Certainly, the various patents on the Apple Car are the most fun. Among all of them you can ride a really curious car. The latest patented idea is to use screens on the outside of the vehicle to give directions to other vehicles and road users.
Information displayed as text or signs
The “Exterior Lighting and Warning System” patent includes an idea which, although it may sound a little bizarre, can be very useful for the good coexistence between autonomous vehicles and other drivers. The idea, in short, is to install a strip of lights around the entire vehicle in the vehicle in which to display information.
This light strip could be used for various purposes such as signaling that a door has been left unlocked when leaving the vehicle, confirming that the alarm has been activated, greeting when arriving at the car or communicating information to other drivers. Information such as the safety distance is insufficient, for example that the speed will be reduced or that it is safe to cross the zebra crossing where the vehicle is stopped.
The truth is that there are certain behaviors in cars driven by humans that are easily identifiable and not as clear in self-driving cars that run much more regularly. Therefore, communication at the visual level can be the most interesting.
As we have said on other occasions, not all Apple Car patents will take shape in the final vehicle. Many of these documents end up gathering ideas that are abandoned or evolve into others. It is still a few years before we see how all the parts that appear as patents fit together to create a car.