Apple CarPatents

Apple granted patent involving ‘varying-sized action spaces’ for an Apple Car

FIG. 2 illustrates an example decision making scenario for an autonomous vehicle, as well as general problem characteristics associated with such decision making scenarios.

Let the Apple Car rumors roll on. Apple has been granted a patent (number 11,243,532) for “evaluating varying-sized action spaces [car a vehicle] using reinforcement learning.” It involves a self-driving automobile.

About the patent

In the patent, Apple says that, until relatively recently, due to the limitations of the available hardware and software, the maximum speed at which computations for analyzing relevant aspects of a self-driving vehicle’s external environment could be performed wasn’t good enough and required at least some human guidance. 

The tech giant adds that even with today’s fast processors, large memories, and advanced algorithms, the task of an autonomous vehicle in “making timely and reasonable” decisions” remains a significant challenge. Apple’s patent is designed to deal with such a challenge.

Summary of the patent

Here’s Apple’s abstract of the patent with the (very) technical details: “A set of actions corresponding to a particular state of the environment of a vehicle is identified. A respective encoding is generated for different actions of the set, using elements such as distinct colors to distinguish attributes such as target lane segments. 

“Using the encodings as inputs to respective instances of a machine learning model, respective value metrics are estimated for each of the actions. One or more motion-control directives to implement a particular action selected using the value metrics are transmitted to motion-control subsystems of the vehicle.”

Which might we see an Apple Car?

On. Nov. 18, 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.