Let the Apple Car rumors roll on. Apple has applied for a patent (number 20210034885) for “automated capture of image data for points of interest.”
In the patent filing, the tech giant notes that the rise of interest in automated control and navigation of vehicles has led to the inclusion of different types of remote sensing equipment installed on them These sensors can include one or more radars, ultrasonic sensors, light beam scanning devices, visible light camera devices, infrared camera devices, near-infrared camera devices, depth camera devices which can include one or more light-scanning devices, including LIDAR devices, etc.
Automated navigation and control systems may process data collected by the sensors in order to detect and characterize objects in the environment. However, the collected sensor data may also be utilized to provide other services. Apparently Apple’s idea is that an Apple Car’s sensors could detect points-of-interest (as determined by drivers/passengers) and save it to the vehicle itself, as well as other devices such as iPhones, iPads, and Macs.
Here’s the summary of the invention: “Automated capture of image data for points of interest may be implemented for points of interest in an environment external to a vehicle. Sensors implemented as part of a vehicle may collect sensor data for an environment. Processing of the sensor data may be performed to detect points of interest in the environment.
“In response to detecting a point of interest, image data may be captured by one or more of the sensors implemented at the vehicle. Different types of image data may be captured, such as panoramic images and three-dimensional reconstructions of a scene. Metadata may be generated for captured image data which may describe the point of interest that is captured by the image data. The image data and the metadata may be stored locally at the vehicle or to a remote data store. The image data may also be shared with other computing devices.”