Various patents and rumors in the past have already pointed towards Apple’s plans to make a car. A massively rethought design, enhanced ease of use, and modern connectivity features could be some of its unique selling points. Now, a new patent shows the company’s focus on passenger safety through a unique airbag system.
Apple is working on various technologies to make its car much better than solutions from other brands. While the company’s car may not be released for a few years, Apple is working on all aspects of the vehicle to make almost all of its aspects, including safety, enticing. According to a new patent, Apple’s car could have inward-facing seats and suitable airbag design.
Since the company’s car could have inward-facing seats, unlike most other vehicles, traditional airbag designs might not be suitable. Apple’s new patent titled ‘Occupant Safety Systems’ describes a way to deploy airbags that have extendable sidearms and extra cushioning when a collision is detected. The company suggests using a deployable cabin divider that slides between passengers so that they don’t collide with each other.
The patent also describes an inflatable barrier that pops out to avoid a passenger’s collision with the window. In case of a crash, a passenger is thrown forward or backward (depending on their position), and to save them from the shock, Apple suggests a safety restraint that has its own mini airbag. There’s also a mention of an airbag that is released from the ceiling.
The cabin-dividing airbags could also have built-in tethers to safely deploy it to its intended finishing position. Apart from providing safety to passengers, cabin dividers could also offer protection from loose objects like smartphones or coffee mugs that could be in the hands of a user while the collision takes place. This saves passengers from high-speed projectiles and related damages.
As Apple’s car design could have seats facing each other, there’s a possibility of heads of passengers sitting in one row of the car colliding with feet or knees of passengers seated in the other row. To save them from this form of collision, the patent suggests that seats could be moved farther from each other, increasing the distance between the passengers.
Previous Apple car patents have pointed towards features like wireless charging, autonomous vehicle communication, VR systems inside the car, keyless entry via an iPhone or an Apple Watch, remote operation via an iPhone, and more.
Looking at this patent, Apple undoubtedly has some exciting ideas. Traditional car companies have never used some of the safety mechanisms and airbag designs that are mentioned in this patent. It appears that the Cupertino-based firm will have more focus on passenger safety and ease of use than cars from rival brands. However, it is completely possible that Apple could[Source: USPTO]