Apple was awarded a patent for a light-based device to detect and warning of other vehicles that are too close, according to an Apple Insider article.
On Oct. 30, 2018, from the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office granted Apple U.S. patent # 10,112,528 B1 for an “Exterior Lighting and Warning System.” The system employs lighting to warn and provide information from a car’s exterior.
According to the patent, the vehicle lighting system incorporates control circuitry, one or more sensors, and a light-based device. The sensor detects the distance in between cars. If it finds a car is getting too close, the light-based device will show information accordingly. For example, the system could give the following drivers the suggested distance to brake.
Apple also Plans to Develop Reflector System
In addition to the lighting function, Apple intends to develop a reflector system surrounding the car with embedded light emitters to indicate more information for other drivers.
The light source could be LEDs or other light-based technology including backlight guides, OLEDs, and LCD display panels, or light modulators using liquid crystals.
Furthermore, the lit-up areas could be in multiple colors to show practical information such as text, symbols, numbers, and other patterns. The function of sending messages is also possible with the system.
Apple was granted another patent (U.S. patent # 10,053,001 B1) in August for a “System and method for visual communication of an operational state” which explains a similar role with external displays on automobiles.