Apple Car could borrow TrueTone tech to balance internal lighting

Posted:
in Future Apple Hardware edited November 2019
An Apple-produced car under 'Project Titan' could include an lighting system that keeps the light inside the vehicle as even as possible throughout a journey, such as changes by cloud movements and traveling through a tunnel, by borrowing the core concept of the iPad Pro's TrueTone technology.

A self-driving Lexus fitted with an early Apple testbed, though to be part of 'Project Titan'
A self-driving Lexus fitted with an early Apple testbed, though to be part of 'Project Titan'


In situations where a person is indoors near large windows, or in a vehicle surrounded by windows, their immediate surroundings are usually bathed in natural light from the sun during the daytime. While this may be preferable to using artificially-generated light most of the time, there are external factors that could change how the light appears.

Aside from the passage of time where the sun rises and sets, the movement of clouds in the sky can shade the sun, dimming light temporarily. For vehicles, a more extreme version is endured when passing through tunnels or going past buildings and other structures that can block the passage of light.

In both cases, the changes in light viewed by a person can be unwanted. While this can be mitigated to a degree using internal lighting, lamps typically do not alter what they output, so changes in overall lighting are still felt.

In a patent granted by the US Patent and Trademark Office on Tuesday for "Adjustable lighting systems," Apple intends to solve the problem using ideas borrowed from TrueTone, a system used by Apple to keep the display of the iPad Pro and other products have the same appearance to the user despite changes in environmental lighting.

In the filing, Apple suggests the use of internal sensors within an Apple car's enclosure to sense an internal light condition and generate a signal based on that status. It is suggested this could be a camera which collects data from an image, comparing what it receives against known values for the image to determine differences in lighting.

This data is then fed to a lighting controller and control components to adjust the lighting, in a bid to bring the data gleamed from the camera sensor closer to the preconfigured values.

An illustration of a system to monitor and adjust interior lighting based on exterior light changes
An illustration of a system to monitor and adjust interior lighting based on exterior light changes


It is further suggested the lighting controller and control components could be part of an edge-lit panel, which could form part of a window assembly and allow the external light to pass through the panel. The edge-lit panel can provide additional light based on the same system, with internal sensors controlling the amount of light generated by the panel to augment the external light source.

This is somewhat similar in concept to TrueTone, where sensors detect the color and intensity of light in the environment near the display. Using the data from the sensors, the TrueTone system then adjusts the colors of the display relative to the environmental light so that, to the user, the display is showing the same image regardless of environment. TrueTone is intended to prevent the effect for non-changing displays where screens can appear warmer or cooler with changes in the environment.

Apple files numerous patent applications on a weekly basis, but while the existence of a patent advises areas of interest for the company's research and development efforts, it doesn't guarantee it will be used in a future product or service.

Project Titan progress

While the patent filing does not mention or illustrate vehicles at all, it appears the patent is intended for use with an Apple-designed car, rather than in a home as described. A search for details of its co-inventors brings up many elements directly relating to vehicle design and systems, which strongly suggests this too can be applied in that field.

Credited to the patent is Budhadipta Dan, whose LinkedIn reveals he is an engineering program manager for Apple's Special Projects Group. He is also shown to have experience with "robotics, autonomous systems," and other related fields that would assist in self-driving vehicle development, previously reported on as part of Apple's "Project Titan" effort.

Another inventor, Clarisse Mazuir, is named on a patent for a "Solar invariant imaging system for object detection," again useful for self-driving vehicle systems. David E Kingman also appears on a patent for "Extendable bumpers for vehicles."

"Project Titan" was initially thought to be about designing an Apple-branded car, but it is believed Apple has pivoted the effort towards autonomous vehicles. Apple operates a fleet of vehicles as part of its development of self-driving systems, which could be potentially incorporated into its own vehicle or in one developed in partnership with an established automaker.

Despite being seemingly more about self-driving systems based on publicly-available evidence, Apple is still looking into redesigning different elements of the car, at least based on patent filings. Such design ideas include light-up car seats, car hinges with force feedback, wide-opening doors, and ways to limit motion sickness.

