Thursday, January 26, 2023
Apple CarPatents

Apple granted patent for a sunroof on an Apple Car

FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a portion of an Apple Car with a movable panel assembly in a closed position.

Let the Apple Car rumors roll on. Apple has been granted a patent (11541807 B1) for “movable panel assemblies” for a vehicle’s roof.

About the patent

In the patent Apple notes that some automobile windows, such as windows incorporated in automobile doors, are movable to an open position to admit air into the interior of the vehicle. In order to admit additional light and air into the interior, some fixed-roof automobiles include a movable panel known as a sunroof. 

Apple notes that sunroofs come in many styles, with the most popular styles incorporating a sliding mechanism that moves a sunroof panel rearward out of a sunroof opening, either to a compartment internal to the roof of the vehicle or to a position external to the roof of the vehicle. That style, apparently, is what the tech giant is considering for its Apple Car.

Summary of the patent

Here’s Apple’s abstract of the patent: “A vehicle includes a roof, an opening in the roof, and a window that is located forward from the opening, wherein the window has an upper end and the window is free from non-translucent structures near the upper end. A movable panel is connected to the roof for movement forward and rearward relative to the roof between a closed position and an open position. 

“A seal is connected to the movable panel. The seal engages the window when the movable panel is in the closed position and the seal is disengaged from the window when the movable panel is in the open position.”

When might we see an Apple Car?

Apple has scaled back its “ambitious” plans for a self-driving electric car and postponed the launch date back a year to 2026, reports Bloomberg.

The article says that Apple plans to sell a consumer “Apple Car” for “under” $100,000. Other points from the article:

° 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.

° The Apple Car will have guided driving features that work on highways, but won’t be fully autonomous.

° 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 sport an Apple-designed custom processor to power AI (artificial intelligence) functionality.

° 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.

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.