Let the Apple Car rumors roll on. Apple has filed for a patent (number 20220137625) for “guidance of autonomous vehicles in destination vicinities using intent signals.” It involves the the vehicle using Siri, Apple’s “personal digital assistant,” to help the vehicle head to a specified location and find a parking space.
About the patent filing
In the patent filing, the tech giant notes that “autonomous” or “self-driving” vehicles are an increasing focus of research and development. Given the multiplicity of choices that are typically available with respect to vehicle trajectories in real-world environments, occupant input or guidance with regard to selecting vehicle trajectories (without requiring traditional steering, braking, accelerating and the like) may be extremely valuable to the motion control components of such vehicles.
However, Apple says that providing interfaces for such guidance that are intuitive and easy to use, especially within environments such as parking lots for which detailed and/or accurate mapping data may not be available, are challenging.
By the way, in the patent filing, intent signals are a method of conveying the Apple Car what it’s primary user wants — and that user doesn’t have to be the “driver” if the car is self-driving.
If the patent comes to fruition, an Apple Car could be given a destination in Siri. It would go there and find the closest parking spot.
In the patent filing, Apple gives this example: “If the individual states ‘I’d like to buy some plants for my garden’ in the vicinity of a large retail store, the navigation manager may determine that the vehicle should preferably be parked near an entrance marked ‘gardening’ or ‘gardening supplies.'”
Summary of the patent filing
Here’s Apple’s abstract of the patent filing: “Signals usable to determine a path of a vehicle towards a particular stopping point in a vicinity of a destination are detected from an individual authorized to provide guidance with respect to movements of the vehicle. Based at least in part on the signals and a data set pertaining to the external environment of the vehicle, one or more vehicular movements to be implemented to proceed along the path are identified. A directive is transmitted to a motion control subsystem of the vehicle to initiate one of the vehicular movements.”
When might we see an Apple Car?
On. Nov. 18, Bloomberg reported that Apple is accelerating development on its “Apple Car.” The article says the electric vehicle will be self-driving and could roll out in 2025.
What’s more, in a note to clients — as noted by AppleInsider — investment bank Wedbush says Apple is likely to announce a strategic electric vehicle partnership in 2022 to lay the groundwork for an “Apple Car” release in 2025.