This is precisely the case of a new idea detailed in a recently granted patent called “warning for frequently traveled trips based on traffic.”
The name of the patent isn’t necessarily the most self-explanatory, but Apple’s new technology is describing a system whose purpose is to provide iPhone users with a more integrated experience as far as their navigation needs go.
The iPhone will play a central role in this concept, as it would be the one providing the new feature with access to all the data it needs.
Here’s how it works.
Apple Maps would be able to monitor certain information, such as calendar events, texts and emails received from others, locations and dates mentioned in digital tickets that you purchased online, and so on, all with just a single purpose: to figure out when and where you want to go. By determining the location of your destination and the ETA, Apple Maps can then monitor the traffic conditions for the best route and offer warnings in advance, just to make sure you arrive on time.
The feature can be further enhanced with all kinds of advanced capabilities, so it can also read data from external devices and even analyze your previous drives to try to determine a pattern. If you’re typically driving to the gym to attend a Zumba class every Wednesday at 6 PM, Apple Maps should be able to know this and look for a route in advance accordingly.
This isn’t the first feature that’s supposed to enhance the navigation by preparing the route in the background, but Apple’s concept comes down to an approach that’s as less intrusive as possible. Everything is possible with zero input on the user side, so Apple Maps would have to process all the information and then offer warnings based on the nearby traffic.
Several navigation solutions out there, including Waze, can already suggest departure times based on traffic conditions, but in this case, users need to define the ETA and the destination manually. Apple’s new idea would do the whole thing automatically, even for new addresses where you’ve never been to.
Obviously, this is just a patent for now, and while it’d make perfect sense in a constantly evolving application like Apple Maps, you shouldn’t hold your breath to see it live just yet.