Archived Post

An ‘Apple Car’ could let you know when there are tiny cracks in its windows

Let the Apple Car rumors roll on. Apple has been granted a patent (number 10,739,292) for “systems for detecting cracks in windows” of automobiles. Not big cracks that, of course, would be obvious, but small cracks that might be imperceptible to most of us.

Vehicle windows sometimes include thin films through which ohmic heating current may be applied to defrost the windows. Impact from road debris and other objects can damage windows. For example, a thin film layer in a window that is used for heating the window may become damaged. 

Apple nots that when this damage is left undetected, there is a risk that the thin film will corrode due to exposure to moisture or that the thin film may not perform properly. Windows that develop small cracks may also be prone to more extensive cracking.

Obviously, Apple doesn’t want this to happen with an Apple Car. That said, I remain dubious that the company will roll out an Apple branded car totally on its own. I think it work in tandem with an established car manufacturer on such a project.

Here’s the (pretty technical) summary of the patent: “A system such as a vehicle may have windows with one or more conductive layers. The conductive layers may form part of an infrared-light-blocking layer or other layer. The infrared-light-blocking layer or other layer may be formed as a coating on a transparent structural window layer such as an outer or inner glass layer in a laminated window or may be embedded in a polymer layer between the outer and inner layers. 

“Segmented terminals and elongated terminals that may extend past two or more segmented terminals may be coupled to the edges of the conductive layers. Using these terminals, control circuitry can apply localized ohmic heating currents and can make resistance measurements on the conductive layers to detect cracks.

Dennis Sellers
the authorDennis Sellers
Dennis Sellers is the editor/publisher of Apple World Today. He’s been an “Apple journalist” since 1995 (starting with the first big Apple news site, MacCentral). He loves to read, run, play sports, and watch movies.