Apple Patented An Articulated Steering System, Don't Expect An iTank Soon

Apple has been assigned a patent for a steering device for an articulated vehicle, similar to a tank or other tracked means of transportation.
Apple articulated steering patent 3 photos
Photo: Patent application/U.S. Patent office
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The system was developed by a Swedish company named BAE Systems Hagglunds Aktiebolag, and the patent application was filed this July. The application and grant were published by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, along with 79 other newly issued patents.

The idea behind this patent is a permanent or semi-permanent pivoting joint in an articulated vehicle. The kind of vehicle described is usually employed in military applications, and the company that developed it manufactures and markets military vehicle systems.

As Patently Apple notes, there is no foreseeable benefit for Apple to own this patent in the future, but we covered the subject because it is related to vehicles and to the Cupertino giant, which keeps getting involved in the automotive world.

It is worth noting that the kind of pivot patented by Apple and the Swedish company is used in a different form in various heavy equipment. However, this does nothing to help anyone provide a reasonable explanation as to why Apple would patent an element that has nothing to do with its business.

Regardless, let’s talk about the patented device itself. It is a system that has been engineered to provide a smaller turn radius for tracked vehicles with trailers. It might also improve the handling and speed of the said category of transportation means.

Since the military usually employs this kind of heavy-duty vehicles, we do not expect Apple to become a supplier for any army shortly. On the other hand, the Swedish company is already in this business, so we expect the patent to suit their future needs.

The steering unit even has a device that can heat the air around its housing, helping eliminate any snow or ice that might affect its operation. In layman’s terms, the device pivots on demand, to ensure improved steering efficiency for the two vehicle bodies linked with the unit.
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About the author: Sebastian Toma
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Sebastian's love for cars began at a young age. Little did he know that a career would emerge from this passion (and that it would not, sadly, involve being a professional racecar driver). In over fourteen years, he got behind the wheel of several hundred vehicles and in the offices of the most important car publications in his homeland.
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