According to an investigation by Japanese news site Nikkei and Tokyo analytics company Intellectual Property Landscape, Apple has submitted and published a total of 248 automobile-related patents since 2000.
Patents cover a variety of topics, including self-driving technology, vehicle-to-everything (V2X) connectivity for inter-vehicle communication, ride comfort, seats, suspensions, navigation, and more. Most communication and navigation-related patent applications have been made by Apple, then autonomous driving.
It takes about 18 months for Apple’s patent application to be published after it is submitted. There are now eight car-related patents from 2021 that Apple has published; however, more patents should be awarded later this year, and it is anticipated that Apple will publish more patents in 2021 than it did in 2020.
After averaging less than 10 per year in the 2010s, car-related patent filings started to increase in 2016, with Apple filing for 44.
When Apple submitted a record-breaking 66 applications in 2017, the number of patent filings increased even higher.
Since the earliest reports of Apple’s work on a self-driving car in 2014, we’ve heard frequent rumours regarding the company’s development. Numerous changes have been made to the project recently, indicating Apple is indeed pushing for some sort of electric autonomous vehicle to be released by the end of the decade. The work on the car has changed several times, and there have been times when it seemed like a full car was not going to happen.
Since a few years ago, Apple has been in contact with several automakers and component suppliers, but it is still unclear with which businesses it would partner to produce its electric vehicle. Apple has numerous patents covering windows, seats, suspension, and other actual automobile parts, which fuels rumours that the company may introduce a car rather than only concentrate on autonomous driving software.
According to recent speculations, Apple intends to revolutionise the automotive industry with its self-driving car in the same way that the iPhone revolutionised the smartphone business. Apple is looking at a layout that features four seats facing inward and does away with a steering wheel and brake pedal.
The Apple Car’s release date is unknown, however reputable sources like Mark Gurman of Bloomberg and Ming-Chi Kuo of Apple analyst have suggested that Apple is aiming for 2025.
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