Apple wants to make it easier to use your iPhone to get an Uber or Lyft ride. The tech giant has been granted a patent (number US 12026795 B2) for “Hailing, Pickup, and Rendezvous in a Mobile Ecosystem.”

About the patent

The patent relates generally to hailing and pickup and specifically to use of a mobile ecosystem to support hailing, pickup, and rendezvous decisions in the mobile ecosystem. In the patent Apple says that hailing a ride-share for hire with existing application technology can be an overly complicated process. 

Details that require user input into a ride-share algorithm include current location of the user, desired location for pickup, desired time for pickup, user preferences for type, etc. In addition, the hailing process often requires additional interaction between the user and the operator, through texts or calls, as one party may not be able to easily locate the other party for the requested pickup despite a list of parameters input by both parties. 

What’s more, the user of a ride-share needs to consider various factors such as when to hail the ride-share to avoid a lengthy wait at the pickup location, where to tell the operator of the ride-share to make the pickup, and how long it will take both the user and the ride-share to travel to the pickup location based, for example, on traffic conditions or other navigational roadblocks.

Apple’s idea is for a mobile ecosystem that includes a vehicle with an autonomous control system configured to operate the vehicle in a driverless manner and a user device in communication with the vehicle. Based on user information accessible to the user device, such as calendar information, biometric information, user location information, location history information, etc., ride hailing can be streamlined by having an iPhone automatically determine when a user of the user device is ready for a pickup or rendezvous based on contextual clues from the user information such as upcoming appointments, changes in a location of the user device, or changes in an environment surrounding the user device.

Summary of the patent 

Here’s Apple’s abstract of the patent: “Based on a cost function that estimates a value of a confidence level above a confidence threshold using user information, an autonomous control system can determine that a user of a user device is ready for a pickup, identify a pickup location based on the user information, and determine a trajectory from a current location to the pickup location. A propulsion system is configured to cause motion current location toward the pickup location according to the trajectory.”

Article provided with permission from AppleWorld.Today