Let the Apple Car rumors roll on. Apple has been granted a patent (number 11,046,330) for a “redundant vehicle actuator system.”
Background of the patent
Vehicle actuators are controllable systems that cause or affect motion of a vehicle. Examples of vehicle actuators are propulsion actuators, braking actuators, steering actuators, and suspension actuators. Proper functioning of all of these actuator systems allows for proper control of the vehicle.
A failure of one or more of these actuator systems may render the vehicle uncontrollable, and thus, unable to continue operating. Naturally, Apple wouldn’t want that to happen on any vehicle, especially one bearing its logo.
When can we expect an Apple Car?
The status of an Apple auto is unclear. On June 2, Bloomberg reported that Apple has lost “several” top managers from its “Apple Car” project. Here’s what the report says: Apple Inc. has lost multiple top managers of its self-driving car team in recent months, a sign of attrition at the division involved in what could become an important future product.
If an Apple Car ever arrives, it probably won’t arrive until 2024 at the earliest. In fact, Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo doesn’t expect it until at least 2025.
Summary of the patent
Meanwhile, here’s the summary of the newly granted patent: “A vehicle actuator system includes an actuator, a first actuator controller that is operable to control operation of the actuator and is operable to determine a first value for a parameter that relates to operation of the actuator, a second actuator controller that is operable to control operation of the actuator and is operable to determine a second value for the parameter, and at least one additional component that is operable to determine a third value for the parameter. A fault is identified in response to determining that the first value does not agree with at least one of the second value or the third value. In response to identification of the fault, the first actuator controller changes from an activated state to a deactivated state and the second actuator controller changes from a deactivated state an activated state.”