Apple Applies for Augmented Reality Patent with FaceTime on Self-Driving Cars


A Volkswagen car showroom. Apple and Volkswagen are now working together for an autonomous vehicle.  / Photo by: sistemas41 via Pixabay


In May, tech giant Apple has been reported to be working with German automaker Volkswagen on a self-driving vehicle. Recently, the tech company applied for a patent to cover an augmented reality windshield system on the autonomous vehicle.

The patent has been applied to the European Patent Office, published August 1. The new system features the usual elements of AR technology but includes support for FaceTime, the popular videotelephony service on iOS devices and Mac computers. Moreover, the high-tech display can detect passengers of the vehicle and make the necessary changes to provide a calmer ambiance for those feeling anxious.

According to PatentlyApple, the recent patent also includes a vehicle navigation system capable of controlling some aspects of the AV, external sensors that generate data from parts of the external environment, internal sensors that produce data from areas of the vehicle’s interior, control elements associated with navigation, vehicle interfaces that permit communications between the system and the passengers, and transparent surfaces.

The self-driving vehicle expected to be equipped with the Heads-up Display is the Volkswagen T6 Transporter. It is the sixth-generation of the automaker’s Transport vans equipped with several driving assistance systems, such as:

- Front Assist system to warn drivers of any hazards on the road. If needed, the system will initiate an emergency brake.

- Adaptive Cruise Control as an optional cruise control system for automatic speed adjustments so the self-driving car will maintain its distance from vehicles ahead.

- Parking sensors to alert the driver of any obstacles in front or vehicles from behind by emitting sound.

- Alarm and immobilizer safety systems as security measures to prevent the vehicle from being hot-wired.

- Smart lighting for adaptive light adjustments to show the driver the way when cornering.

The T6 Transporter vans contracted by Apple will be used as the company’s self-driving shuttles for employees.