An intriguing patent from Apple indicates that the technology company is still very much interested in getting involved in the automotive market.
Patently Apple recently stumbled across a patent filed by Apple two years ago, but only just published by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. The patent relates to the suspension architecture of a car and the incorporation of a steer-by-wire system.
The steering and suspension systems outlined by Apple in the patent would work best for an autonomous vehicle, and is basically a component connecting the vehicle frame and the steering wheel as well as a distinct steering knuckle which defines a steering axis for the wheel with a caster inclination angle of zero degrees.
Typically, cars have a positive caster angle, but a self-driving vehicle doesn’t need to provide any type of steering feel to a driver, so the caster angle sits at zero. The use of a suspension like the one shown by Apple in the patent could also result in reduced tire wear and better directional stability. >
It’s all rather interesting but it’s hard to say if Apple will bring such a system to the market as, in the two years since this patent was first filed, a lot is thought to have happened with the company’s Project Titan autonomous vehicle group.
Apple dismissed more than 200 employees involved in Project Titan.