Not much is known about the Apple Car, but it is thought that it may have a front lighting system that helps the driver detect obstacles on the road in time, highlighting areas of interest on the road using the light emitted by the vehicle’s headlights.
While most of what is known about Titan Project is speculation related to the design of the vehicle and its range and self-driving capabilities, according to two new patents discovered yesterday, Apple is considering many other factors in the manufacture of its vehicle that will make the driving experience much more comfortable and safe.
Informing without distraction: the new goal of the Apple Car
It is true that many current cars already provide us with extra data in the form of indicators, alarms or even information screens, but most of this data is quite limited and in all cases forces us to take our eyes off the road. However, a patent granted to Apple in May 2018 made known its “System and method for light and image projection” which proposes a new way of keeping drivers focused on the dangers of the road without taking their attention away from it.
In the patent, Apple suggests that it can modify the light emitted by the vehicle’s headlights to highlight parts of the road that the system believes the driver should observe more closely.
This system is based on information the vehicle collects from the road using a series of sensors very similar to those required for autonomous driving. This information is analysed to detect the road scene and display the information to the driver. According to the patent, a colour code could be added so that the driver could easily identify different types of obstacles (cyclists, pedestrians, animals, etc).
In addition to the above, the selective lighting system would be able to adapt the lighting of the scene (and of driving in general) by taking into account weather conditions, ambient light and reflections from the road.
Navigation and information for pedestrians
But this selective lighting does not exhaust its functionality with obstacle detection, as it could also be used to emphasize some traffic signs or project the next route instructions onto the roadway if a navigation system with a programmed route is being used. This information would also allow other users to be aware of the vehicle’s intentions.
Apple regularly registers many patents for various technologies that may or may not be incorporated into finished products so, at least for now, we must wait for more news to know if we will end up seeing this lighting system in the future Apple Car, which we do not yet know when it will be released in the markets.
Finally, would it be unreasonable to think that Apple will end up offering add-ons for existing vehicles instead of a complete car? For example, you go to the garage, get a headlight system and a sensor installed in the front, and you can enjoy selective lighting in your vehicle. After all, Apple’s true intentions for its long-awaited new car are not yet known.