A sneak peek of some of the technology we expect to see in the Apple Car provides a way to find a lost phone in the car, through sensors in the vehicle. You’re driving and while taking a corner a little fast, your phone slips out of the central tray and into the footwell. But before you can reach down and grab it, it slips under the seat.
It’s easy for phones to get lost in the car – whether you’re a driver or passenger – as there are so many nooks and crannies for it to fall into. Apple’s new patent includes sensors in the vehicle that can triangulate the exact position of the missing device, much as a GPS does on a bigger scale. It would also employ the iPhone’s own sensors and even have the device vibrate or emit a sound.
A second diagram shows how the system could also use internal cameras to scan the car for unusual objects in the car, as the first step to finding a lost phone. It could even track the movement of the device if it then moves around.
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While this is a handy solution for private vehicles, the concept has even more potential for hired transport such as taxis or Ubers. The system would be able to send alerts when a phone is left in the vehicle and allow them to retrieve it before the car drives off.
According to Apple Insider (opens in new tab), The system may also have its uses on mass transit, such as trains or planes, to ensure people are sat in their correct seats. The system could also work in the opposite direction, allowing iPhones inside the vehicle to operate windows or heating controls.
Though it’s too early to know for sure if this technology will work its way into an Apple product, it shows some of the potentials in combining mobile and automotive technology. Whether we see an Apple Car or Apple automation inside another vehicle, it has the potential to make some huge changes to the way we drive.