26 September 2023

Apple car: Have public patents revealed the tech giants plans?

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Some company has built a virtual Apple Car out of the tech giant’s patents, Ioanna Lykiardopoulou* examines whether it’s a well-estimated guess.

The cloud of mystery surrounding the Apple Car is unlikely to dissolve anytime soon, and the only thing we can do for now is piece together clues from here and there.

An interesting attempt has been made by UK car leasing company Vanarama, using genuine patents filed by Apple to create a virtual rendering of the iCar.

Regarding the exterior, the company has drawn inspiration from Apple’s current and previous products.

For instance, the Mac Pro’s circular vents inspire the bold mesh-like grille, with a glowing Apple logo at its centre, recalling previous generations of the MacBook.

Similarly, the door handles resemble the iPhone’s side buttons, and the car is painted in frosted white, echoing the popular colour scheme, launched with the iPhone 4 in 2010.

Is this a well-estimated guess? Well, only time will tell.

Intriguingly, though, Vanarama has used patent US10309132B1, which points towards a revamped pillarless vehicle structure.

Coupled with coach doors and able seat layout (based on patent US10384519B1), this design promises ease of access and more flexible passenger movement and loading.

However, the most fascinating speculations concern the interior.

There are a couple of patents that outline a fully customisable dashboard with seamless displays — and I have to admit, that’s very “Apple.”

If the renderings are correct — or close enough, at least — you can forget about bulky edges and borders.

Instead, displays span smoothly across the dashboard and centre console.

And you could fully customise the dashboard depending on your preferences, with an almost infinite number of combinations.

For example, I’d place the driver info behind the wheel and the music options on its right.

Naturally, a proper Apple Car needs an AI companion.

And there’s a patent for an “intelligent automated assistant,” which hints at an upgraded Siri.

According to Vanarama, “Auto Siri” (I’m filing a patent for that name) could not only respond to direct requests and commands, but also monitor road and cabin conditions and make unprompted changes and recommendations to the driver.

Yes, that’d be super-cool.

Needless to say, all these features are just speculations, but I’m already tempted to start imagining the Apple Car in this form — especially the interior design.

For the exterior, I’d prefer something less bulky and I’m not sure I really dig the all-glass roof.

*Ioanna Lykiardopoulou is a writer at SHIFT. She likes the transition from old to modern, and she’s all about shifting perspectives.

This article first appeared at the nextweb.com.

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