Apple has won 3 Project Titan patents today relating to 3D AR Windshield Display, a Next-Gen Airbag System & more
One of the hottest Apple rumors of late has been who will Apple partner with to build a future electric semi or fully autonomous vehicle. Before it arrives, Apple continues to file and win patents related to Project Titan. Today the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office officially granted Apple three new Project Titan patents. The first covers a LiDAR detection & realtime heads-up display for vehicles. The second covers Apple vision for a future airbag system. The third covers a patent that relates to vehicle motion control.
LIDAR Detection and a Realtime Heads-Up Display for Future Vehicles
This first Project Titan granted patent relates to autonomous vehicle systems that use augmented reality (AR) system that provides depth information about objects in an environment.
In some scenarios, laser-based sensing technologies, such as light ranging and detection (LiDAR), can provide high resolution environmental data, such as depth maps, which may indicate the proximity of different objects to the LiDAR.
Apple's patent FIG. 2 below illustrates an adaptive augmented reality (AR) system and display (heads-up display); FIG. 6 illustrates an example adaptive AR display (heads-up display).
Apple's patent FIG. 5, illustrated in our cover graphic, illustrates a 3D mesh. FIG. 5 also shows virtual content (a route ribbon) overlaid on the mesh that includes a nearby, visible portion, and\ occluded portion, and a distant portion.
Apple's granted patent 10,922,886 was originally filed in Q3 2017 and published today by USPTO.
Airbag-Based Occupant Safety System
The second Project Titan invention / granted patent relates to advances in occupant safety systems suitable for use in non-traditional vehicles, such as vehicles including opposed seating systems and lacking traditional airbag packaging and reaction surfaces such as dash panels and steering wheels.
Improved occupant safety systems include cabin dividers, dynamic seating systems, and restraints such as tensioned restraints and inflatable restraints, where inflatable restraints include airbags such as self-tethered airbags, seatbelt and/or lapbelt airbags, roof and/or door airbags, etc. that increase safety during a collision for occupants facing each other in an opposed seating configuration.
Apple's patent FIGS. 1A and 1B, 2A and 2B illustrate motions during a collision that could injure a passenger; FIG. 15 shows another partial cross section through a passenger compartment with an airbag system disposed within a door of a vehicle.
Apple's patent FIG. 15 above further shows another partial cross section through a passenger compartment with an airbag system disposed within a door (#1526) of a vehicle. The airbag system includes an inflator (#1528), an airbag (#1530), and a chute switch (#1534). Packaging the airbag system within a roof rail, along a belt line, or in any other location inclusive of a vehicle crush zone where the inflator may sustain damage, for example, during a collision, is also possible.
For more details, review Apple's granted patent 10,919,482
Integrated Chassis Control
Apple's third Project Titan patent relates generally to vehicle motion control.
Apple notes that electronic stability control systems are intended to detect and reduce loss of directional stability. The electronic stability control system may determine that the vehicle has lost stability based on a deviation of the vehicle's actual measured states from desired states such as deviation of an actual yaw rate of the vehicle from a desired yaw rate.
The desired states may be estimated based on driver inputs that imply an intended course for the vehicle, such as steering inputs. Upon determining that the vehicle has lost stability, the electronic stability control system can apply braking at the road wheels individually and/or request propulsion torque to regain stability.
For example, braking may be applied to the outer front wheel to counter oversteer or braking may be applied to the inner rear wheel to counter understeer. By minimizing the disparity between the desired chassis yaw rate and the measured chassis yaw rate, the electronic stability control system allows the vehicle to retain some degree of controllability.
One aspect of Apple's invention relates to a control system for a vehicle that includes a plurality of vehicle actuators that are operable to affect actual chassis-level accelerations, a vehicle intelligence unit that determines a motion plan, a vehicle motion control unit that determines a chassis-level motion request based on the motion plan, and a chassis control unit that determines actuator commands for the plurality of vehicle actuators based on the chassis-level motion request and actuator identity information that describes presently available actuators from the plurality of vehicle actuators.
Another aspect of the disclosed embodiments is a method for controlling a vehicle that includes determining a motion plan, determining a chassis-level motion request based on the motion plan, and determining actuator commands for a plurality of vehicle actuators based on the chassis-level motion request and actuator identity information that describes presently available actuators from a plurality of vehicle actuators.
Apple's patent FIG. 3 below is an illustration showing a vehicle control system; FIG. 6 is an illustration showing a relationship between requested forces and moments and allocated tire forces and angles.
For more details, review Apple's granted patent 10,919,520.
To review more of Apple's Project Titan patents, review our specialty archive.