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Apple's patent history shows automotive technology and includes ride quality-related hardware

Analytical firms in Nikkei and Tokyo have discovered that Apple is promoting automotive technology based on recent patent applications, as reported by Nikkei Asia.

(Photo: NICHOLAS KAMM / AFP via Getty Images)
The Apple logo will appear at the entrance to the Apple Store in Washington, DC on September 14, 2021.

This finding indicates that Apple has filed a patent for autonomous driving and other vehicle software. It also includes ride quality related hardware such as seats and suspension.

Apple also seems to be targeting Vehicle-to-Everything (V2X) technology, which allows vehicles to communicate with each other and connect to the Internet of Things. This shows that tech giants are establishing their own platforms and entering the EV industry.

As of June 1, Apple has filed and published 248 automotive patents since 2000. It usually takes 18 months from filing a patent application to publication. Most of the company’s applications in 2021 haven’t been published yet, but eight have been published. And that number is set to increase this year.

Apple filed 27 applications in 2020, and five were published simultaneously in 2021. Their patent applications peaked in 2017 and have declined temporarily since then.

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Apple and car

Apple was involved in the automotive industry in 2014 through project Titan. The purpose is to develop self-driving electric vehicles. As the smartphone market matures, there is speculation that Apple will use its technology and manufacturing capabilities to enter the automotive sector.

In fact, in 2021 Hyundai was said to be in talks with a tech giant. However, it was later denied by a Korean car maker.

Apple is still silent about its ambitions, but these patents filed only reveal that the company is making progress in automotive technology.

The company’s automotive patent applications gained momentum in 2008, a year after the iPhone went on sale. However, Apple tried to focus on the connectivity between the iPhone and the vehicle. Specifically, the effort was focused on navigation, paving the way for the launch of Apple CarPlay.

Patent applications began to increase in 2016, and by 2017 the company had filed a record 66 applications, including those related to autonomous driving.

Apple’s Journey to Self-Driving Cars

Apple has focused on the autonomous driving and EV industry. The company has shown interest in these industries as they are future prospects.

Leading companies such as Waymo and Tesla have been working on self-driving technology and electric vehicles. These companies have all the latest technology installed, but Apple is a latecomer to the industry. But that doesn’t mean it can’t have the same effect. Apple has the money to catch up, and that’s what it does through patent applications.

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