A pair of recently published Apple patents suggests that the tech company is looking for ways to make self-driving cars safer and more secure.
The first of the two patents is particularly intriguing in relation to Project Titan, Apple’s foray into self-driving vehicles. Filed as “Wireless vehicle system for enhancing situational awareness,” the proposed device would essentially allow cars to speak to one another, using multiple transmitters to relay information such as speed and location to other cars on the road.
The goal is to raise situational awareness for drivers and vehicles alike. In the case of a self-driving car, the system would supplement the information the car receives from external sensors, alerting the vehicle to changing traffic conditions to create more reaction time and mitigate the chances of a potentially fatal error in a high-speed situation.
The second patent is a little more straightforward, and points to the use of biometric authentication for vehicle security. The detailed “System and Method for Vehicle Authorization” would use a biometric identification system like Apple’s Face ID to allow cars to recognize individual drivers. The car would be able to store personal profiles for multiple users, while the system itself would offer more layers of security than keys and key fobs that can be used to gain access to a stolen vehicle.
Apple has explored biometric entry systems in the past, although it is worth noting that the patent for “System and Method for Vehicle Authorization” was filed two years ago and Apple has since reduced its investment in Project Titan. However, both patents do seem to be in keeping with the latest trends for self-driving cars, and could show up in some form in the future.