Other movements also hint at Apple making a bigger push in its automotive efforts, including the reported hiring of former Tesla engineering VP Steve MacManus in July. In May, it was claimed Apple was constructing large drive rooms for continued testing and development of advanced battery technology, which could be used in electric vehicles.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 25
    I will be stunned if this car makes it out before 2025.
    Above_The_Godscornchip
  • Reply 2 of 25
    apple ][apple ][ Posts: 9,233member
    We've been hearing rumors about this alleged Apple car for years now.

    This will probably be the most anticipated and talked about Apple announcement ever on the day that they finally confirm and announce the Apple Car, if there is indeed an Apple Car that they will be going ahead with.

    I doubt that it's going to happen anytime soon, it's still years away probably, so I'm not exactly holding my breath. 

    edited November 2019
  • Reply 3 of 25
    spice-boyspice-boy Posts: 1,450member
    Only egotistical rich tech guys think their software surpasses the human brain in all situations. They are risking our lives as beta testers on roads and crosswalks. 
    macplusplus
  • Reply 4 of 25
    melgrossmelgross Posts: 33,323member
    With all of the talk about Apple abandoning its own car, in favor of selling control systems to other manufacturers, the more I see of what they’re doing, the more it appears that they slowed mechanical development down, but haven’t stopped it.

    it could be they realized that to do what they want, a longer development time was needed, so they shrunk their resources to match that development time. No point in rushing ahead if your mechanical design is close to being finished while everything else is lagging. Reality has it that designing a car is pretty standard practice. Apple has been hiring experts in all phases of that. But the software control systems are still a new technology. As we know, Apple doesn’t mind being late to the party, but they want to make a big entrance when they do get there.


    edited November 2019 fotoformatrazorpitcornchip
  • Reply 5 of 25
    Do you folks think Apple will really sell a full car, or will it be a package of vehicle electronics more like a massive expansion of CarPlay?  In my view, there's not much advantage to Apple to make this whole widget - there are too many aspects of it there have a bad risk-reward ratio.  I'm definitely not going to do a Palm and say "“PC guys are not going to just figure this out. They’re not going to just walk in.” The fact that younger folks would need to do a web search to find out what Palm was says enough about that.  They can figure it out.  Just - why when Apple could create a compelling electronics package that people will demand their favorite car maker adopt much as with CarPlay and collect a nice chunk of money without having to support cars? 
  • Reply 6 of 25
    apple ][apple ][ Posts: 9,233member
    spice-boy said:
    Only egotistical rich tech guys think their software surpasses the human brain in all situations. They are risking our lives as beta testers on roads and crosswalks. 
    How many human caused car crashes and deaths are there every single day?

    When a self driving car gets into an accident, it's all over the news, but when the technology is fully matured and tested, I'd probably trust that more than the average flawed human driver.

    A self driving car doesn't drive drunk or do drugs, they don't run from the cops while committing crimes, they aren't checking their phones while driving, they're not shaving while commuting to work, they don't suffer from road rage, they're not going to fall asleep at the wheel and they don't have primitive emotions that they can't control like many humans do.

    I think that the stats will show that self driving cars will have a better track record and be safer than human driven cars in the future. Nothing is perfect, but what we have now is definitely not perfect.
    edited November 2019 fastasleepStrangeDayskevin kee
  • Reply 7 of 25
    zimmiezimmie Posts: 616member
    apple ][ said:
    spice-boy said:
    Only egotistical rich tech guys think their software surpasses the human brain in all situations. They are risking our lives as beta testers on roads and crosswalks. 
    How many human caused car crashes and deaths are there every single day?

    When a self driving car gets into an accident, it's all over the news, but when the technology is fully matured and tested, I'd probably trust that more than the average flawed human driver.

    A self driving car doesn't drive drunk or do drugs, they don't run from the cops while committing crimes, they aren't checking their phones while driving, they're not shaving while commuting to work, they don't suffer from road rage, they're not going to fall asleep at the wheel and they don't have primitive emotions that they can't control like many humans do.

