Apple’s Latest Patent Will Allow Autonomous Cars to Communicate with Other Vehicles and Pedestrians

Project Titan is a codename for Apple’s project of building an autonomous car. The European Patent Office has published a patent application by Apple. The patent application details a system that will be capable of communicating with the public and other elements like crosswalk or vehicles behind it.


The idea behind this patent is to add a human touch to autonomous cars. Traditionally, human drivers ensure that their intentions are conveyed to others via a series of methods, like turn signals, honking or even eye gestures.

Apple intends the autonomous or even semi-autonomous vehicles to have a similar capability. Typically, a driver in a semi-autonomous vehicle will not be as alert as a normal driver. A system like this will help the vehicle warn/inform others of its action without the intervention of the driver.

The Drive.ai Example

Apple recently acquired a company called Drive.ai. In the above video, you can see how signage on the rear and the front of the shuttle is used to communicate with others. The video also shows how signage on the rear communicates with a vehicle in its rear and informs that the shuttle had to stop to let the pedestrian cross the street.

 

The signage you see on the video is a retrofit for existing shuttle vehicles. Needless to say, Apple’s new technology will come with a better design and will be built into the vehicle. In a nutshell, both the videos will give you some sense of how Apple’s latest innovation will shape up in the future.

At the WWDC 2019, Apple revealed that they’ve already begun mapping the entire US with detailed maps. With the new maps in place, Apple will be able to use its own map for autonomous vehicles, instead of relying on third-party mapping.

[via Patently Apple]