As if there wasn’t already enough evidence about the Apple car, the Cupertino company has just been granted a new patent that indicates how you could control the vehicle using your iPhone. Many automakers including Tesla and Audi already offer apps that let you unlock a car using smartphones. Apple, which filed the patent in 2011, doesn’t even have a car yet. The new patent indicates that Apple is indeed working on a car.
It will let a ‘secondary device’ access the Apple car
The patent named “Accessing a vehicle using portable devices” was granted to Apple by the US Patent and Trademark Office on Tuesday. The patent describes how a smartphone or tablet could access the car’s computer to tell it what to do. For instance, it could unlock the vehicle’s doors, start the engine, unlock the storage compartment, activate the entertainment system, activate GPS, activate the dashboard console, adjust the seats, activate the automatic parking system, and open the car’s sun roof.
The app connects with the car via WiFi, Bluetooth, or a cellular network. What’s interesting about this patent is that it allows the primary user to create temporary “keys” for others. The primary portable device can let a “secondary portable device” access the vehicle by transmitting the access credentials to the secondary device. While the primary user will have full access to the car, the secondary user can interact with limited features. The primary device can choose what features the secondary device can access.
Will Apple incorporate it in Project Titan?
The Apple car is said to start shipping in 2020. So, it is too early to say whether this patent will be incorporated in the vehicle. Apple files dozens of patents every year, and only a handful of them make it to the final version of its products. Anyway, the patent lends more credibility to speculations that Apple car is really in the works. The company has been leasing large real-estate properties in and around the Silicon Valley to design, develop and test the Apple car. The tech giant has also hired hundreds of automobile engineers and battery technology experts to work on the project.