    I think that the stats will show that self driving cars will have a better track record and be safer than human driven cars in the future. Nothing is perfect, but what we have now is definitely not perfect.
    Funny you should mention falling asleep at the wheel. That's effectively what Uber seems to have programmed their driving software to do. Based on the public reports on the 2019-03-18 incident in which Elaine Herzberg was killed, the software changed its recognized classification of her repeatedly, and each time the classification changed, the motion estimation/prediction history was wiped. Like a drowsy driver jolting awake, then drifting off again.
    macplusplus
  • Reply 8 of 25
    apple ][ said:
    spice-boy said:
    Only egotistical rich tech guys think their software surpasses the human brain in all situations. They are risking our lives as beta testers on roads and crosswalks. 
    How many human caused car crashes and deaths are there every single day?

    When a self driving car gets into an accident, it's all over the news, but when the technology is fully matured and tested, I'd probably trust that more than the average flawed human driver.

    A self driving car doesn't drive drunk or do drugs, they don't run from the cops while committing crimes, they aren't checking their phones while driving, they're not shaving while commuting to work, they don't suffer from road rage, they're not going to fall asleep at the wheel and they don't have primitive emotions that they can't control like many humans do.

    I think that the stats will show that self driving cars will have a better track record and be safer than human driven cars in the future. Nothing is perfect, but what we have now is definitely not perfect.
    That doesn’t matter. Those who you describe don’t need driving or any car to make those self-proclaimed intelligent cars a public mess. They may just jump in front of those cars to commit insurance fraud. You need to confine those cars into separate lanes to protect them from nasty humans, requiring a complete redesign of the urban infrastructure.
    edited November 2019
  • Reply 9 of 25
    williamh said:
    Do you folks think Apple will really sell a full car, or will it be a package of vehicle electronics more like a massive expansion of CarPlay?  In my view, there's not much advantage to Apple to make this whole widget - there are too many aspects of it there have a bad risk-reward ratio.  I'm definitely not going to do a Palm and say "“PC guys are not going to just figure this out. They’re not going to just walk in.” The fact that younger folks would need to do a web search to find out what Palm was says enough about that.  They can figure it out.  Just - why when Apple could create a compelling electronics package that people will demand their favorite car maker adopt much as with CarPlay and collect a nice chunk of money without having to support cars? 
    Automated rideshare/transit. How would other carmakers "adopt" all this stuff, why would Apple want them to? Apple would clearly want to own the entire stack.
    razorpitStrangeDays
  • Reply 10 of 25

    spice-boy said:
    Only egotistical rich tech guys think their software surpasses the human brain in all situations. They are risking our lives as beta testers on roads and crosswalks. 
    Good. Someone needs to put a stop the tens of thousands of deaths on the roads every year. It'll get here eventually, and probably sooner than you think.
    StrangeDays
  • Reply 11 of 25
    razorpitrazorpit Posts: 1,796member
    AB101 said:
    I will be stunned if this car makes it out before 2025.
    Or costs less than $200k.
  • Reply 12 of 25
    melgrossmelgross Posts: 33,323member
    williamh said:
    Do you folks think Apple will really sell a full car, or will it be a package of vehicle electronics more like a massive expansion of CarPlay?  In my view, there's not much advantage to Apple to make this whole widget - there are too many aspects of it there have a bad risk-reward ratio.  I'm definitely not going to do a Palm and say "“PC guys are not going to just figure this out. They’re not going to just walk in.” The fact that younger folks would need to do a web search to find out what Palm was says enough about that.  They can figure it out.  Just - why when Apple could create a compelling electronics package that people will demand their favorite car maker adopt much as with CarPlay and collect a nice chunk of money without having to support cars? 
    I’m not sure what response Apple, or Google, would get from the automotive industry if they tried to sell software packages, and possibly sensor packages to go along with it. I tend to think the reception would be poor. I don’t see these a large companies wanting to use standardized packages from a tech company, and give away ant differention they would gave otherwise. It’s one thing using a car control OS from a small player such as blackberry, and using one from Apple or Alphabet. Blackberry doesn’t gave extensive interest in complex ecological systems, which the two As do. It would mean buying into with Apple or alphabet’s maps, music and other systems tightly, not allowing them to move on their own.

    so as I see it, Apple needs to move on its own vehicles.
    cornchip
  • Reply 13 of 25
    melgrossmelgross Posts: 33,323member

    razorpit said:
    AB101 said:
    I will be stunned if this car makes it out before 2025.
    Or costs less than $200k.
    That’s a joke, right? If Apple does this, pricing would on the order of everyone else.
  • Reply 14 of 25
    spice-boy said:
    Only egotistical rich tech guys think their software surpasses the human brain in all situations. They are risking our lives as beta testers on roads and crosswalks. 
    Can you quote a single rich tech guy who thinks software surpasses the human brain in all situations? Just one, please. 

