Since 2000, Apple has filed 248 patents for its mysterious Apple Car

Will the Apple Car -ex-Project Titan- see the light of day? According to a survey conducted by Nikkei Asia and a Japanese analysis firm, the adventure is not new. The two have indeed engaged in a tedious exercise, that of consulting the registers of the USPTO and other intellectual property organizations. In total, Apple filed 248 patents since the year 2000 (more than twenty years!) concerning “autonomous driving software, vehicles (electric or not) as well as infrastructure, driving comfort (seats or suspension for example), windshields, interface…”.

The firm would have reached a peak in 2017, before a temporary decrease. Patent applications related to Apple’s vehicles began to gain momentum in 2008, the year after the release of the first iPhone. Apple has sought to focus on connectivity between iPhone and cars. (…) But in 2016, patent applications filed by Apple – which had been less than 10 per year until the mid-2010s – began to increase, totaling 44 per year, up sharply from 2015 (only seven). And in 2017, the company filed a record 66 applications, including those related to autonomous driving. For 2021, if all filed applications are published by the USPTO, Apple would return to its 2017 level.

Officially, Project Titan started around 2014. But, according to The InformationTim Cook only watched him from a distance, an attitude that would have harmed the program: without strong leadership, it would not have been clearly defined to develop harmoniously, in a highly competitive segment. Unlike Google, which has a branch specializing in self-driving technology, Apple files patent applications to develop its own vehicle. Added to this a desire for excellence, Cupertino’s desire to want reinvent the car, caused the initiative to take a lot of delay.

Finally, the Japanese raise a final sensitive point that no one will contradict: Apple has no experience in car manufacturing.. According to them, outsourcing production requires more parts and much more stringent levels of security, and is not on the same level as smartphones.

Leave a Comment