Let the Apple car rumors roll on. Apple has filed for a patent (number 20220396216) for “systems with sensor deployment mechanisms” for a vehicle.

About the patent filing

The invention involves sensors used to gather data to support vehicle operations. Obviously, a vehicle may be configured to operate on a roadway or other surface. 

The vehicle may monitor information on vehicle operation such as vehicle speed, vehicle operating mode (parked or moving), vehicle location, weather, and other information on the vehicle and its surroundings. To do this, the vehicle may have one or more movable sensors mounted to its body.

Summary of the patent filing

Here’s Apple’s abstract of the patent filing: “A vehicle may have a vehicle body and one or more movable sensors mounted to the body. A movable sensor may be rotated, linearly translated, or otherwise moved between multiple positions in response to location information, driving mode information, vehicle speed, and/or other information. 

The movable sensor may be moved to track objects, to provide pedestrians and others with visual feedback, to allow the sensor to gather desired sensor information to support driver assistance and autonomous driving operations, to place the sensor in a stowed position, and to perform other functions. 

The movable sensor may be protected with a movable cover. A cleaner may clean the sensor. The sensor may be a radar sensor, lidar sensor, camera, or other sensor. Information from the sensor may be used to detect roadway obstructions, to detect objects near the vehicle, to monitor pedestrians, and to monitor other conditions.”

When might we see an Apple Car?

Apple has scaled back its “ambitious” plans for a self-driving electric car and postponed the launch date back a year to 2026, reports Bloomberg.

The article says that Apple plans to sell a consumer “Apple Car” for “under” $100,000. Other points from the article:

° Apple wanted its vehicle to come without a steering wheel or pedals, but has decided that such a plan isn’t feasible at this time.

° The Apple Car will have guided driving features that work on highways, but won’t be fully autonomous.

° Apple currently plans to develop a vehicle that lets drivers conduct other tasks — say, watch a movie or play a game — on a freeway and be alerted with ample time to switch over to manual control if they reach city streets or encounter inclement weather. 

° It will sport an Apple-designed custom processor to power AI (artificial intelligence) functionality.

° It will use the cloud for some AI processing.

° Apple might offer a remote command center that could assist drivers and control cars from afar during emergencies.

° Apple may also offer its own insurance program.

° Apple still hasn’t dialed in on a design for its first vehicle and the team is still working in a “pre-prototype” stage.

Article provided with permission from AppleWorld.Today