7 illustrates a schematic view of a browser window or the like at the base station 50 side. The base station 50 is a component of a system that comprises a server, whereas a server is any suitable electronic system for running software like computers in a network. For example the server is a web-server. Said server is operable to display a map S12 shown in the exemplary embodiment of FIG. 7. The map S12 is generated by bitmap rendering, that is provided based on a rectangle for example. The map S12 can be displayed in a browser window. At least one position of a vehicle or several positions S10a, S10b, S10c of several vehicles are displayed on said map S12. In a further refinement other objects and their position can be entered and displayed. In a further refinement vehicles and objects are assignable to a group or multiple groups. This enables a stuff member to concurrently monitor orders at his computer connected to the central base station.

[0090] Further exemplary, a textual description S11a, S11b, S11c of each vehicle is displayed. In another embodiment the server is operable to receive a current position of a vehicle on demand. After sending a position query to the mobile device 10, the mobile device 10 is operable to answer this message with the current position, e.g. longitude and latitude.

[0091] In the exemplary embodiment of FIG. 7 a current status of said order is displayed using an icon S4a, S4b, S4c for each vehicle. Each change of a status is transmitted from the vehicle to the server; hence the last change of a status received from the vehicle is displayed. In a further refinement a textual description S12a, S12b, S12c is displayed additionally. For example statuses are "start driving route", "end driving route" or "route aborted". In a further refinement corresponding messages are generated automatically and without any user interaction. In a further refinement at least one additional event message of "low battery", "route diversion detected" and "mobile phone connected" is transmitted from the mobile station 10 to the server and displayed.

[0092] In a further exemplary embodiment a route S28 is calculated between two geo points S28a and S28b. The geo points S28a und S28b are entered by a stuff member. The route S28 is returned either as array of geo positions or as array of geo positions with additional driving instructions. Said calculated route S28 is displayed on said map S12. Further exemplary, the planned route S28 is visible on the map as entered, with having the vehicle driving said route S28 painted on the route S28, depending on received current position data. The stuff member can change the view of the map by clicking on it, or using other interaction schemes. In a further refinement several calculated routes are displayed in a list and/or graphically in the map.

[0093] This route calculation enables an optimization of several routes of different orders, before sending the orders to the vehicles. The visual properties, like colors, forms etcetera, of the generated bitmap of the drawn route S28 (e.g. corresponding to a specific vehicle) and other map items can be specified e.g. in a runtime configuration. In a further refinement (not shown in FIG. 7) information about said calculated route S28, such as expected duration or overall route length is displayed assigned to the route S28. Further exemplary points of interest are displayed. Preferably points of interest along the calculated route S28 are displayed. Preferably displaying said points of interest is activatable or disactivatable. In another embodiment (not shown in FIG. 7) the server is operable to send the calculated route S28 to the mobile station 10. In this case no calculation of a route at the mobile station side is necessary. In another embodiment (not shown in FIG. 7) the server is operable to receive a route calculated at the mobile station 10 side. This can used e.g. to synchronize calculated routes.

[0094] In another exemplary embodiment of FIG. 8 the server is operable to enter an order. An input mask for said order is illustrated in FIG. 8. First an address S32 of a destination is entered. Subsequently this address S32 is converted into a geo coordinate, comprising latitude and longitude after clicking on "Geocoding". The input for this functionality could be either a city name preferably combined with a street name preferably combined with a house number. Reverse geocoding is also possible. By giving a geo coordinate or transmitting a geo coordinate from the mobile station 10 of the vehicle 100 to the server, the server is able to generate a textual description of this coordinate. Depending on entered parameters different location information are generated by reverse geocoding. For example depending on such parameter a street or alternatively a city is display as the current location of the vehicle. Further exemplary the server is operable of transforming geo coordinates into map-specific coordinates using Cartesian coordinate system.

[0095] The order contains an order type S3, a description S30 of said order and a destination corresponding to said order, whereas said order is assignable to said vehicle for sending said order to said vehicle. An icon S33 is displayed on the map S12 corresponding to the destination.

[0096] Further exemplary a planned arrival time S20 can be entered and displayed. Depending on the calculated route S28 and further parameters like the vehicle type a match or mismatch between the planned arrival time S20 and a calculated arrival time can be displayed. Further exemplary a phone number S25 can be entered and displayed. Afterwards this phone number S25 is transmitted via the radio link 20 and received by the mobile station 10. In a further refinement a feasibility of a planned route is checked, depending on the calculated arrival time. In a further refinement a delay of a vehicle is displayed as an alert.

[0097] In another embodiment an erroneous condition or an erroneous status is reported. The report is sent to a receiving unit, such as an email address by email or a mobile phone by SMS (short message service) or the like. In another embodiment data depending on calculated and/or driven routes are stored. Said data can be visualized in a comprehensive report for controlling and forecasting. In a further refinement the server is operable to enter areas or time dependent areas, which are monitored by a server application depending on the current position of the vehicle, notifying a stuff member and/or the mobile station 10 if a violation is detected.

[0098] It should be noted that the term "comprising" does not exclude other features, and the definite article "a" or "an" does not exclude a plurality, except when indicated. It is to be further noted that elements described in association with different embodiments may be combined. It is also noted that reference signs in the claims shall not be construed as limiting the scope of the claims.

[0099] The foregoing description has been presented for purposes of illustration and description. It is not intended to be exhaustive or to limit the invention to the precise form disclosed, and obviously many modifications and variations are possible in light of the disclosed teaching. The described embodiments were chosen in order to best explain the principles of the invention and its practical application to thereby enable others skilled in the art to best utilize the invention in various embodiments and with various modifications as are suited to the particular use contemplated. It is intended that the scope of the invention be defined solely by the claims appended hereto.

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