Let the Apple Car rumors roll on. Apple has been granted a patent (number 10,908,328) for “retroreflectors” for a vehicle as an added safety feature.
In the patent data, the tech giant says that visibility of vehicles on the road is paramount to the safety of drivers.
In low visibility conditions (e.g., fog, dust, snow or smog), a driver’s inability to see other vehicles or road hazards increases the risk of a collision. Cars and trucks can mitigate the risk of collision by utilizing additional systems such as radar systems, vision-based cameras and light detection and ranging (LiDAR) cameras. However, certain road or weather conditions can affect the effectiveness of these systems, such as water vapor absorbing or scattering light, thereby reducing proper detection of vehicles. The effectiveness of these systems can be improved by improving detectability of the vehicles. Hence, Apple’s patent.
Here’s the summary of the invention: “A retroreflector system including an outer body panel coupled to a vehicle, wherein the outer body panel is configured to allow a radar signal originating from an external radar device to pass through the outer body panel. The retroreflector system also includes a plurality of retroreflectors embedded in the vehicle, where the plurality of retroreflectors is configured to reflect the signal to the external signal source as a reflected signal, and where the plurality of retroreflectors is configured to have a peak reflectivity for a radar wavelength range or a light detection and ranging (lidar) wavelength range.”