Apple patent filing involves an infotainment center on an Apple Car

Let the Apple Car rumors roll on. Apple has filed for a patent (number 20210279024) for “generating navigation user interfaces for third-party applications.” It involves an infotainment center for a vehicle.

About the patent filing

In the patent filing, Apple notes that mobile devices, such as smartphones, are commonly used to perform navigation functions. The mobile devices can include navigation and/or mapping applications that present maps, search for locations, and/or provide navigation instructions. In fact, the navigation applications on mobile devices have become the primary way for users to navigate from one location to another. 

To leverage the navigation functionality of the mobile device, some in-vehicle infotainment systems (e.g., display screen, navigation system, radio system, etc.) are configured to interact with the mobile device such that the functionality of the mobile device can be accessed through the in-vehicle infotainment system. Apple wants the iPhone (and perhaps an iPad) to be able to generate graphical user interfaces (GUIs) on behalf of third-party applications for presentation by an Apple Car infotainment system.

Summary of the patent filing

Here’s Apple’s abstract of the patent filing: “The mobile device (e.g., operating system) can be configured with various GUI templates that define the layout of various user input controls. 

“The third-party application can provide a template identifier and map data to the operating system. The mobile device can generate a GUI for the third-party application specifically for display by the vehicle system based on the identified template, the map data, and the configuration information for the vehicle system. The mobile device can then send the generated GUI to the vehicle system and the vehicle system can present the GUI on a display of the vehicle system.”

When might we see an Apple Car?

The status of an Apple auto is unclear. On June 2, Bloomberg reported that Apple has lost “several” top managers from its “Apple Car” project. Here’s what the report says: Apple Inc. has lost multiple top managers of its self-driving car team in recent months, a sign of attrition at the division involved in what could become an important future product.

If an Apple Car ever arrives, it probably won’t arrive until 2024 at the earliest. In fact, Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo doesn’t expect it until at least 2025.The accompanying graphic illustrates a vehicle comprising a transparent surface which provides an augmented reality display that modifies occupant-perceived information presented by a sign located in the external environment.

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.