Apple is known for creating intriguing smartphone features but the company is coming into uncharted territory. Apple has filed an interesting new patent for autonomous vehicles features called “Peloton“.
The patent filing revealed how Apple is working on a design that would allow multiple self-driving cars to share battery capacity through “connector arm“. These can also dynamically change position, boost efficiency among other things.
Apple filed this patent with the US Patent and Trademark Office. “Peloton” refers to the primary group of riders, this patent mentions advanced technology to allow autonomous vehicles to travel faster.
Apple is testing this with two cars but looking at the patent it seems multiple cars can be linked together for better aerodynamics.
“A vehicle configured to be autonomously navigated in a peloton along a roadway, wherein the peloton comprises at least the vehicle at least one additional vehicle, is configured to determine a position of the vehicle in the peloton which reduces differences in relative driving ranges among the vehicles included in the Peloton.”
“The vehicles can dynamically adjust peloton positions while navigating to reduce driving range differences among the vehicles. The vehicle can include a power management system which enables the vehicle to be electrically coupled to a battery included in another vehicle in the peloton, so that driving range differences between the vehicles can be reduced via load sharing via the electrical connection. The vehicle can include a power connector arm which extends a power connector to couple with an interface of another vehicle.”
The aforementioned arm is going to connect the internal batteries of the vehicles. The aim here is to share energy between multiple vehicles and balance driving range.
The arm is extended from a retracted position when required. The system would analyze the driving ranges to calculate the organization of the “peloton“.
The idea sounds promising but keep in mind that Apple files many patents throughout the year and only a few of them actually materialize.