Let the Apple Car rumors roll on. Apple has been granted a patent (10,479,413) for a vehicle floor.
In the patent info, the tech giant says “it would be advantageous to provide a floor structure” for an automobile that distributes forces from outboard impacts and/or minimizes a height thereof to maximize space for other uses (e.g., battery storage).
Here’s Apple’s summary of the invention: “A sill assembly for a vehicle includes an energy-absorbing region and a force-spreading region. The energy-absorbing region is elongated in a fore-aft direction and includes an inboard subregion and an outboard subregion. The outboard subregion is arranged outboard of and proximate to the inboard subregion.
“The force-spreading region is elongated in the fore-aft direction and is arranged outboard of and proximate to the energy-absorbing region and spreads force from outboard loading to the energy-absorbing region. Along the fore-aft direction, the force-spreading region has greater inboard compressive strength than the outboard subregion, and the outboard subregion has greater compressive strength than the inboard subregion.”
Of course, Apple files for — and is granted — lots of patents by the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office. Many are for inventions that never see the light of day. However, you never can tell which ones will materialize in a real product.