Apple working on self-driving car wireless charging technologies

Posted:
in Future Apple Hardware
Possibly suggesting grand ambitions for an Apple car, a patent application published on Thursday shows a wireless charging system for self-driving vehicles.

Apple Car wireless charging


Titled "Wireless Charging Alignment Systems," U.S. patent application 20190210480 describes a car in which "control circuitry may use the steering and propulsion system to park the vehicle in a parking space," where "wireless power may be transferred from a wireless power transmitter in the parking space to a wireless power receiver coupled to a vehicle body." Sensors would record transmitter alignment and efficiency, using this data to better optimize parking later on.

"Vehicle parking position may be intentionally varied over a series of parking events to gather additional alignment information," Apple adds.

The application was originally submitted in March and credits several inventors, among them Jeff Alves, a senior hardware engineering manager at Apple, and Derryk Davis, a product design engineer.

Most notable may be Hunter Wu, a senior power engineer at the company's secretive Special Projects Group. Wu has been with the company since Dec. 2015, and was previously a chief science officer at WAVE -- standing for Wireless Advanced Vehicle Electrification. That firm created wireless chargers for electric buses.

It's widely anticipated that any "Apple Car" will be an EV given industry trends, Apple's penchant for environmental causes, and a lack of experts in combustion engines. The company is known to be testing self-driving systems, and recently bought out self-driving car startup Drive.ai.

Still up in the air is when a finished vehicle might hit the roads. While once anticipated as soon as 2020, a release now isn't expected until at least 2023.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 22
    eriamjheriamjh Posts: 1,134member
    There is no Apple car.  
    chasm
  • Reply 2 of 22
    If Apple were working on a vehicle now they wisely would be avoiding ICE - but they should ignore electrics as well and should jump directly to landspeeders and spaceships with hyperdrive.
    StrangeDaysentropysapplesnoranges
  • Reply 3 of 22
    knowitallknowitall Posts: 1,358member
    I hope this is a joke, completely obvious for anyone thinking a few seconds about it.
    This description would possibly block all inventive applications, thats a shame and totally unfair for inventors not having the money to preemptive block this.

  • Reply 4 of 22
    AppleExposedAppleExposed Posts: 1,170unconfirmed, member
    knowitall said:
    I hope this is a joke, completely obvious for anyone thinking a few seconds about it.
    This description would possibly block all inventive applications, thats a shame and totally unfair for inventors not having the money to preemptive block this.

    Apple never stopped Android/Windows/Airpods knockoffs from existing.
    chasm
  • Reply 5 of 22
    For a company seeking to be known as "green", Apple sure is getting into the comparitively energy wasting wireless charging thing pretty heavily.
    bonobobFileMakerFellerentropys
  • Reply 6 of 22
    ravnorodomravnorodom Posts: 223member
    Apple should patent wireless charging an airplane in mid-air from satellite's solar energy. So you can fly around the world in 60 hours non-stop.
  • Reply 7 of 22
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 20,746member
    knowitall said:
    I hope this is a joke, completely obvious for anyone thinking a few seconds about it.
    This description would possibly block all inventive applications, thats a shame and totally unfair for inventors not having the money to preemptive block this.

    FWIW it's simply an application, not a stated intent to issue one. Little doubt IMO some of the claims will fail examination and there will be a back and forth between Apple and the examiner. Many patent applications are never approved and many more require a lot of modification and "trimming" before they are issued. Don't fault the applicant for starting out with the broadest of claims. 
    FileMakerFeller1STnTENDERBITS
  • Reply 8 of 22
    There already is at least one wireless EV charger out there from Plugless:

    https://www.pluglesspower.com/
    chasm
  • Reply 9 of 22
    knowitallknowitall Posts: 1,358member
    gatorguy said:
    knowitall said:
    I hope this is a joke, completely obvious for anyone thinking a few seconds about it.
    This description would possibly block all inventive applications, thats a shame and totally unfair for inventors not having the money to preemptive block this.

    FWIW it's simply an application, not a stated intent to issue one. Little doubt IMO some of the claims will fail examination and there will be a back and forth between Apple and the examiner. Many patent applications are never approved and many more require a lot of modification and "trimming" before they are issued. Don't fault the applicant for starting out with the broadest of claims. 
    Ah, but I do. Its misuse of a faulty system. Misuse isn't made right by
     claiming others do it too.
  • Reply 10 of 22
    AppleExposedAppleExposed Posts: 1,170unconfirmed, member
    For a company seeking to be known as "green", Apple sure is getting into the comparitively energy wasting wireless charging thing pretty heavily.

     Depends where the energy comes from. I remember years back reading that Apple has a large reservoir of green energy collected by solar.
  • Reply 11 of 22
    AppleExposedAppleExposed Posts: 1,170unconfirmed, member
    eriamjh said:
    There is no Apple car.  

