A new patent granted to Apple by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office reveals that Apple Car will come with a new “Active Glare Suppression System” to actively block bright lights from disrupting the driver’s view.
The Cupertino tech giant’s first autonomous passenger vehicle, Apple Car is expected to launch in the next four to five years. Based on industry reports and filed patents, the electric vehicle (EV) will be powered by a new revolutionary monocell battery for long-range, will be equipped with LiDAR scanners for navigation, external LED to displays its actions, and more. It is also reported that Apple has decided to manufacture the EV independently after several failed negotiations with leading automobile makers like Hyundai, BMW, Nissan, and others. Now we have additional information on the possible anti-glare technology used in the new Apple Car.
Apple Car’s windscreen will be equipped with new camera sensors to locate the driver’s gaze and source of light to reduce glare
As explained in the filing, ambient light such as headlights and sunlight reflect off the mirrors (windscreen, rear, left and right, windows) and can enter into the driver’s eyes and cause temporary blindness which may result in accidents. Therefore, Apple has proposed a way to reduce glare in a vehicle via new camera sensors to locate the driver’s gaze and source of light to automatically darken the specific window the bright light is reflecting from.
A control circuit may gather eye location information indicating where the eyes of the driver are located using a sensor such as a camera mounted in the vehicle and may gather information on where an external object that produces glare such as the sun, a reflective portion of a vehicle (e.g., a shiny bumper or rear window on a vehicle on a roadway), a street lamp, or other source of glare is located outside of the vehicle and the direction in which the external (exterior) object is projecting light towards the vehicle (e.g., towards the eyes of a driver or other vehicle occupant). Based on this information, the control circuit may direct a light modulator on a window or vehicle mirror to selectively darken an area that prevents the glare from reaching the eyes of the driver.
The new light modulator will be placed on the edges of the windscreen in form of a strip to function as a sunshade. The light modulator could have a photochromic layer, liquid crystal modulator, an electrochromic modulator, or any other type of light modulator structure.
The light modulator may be patterned to form a series of strips, rectangular regions, or areas of other shapes that extend along the upper edge of the front window of a vehicle and that therefore allow the light modulator to serve as an electrically adjustable sun shade. A light modulator may also be incorporated into other windows in a vehicle to reduce glare from headlights, the sun, and other light sources. Vehicle mirrors that are provided with light modulators can be adjusted to selectively darken a portion of the mirror that would otherwise reflect glare into the eyes of the driver.
Although the launch of the physical Apple Car years away, it already has created a lot of waves amongst competitors and speculators. Tesla’s CEO Elon Musk is clearly ticked off by Apple’s EV, an analyst believes Apple has all the right ingredients to deliver a great EV and battery pioneer says that Apple Car will define the future of mobility.
Tesla has their own independent strategy. The one to look out for is Apple. What will they do? I think they may announce something soon. And what kind of car would they announce? What kind of battery? They probably want to get in around 2025. If they do that, I think they have to announce something by the end of this year. That’s just my own personal hypothesis.