Apple Patent Suggests Electric Car? Not Really

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Debate about whether Apple is really developing a car continues, and now there’s a patent filing that’s only adding to the argument in favor of their being a car. Other than the fact that the patent actually mentions electric vehicles specifically, the technology described in it doesn’t have much to do with cars at all.

Apple patents new charging system

The title of the patent (spotted by Victoria Wollaston of the Daily Mail) is “Power management for inductive charging systems.” Of course the main focus of the patent is charging for phones and tablets, but there is a mention of charging electric vehicles.

While some are apparently taking this as a sign that Apple must be working on a car, it seems more likely that the company is just covering all the bases. After all, electric cars need to be charged too.

Apple Car Patent

How Apple’s inductive charger works

The Apple Watch, which will be available for preorder starting April 10, utilizes a type of inductive charging, according to Wollaston, but the system described in the patent is more advanced. The system is actually able to detect the weight of the device that is put on it. It then is able to adapt the amount of power it supplies to the device based on the amount of energy it needs in order to charge.

Apple said the device that is being charged could supply information to the inductive charging stations periodically throughout the charging process, reports Patently Apple. It could relay information about its power state, like current or future needs for power and an estimate for how long it will take to bring the device up to a full charge. The information could be sent using Wi-Fi, near field communication, RF or Bluetooth.

Devices that are able to charge using the inductive charging system may be fitted with a surge protector to keep them from being damaged if there is a sudden increase in the amount of power being sent by the system.

Is Apple really working on a car?

And of course we’re back to the great debate about whether Apple is working on a car. While this patent mentions electric cars, it certainly doesn’t make it seem any more likely that Apple will release a car in the next five years or so.

Besides, even if Apple isn’t planning to release a car, it would certainly love to see some royalty payments from any car manufacturers that do use the inductive charging system described in this patent.

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