Apple Car's Siri could choose destinations, then ask user where to park

Posted:
in Future Apple Hardware
Apple is investigating how an Apple Car could interpret voice commands with an outgrowth of Siri technology, automatically decide where best to drive the user in response, and then ask for more details about where to park.




You've already lost the ability to remember the street names on your routes, you're so used to Apple Maps just saying when you have to turn left or right. Now it looks as if Apple wants to save you thinking about driving routes, and even destinations, at all.

"Guidance Of Autonomous Vehicles In Destination Vicinities Using Intent Signals," is a newly-revealed patent application concerning the use of autonomous driving in an "Apple Car." In particular, it's about the user interface and how a driver or passenger could control the car's route when there may not be any steering wheel or brakes.

"Given the multiplicity of choices that are typically available with respect to vehicle trajectories in real-world environments," says the patent, "occupant input or guidance with regard to selecting vehicle trajectories (without requiring traditional steering, braking, accelerating and the like) may be extremely valuable to the motion control components of such vehicles."

"However, providing interfaces for such guidance which are intuitive and easy to use, especially within environments such as parking lots for which detailed and/or accurate mapping data may not be available, may present a non-trivial challenge," it continues.

Apple's patent application repeatedly refers to both an "authorized individual" -- which need not be the driver -- and to "intent signals." An intent signal is not a turn indicator used to tell other drivers about an intention to turn, it's any method of conveying to the car what the user wants.

"For example," continues Apple, "if the individual states 'I'd like to buy some plants for my garden' in the vicinity of a large retail store, the navigation manager may determine that the vehicle should preferably be parked near an entrance marked 'gardening' or 'gardening supplies.'"

In that case, the car hasn't just determined the best spot to park, it has first interpreted the user's statement and decided to drive to that nearby "large retail store."

Alternatively, says the patent application, there could be a drop-down menu, on which the user "may first indicate the equivalent of 'let's go to the large retail store'." Then there could be subsequent levels of the menu, letting the user "select from among the options 'Park near the main entrance,' 'Part near the gardening entrance'..."

Or rather than having the user tap on touchscreen menus, the car could simply talk to the user.

"[In] response to detecting that the vicinity of the destination has been reached, the navigation manager may request input from the authorized individual," continues Apple, "e.g., by causing a voice signal similar to 'We are nearing the store. Shall I park near the main entrance?' to be generated."

As well as voice commands, a user could tap on a parking space to tell the car to drive there
As well as voice commands, a user could tap on a parking space to tell the car to drive there


Given that you couldn't be bothered to specify which store, given that you aren't driving, and given that you may be engrossed in Apple TV+, the car needn't wait for you.

"Default criteria may be used to select a stopping point if the individual fails to provide timely input in some embodiments," says the patent application.

There's nothing in this patent application about how an "authorized individual" is identified. So there could be some backseat driving going on, even in an "Apple Car."

Equally, there's no mention in this proposal about privacy, or about how the car determines the best place to drive to. At least because it will be using Apple Maps, you know the criteria is going to be something to do with proximity, not whether the store paid Apple anything.

This patent application is credited to six inventors. They include Scott M. Herz, and Karlin Y. Bark, whose previous work together includes a related patent to do with a heads-up navigation display projected onto a car windshield.

Read on AppleInsider

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 12
    crowleycrowley Posts: 10,143member
    Siri can’t even find music in my library, I have zero confidence in it being able to do this.
    muthuk_vanalingamdarkvaderelijahgAlex1NCluntBaby92davgreg
  • Reply 2 of 12
    darkvaderdarkvader Posts: 841member
    The Apple car is a fantasy.  It's not going to happen any time in the next decade, and probably not ever.
    elijahgDAalsethdavgreg
  • Reply 3 of 12
    dewmedewme Posts: 4,241member
    Siri versus Alexa parking space rage here we come.
    Alex1Nravnorodom
  • Reply 4 of 12
    elijahgelijahg Posts: 2,593member
    crowley said:
    Siri can’t even find music in my library, I have zero confidence in it being able to do this.
    I have as much confidence as you. Every time I ask Siri to take me to a particular city a few hours away, it tries to take me to one on the other side of the world. Then complains that it can't get directions to there, completely ignoring the city with the same name 12,000 miles closer. It's embarrassing. 
    Alex1Nravnorodomdavgreg
  • Reply 5 of 12
    ravnorodomravnorodom Posts: 496member
    Apple needs to test on a real car or their own car. Those heavy duty equipments mounted on third party car is unrealistic.
  • Reply 6 of 12
    DAalsethDAalseth Posts: 2,035member
    darkvader said:
    The Apple car is a fantasy.  It's not going to happen any time in the next decade, and probably not ever.
    I’m coming to the same conclusion. It’s someone’s vanity project that nobody has the courage to end. 
    elijahgravnorodom
  • Reply 7 of 12
    mpantonempantone Posts: 1,794member
    My guess is that Apple will need to acquire new voice inquiry/navigation logic company(ies) to make Apple Car a reality. It is clear not that their stewardship and development of Siri has been less than stellar since Apple acquired them.

