Sure we all want our Apple Car, but sometime you have to take a bus or train. Apple has your back.
On March 15, 2016 Apple was awarded patent 9,285,231 which is entitled “Providing transit information.”
The patent uses crowdsourcing of wireless devices such as iPhones to determine the movements of a mass transit transportation vehicles.
The abstract indicates the patent is for:
“Methods, systems, and computer program products for determining transit routes through crowd-sourcing, for determining an estimated time of arrival (ETA) of a vehicle of the transit route at a given location, and for providing predictive reminders to a user for catching a vehicle of the transit route.”
Apple has the advantage of being in the pockets of more than twenty five percent of Americans. As such, for any given public transportation route, there are likely to be several iPhones along for the ride at any given time.
The patent outlines a process where these devices will transmit their locations in real-time to a central server which would recognize the devices are traveling along a known mass transit route.
Then a passenger who is waiting for a bus or train will be able to see exactly where it is along the route in real time by receiving data from the server. Their device could even alert them it is a certain distance and time from where they are, and would over time come to know the users preferred transit routes.
One could imagine this will let your iPhone help you avoid missing your bus by sending you a ping that you are for example five minutes away from the stop and it will arrive there in three.
While this patent doesn’t specifically apply to the Apple car, it illustrates the company continues its push into the transportation industry.