Apple to Develop New Car Navigation System?

Probably thinking about taping into a rather uncharted territory and taking into consideration the popularity of anything coming from Cupertino, Apple appears to be scrutinizing the automotive industry as a potential future market.

According to the AppleInsider, a patent filing from Apple surfaced last week describes a proprietary in-car navigation system focused on keeping the driver safe while in motion.

“Many navigation systems use knobs and pushbuttons for entering destination and other information for use in determining driving directions. The accurate use of such input devices may force the driver to take her eyes off the road, resulting in a potentially hazardous condition," the filing read.

"Some conventional solutions may request that the user acknowledge the warning by pressing a pushbutton, for example. Once acknowledged, the navigation system typically becomes operable to the driver. Also, there are few safety concerns with a passenger in the vehicle operating the navigation system while the vehicle is moving. For passengers, the warnings may be unnecessary or irritating, and locking down the operation of the navigation system would prevent the passenger from operating the navigation system regardless of whether it was safe to do so."

As somehow expected, Apple's solution relies on a touchscreen-based navigation system, albeit a smarter one that could be either a self-mounted handheld device like an iPhone or one that's hardwired into the car.

The aforementioned source adds that either could tie into various forms of sensors and I/O devices such as a speaker and a microphone to facilitate voice-enabled functionalities, such as navigation, stereo, and phone functions. A loud speaker could also be included to facilitate hands-free voice command functionalities, such as voice activated entry for requesting driving directions.


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