The US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) has today published the very first Apple patent related to autonomous vehicle technology, detailing the development and evaluation of an autonomous navigation route characterization, which may be used by a self-driving vehicle for navigation, PatentlyApple is reporting.
Apple’s invention is aimed at providing a vehicle that can navigate a driving route autonomously. The vehicle includes sensor devices which monitor characteristics of the driving route based on the vehicle being navigated along the driving route.
Some embodiments provide an apparatus which includes an autonomous navigation system configured to be installed in a vehicle and selectively enable autonomous navigation of the vehicle along a driving route.
The autonomous navigation system can include a route evaluation module configured to enable user-initiated autonomous navigation of the driving route by the vehicle, based on a determination that a confidence indicator associated with the characterization of the driving route exceeds a threshold confidence indication.
Other embodiments provide a method which includes performing, by one or more computer systems installed in a vehicle: receiving a set of sensor data associated with a driving route, from a set of sensors included in the vehicle, based at least in part upon the vehicle being manually navigated along the driving route, processing the set of sensor data to update a stored characterization of the driving route.
The patent application was filed by Apple in Q2 2017. For more technical details, hit up the source link.