Apple Intent Signals for Autonomous Vehicles Provides More Intuitive Experience


Not an Apple autonomous vehicle interior. Photo used only for representation / Photo Credit via Flickr


For some time, Apple’s autonomous vehicle technology has been calm and quiet compared to other developers. Apparently, the company is only taking time to polish its plans to get their self-driving cars to the open road. A new report discovered that Apple has a new patent called Intent Signals which allows passengers to use different methods to notify the car where they want to go.

Intent Signals is a part of Apple’s guidance system for AVs that uses specific algorithms for controlling motion selected by users. According to PatentlyApple, the guidance system is applicable for autonomous and partially autonomous vehicles.

Since drivers or passengers have a say with intent signals, they can improve on how the AVs access and traverse destinations, routes, and parking lots. This add-on system enables users to properly tune how their vehicles access roads and complete parking tasks that may help decrease the risk of accidental collision.

Users can utilize the signals through certain communication platforms that work with the system, such as an onboard joystick, a smartphone control, a set of voice commands, and a combination of gestures. For example, a user may control the vehicle with a joystick and direct it to intersections without the similar effort of handling the steering wheel. Meanwhile, voice commands may let other orders to be issued like parking at an establishment or determining nearby places.

For the smartphone control, the system will use the device’s native accelerometer to direct the AV to a parking space or to park at marked designated points. For gestures, the implementation will be primarily enabled to rearrange the position of the car in tight spaces like a road with heavy traffic.

The new guidance system is still in its infancy just like any other autonomous technologies. But Apple’s offer makes self-driving or assisted-driving experience more intuitive than conventional ones.