The Project Titan, a rumor of Apple launching a car, has been out for several years since 2014. This rumor shows us that Apple's car has been in development. Apple has since applied for several car tech patents and recruited several heads from prominent automakers including General Motors, Ford and Tesla.
At mid-2019, Apple acquired the autonomous vehicle startup Drive.ai for joining and boosting its project Titan.
A recent Apple patent showed a new application in Apple's autonomous car. This new tech will let you give the self-driving car voice commands. You can tell where you want to go and the car is going to do the rest to drive you to your destination and even to park it.
"Guidance of Autonomous Vehicles in Destination Vicinities Using Intent Signals", Apple submitted this patent application back on August 2 of last year. It was made public recently, on 23 January. The patent allows a self-driving car to use voice commands, gestures and touchscreens to get to a destination.
The focus of this patent is the versatility of voice command. You could tell your car you'd like to buy a cup of coffee and the car's going to find the nearest coffee shop and take you right there. The commands need not be specific and may be as vague as the example above. The tech will allow the car to create a context and find a suitable destination for completing the task in hand.
Also, the patent allows the car to find an optimal parking spot. In a large market-place with multiple entries, you need to go to a coffee shop as shown in the example above. In this case, the navigation manager will find the nearest entrance to the coffee shop and park it directly in front of that entrance.
Including voice-commands, the car will also have the ability to understand gestures, gazes and touch feedback to take control. An example of the gesture command discussed in the patent is where you can point your smartphone to a specific parking spot, and on that particular point, the car can read and park the car.
It is not yet clear if Apple would use this patent to supply their own car or sell it to other car manufacturers. Although Apple CarPlay is present in numerous cars with Siri integration, this new technology would wish exceptional self-driving capabilities to figure its magic.
With these new patents, Apple is slowly heading towards the car market. Whether “Project Titan” is simply a rumor or not, we'll probably see Apple competing with Tesla, Mercedes and Audi real soon, oh! so how about Sony Vision S?