Let the Apple Car rumors roll on. Apple has been granted a patent (number US 11640812 B2) for a visual content overlay system for a vehicle.
About the patent
In the patent apple notes that in many situations, a graphical overlay can be provided on an environment that is perceived through a transparent surface, including an automobile window. Such an overlay can provide information to an observer, including information which is relevant to one or more portions of the perceived environment.
In some cases, a graphical overlay is used in a vehicle, where a graphical overlay can be perceived by an occupant of the vehicle and provides information relevant to one or more of the vehicle, including vehicle speed, and one or more portions of the environment in which the vehicle is located. Such information can be provided on a transparent surface, including a forward window, also referred to herein as a windscreen, windshield, etc., such that the information can be perceived by an operator of the vehicle, including a driver, near the line of sight of the operator as the operator observes the environment through which the vehicle is navigated, including an oncoming roadway.
Summary of the patent
Here’s Apple’s abstract of the patent: “An augmented reality display system included in a vehicle generates an augmented reality display, on one or more transparent surfaces of the vehicle. The augmented reality display can include an indicator of the vehicle speed which is spatially positioned according to the speed of the vehicle relative to the local speed limit. The augmented reality display can include display elements which conform to environmental objects and can obscure and replace content displayed on the objects. The augmented reality display can include display elements which indicate a position of environmental objects which are obscured from direct perception through the transparent surface.
“The augmented reality display can include display elements which simulate one or more particular environmental objects in the environment, based on monitoring manual driving performance of the vehicle by a driver. The augmented reality display can include display elements which identify environmental objects and particular zone.”
When might we see an Apple Car?
I predict that a full self-driving Apple Car won’t roll out until 2027 or beyond. As for pricing, your average person likely won’t be able to afford the vehicle. According to Bloomberg, Apple’s consumer vehicle will start at “under US$100,000.” However, I expect that price to be barely under $100,000.
Other rumors said that Apple wanted its vehicle to come without a steering wheel or pedals, but has decided that such a plan isn’t feasible at this time. And I’ll be shocked if such an automobile is feasible by 2027.
Here’s a round-up of other rumors about the Apple Car:
° Apple currently plans to develop a vehicle that lets drivers conduct other tasks — say, watch a movie or play a game — on a freeway and be alerted with ample time to switch over to manual control if they reach city streets or encounter inclement weather.
° It will use the cloud for some AI processing.
° Apple might offer a remote command center that could assist drivers and control cars from afar during emergencies.
° Apple may also offer its own insurance program.
° Apple still hasn’t dialed in on a design for its first vehicle and the team is still working in a “pre-prototype” stage.