Over recent years, Apple has consistently introduced innovations in automotive technology. Last year, the tech giant provided a sneak peek at CarPlay 2023, promising an entirely new in-vehicle experience, including the ability to customize instrument displays. This was just the beginning, as recent news suggests Apple has even grander plans.
Last week, the US Patent & Trademark Office released a patent application from Apple that goes beyond the known CarPlay instrument cluster system. It’s a novel augmented reality display for vehicles, projecting information directly onto the windshield or other windows within the vehicle. It might sound like something out of a sci-fi movie, but it could soon be a reality.
Designed to display elements that simulate specific environmental objects based on monitoring the driver’s manual driving performance, this system could redefine our driving experience. Apple emphasizes that in many scenarios, a graphical overlay can be provided on an environment perceived through a transparent surface, such as a vehicle’s window or windshield. This overlay might contain information relevant to the driver, like vehicle speed or distinctive environmental features.
But that’s not all: some representations of the system can even show hidden or blocked objects in the vehicle’s surroundings. This could be useful for showing the driver what’s in a blind spot or what’s concealed behind an obstacle. It might also highlight specific driving zones, such as school zones or areas associated with disabled individuals.
One particularly exciting feature mentioned in the patent involves the integration of FaceTime. Apple is developing a way to enable FaceTime calls between occupants of a vehicle and another vehicle or an external individual. This means future vehicles might not only provide information about their surroundings but also offer the capability to visually communicate with others.
In summary, Apple appears to be gearing up to revolutionize how we experience driving once again. With these innovations, the journey might not only become safer but also more interactive and informative. It remains to be seen how these technologies will hit the market in the coming years, but one thing is certain: thanks to Apple, the future of driving looks very promising.