Let the Apple Car rumors roll on. Apple has filed for a patent (US 20230300580 A1) for “enhanced network connectivity for a connected car and onboard user equipment.”
About the patent filing
In the patent filing Apple says that a connected car may be configured to establish a connection with a network. A driver or a passenger of the connected car may be equipped with a user equipment (UE). The UE may also be configured to establish a connection with a network. Thus, the connected car and the UE may each establish an independent network connection.
The UE may establish a further connection with the connected car. When paired, the connected car may utilize resources of the UE and vice versa. However, under conventional circumstances, even when the connected car’s network connection is of lesser quality than the UE’s network connection, the connected car’s network connection is used for network access on behalf of both the connected car and the UE. Apple says that there’s a need to improve how one of the independent network connections is selected to provide network access to both the connected car and the UE.
What’s more, the performance associated with a device’s network connection depends on a variety of different factors including, but not limited to, the device’s hardware and the type of service that is to be provided to the device by the network. Generally, the hardware of the connected car is capable of out-performing the hardware of the UE. However, the type of service provided to the UE by the network may be superior to the type of service provided to the connected car by the network.
This means when the UE and the connected car are paired, there may be scenarios where the connected car’s hardware is available but not utilized. Similarly, there may be scenarios where the UE’s network service is available but not utilized. Apple says this means there’s a need for a mechanism that is able to use resources from both the connected car and the UE for network connectivity.
Summary of the patent filing
Here’s Apple’s abstract of the patent filing: “A connected car and an onboard user equipment (UE) may establish independent cellular connections and may also establish a connection between each other. The UE establishes a first cellular link between the UE and a first network, establishes a connection with a connected car, wherein the connected car has a second cellular link between the connected car and a second network, evaluates one or more conditions and declares one of the first cellular link or the connection with the connected car a primary network interface for the UE based on, at least, the one or more conditions.”
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.