U.S tech giant, Apple has got its sight set at developing technologies for self-driving cars. A recent Apple patent filing has been unravelled giving insight to what the tech giant has conceived for the advancement of self-driving cars. The patent application is for an “Adaptive vehicle augmented reality display using stereographic imagery”. The details of the display system include an AR system that can use a pre-generated 3D model of the world in improving how it generates 3D content for its users.
The patent application suggests that the system can be used to provide users with even more information about the world around them, while on the move. The 3D model that is pre-generated could also include data about road routes, points of interest, and other areas useful to drivers, and these data could be held remotely in cloud storage. The entire 3D model could be collected together into smaller chunks, like 3D versions of tiles used by online mapping services. When needed, relevant sections of the 3D model may be provided to the car’s AR system.
The system would also provide information about areas that are far beyond the range of the car’s sensor arrays and the driver’s own vision. This can then allow for data that isn’t immediately visible to be included in the displayed image, such as showing the path ahead in an AR view, including parts of the road obscured by buildings or hills in the distance. This could come in handy in cases where visibility is poor, like fog or heavy snow, where the car’s sensors may find it difficult to create an accurate picture of the immediate area outside. The pre-existing cloud data could help give what would be an expected route and important notifications that the sensors are unable to create for themselves, in an emergency.
This system, if it comes to reality, will greatly enhance the assist system avaiabe in a self-driving car with extra data for the road ahead. This potentially makes these systems more useful and safer. Giving a self-driving car more data potentially means it will be more capable of planning manoeuvres it may need to perform in the coming miles, with the advanced warning providing more time for processing these types of decisions.