A new Apple patent filing made public today by the US Patent & Trademark Office (USPTO) has revealed an advanced self-driving vehicle driving system from the Cupertino tech giant, that can recognize intent signals from authorized drivers for controlling the motion of autonomous vehicles, PatentlyApple is reporting.
The filing details various embodiments of methods and apparatus for guidance of autonomous or semi-autonomous vehicles in destination vicinities using intent signals. In one example, a parking lot is shown within which navigation decisions may be made by components of an autonomous vehicle based on intent signals.
Apple notes that the signals may be used to determine a path, corresponding to an intent or goal of the individual, towards a particular vehicle stopping point in the vicinity of the destination.
At least some of the signals may be obtained via a sensor that is mechanically decoupled from steering subsystems of the vehicle–so, for example, if the vehicle comprises a steering wheel or an analogous steering component, such signals may be detected using sensor devices which are not physically attached to or part of the steering wheel or steering component.
Apple further notes that in some embodiments, the signals may comprise a voice command indicating a landmark or sign which may be visible from the vehicle, such as the equivalent of “Park near the gardening supplies entrance” or “Park near the cafeteria entrance”.
The patent application was originally filed by Apple in Q4 2017.