    I don't think that's necessarily a bad thing but the first thing Apple needs to do is to acknowledge that they have failed to take Siri to where it needs to be as a digital assistant in 2022. In order to rebuild, you first need to admit defeat. Tech isn't like a professional sports league where teams are officially and quantitatively ranked by their recent performance.

    All we've seen from "Apple Car" is a revolving door of senior executives. If they had noteworthy breakthroughs in AI auto navigation people in Cupertino/Sunnyvale/Mountain View/Los Altos would be aware of prototype unmarked Apple vehicles deftly navigating through city streets because the California DMV isn't going to green light anyone without seeing some proof.

    By contrast, vehicles from ongoing Google/Waymo/Alphabet efforts have been on these streets for years.

    It's probable that Apple's senior management team has little vision on where the AI should head which is why this technology has stagnated at Apple for years. It's not like you think of an idea and bring it to market six months later. Apple has been working of "Apple Car" for years and has nearly zero to show for it. 
    edited May 6 elijahg
  • Reply 8 of 12
    davgregdavgreg Posts: 951member
    Siri needs to get much better, it cannot often find the right songs in my music library.

    And as was said above, the Apple Car is not going to happen. I can see Apple developing a platform for UI and data (telematics) but Apple missed the boat on BEVs. Tesla is rolling and ramping up fast and companies like VW (which includes Audi and Porsche among others) and Ford are running flat out to transition quickly to a BEV future. Hyundai/Kia seem to be getting with the program as well.

    There are also Chinese car companies that are likely to be selling in the US and Europe shortly like BYD. 
    elijahg
  • Reply 9 of 12
    davgregdavgreg Posts: 951member

    Apple missed the window on BEVs.

    The hard part of BEVs apparently is not designing one but making them and developing the supply networks. Many legacy auto suppliers simply are not competent in the electronics and SW necessary and those that are have committed to existing players.

    Ford has essentially divided the company into an EV side and the conventional side and is spending major $ to build all new plants instead of converting existing ones. VW has also recently started down this path.
    elijahg
  • Reply 10 of 12
    MacProMacPro Posts: 19,483member
    The iPhone version of Siri may be reasonable but, I use the Home Pods and Home Pod mini a lot and they are borderline useless. "Sorry, I can't do that" is their favorite refrain." With two iPhones, three iPads, and five Macs on the same LAN, I am not sure why they can't share resources.  

    As to Siri in Car Play, there are times I want to throw it/her out of the window.  Major Interstate intersection, need to concentrate, "Hey, Siri stop the music",  Navigation stops, and music keeps playing. ..aggghhh"

    On the topic of Car Play is it just me...?  I can have it working perfectly.  Long journey, Maine to Florida.  Stop for gas and a coffee.  Get back in the car and Car Play refuses to work.  This with an iPhone 13 Max Pro in a new Jaguar.  I can pull over switch off the engine, and open and shut doors.  Unplug the iPhone and start over.  Nothing!  Drive thirty miles, , after stopping and restarting everything works again.  I've swapped cables, and I've cleaned the lighting and USB ports.
    muthuk_vanalingam
  • Reply 11 of 12
    1348513485 Posts: 228member
    davgreg said:
    Siri needs to get much better, it cannot often find the right songs in my music library.

    And as was said above, the Apple Car is not going to happen. I can see Apple developing a platform for UI and data (telematics) but Apple missed the boat on BEVs. Tesla is rolling and ramping up fast and companies like VW (which includes Audi and Porsche among others) and Ford are running flat out to transition quickly to a BEV future. Hyundai/Kia seem to be getting with the program as well.

    There are also Chinese car companies that are likely to be selling in the US and Europe shortly like BYD. 
    Riiight. Because people will only buy one vehicle for the rest of their lives, and Tesla is out right now, so that's the end of the story for Apple. Konigsegg cannot possibly exist because they just built a new facility and are making vehicles. And the Chinese car companies cannot possibly work because they just built new ground up facilities with no prior, legacy experience. Tesla itself can't possibly exist because they were a hundred years too late behind Ford, Chevrolet, Dodge, etc. Surely you see how wrong your post is. 
  • Reply 12 of 12
    charlesncharlesn Posts: 278member
    For a company founded on the ease of user experience and computing "for the rest of us," it's baffling that Apple has allowed rivals Amazon and Google to leave Siri at the back of the class when it comes to voice assistant capability. The predicted abilities for Siri in this article are hilarious considering Siri isn't even capable of a decent weather report. True story: when heavy snow was forecast one evening, I asked Siri: "How much snow is expected tonight?" Siri's reply: "It may snow tonight." Thinking I needed more specific language, I repeated the question: "Siri, how many inches of snow are expected tonight?" Siri: "It may snow tonight." Yes, Siri, I already f**king know that it WILL snow tonight! Then I repeated the question to an Alexa device and got an instant, accurate answer. 
    edited May 12 muthuk_vanalingamelijahg
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