Apple’s Futuristic Vehicle to Feature Illuminated Communication Displays


The elusive automotive project from Apple, which has stirred much speculation, appears to be gaining ground as sightings of its test vehicles on public streets emerge. Revelations indicate that Apple’s futuristic car could employ illuminated screens throughout its body, to convey intentions to other drivers, as part of its autonomous operating system.

According to a patent authorized by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, referred to as “Exterior Lighting and Warning System,” Apple envisions a sophisticated system that goes beyond traditional signal lights, opting for intricate lighting arrangements to communicate with fellow road participants.

The bulk of the testing for Apple’s vehicular automation appears dedicated to mastering traffic navigation and adapting to road situations dynamically. However, autonomous vehicles must also effectively signal their maneuvers to others – a role typically assumed by human drivers through visual cues.

This is where Apple steps in, proposing the implementation of full-body displays that might span the vehicle in the form of a continuous light strip. This innovative display could articulate a diverse range of communications, extending well past the basic notifications of braking or directional intentions.

Imaginings for the display include varying the intensity to reflect the car’s speed, motion countdowns, and possibly even animated graphics or video segments.

For drivers engaged in parking the vehicle, the same displays could interact with a sense of personality, extending farewell or greeting messages when approaching or leaving the car.

The concept of this interactive display was initially presented in a 2018 patent. Building on that concept, the recent patent dives deeper into the technological mechanisms for realizing such dynamic exterior signage.

Externally, Apple’s February 2020 patent titled “System and method for light and image projection” describes headlights that underscore specific road segments of importance, be it traffic signs or obstructions.

Inside the vehicle, a clever lighting design promotes passenger interaction while guarding privacy by hindering certain light frequencies from penetrating the vehicle.

Furthermore, seat illumination may be incorporated to assist passengers with adjusting their seats and instructing on seatbelt usage.

Despite the buzz, acclaimed Apple forecaster Ming-Chi Kuo suggests that the launch of the Apple Car might not occur until sometime between 2025 and 2027. Its final specifications and manufacturing details remain enveloped in uncertainty, just as the broader landscape of autonomous driving technology and electric vehicle advancements continues to evolve.

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