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Apple patent involves displaying navigation directions on an Apple Car windshield

FIG. 2 illustrates an example of a mobile device connected to the interface of a vehicle system.

Let the Apple Car rumors roll on. Apple has been granted a patent (number US 11874128 B2) for “Mapping Application With Turn-by-turn Navigation Mode For Output To Vehicle Display.”

About the patent

 Among other things, the patent is designed as a safety feature to prevent divers and passengers from looking at their smartphone while in transit. In the patent, Apple notes that portable media devices, such as smartphones, have the capability to run advanced mapping and navigation applications (such as its own Maps app). Some of these mapping and navigation applications include turn-by-turn navigation features, which can be helpful while driving. 

However, interacting with the mapping and navigation application while driving may be difficult — and dangerous — due to the small size of many mobile devices, and therefore the small size of the various controls on the mobile devices. In addition, many vehicles include in-car navigation systems. 

These in-car navigation systems operate independently of any of the driver’s other devices, and offer a larger and conveniently positioned screen. However, Apple says these in-car navigations systems generally provide a more limited experience than the more robust mapping applications of the mobile device due to the inherent limitations of the vehicle.

Apple’s idea is for a Maps app that generates multiple user interfaces for display on multiple devices at the same time. The app is an integrated mapping and navigation app that runs on an iPhone and generates both a user interface for the smartphone’s display and a user interface for display on a screen of a vehicle to which the mobile device connects. That screen could be a windshield.

Summary of the patent

Here’s Apple’s abstract of the patent: “Some embodiments provide a method for an application executing on a mobile device. The method renders an animated navigation presentation for output to an external display screen not part of the mobile device. The navigation presentation includes an animated map showing at least a portion of a route to a destination. The method simultaneously displays information regarding a maneuver along the route on a display screen of the mobile device without displaying a same animated map on the mobile device. In some embodiments, the displayed information regarding the maneuver comprises a graphical instruction and a text instruction for a next maneuver along the route.”

When might we see an Apple Car?

Analyst Ming-Chi Kuo has said that Apple’s work on the Apple Car has “lost all visibility at the current time. He has noted 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 few 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. However, this doesn’t look like a feasible scenario.

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.