Apple Inc. , who has long been rumored to be working on a car, has recently been awarded a patent for controlling the vehicle with the help of a portable device such as an iPhone or iPad. Patently Apple and 9to5 Mac are the first to discover the patent that specifically describes how a device could access the vehicle’s computer and instruct it what to do – such as starting up the vehicle, unlocking its doors and so on.
What operations are covered?
Detailing about its patent, Apple wrote there are many operations related to a vehicle such as unlocking a vehicle’s doors, its storage compartment, starting its engine and turning on the passenger compartment lights of the vehicle. Then there are activities such as activating the audio or audiovisual entertainment system of the vehicle, activating its global positioning system or the GPS and activating the dashboard console of the vehicle.
Operations such as adjusting a vehicle’s seat, turning on its lights, opening its sun roof, activating the automatic parking system of the vehicle, turning on its windshield wipers, activating the wireless communication system and more similar functions can be performed with it.
The patent states that the car and the app will be able to connect with each other with the help of Bluetooth, Wi-Fi or a cellular data network. Whether Apple’s technology will ever make its way to vehicles or not is not clear as of now, as quite often companies patent all types of technologies that never make their way to actual products.
Apple patent – how its different?
Apple Inc. ’s patent is too broad, and thus, might sound as if some technologies are already available in cars. There are apps that can start the vehicles and lock its doors, and there are several auto companies that sell vehicles supporting such apps. Tesla – the electric car maker – too has a connected app that provides a wide range of features inclusive of the ability to auto-park the vehicle.
But, Apple’s patent brings with it the support for two devices to control the vehicle. First would be a primary device having full control over the vehicle while other will be secondary device that will essentially receive orders from the primary device on how it can control the vehicle and access its functions.
This means, if access to the car is allowed to someone else with the secondary device, then the primary device would set certain limitations on how the secondary device could interact with the vehicle such as whether the car can be started and how far it can go.
For past few years, there have been rumors of Apple Inc. , working on a car. Apple CEO – Tim Cook – has hinted that the firm might be up to something in that market, and this aired the rumors even further. Apple plans of launching an electric car is the worst kept secret in the industry, as per Tesla CEO – Elon Musk.