Apple patent for its self-driving cars includes a feature where it can predict driver intentions

According to a recently published patent application, Apple is working on a number of methods to enable a self-driving car to figure out where the owner of the vehicle wants to go next.

  • Updated: June 15, 2018 3:34 PM IST

Apple’s ambitions at making a self-driving car have not been a secret including the fact how the end goal has changed with time. The company started with plans to make a game changer and in the process to create something radical it is likely that the company has a number of patented innovative ideas and plans for its unreleased self-driving car. According to a recently published patent application by Apple, the company is working on a number of methods to enable a self-driving car to figure out where the owner of the vehicle wants to go next.

According to the patent application that was first spotted by Patently Apple, the way this works is that the self-driving car keeps a check on something called as “intent signals”. As part of the patent, the vehicle will keep a track of both indirect as well as direct methods to check for intent. The first method includes the situation where the owner is using a steering wheel or joystick to direct the car where it will guide the electronics of the car in the right direction. Rest of the methods include indirect methods such as instances where the car owner tells the self-driving car to drive to a large retail store and later gives additional instruction as the destination approaches.

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Another method is where the car keeps a track of the gestures of the driver. This means that the car can use its built-in sensors to check the surrounding while using the accelerometer present on the phone to see where the user is standing. This method is usually perfect for the scenario when you find that sweet parking spot after leaving your car.

The company adds that this move will bring its self-driving car to a junction that is like the middle ground between less autonomy and more autonomy at the same time. Here less autonomy refers to situations where the car has to navigate through something really difficult and autopilot is not skilled enough such as a busy cross-section. More autonomy refers to the situation where the Car will go through your navigation journey history to figure out the cafes that you prefer or have visited in the past after you tell your car that you need coffee. Last but not the least, the car would also give users the option for different drop points that are accurate and situation specific.

For example, if you are going to your office and need to attend a meeting, telling your car to go to the office because of a meeting will prompt the car to offer the exact drop off point near the entry gate to the meeting room. Such things will come in handy for the times you are in a hurry and want to stop by, leaving it to your car to figure out the time it will take to reach your destination in addition to the pit stop that you requested. This feature actually looks like Siri Shortcuts but some more advanced and for a self driving car.

  • Published Date: June 15, 2018 3:33 PM IST
  • Updated Date: June 15, 2018 3:34 PM IST