May 18, 2022

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Half the Automotive

Apple Just Patented… A Car Sunroof?

If Apple ever does make a car, it might come with a super-cool sunroof that has an adjustable window tint making it usable as a moonroof as well.

Apple just patented, of all things, a new type of sunroof for a car. As odd as this might sound, it isn’t the first Apple patent relating to automotive hardware and software. Apple actually has over 1,500 patent applications that mention an automobile. While the company refuses to comment on any unreleased products, it is well-known that Apple is investing a large amount of time and resources in developing an Apple-branded vehicle. This recent patent document might provide a glimpse at what to expect if an Apple Car ever comes to market.

Apple develops CarPlay, an interface that lets a car’s infotainment system control an iPhone for easy access to iOS apps such as Apple Music, Apple Maps, Podcasts, and more. The larger, securely mounted screens that are built into a car are much safer than fumbling with an iPhone in an automobile. Leaks and rumors over the course of many years suggest that the company is interested in more than just software for cars, going so far as to potentially manufacture an Apple-branded vehicle of its own. All sources agree that this would be an electric car with autonomous driving capability.

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If the Apple Car is ever announced it might feature a super cool, sliding sunroof with a variable tint. Apple was recently granted a patent that describes such a roof. The sliding feature isn’t really that unique, simply a panel that opens to provide an open-air driving experience. However, Apple explains that the sunroof could be an integral part of the rear window, suggesting a larger than a standard sunroof. Most unusual of all, the adjustable tinting capability, which Apple describes as variable translucency.

Apple Car’s Sun And Moonroof


Apple Car Cartoon Concept

The trouble with a sunroof is that sometimes the driver doesn’t want the sun pouring in, particularly with the world heating up each year. Apple’s sunroof patent details an adjustable tinting system that can allow as much as 90-percent of light through, or block light from outside the car entirely. That means Apple’s sunroof could also be used as a moonroof, letting in the subtle and silvery tones of moonlight in the evening as well as taming the powerful rays of the Sun during the day.


Everything is, of course, computer-controlled and the same variable translucency might be applied to the front, side, and rear windows as well, providing ultimate control of how bright it gets inside while limiting distracting glare. Apple’s patent also details seals to keep water out and structures to minimize wind noise, two common complaints with existing vehicle sunroofs. Apple’s car sunroof patent is well documented yet concise, covering all of these concerns in just fifteen pages.

Next: Apple Car Patent Reveals External Warning System When Self-Driving

Source: USPTO

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