Let the Apple Car rumors roll on. Apple has been granted a patent (number US 11603074 B1) for “safety belt positioning and presentation system” for a vehicle.
About the patent
In the patent Apple says safety belts typically include one or more anchors that secure the safety belts to the vehicle seat and that provide directional guidance for positioning the strap on the occupant’s body as the latch is inserted into the receiver. The one or more anchors are typically stationary and disposed at predetermined positions on the vehicle seat.
Apple says that, accordingly, if the safety belt secures the occupant to the vehicle seat in an undesirable manner, the occupant cannot adjust the location or position of the one or more anchors in order to adjust how the strap is positioned on the occupant’s body. Additionally, it may be difficult to locate the latch.
For example, the latch may become lodged between portions of the vehicle seat and may be difficult to locate or retrieve in order to operate the safety belt. Apple says what’s needed is new approaches to safety belt positioning and presentation systems.
Summary of the patent
Here’s Apple’s abstract of the patent: “A safety belt presentation system includes a safety belt presentation track extending from a first position to a second position spaced from the first position, a latch that includes a tongue disposed between a first side of the latch and second side of the latch and a first coupling portion, and a driving mechanism that includes a second coupling portion configured to releasably couple the first coupling portion of the latch. The driving mechanism is configured to control the latch to move from the first position to the second position along the safety belt presentation track when the first and second coupling portions are coupled.
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.