Rumors about an Apple Car have been floating around for a while now. Apple has filed multiple patents for a vehicle in the past, resulting in various speculations from enthusiasts. However, a vehicle from Apple could be in the works.
A new report suggests US patent and Trademark Office has published a series of 66 patents for an Apple Car. The patents cover things like Depth Mapping, using time of flight sensing, a Vehicle Steering System, and much more.
What technologies can the Apple Car use?
According to an article by patently Apple, the patents suggest that iPhone cameras be used for depth mapping with a radiation source. In the patent, the technology used for depth sensing in the Apple Car is something we’ve seen before.
Apple will use its LiDAR sensor for depth sensing as it currently helps in taking excellent night mode portraits, said the report. The Patent published by the USPO relates to Apple’s second Patent in ‘calibration of depth,’ specifically for depth mapping and beam sources and sensors used in time-of-flight sensing.
The Apple car will supposedly use multiple arrays of sensors to predict the distance between the objects and itself. FIG 1 shows a side view of the depth mapping system. There’s another representation of spots projected onto a targeted scene using a ToF sensing array below in the image.
Whereas Patent FIG 3 illustrates a configuration for steering actuator modules of the steering system. The newly granted Patent from Apple also contains a depth-sensing apparatus that comprises a radiation source to beam light pulses towards a targeted scene. It will determine the respective time of arrival of the light pulses after they reflect from the object.
It can have a steer-by-wire system
The article further talks about a Steer-by-wire system with multiple steering actuators that can be used in the Apple car. Vehicle actuators are controllable systems that influence motion in a vehicle. Steer-by-wire system can eliminate a physical connection between the steering wheel and the road wheels.
Another aspect of the invention covers the method for controlling the Apple car. The car can easily transition between blended steering angles or automated steering by wire control. Apple’s Patent FIG 3 illustrates a steering actuator module in the steering system.
Apple has added 20 new patent claims regarding “A steering system” and ten additional claims regarding “A method for controlling a vehicle.” If you are interested in some of the patent claims comprising a steering system, we suggest you check out the article.
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