    There isn't. Neither is there Apple Glasses.
  • Reply 12 of 22
    Rayz2016Rayz2016 Posts: 4,631member
    knowitall said:
    I hope this is a joke, completely obvious for anyone thinking a few seconds about it.
    This description would possibly block all inventive applications, thats a shame and totally unfair for inventors not having the money to preemptive block this.


    The reason it looks obvious is because neither you or  Googleguy  bothered to read the patent application, so neither of you really understand what the patent is for. 

    For those with short attention spans:

    The idea is for a car to be parked over a charging point over a number of random offset points. Each parking event measures the efficiency of the charging cycle which is then used to optimise the auto parking action (which still has to account for obstacles, including idiots standing on or near the charging circle) of the car to make sure as little power as possible is wasted while the car is charging.

    Finding a charge point: easy. My lawnmower can do that.

    Parking over that charge point (given that there may be obstacles around it) so that power isn't wasted over a charge cycle. Not so easy, but very important for a company that prides itself on its street gred. (Gred = Green Credentials; see what I did there?)

    Finding a company that cares enough about the environment to spend money on such painstaking research that won't yield any revenue or allow them to monetise their customers' personal data. Really hard.
    edited July 11 roundaboutnowStrangeDaysapplesnoranges
  • Reply 13 of 22
    Rayz2016Rayz2016 Posts: 4,631member

    There already is at least one wireless EV charger out there from Plugless:

    https://www.pluglesspower.com/

    Christ on a bicycle

    🤦🏾‍♂️

    This isn't a patent for wireless charging.
    mknelsonroundaboutnow
  • Reply 14 of 22
    Rayz2016Rayz2016 Posts: 4,631member
    I was overtaken by a Tesla today.

    Those things can really shift …

  • Reply 15 of 22
    mknelsonmknelson Posts: 356member
    Rayz2016 said:

    This isn't a patent for wireless charging.
    This is a great idea, based on the lack of human parking skills.

    Also, here's a great EV channel on YouTube 

    Yes, it stars Robert Llewellyn, Kryten from Red Dwarf.
  • Reply 16 of 22
    Rayz2016 said:

    There already is at least one wireless EV charger out there from Plugless:

    https://www.pluglesspower.com/

    Christ on a bicycle

    ߤ氟ᆭzwj;♂️

    This isn't a patent for wireless charging.
    Well, OK...I was just responding to the other comments regarding wireless vehicle charging. It didn't look like anyone realized that that was already a possibility.

    I was not assuming the article was simply about wireless charging, but was a way to optimize it [for autonomous vehicles as indicated in title, but seems like semi-autonomous application similar to "parking assist" could take advantage of this]. Your other comment explains the patent application quite nicely, so thanks for that!

    And if Christ was on an electric bicycle, think how much happier he would be knowing that he could park and charge most efficiently.  :p

    edited July 11 FileMakerFeller
  • Reply 17 of 22
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 20,746member
    For a company seeking to be known as "green", Apple sure is getting into the comparitively energy wasting wireless charging thing pretty heavily.

     Depends where the energy comes from. I remember years back reading that Apple has a large reservoir of green energy collected by solar.
    There is no "reservoir", and certainly not one that could be sent to charging stations. You may be confused with stories of Apple storing solar-sourced power in batteries at some of its data center sites.

    As far as i know only one of the huge US techs has so far achieved 100% sourcing of renewable energy for consecutive years and it is not Apple.  
    edited July 11
  • Reply 18 of 22
    SpamSandwichSpamSandwich Posts: 31,190member
    eriamjh said:
    There is no Apple car.  
    (Waves hands a la Obi-Wan Kenobi.)
    FileMakerFellerapplesnorangesLordeHawk
  • Reply 19 of 22
    StrangeDaysStrangeDays Posts: 7,979member
    For a company seeking to be known as "green", Apple sure is getting into the comparitively energy wasting wireless charging thing pretty heavily.
    How so? Because iPhones support optional wireless charging? Cry me a river. If I don’t watch TV at night I’m sure I’ve recouped any energy loss incurred from a wireless charger. 

    What do you do that wastes energy? C’mon there must be something. What’s your thermostat set to?
  • Reply 20 of 22
    StrangeDaysStrangeDays Posts: 7,979member

    gatorguy said:
    For a company seeking to be known as "green", Apple sure is getting into the comparitively energy wasting wireless charging thing pretty heavily.

     Depends where the energy comes from. I remember years back reading that Apple has a large reservoir of green energy collected by solar.

    As far as i know only one of the huge US techs has so far achieved 100% sourcing of renewable energy for consecutive years and it is not Apple.  
    O rly?

    https://www.apple.com/newsroom/2018/04/apple-now-globally-powered-by-100-percent-renewable-energy/

    https://www.popularmechanics.com/science/energy/a19746117/apple-100-percent-renewable-energy/
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