Let the Apple Car rumors roll on. Apple has been granted another patent (number 11,358,431) for an “active suspension system” for a vehicle.
About the patent
Naturally, passenger vehicles include suspension systems, which control transmission of forces, such as from road disturbances, between a vehicle body and wheels of the vehicle. Traditional suspension systems are passive systems that include a spring-damper system of which the spring and the damper have fixed characteristics.
However, Apple says that such fixed characteristics, may not be suited for passenger comfort given varying road conditions and varying passenger preferences. Newer suspension systems include active suspensions of which various characteristics may be controlled by the user (e.g., a driver of the vehicle) or automatically in response to various detected conditions.
For example, air spring suspensions may allow the driver to select a desired vehicle height. Magnetorheological dampers provide damping characteristics that may vary according to detected conditions, such as vehicle acceleration. It seems Apple will use its own version of air spring suspension when/if it releases its own vehicle.
Summary of the patent
Here’s Apple’s abstract of the patent: “A suspension system includes a top mount, a bottom mount, a rigid housing, an air spring, and a linear actuator. The air spring transfers force of a first load path between the top mount and the bottom mount. The air spring includes a pressurized cavity containing pressurized gas that transfers the force of the first load path. The linear actuator transfers force of a second load path between the top mount and the bottom mount in parallel to the first load path. The rigid housing defines at least part of the pressurized cavity and transfers the force of the second load path.”
When might we see an ‘Apple Car’?
On. Nov. 18, 2021, Bloomberg reported that Apple is accelerating development on its “Apple Car.” The article says the electric vehicle will be self-driving and could roll out in 2025.
What’s more, in a note to clients — as noted by AppleInsider — investment bank Wedbush says Apple is likely to announce a strategic electric vehicle partnership in 2022 to lay the groundwork for an “Apple Car” release in 2025.
Article provided with permission from AppleWorld.Today