The long-rumored Apple Car could carry a headlamp system capable of providing drivers with greater visibility of the road. It would highlight areas of interest at the front of the vehicle, in addition to making the light put out brighter in specific areas.
At present, most cars are able to provide additional data in the form of dashboard indicators, alarms or notch information. However, most provide limited information and require drivers to look away from the road, obstacles or other vehicles, which is very dangerous.
Apple’s new patent is entitled “System and Method for Projecting Light and Image” and provides a way to keep drivers aware of the dangers of the road without taking their eyes off them. Apple suggests that it could modify the light from the headlights to highlight parts of the road that should be brought to the driver's attention.
The vehicle will receive data on what is on the road ahead and on the sides, thanks to a series of sensors similar to those that would be used for an autonomous driving system. The data is entered into a system that analyzes the road scene, capable of determining how the vehicle should drive, as well as taking into account the speed in the event of road obstacles.
In a sense, the vehicle's headlights can illuminate a certain point of interest for the driver, also helping him identify what the object is. For example, they could use a symbol or a lighting system to differentiate other vehicles from the eyes. In addition, the system could use these sensors to provide uniform illumination of the road, also taking into account weather effects, exterior lighting and reflection.
But that does not stop there, as this lighting system could also be used in other ways, such as to offer more information to the driver, for example by showing how to take the next turn using information from the navigation system. .
The system could also recognize a piton on the road. It could highlight small dots on the main joints of the shape of the piton to show its presence to the driver. By positioning the points on the joints and tracing them, the system could show the driver the movements of the stud or its approach.
Like the Apple Car itself, this patent is just one of many ideas. Apple protects its inventions while waiting for the technology to be ready or until the market is mature. As for the Apple car, its existence remains uncertain.