Apple CarOpinionsPatents

An Apple Car could sport a non-solid object monitoring system

FIG. 3 illustrates an overhead view of an environment in which multiple vehicles and a non-solid object are located.

A new patent filing (number 20220253061) by Apple shows that an “Apple Car” could sport a “non-solid object monitoring” system for improved safety.

About the patent filing

The goal is to offer an autonomous navigation system that can detect and avoid non-solid objects in an environment. In some cases, autonomous navigation is enabled via an autonomous navigation system (ANS) that can process and respond to detection of various elements in an external environment, including static features (e.g., roadway lanes, road signs, etc.) and dynamic features (present locations of other vehicles in a roadway on which the route extends, present locations of pedestrians, present environmental conditions, roadway obstructions, etc.) along a route in real-time as they are encountered. This helps replicate the real-time processing and driving capabilities of a human being. 

In some cases, autonomous navigation includes navigating a vehicle in response to detection of one or more objects located in the environment through which the vehicle is being navigated. These include other cars and pedestrians. 

However, while sensing apparatuses in a vehicle are structured to detect and characterize solid objects in the external environment, they often don’t detect and respond to non-solid objects. Apple wants its vehicle to detect and deal with situations caused by fog, water, smoke, and other non-solid objects.

Summary of the patent filing

Here’s Apple’s abstract of the patent filing: “An autonomous navigation system may navigate through an environment in which one or more non-solid objects, including gaseous and/or liquid objects, are located. Non-solid objects may be determined, using sensor data, to present an obstacle or interference based on determined chemical composition, size, position, velocity, concentration, etc. of the objects.”

When might we see an Apple Car?

On. Nov. 18, 2021, Bloomberg reported that Apple is accelerating development on its “Apple Car.” The article says the electric vehicle will be self-driving and could roll out in 2025. 

What’s more, in a note to clients — as noted by AppleInsider — investment bank Wedbush says Apple is likely to announce a strategic electric vehicle partnership in 2022 to lay the groundwork for an “Apple Car” release in 2025.

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.