    Next, can you provide actual statistics on pedestrian fatalities due to automated vehicles, vs pedestrian fatalities due to human drivers? I'm aware of one case of a human pedestrian fatalities, but cannot count the number of human-driver hit & runs and what not.

    Or, just continue to spout unsubstantiated emotional appeals disconnected from reality. Shrug.
    fastasleep
  • Reply 15 of 25
    SoliSoli Posts: 10,033member
    spice-boy said:
    Only egotistical rich tech guys think their software surpasses the human brain in all situations. They are risking our lives as beta testers on roads and crosswalks. 
    You are so right. Let's remove all the airbags, antilock breaks, and countless other ways automation and safety have been creeping into our automobiles through technology. The even notion of an "auto"-mobile makes me pee myself in fear. Do you know how many automobile accidents there were before its invention? Zero!
    StrangeDaysfastasleep
  • Reply 16 of 25
    razorpitrazorpit Posts: 1,796member
    melgross said:

    razorpit said:
    AB101 said:
    I will be stunned if this car makes it out before 2025.
    Or costs less than $200k.
    That’s a joke, right? If Apple does this, pricing would on the order of everyone else.
    That's a joke right? How do you know this as fact?
  • Reply 17 of 25
    Rayz2016Rayz2016 Posts: 6,957member
    spice-boy said:
    Only egotistical rich tech guys think their software surpasses the human brain in all situations. They are risking our lives as beta testers on roads and crosswalks. 
    Can you quote a single rich tech guy who thinks software surpasses the human brain in all situations? Just one, please. 

    Next, can you provide actual statistics on pedestrian fatalities due to automated vehicles, vs pedestrian fatalities due to human drivers? I'm aware of one case of a human pedestrian fatalities, but cannot count the number of human-driver hit & runs and what not.

    Or, just continue to spout unsubstantiated emotional appeals disconnected from reality. Shrug.
    Eventually,  computers will make safer drivers because while they're driving they're not worrying about everything else that has nothing to do with driving.

    https://www.engadget.com/2016/12/28/tesla-autopilot-predicts-crash/

  • Reply 18 of 25
    All these manufactures have their own systems.

    Who is going to buy Apples own system?

    Its not quite the same as Apple Car Play.
    cornchip
  • Reply 19 of 25
    melgrossmelgross Posts: 33,323member
    spice-boy said:
    Only egotistical rich tech guys think their software surpasses the human brain in all situations. They are risking our lives as beta testers on roads and crosswalks. 
    Can you quote a single rich tech guy who thinks software surpasses the human brain in all situations? Just one, please. 

    Next, can you provide actual statistics on pedestrian fatalities due to automated vehicles, vs pedestrian fatalities due to human drivers? I'm aware of one case of a human pedestrian fatalities, but cannot count the number of human-driver hit & runs and what not.

    Or, just continue to spout unsubstantiated emotional appeals disconnected from reality. Shrug.
    Of course, right now, except for autonomous cars that are in the testing phase, in cities, that drive at 25 miles per hour, with trained safety drivers, or engineers, often both, the cars we see on the road aren’t in complex traffic situations, driving on their own. Highway driving is far simpler than city driving.
  • Reply 20 of 25
    melgrossmelgross Posts: 33,323member

    razorpit said:
    melgross said:

    razorpit said:
    AB101 said:
    I will be stunned if this car makes it out before 2025.
    Or costs less than $200k.
    That’s a joke, right? If Apple does this, pricing would on the order of everyone else.
    That's a joke right? How do you know this as fact?
    Don’t play dumb. Or maybe that’s difficult. We get enough trolls here already.
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