For years, there have been rumblings that Apple’s triumphant entrance into the automotive business was all but imminent, and we would soon be driving iCars. But that hasn’t happened. Apple is still very much a phone, tablet, and a (perhaps reluctant) computer manufacturer.
But maybe that’s all about to change, as Apple has been awarded its first vehicle-related patent.
This one is a little bit strange. It was actually assigned from another company – namely the Swedish subsidiary of BAE Systems. Even stranger, it’s actually a method for connecting two halves of an articulated vehicle, like those ‘bendy buses’ you see everywhere in London.
Here’s how the invention is described in the patent document.
The present invention relates to a steering device comprising a steering member for mutually steering a first vehicle unit and a second vehicle unit of an articulated vehicle which comprises a link mechanism for mutually pivoting said vehicle units, a housing configuration arranged to form a supply space between said vehicle units and a removal mechanism arranged in the supply space, wherein the removal mechanism comprises a heating device arranged to heat air intended to stream through the housing configuration. The invention also relates to an articulated vehicle with a steering member.
Holy run-on sentence, Batman.
Apple’s reasoning for buying this patent is not yet clear. 9to5Mac postulates that Apple could be aiming for an Uber-style mass transit system, but that’s just speculation.
You got any idea what Apple is working on? Drop me a comment below and let me know.
Update: The patent assigned to Apple was in fact a typographical error made by the law firm handling the submission for BAE Systems. A Request for Certificate of Correction has been filed by the firm to fix this, which reads as follows:
Upon reviewing the above-identified patent, Patentee noted a typographical error which should be corrected. Applicant erroneously listed the wrong Assignee on the Issue Fee Transmittal filed July 7, 2016. The assignment, noting the proper Assignee BAE SYSTMS HÄGGLUNDS AKTIEBOLAG, was submitted for recordation as set forth in 37 CFR 3.11 before issuance of the patent.
The error now sought to be corrected is inadvertent and of typographical nature, the correction of which does not constitute new matter or require reexamination.
We’ve reached out to all parties.