Last Thursday, Patently Apple posted a report titled "Apple appears to be accelerating Project Titan and reportedly Aiming to develop a high-end autonomous vehicle." Until Apple's vehicle comes to market, they continue to be granted patents covering features that may be a part of the final design. Today the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office officially granted Apple a pair of Project Titan – Electric Vehicle related patents. The first patent covers antireflection coating that includes a low emissivity layer to block heat. The second patent covers a suspension system.
Project Titan: Window Systems
Today Apple was granted patent 11,180,005 covering an Electric Vehicle's window systems.
Windows such as vehicle windows sometimes include laminated glass layers. Laminated glass may be used, for example, to provide strength to front windshields. It can be challenging, however, to incorporate desired features into vehicle windows without creating structures that are vulnerable to damage or that do not offer desired levels of performance.
Apple's granted patent covers an infrared light-blocking coating may be formed on an inwardly facing surface of one of the pair of laminated glass layers. The inwardly facing surface of the chemically strengthened glass layer may be provided with an antireflection coating that includes a low emissivity layer to block heat.
Further, to protect an adjustable optical layer in a window, a thin glass layer may be used to cover a potentially fragile window layer such as an adjustable optical layer or other layer that includes polymer or other materials that can be physically and/or chemically damaged. The thin glass layer may be chemically strengthened and may be covered with one or more layers such as low emissivity ("low-e") coating layers and antireflection coating layers to enhance vehicle occupant comfort.
An illustrative system of the type that may include windows with protective thin glass layers is shown in FIG. 1 above. For more details, review Apple's granted patent 11,180,005. Apple has many other vehicle window related patents for Project Titan on record, and here are just a sampling of them: 01, 02, 03 & 04.
Project Titan: Suspension System
Today Apple was granted patent 11,179,991 covering an Electrical Vehicle's suspension system.
In Apple's patent background they note that vehicle suspension systems support a sprung mass relative to an unsprung mass. The sprung mass is a first part of the vehicle, which typically includes the body of the vehicle and the passenger compartment of the vehicle. The unsprung mass is a second part of the vehicle that typically includes tires, wheels, and components directly connected to the wheels. The function of the vehicle suspension system is to reduce transmission of vibrations from the unsprung mass to the sprung mass. Causes of vibrations include the horizontal and vertical curvature of the roadway that the vehicle is travelling on, roughness of the roadway surface, imperfections in the roadway surface, and debris on the roadway surface.
Apple's granted patent relates to suspension systems that include an air spring and a reservoir that holds air that can be used by the air spring to increase the working volume of the air spring. The reservoir is located inside a vehicle component that is positioned either at a first (e.g., lower) end of the air spring or at second (e.g., upper) end of the air spring.
The air spring and reservoir configurations that are described herein reduce the stiffness of the air spring by increasing the working volume of air that is available to the air spring. Because the air spring is located inside a vehicle component that is positioned at an end of the air spring and adjacent to the air spring, this increase in working volume is achieved without increasing the size of the air spring itself, and without incurring the air pressure losses associated with use of a remotely-positioned air tank.
Apple's patent FIG. 4 below is a cross-section illustration showing an air spring, the lower control arm, and the vehicle structure with the air spring in an expanded position.
Apple's patent FIG. 5 above is a cross-section illustration showing the air spring, the lower control arm, and the vehicle structure with the air spring in a compressed position.
For greater detail, review Apple's granted patent 11,179,991.
Obviously, a suspension system will be a key part of any future Apple vehicle and Apple has many patents covering different aspects and different designs for this future component. Here are just a few other patent reports covering suspension systems on record: 01, 02, 03, 04 & 05.