Apple is granted patent on invention that eliminates driver ‘blind spots’; auto market entry speculated

Apple Inc. was recently granted a patent on an invention designed to eliminate driver blind spots. At least one publication reported that it could signal the company’s entry into the vehicle market that has become more than speculation.

The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office officially published a series of 61 newly granted patents for Apple Inc. recently, reported Patently Apple, a blog “Celebrating Apple’s Spirit of Invention.”

The blog’s report covers Apple’s Project Titan-related patent titled ‘Systems for improving side-mirror functionality of a vehicle.’

[Project Titan is Apple’s electronic vehicle initiative disclosed in 2018 with 5,000 employees.]

“[Apple’s] invention covers both driver and autonomous driving modes and side mirrors that could project images of the surrounding driving environment either on a side window or windshield,” the blog stated. “The advanced system is designed to also read important movements of the drivers face to know when to have the mirror in retracted or extended modes.”

No Date for Entry

“Apple may be closer to getting involved in the automotive market with a new patent that is meant to eliminate a car’s blind spots,” reports Digital Trends. 

The technology essentially projects images of the surrounding environment within the car’s blind spots onto the vehicle’s window or windshield. 

There’s also some facial recognition technology involved, with a camera mounted on the windshield facing toward the driver that would be able to detect the driver’s face and facial features. By reading the driver’s face, the side mirrors would be able to retract or extend. 

14-Year Old Inventor

“The patent’s technology seems similar to one that 14-year-old Alaina Gassler invented (VIDEO),” reports Digital Trends. “Gassler’s idea focuses on a webcam outside of the passenger side and a projector that projects that webcam’s footage to the inside of the front pillar of the car, which is often a blind spot to drivers.” 

A simpler system with warning lights when a vehicles enters a driver’s blind spot is currently being used in Nissan and other manufacturers’ vehicles.

The newly issued USPTO patent is 10,486,600, also, here.

Image source: Patently Apple and the USPTO.

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