Apple gets four new patents, auto driving function safety becomes the biggest selling point


Apple car in the rumor
Tencent technology news on February 17, Apple’s latest four patents show that the company hopes to make automatic driving function safety the biggest selling point of the upcoming “Apple car”.
Relatively speaking, the car is a more dangerous machine, even if the rumored “Apple car” involved in the accident, it may cause casualties. However, Apple’s series of new patents show that the company is doing its best to prevent any preventable accidents.
Safety air bag
Among the four newly approved patents, the first one is called “airbag based occupant safety system”, which details what happens when your seat does not face the dashboard or steering wheel, and the airbag is usually placed in the above two positions. Apple is really working on the details, which is actually the second patent for its airbag solution.
The inventors of the two patents belong to the same person, which shows that apple is improving and iterating the design to improve security.
“For example, in an unconventional car design, if there are several rows of people sitting face to face in the passenger compartment, or if the car does not have a roof rail, the choice of reaction surface and cable is limited,” Apple said in the patent application. This requires the help of “airbag based occupant safety system.”
The improvement of this patent actually eliminates the problems related to movable seats. Unlike previous patents, it proposes a new method of deploying airbags “from the opposite surface inside the passenger compartment.”. However, there is no reason to think that the new patent will replace the previous design.
The patent details a range of possible deployment of airbags
This is more to show that apple is studying how to deploy airbags according to different internal designs of Apple cars. These possible designs include the user driving mode, or the configuration of takeover control from the automatic driving system.
Out of control response
No matter who is driving, the car will get out of control or, as apple describes it, “lose directional stability.”. Apple’s second patent proposes that the car itself should be able to intervene in out of control, whether due to driving errors or road conditions.
“After it is determined that the vehicle has lost stability, the electronic stability control system can brake the wheels separately or require propulsion torque to restore stability,” Apple said in a patent application document called “integrated chassis control”. For example, the brakes can be applied to the outside front wheels to prevent oversteer, or the brakes can be applied to the inside rear wheels to prevent understeer. ”
By minimizing the gap between the desired and measured chassis yaw angles, the electronic stability control system can keep the vehicle controllable to a certain extent. Being able to identify inadvertently lost stability, this patent focuses on how it determines that.
Details on the patent show that the car detects erratic, unexpected movement
“The electronic stability control system can judge whether the vehicle has lost stability based on the deviation between the actual measured state and the expected state of the vehicle, such as the deviation between the actual yaw angle and the expected yaw angle of the vehicle,” Apple said. In addition, the car can also estimate the expected state according to the driver’s input, which implies the expected route of the vehicle, such as steering input, etc. ”
Reduce other hazards
Obviously, the above-mentioned patents of airbag and recovery direction control are mainly used when the car is moving. Apple’s third patent focuses on additional features when the car is parked. Specifically, “dynamic element protection” details how Apple might choose to lock the door instead of letting the driver go out into a dangerous environment.
“Elements in the environment can include dynamic elements, which can change the position of vehicles, humans, animals, etc. in the environment,” Apple said in the patent application. In some cases, dynamic elements may pose a hazard to the vehicle, including endangering the safety of people in the vehicle. For example, a dynamic element may collide with an occupied vehicle. In another example, a dynamic element could pose a danger to people going in and out of a car. ”
But in fact, it’s not that the sensor thinks you’re going to slip on the ice outside the door. It’s more like an extension of the familiar car system, including proximity detectors. Usually, when you reverse too far and are about to hit the car behind, these sounds will sound an alarm. In Apple’s patent, the proximity sensor also calculates the “scanning volume” of the door.
When an object passes close enough to hit the door, Apple may block or lock the door to protect passengers
Knowing the width of the door that can be opened, apple can calculate when an object outside “moves along a path that intersects at least part of the door sweep.”. However, it doesn’t need to be aware of the external environment all the time, because Apple may also be aware of the internal environment. This means that the vehicle can “selectively limit the movement of the door” based on determining the proximity of the occupant to the latch device.
So instead of locking the door, Apple may prevent it from fully opening. Just like the overhead proximity sensor of the Tesla crossover model y, the rear hatch will stop automatically before it hits the roof.
Display external environment
The fourth patent related to Apple car safety shows that Apple car can continuously perceive the external environment. As described in the patent application, “augmented reality display” describes how Apple cars use Apple’s augmented reality technology to display important information to drivers.
Now that the patent has been granted to apple, it means that its windshield will turn into a head up display, alerting drivers to unclear situations ahead. For example, it can show that there will be a sharp curve on the road ahead.
The patent proposes to effectively combine Apple’s map data with the external data currently perceived by the car. It also focuses on how to reduce the efficiency of the sensor, which means higher demand for other data sources.
Each of the four newly approved patents details different parts of Apple’s car system. However, these patented technologies need to work together. For example, an augmented reality display may display a proximity warning.

In every patent application, the scope is as wide as possible. But they all describe the specific characteristics of the car and pay attention to the safety of the driver and passengers as a whole. (Tencent technology reviser / Jinlu)