Apple granted a patent for ‘live traffic routing’ on an iPhone, Apple Watch

Apple has been granted a patent (number 10,018476) for “live traffic routing’ on its Maps app for the iPhone and Apple Watch. It would allow the mapping app to generate alternate routes based on the user's current location, live traffic conditions and estimated time of arrival at certain locations along the route.

Live traffic routing would re-rank alternate routes taking into account which routes offer the best cost path to the user's destination. In the patent filing, Apple notes that searching for the best routes at certain times of day can present problems in navigation systems because of the need to adjust the results based on the user's location and current traffic conditions. 

However calculating updated routes based on current traffic conditions can be computationally expensive, the company adds. In addition an alternate route to accommodate traffic conditions alone may not always be the best choice. Apple thinks it can improve on the process.

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.