Apple CarPatents

Apple granted patent for a motion control system for a vehicle

This graphic shows a vehicle with a motion control system that uses magnets.

Apple may have abandoned plans for an Apple Car, but it’s still being granted patents regarding vehicles. The latest is number US 11993118 B1 for a “Motion Control System With Electropermanent Magnets.” 

About the patent

The patent relates generally to motion control systems and more particularly to motion control systems using electropermanent magnets ini a vehicle. In the patent Apple notes that motion control systems are designed to provide stability — that is, the ability to maintain an intended course, while at the same time isolating a body from changes in a surface that impact ride feel and comfort. 

For a smooth ride, a motion control system with tunable springs and dampers allows adjustment to the characteristics of the surface. Traditional forms of a motion control system can provide a smooth rider on a variety of surfaces, but some topologies require a large, constant current draw to maintain height. 

Apple says that a motion control system that performs well without requiring a large, constant current draw would expend less energy and maintain or improve ride feel and comfort for passengers over traditional motion control systems. The tech giant thinks such a control system would/could involve electopermanent magnets.

Summary of the patent

Here’s Apple’s abstract of the patent: “A motion control system that can detect a change in a an operating characteristic and send a stabilizing command to an actuator system based on the change is described. A motion control component in the system includes a first component with an electropermanent magnet having a coil, differing first and second permanent magnet materials, and differing first and second states. 

“The motion control component includes a second component configured to magnetically interact with the first component to define a damping characteristic that affects motion between the first component and the second component and a controller configured to supply a current pulse to the electropermanent magnet to switch the electropermanent magnet between the first and second states. The electropermanent magnet retains the respective first or second state after cessation of the current pulse.”

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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.