Let the Apple Car rumors roll on. Apple has been granted a patent (number US 11787368 B1) for “user-to-vehicle” interaction. It relates generally to user-to-vehicle interaction, and more specifically to techniques for accessing a vehicle using a user device.
About the patent
Autonomous vehicles don’t require human drivers. Apple says that novel techniques for interaction between vehicle and passenger would be helpful. The company’s patent describes techniques for accessing a vehicle. It also describes techniques for receiving information from passengers such as setting desired destinations and/or other vehicle controls.
Summary of the patent
Here’s Apple’s abstract of the patent: “In some exemplary processes for accessing a vehicle, a transit request is initiated. The transit request summons a vehicle towards a location of a user device. Information generated in response to the transit request is received. The information includes first authentication information and second authentication information. Third authentication information from the vehicle is received using a first wireless communication protocol.
“A determination is made as to whether the third authentication information corresponds to the first authentication information. In accordance with determining that the third authentication information corresponds to the first authentication information, a wireless communication connection is established with the vehicle using a second wireless communication protocol and the second authentication information. The second wireless communication protocol is different from the first wireless communication protocol. Using the second wireless communication protocol, instructions to unlock a cabin of the vehicle are sent.”
When might we see an Apple Car?
Analyst Ming-Chi Kuo says that Apple’s work on the Apple Car has “lost all visibility at the current time. He adds that if Apple does not adopt some kind of acquisition strategy to make inroads in the automotive market, it is unlikely that the Apple Car will be able to go into mass production “within the next years.”
On. Nov. 18, 2021, Bloomberg reported that Apple was accelerating development on its “Apple Car.” The article said that 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 said Apple is likely to announce a strategic electric vehicle partnership in 2022 to lay the groundwork for an “Apple Car” release in 2025.
If Kuo is correct — and I suspect he is — those predictions are way too optimistic.