Apple has roped in Doug Field who earlier worked as the Vice President of Mac Hardware Engineering and had a stint at Tesla where he presided Vehicle Programs, according to John Gruber of Dragon Fireball.
This comes almost a month after Tesla announced that Feild, who was supposed to return from a 6-week holiday, has left the company.
Now back at Apple after five years, he would be a part of “Project Titan” which is the company’s autonomous car project. Apple representative Tom Neumayr has confirmed the news. Doug would join his former colleague Bob Mansfield who is in-charge of Project Titan at Apple.
In another news by Patently Apple, the Cupertino giant has filed a patent for an augmented reality windscreen that would turn a car windscreen into a large HUD (Heads Up Display).
According to Apple, the technology would work along with other sensors fitted in the car such as infrared cameras, ultrasonic sensors, depth cameras, GPS, radar devices and light beam scanning devices. The content would be overlayed on the windshield and would not block the driver’s view.
Maps would be displayed on the screen for better navigation and FaceTime video calls between cars could also be received on the screen. FaceTime would further help drivers communicate visually while driving.
“In some embodiments, an augmented reality display system included in a vehicle enables visual communication between an occupant of the vehicle and a remotely located user, including an occupant of a separate vehicle,” Apple writes.
The patent application also includes Panicky Occupant Detection feature that would monitor the driver’s stress level by analyzing their body posture, body temperature, eye movement, eye blink rate, body gestures and heart rate. The recorded data would be displayed on the windscreen as per some factors.
However, this is just a patent, and there is no confirmation whether it would see the light of the day. There have been previous instances where Apple has filed patents for some interesting technologies, but they never surfaced.
Some worth mentioning patents include one from 2013 which included technology for an iPad-Macbook hybrid that would work on magnetic connectors to connect a keyboard to the tablet. Another patent filed in 2010 mentions a smart bike that would use sensors to track speed, heart rate and distance covered.
Anyway, these efforts indicate that Apple has rekindled its longstanding plans of launching its own car. With the hiring of Doug Field and the recent patent, we hope that Apple Car would soon become a reality.