What you need to know
- Apple has a new patent for infrared car headlights.
- Infrared lights could give cars three times the visibility of a human driver.
Apple Car could offer me infrared headlights if a new patent is any indication. The patent, newly granted to Apple, describes new headlights that could allow a self-driving car to see up to three times farther than a traditional car with a human driver behind the wheel.
Spotted by Patently Apple, the new patent would increase the standard 180ft viewing distance of existing headlights to as much as 600ft. All thanks to the use of a near-infrared sensor.
The law currently prevents headlights from being too powerful to protect the safety of oncoming traffic. But that only applies to visible light, a limitation that wouldn't apply to an infrared solution.
As ever though, it's important to remember that Apple patents a lot of things and many of those patents disappear into the wind. Others do result in products however and anything is possible as far as Apple Car and Project Titan are concerned.
We're still a number of years away from Apple Car shipping, if it ever does. Until then we can get the closest thing to a real Apple Car by picking up a CarPlay-enabled audio receiver for our existing cars instead!
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Oliver Haslam has written about Apple and the wider technology business for more than a decade with bylines on How-To Geek, PC Mag, iDownloadBlog, and many more. He has also been published in print for Macworld, including cover stories. At iMore, Oliver is involved in daily news coverage and, not being short of opinions, has been known to 'explain' those thoughts in more detail, too.
Having grown up using PCs and spending far too much money on graphics card and flashy RAM, Oliver switched to the Mac with a G5 iMac and hasn't looked back. Since then he's seen the growth of the smartphone world, backed by iPhone, and new product categories come and go. Current expertise includes iOS, macOS, streaming services, and pretty much anything that has a battery or plugs into a wall. Oliver also covers mobile gaming for iMore, with Apple Arcade a particular focus. He's been gaming since the Atari 2600 days and still struggles to comprehend the fact he can play console quality titles on his pocket computer.