Let the Apple Car rumors roll on. Apple has been granted a patent (number 10,328,897) for an “authorized remote control” for a vehicle navigation system. It’s designed as a safety feature in case of emergencies. For instance, when someone manually driving a vehicle had a heart attack.
Per the patent, such a remote control system could navigate a car through an environment based on driving commands received from a remote control system based on manual operator interaction with an interface of the remote control system. Remote driving control can be engaged based on determination, via processing vehicle sensor data, of a health emergency associated with one or more occupants of the vehicle, and the remote control system can generate remote driving commands which cause the vehicle to be navigated to a particular location without requiring the occupant associated with the health emergency to manually navigate the vehicle.
The remote control system can monitor the occupant via communicated vehicle sensor data and can control remote control devices included in the vehicle to provide external indication that the vehicle is being navigated according to remote driving control.
In the patent filing, Apple notes that vehicles that include autonomous navigation systems may allow one or more occupants to manually control one or more vehicle control elements of the vehicle, such that one or more occupants of the vehicle can manually navigate (“drive”) the vehicle.
Of course, Apple files for — and is granted — lots of patents by the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office. Many are for inventions that never see the light of day. However, you never can tell which ones will materialize in a real product.