Let the Apple Car rumors roll on. Apple has been granted a patent (number 11490397) for “power saving for pedestrian user equipment in vehicular communication systems.”
Background of the patent
The patent relates to wireless devices, and more particularly to an apparatus, system, and method for wireless devices with limited power capabilities to perform improved communications in vehicular apps.
In the patent data, Apple notes that wireless communication systems are rapidly growing in usage. One proposed use of wireless communications is in vehicular applications, particularly in V2X (vehicle-to-everything) systems. V2X systems allow for communication between vehicles (e.g., via communications devices housed in or otherwise carried by vehicles), pedestrian UEs (including UEs carried by other persons such as cyclists, etc.), and other wireless communications devices for various purposes, such as to coordinate traffic activity, facilitate autonomous driving, and perform collision avoidance.
However, the increased communication requirements of certain V2X systems may strain the power and resource capabilities of portable, battery-powered UE devices. In addition, legacy UEs that are unable to communicate in a sidelink manner with neighboring UEs (without an intermediary base station) may present issues in participating in V2X systems.
Apple says that “improvements in the field would be desirable.” The tech giant wants to provide such improvements in any vehicle it makes, as well as its CarPlay technology.
Summary of the patent
Here’s Apple’s (very technical) abstract of the patent: “Embodiments are presented herein for adjusting the conduct of routine communications of safety messages in V2X networks in order to conserve resources in participating power-limited devices while satisfying V2X system latency demands. Scheduling (e.g., timing and/or frequency) of safety message communications performed by certain UE devices participating in a V2X network may be dynamically adjusted according to various criteria, such as factors relating to the DRX cycle schedule, motion or mobility, traffic environment, and/or battery or power capabilities of the UE devices, which may conserve UE resources and power consumption.
“Certain UE devices may efficiently transmit safety messages to the V2X network using one of several proposed RACH-based procedures. In some embodiments, the size of safety message communications may be reduced through various compression techniques, and/or by reducing the amount of contained information, e.g., by omitting certain parameters, which may reduce the resources consumed by performing safety message communications.
When might we see an Apple Car?
On. Nov. 18, 2021, 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.