Earlier this week, it was revealed that Apple has hired Desi Ujkashevic, a former Ford executive, to join the efforts of the Apple Car project. Since then, questions continue to arise on whether or not the ‘Apple Car’ will become a real thing.
Also referred to as ‘Project Titan’, the project is working to create Apple’s first self-driving electric vehicle. It aims to launch as early as 2025, but reports propose that the goal is a bit too ambitious.
Apple Car may actually come to fruition
Reported by Patently Apple, the Cupertino company has published a new patent today regarding the Apple Car. The patent covers autonomous vehicles, specifically an advanced “Guidance System” that can refine the car’s final destinations.
The patent notes that an “autonomous” or “self-driving” vehicle is “capable of sensing [its] environment and navigating to destinations with little or no ongoing input from occupants.” However, driver input may be valuable to the motion control component of this self-driving vehicle.
Patently Apple suggests the Guidance System will be easy to use in areas where accurate mapping data may not be available. The patent includes various methods for guiding the vehicle using intent signals. It may use multiple computing devices to indicate the destination of the vehicle like a mall, office complex, etc.
A route towards the destination may be identified, and the vicinity of the destination may be reached. At this point, finer-grained guidance regarding the actual stopping point of the vehicle may be needed. The method may further comprise detecting, using one or more sensors, one or more signals generated by an individual authorized or permitted to provide guidance with respect to movements of the vehicle.
Additionally, the patent shows the driver may use the touch-screen of an iPhone or iPad to make inputs. The devices could mark an intended stopping point, trace a path, or indicate an intended direction using a virtual joy-stick – it seems that Siri may also be another way to command the vehicle.
Individuals may also be able to gesture toward an intended parking space by using a voice command such as “park over there.”
It’s also noted that Apple has scrapped previous patents to replace with new ones to better represent this project.
There’s been a lot of rumors swirling around lately about the Apple Car. While we’ve been hearing about it for years, I finally feel like this project will actually become a real thing. With not only this new patent and the hiring of Desi Ujkashevic, Apple is probably eager to ramp up its work. While still many years away, it feels like things are heating up, and we will probably continue to hear even more.
What are your thoughts on the Apple Car rumors? Do you think it’s a real thing? Would you buy one?
FTC: We use income earning auto affiliate links. More.