Technology

iPhone To Be Used As Apple Car’s Key [PATENT]

The Apple Car is rumored to be a disruptive piece of technology in the electric car marketplace in the foreseeable future, and some interesting information has recently emerged on the existence of this electric car contender.

Apple Car Patent
IMAGE: USPTO

Apple Car patent filed

A particularly interesting patent has recently been published by the consumer electronics giant, with Apple seemingly working on a system that will enable iPhone users to utilize their smartphones in order to unlock and start their cars. While this doesn’t in itself prove the existence of the Apple Car, it is a natural conclusion from the text of the patent.

The manufacturer of the iPhone was granted a patent on May 24 entitled “Accessing Vehicles Using Portable Devices.” The patent itself details a device which resembles an iPhone communicating wirelessly with a car, as well as more detailed information regarding the Bluetooth technology that vehicles would require in order to be controlled by an iPhone.

Apple has seemingly been perfecting this technology for some time, as the original application for this patent dates back to 2013. Although the media has been whispering about the possible existence of an Apple Car plan for some time, An Apple electric car certainly wasn’t on the agenda three years ago.

The patent also mentions the ability to “transmit the vehicle access credential to a second portable device.” This hints at the idea that it will be possible with the technology to create a virtual bunch of keys for another household member.

Apple Car Patent
IMAGE: USPTO

Security worries

One of the biggest concerns with such a form of technology is security. It is easy to conjure up images of individuals hacking into an Apple Car using an iPhone, before stealing a vehicle. Naturally Apple needs to guard against this, and ensure that the level of security in both its new patents and the Apple Car itself is absolutely outstanding.

With this in mind, it seems that numerous security features have already been built into this technology. In particular, Apple has patented the idea of preventing a car from being started and operated during certain time periods, effectively eliminating the risk of overnight theft.

Additionally, a personalization system is included in this particular patent, with the seeming intention of ensuring that any car utilizing this technology can be tweaked to the desires of a particular user. Thus, “Accessing Vehicles Using Portable Devices” offers Apple users the ability to automatically adjust the seat of a vehicle, while mirror, temperature and music systems based on who is riding in the vehicle can also be tinkered with manually.

This patent is the latest piece of evidence pointing to the existence of an electric Apple Car from the California-based corporation, even if Apple has remained resolutely tight-lipped on the subject. And in other critical news, Apple has also recently invested a massive $1 billion into the Chinese ridesharing company Didi Chuxing; apparently vital if Apple is to develop a self-driving vehicle.

Apple Car Patent
IMAGE: USPTO

Charging stations plans

Elsewhere, Apple is seemingly laying the groundwork required for an Apple electric vehicle, with the company seemingly communicating with numerous charging station firms in recent weeks. Reuters has also reported that the Cupertino-based company has hired numerous engineers with electric car-related experience, as Apple steps up preparations to enter this growing niche in the coming years.

One of the biggest challenges for the market-leading electric car manufacturer Tesla has been developing a charging network which is large enough to make travelling via electric vehicles convenient. Apple is seemingly thinking well ahead of the production of the Apple Car, and developing the infrastructure related to this electric vehicle as quickly as possible.

Twelve-month development cycle

Reports have suggested that the Apple Car has been under development for over a year by now, with the project codenamed Titan internally. Apple has already released and purchased a wide variety of real estate properties in California with the intention of developing and testing its electric vehicle, even if the corporation has yet to confirm its existence publicly. Apple was recently reported to be seeking an 800,000-square foot location for the Apple Car project to be developed and tested.

It seems that the predictions that the Apple Car could be on the roads before the end of the decade are still very much on track.