Let the Apple Car rumors roll on. Apple has filed for a patent (number 20190210480) for “wireless charging alignment systems” for an electric car.
A battery in an electric vehicle can be charged by plugging a charging cable into a charging port of the vehicle. However, Apple says it would be less cumbersome to be able to transfer power wirelessly from a charging pad located on the ground and a corresponding wireless power receiver mounted to the underside of a vehicle. The tech giant says that, while avoiding the need to use charging cables, wireless charging approaches may face challenges in transferring power efficiently. If care isn’t taken, the wireless power receiver in a vehicle “will be misaligned with the charging pad and efficiency will suffer.” Apple wants to make sure this doesn’t happen IF it ever releases its own vehicle.
Here’s the summary of the patent filing: “A system such as a vehicle may have control circuitry that controls a steering and propulsion system. The control circuitry may use the steering and propulsion system to park the vehicle in a parking space. Wireless power may be transferred from a wireless power transmitter in the parking space to a wireless power receiver coupled to a vehicle body in the vehicle.
“The control circuitry may use sensors to make sensor measurements during parking events. The control circuitry may also gather information on wireless power transfer efficiency.
“Historical vehicle-to-wireless-power-transmitter alignment information may be updated based on the sensor measurements and corresponding wireless power transfer efficiency measurements and may be used to park the vehicle in an optimal location during subsequent parking events. Vehicle parking position may be intentionally varied over a series of parking events to gather additional alignment information.”
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.