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Apple granted patent for interior lighting system for an ‘Apple Car’

Let the Apple Car rumors roll on. Apple has been granted a patent (number 11,097,658) for a “lighting system for a vehicle interior.”

About the patent

In the patent filing, Apple notes that equipment such as embedded systems may sometimes include light-emitting components that provide aesthetic lighting and informative visual output such as display and status indicator light output. However, the tech giant says that lighting systems for equipment may sometimes be insufficiently flexible, may produce output that is insufficiently informative and that is not aesthetically appealing, or may be unable to respond to varying input conditions. Apple doesn’t want this to be the case if/when an Apple Car arrives.

Summary of the patent

Here’s Apple’s abstract of the patent: “Lighting may be provided using light sources such as lighting systems with arrays of light-emitting diodes. A lighting system may be integrated into a seat, a door panel, a dashboard, or other interior portions of a system such as a vehicle. 

“The interior portions of the vehicle may be illuminated using lighting systems to provide ambient light, to provide custom surface textures and other decorative patterns, to provide icons, text, and other information, and to provide custom gauges and other illuminated regions. Illuminated regions may overlap sensors such as capacitive touch sensors, force sensors, and other sensors. The light-emitting diodes in a lighting system may supply light that passes through openings in a cover layer. The layer may be formed from fabric, leather, or other materials. Lens structures may guide light through the openings.”

When might we see an Apple Car?

The status of an Apple auto is unclear. On June 2, Bloomberg reported that Apple has lost “several” top managers from its “Apple Car” project. Here’s what the report says: Apple Inc. has lost multiple top managers of its self-driving car team in recent months, a sign of attrition at the division involved in what could become an important future product.

If an Apple Car ever arrives, it probably won’t arrive until 2024 at the earliest. In fact, Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo doesn’t expect it until at least 2025.

FIG. 1 is a diagram of an illustrative system for interior lighting for a vehicle.

Article provided with permission from AppleWorld.Today
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