Let the Apple Car rumors continue. Apple has filed for a patent (number 10,059,179) for a vehicle sunroof dubbed “movable panels with nonlinear tracks.”
In the patent filing, the tech giant notes that some automobile windows, such as windows incorporated in automobile doors, are movable to an open position to admit air into the interior of the vehicle. In order to admit additional light and air into the interior, some fixed-roof automobiles include a movable panel known as a sunroof.
Sunroofs come in many styles, with the most popular styles incorporating a sliding mechanism that moves a sunroof panel rearward out of a sunroof opening, either to a compartment internal to the roof of the vehicle or to a position external to the roof of the vehicle. Apple thinks it can make a better one
Here’s the summary of the invention: “A vehicle includes a movable panel that is movable between a closed position and an open position, a first track, a second track, and an arm that is connected to the movable panel, the first track, and the second track. A lateral spacing between the first track and the second track varies along the first track and the second track in a front-to-rear direction. The arm pivots with respect to the first track and the second track in correspondence with the lateral spacing between the first track and the second track during movement of the arm along the first track and the second track.”
Of course, Apple files for — and is granted — lots of patents by the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office. Many are for inventions that never see the light of day. However, you never can tell which ones will materialize in a real product.