A new patent application published this week has revealed that Apple has filed a patent in Europe for an augmented reality windshield system that would pair with forthcoming autonomous vehicles.
According to Patently Apple, the patent filed on August 1 details the so-called Heads Up Display, an augmented reality windshield that would provide a graphical overlay through a transparent surface with information that is relevant to the observer based on the environment around the vehicle.
External sensors that include visible light cameras, infrared cameras, light-beam scanning devices, audio sensors and geographic position detection devices among others, would generate a combination of data that is then displayed on the AR windshield.
“The vehicle includes one or more transparent surfaces #134 via which one or more occupants can perceive one or more portions of the environment from within the vehicle interior, etc. In some embodiments, the VNS can generate, manage, control, etc. one or more graphical displays, including one or more augmented reality displays, which are displayed on one or more particular transparent surfaces in the vehicle” said the patent.
The patent also notes a feature that would allow vehicle occupants the opportunity to hold FaceTime sessions with passengers in different vehicles via the multi-camera devices incorporated inside the vehicle.
“In some embodiments, an augmented reality display system included in a vehicle enables visual communication between an occupant of the vehicle a remotely located user, including an occupant of a separate vehicle” said the patent.
Apple’s AR windshield also features internal sensors that can help monitor stress levels of the vehicle occupant through eye motion, body posture, body temperature, breathing rate and heart rate. This “driving profile” would then allow the autonomous vehicle to make adjustments based on the information gathered. This feature falls in line with the “comfort profiles” patent that was published a few months ago, which will allow autonomous vehicles to make the environment inside as comfortable as possible, based on stress levels.
As with most Apple patents, there is no solid time frame as to when this technology will be available and if it will even make it past the drawing board. Though it is very likely that the AR windshield will be incorporated in some capacity when we finally see Apple’s own autonomous vehicle system arrive in 2021, which is the speculated introduction date.