Apple was granted 54 Patents this week covering 2 Autonomous Vehicle Navigation Systems, 2 microLED Display Patents & more
Yesterday the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office officially published a series of 54 newly granted patents for Apple Inc. In this particular report we briefly cover two Project Titan patents relating to Autonomous Vehicle navigation system. We also point to two microLED patents and one for the magnetic system for iPad and Apple Pencil. Our report also covers two design patents, and as always, we wrap up this week's granted patent report with our traditional listing of the remaining granted patents that were issued to Apple today.
Autonomous Navigation System
Apple’s first granted patent is titled "Autonomous navigation system." Apple's invention covers a vehicle configured to autonomously navigate a driving route. The vehicle includes sensor devices which monitor characteristics of the driving route based on the vehicle being navigated along the driving route, and an autonomous navigation system which is interoperable with the sensor devices to: implement a succession of updates to a virtual characterization of the driving route, based on monitoring a succession of manual navigations of the vehicle along the driving route, associate a confidence indicator with the virtual characterization, based on monitoring the succession of updates to the virtual characterization, and enable autonomous navigation of the vehicle along the driving route, based at least in part upon a determination that the confidence indicator at least meets a threshold confidence indication, such that the autonomous navigation system autonomously navigates the vehicle along at least a portion of the driving route, based on controlling one or more control elements of the vehicle and based on a user-initiated command, received at the autonomous navigation system via a user interface of the vehicle, to engage in autonomous navigation of the portion of the driving route.
Apple's patent FIG. 1 below illustrates a schematic block diagram of a vehicle #100 which comprises an autonomous navigation system (ANS); FIG. 2 illustrates an illustration of a vehicle, which includes an ANS and a set of sensor devices, navigating through a region which includes multiple roadway portions of multiple roadways.
Apple’s granted patent 11,402,221 is Apple’s second patent for this invention. Apple has added 20 new patent claims. Apple’s original granted patent covered 9 claims for “Apparatus,” 7 claims for “The System,” and 4 claims for “The Method.”
The patent granted today adds 20 claims covering: 7 new claims for “The Autonomous Navigation System,” 7 new claims for “The Method” and 6 new claims for “One or more non-transitory, computer-readable storage media…” To review the patent in general and the 20 new claims specifically, click here.
Decision Making for Autonomous Vehicle Motion Control
The second major Project Titan patent issued today covers systems and algorithms for planning and controlling the motion of autonomous or partially autonomous vehicles. The new system focuses on the use of two key systems known as "The Behavior Planner," and "The Motion Selector."
Apple's patent FIG. 3 below provides an overview of a hybrid approach towards decision making for autonomous vehicles, which involves a combination of stochastic, deterministic and learning-based techniques.
Apple's patent FIG. 7 above illustrates an overview of neural network models which may be used to optimize tree search operations for autonomous vehicle motion control.
You could read our original granted patent report posted in September 2020 for greater details and more patent figures here or today’s full granted patent 11,403,526 including it’s 20 new patent claims here.
The new claims cover “one or more motion control subsystems that comprise of: (a) a braking system, (b) an acceleration system or (c) a turn controller.
The new claims also cover: “In at least some embodiments, the behavior planner may be configured to utilize a decision tree-based technique, such as a variant of a Monte Carlo Tree Search algorithm, to generate the policies,” and more.
Other Granted Patents of Interest
Other granted patents of interest include two covering microLED displays, a type of display that will be used in Apple’s future HMD. These patents are complex and will be better appreciated by display experts, engineers and extreme techies. You could review the patents here:
Granted patent 11,404,400 titled “Micro LED based display panel,” and,
Granted patent 11,404,601 titled “Conductive micro LED architecture for on-wafer testing.”
And lastly, Apple was granted patent 11,402,873 titled “Release mechanisms for coupled devices,” which covers Apple Pencil magnetically attaching to an iPad as presented below in FIG. 3.
Key Granted Design Patents
Today’s Remaining Granted Patents