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Apple has won two Project Titan Patents relating to Sliding Doors, Unfolding Sunroof Panels & Reinforced Windows

1 x cover sliding vehicle doors

(Click on image to Enlarge)


Today the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office officially granted Apple two new Project Titan patents that cover side sliding doors, unfolding sunroof and reinforced vehicle windows.


Autonomous Vehicle: Doors with Adaptive Positioning


Future Autonomous vehicles won't have a driver which will allow the door system to differ from traditional hinge-centric doors of today. The doors may open and close by moving along the side of the vehicle providing an unobstructed opening on the side of the vehicle that will allow passengers to easily enter and exit the vehicle, just as the image from Fiat Chrysler above.


The doors may be independently controlled by an adaptive door positioning system. Rather than opening and closing in a fixed, non-adjustable manner, the doors may be adaptively positioned. The doors may, for example, be adaptively positioned based on sensor data or user input. Providing vehicle doors with adaptive positioning allows the doors to be opened and closed in a manner that can be adjusted based on the vehicle's surroundings. For example, doors may be adaptively positioned to avoid colliding with obstructions (e.g., nearby vehicles), to provide easier access to the vehicle when a passenger approaches from a given direction, to facilitate exiting the vehicle in tight parking spaces, to accommodate angled tires, to accommodate inclined surfaces, etc.


One or more latches may be used to secure a front door on the side of the vehicle to a rear door on the side of the vehicle, thereby eliminating the need for a pillar or column between the front seat and the back seat of the vehicle. This provides a large area for entry and exit and frees up additional space within the vehicle (e.g., for legroom, storage, gaming consoles, etc.).


The door mechanism may be controlled by a door controller that receives sensor data from sensors in the vehicle. The door controller may determine how to move and position the door based on the sensor data and may issue corresponding control signals to actuators in the door mechanism to move and position the door accordingly. For example, the sensor data may include steering angle information that indicates an angle of a front tire and the front door may open at an angle relative to the side of the vehicle to accommodate the angled tire.


Apple's patent FIG. 1 illustrates the doors of the vehicle in the closed position and in FIG. 2 in the open position; FIG. 4 is a schematic diagram of an illustrative vehicle or other system with adaptively positioned doors.


2 Apple - Project Titan - Vehicle sliding doors and sunroof


Apple's patent FIGS. 5B-5D above are top views of a portion of an illustrative vehicle showing how sunroof panels (or doors) can slide and or unfold to open and close; FIG. 15 is a flow chart of illustrative steps involved in opening and closing a door of a vehicle using adaptive positioning.


According to Apple, the patent can apply to vehicles that are autonomous in a first mode, semi-autonomous in a second mode, and non-autonomous in a third mode.


For more details on this, review Apple's granted patent 11,446,989.


Reinforced Vehicle Windows


A second Project Titan patent related to new reinforced vehicle window systems.


In one implementation, a retractable side window assembly for a vehicle includes a laminated panel and a reinforcement structure. The laminated panel includes a glass layer and a polymer layer that is laminated with the glass layer. The reinforcement structure extends along and is coupled to an upper perimeter of the polymer layer. When the polymer layer is in tension, the reinforcement structure hinders inward movement of the polymer layer relative to an upper edge of the retractable side window assembly.


In another implementation, a method includes installing into a vehicle a retractable side window assembly. The retractable side window assembly includes a glass layer, a polymer layer laminated with the glass layer, and a reinforcement structure coupled to the polymer layer and forming an upper edge of the retractable side window assembly. The upper edge is engageable with a seal of the vehicle. The method may also include removing a previously-installed retractable side window from the vehicle, which includes an upper edge engageable with the seal of the vehicle.


Apple's patent FIG. 1C below is a side view of the window assembly of the vehicle.


3 reinforced vehicle windows


For more details, review Apple's granted patent 11,446,986.


10.52FX - Granted Patent Bar


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