The market is abuzz with rumens of a possible self-driving car from the American tech giant Apple.
There has not been any public comment or announcement from Apple about the project which has come to be known as Titan. Therefore there is little official clarity on the type of car Apple might make. There is conjecture that the possible car will be a whole Apple-branded, electric, self-driving car. Others estimate that Apple will more likely partner with other established auto makers to sell an operating system, self-driving tools or other technology.
However more clues can be gathered from some of the most interesting car-related patents that Apple has obtained.
‘Augmented virtual display’
This patented invention could turn out to be a big one for Apple as this technology will make it easier for people to use their iPads, Macs and other devices even while riding a car – particularly a self-driving one, and not get bored. The patent relates to a virtual reality system that could help to prevent passenger motion sickness by providing “augmented or virtual” displays with displays adjusted to the physical motions that a passenger experiences while riding a car. The patent says that this could help passengers to read the page as a fixed object in the external environment while still seeing visual cues about the car’s movements. That will allow the passengers to “work, view, or read in comfort without experiencing motion sickness as may occur if the passenger was trying to work or view the content on a physical screen on a portable computing device sitting on their lap”.
“Thus … the VR system may aid in productivity, as passengers in vehicles may more comfortably perform work while riding in the vehicle,” it says.
This invention is more like an automated climate control system for a car. This technology makes use of sensors fitted inside and outside of a vehicle as well as other possible sources of data to identify and measure parameters such as the temperature of car seats or certain passenger body parts or sunlight getting into the car through a window or sunroof. That information is then used by the technology to control the ambient temperature inside the car so that the environment is comfortable for the passengers.
‘System and method for dynamic privacy and window tinting’
This patent relates to a tinted film covering the exterior of a vehicle where in the glim allows adjustments based on data received from various sensors as well as from “explicit” and “implicit requests or commands for tinting” with relation oto t the amount of light entering the car.
“As an additional example,” the patent states, “an occupant of the vehicle may place packages in a rear zone of the vehicle. The tinting system of the vehicle may automatically adjust the tint of the adjustable exterior facing surface to prevent others from viewing the packages.”
“Method for locating a vehicle”
This patented technology helps a car owner to locate where he or she had left his or her car.
Using this technology, a user can use a “portable computing device” such as the iPhone to communicate with either the car or the parking structure through wireless connection such as bluetooth.
‘Charging station with passive alignment mechanism’
Many find it annoying to get out of the car to get gas in heavy rains or in darkness. Apple plans to use this patented technology to allow people with an electric vehicle to not step out of the car to plug in the power chord.
“Exiting a vehicle to connect (it) to a charging station may be inconvenient for the operator,” the patent states.
(Adapted from CNN.com)