In order for self-drivings cars to be able to detect what’s around them, like people, objects, or other cars, it relies on a variety of sensors. One of those sensors is LiDAR which Apple has famously included in its newer iPads and also the iPhone 12 Pro series, and it looks like Apple is now taking that technology and applying it to a self-driving car system.
This is according to a patent discovered by Patently Apple, where they found that Apple is looking to use a LiDAR device built behind a vehicle’s windshield where it could be used to help map out the road in front of it, making it perfect for situations where it might be too dark, or to help detect people, animals, or objects in front of it so that it knows when to brake.
Like we said, LiDAR is already being employed by companies who are making and testing self-driving cars, so this technology isn’t new per se. However, Apple’s implementation of the technology by placing it behind a windshield is sort of unique. We say sort of because Patently Apple actually found a company called XeomatiX who worked with a windshield maker, AGC, to develop something that’s similar.
We’re not sure how Apple’s patent would work in the real world given that it is only a patent, but it’s interesting to see how Apple is utilizing LiDAR, not just in phones, but in potential future self-driving cars as well.