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As World Awaits Apple Car, Tech Giant's First Vehicle Patent Is For...A Tank?

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【Summary】Whether the Apple Car will be electric, autonomous or sport features that are as yet undreamed of is a question for another day. For now, it’s a pretty safe bet the company isn’t designing a tank (or a bus).

Elena    Aug 09, 2016 4:35 PM PT
As World Awaits Apple Car, Tech Giant's First Vehicle Patent Is For...A Tank?
Alan Ohnsman

Amid speculation, anonymous tips and cryptic, noncommittal comments from Apple CEO Tim Cook about plans to eventually enter the automotive business, the company has received what may be its first vehicle-related patent. 


And it's not for a sleek, 21st century re-imagining of the automobile.


Instead, judging by images for U.S. Patent 9,409,599, the tech giant is toying with something of a mashup: an articulated bus (the kind used in some cities with two coaches connected with what look like accordion bellows) or truck riding on tank treads instead wheels. The patent awarded on Aug. 9 is for a "steering device for an articulated vehicle," and was reported earlier by the blog Patently Apple.

Apple's patent for a

Illustration of a "steering device for an articulated vehicle."

The Cupertino, California-based company filed for the patent in July 2015, according to the U.S. Patent Office website, and is described in the abstract as follows:


"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."


An Apple spokesman didn't immediately respond to an e-mail seeking additional details.


Needless to say, this is not the vehicle that legions of Apple fans will be trading their Teslas in for, and nothing like the fanciful designs populating Apple-themed sites. What it does show is that after presumably adding hundreds of people — over a thousand according to Tesla CEO Elon Musk — dedicated to a vehicle program and, according to the Wall Street Journal, tapping Apple veteran Bob Mansfield to lead the effort, Apple is starting to crank out unique engineering and development work.


Whether the Apple Car will be electric, autonomous or sport features that are as yet undreamed of is a question for another day. For now, it's a pretty safe bet the company isn't designing a tank (or a bus).

resource from: Forbes

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