Apple Car: Apple granted U.S. patent for ‘Active Suspension System’

Apple has been granted a U.S. patent (number 11,065,931) for an “active suspension system” for a vehicle, which we commonly refer to as “Apple Car.”

Apple Car: Apple granted U.S. patent for ‘Active Suspension System’

Dennis Sellers for Apple World Today:

Here’s the abstract of the patent: “A suspension system includes a primary actuator, an inertial actuator, and a controller. The primary actuator applies force between a sprung mass and an unsprung mass of a vehicle to control movement there between.

“The inertial actuator applies force between the unsprung mass and a reaction mass to damp movement of the unsprung mass. The inertial actuator has a threshold capacity. The controller controls the primary actuator and the inertial actuator. The controller determines a required damping of the movement of the unsprung mass, and apportions the required damping between the primary actuator and the inertial actuator.”

MacDailyNews Take: You don’t need a suspension system you’re not building a vehicle.

Of course it’s a vehicle, not software to be loaded into other company’s vehicles. That’s not how Steve Jobs designed Apple to work. — MacDailyNews, Jan 7, 2021

Apple is working on actual vehicles, not just some “vehicleOS” they’d license out to others (which was always a stupid proposition, as anyone who’s studied how Apple works for more than 3 minutes knows implicitly).MacDailyNews, August 28, 2018

I’ve always wanted to own and control the primary technology in everything we do.Steve Jobs, October 12, 2004

As we wrote back in March 2015: “When Apple enters markets, it’s because they can bring something(s) so unique to the table that significant disruption is inevitable.”

When Apple looks at what categories to enter, we ask these kinds of questions: What are the primary technologies behind this? What do we bring? Can we make a significant contribution to society with this? If we can’t, and if we can’t own the key technologies, we don’t do it. That philosophy comes directly from [Steve Jobs] and it still very much permeates the place. I hope that it always will.Apple CEO Tim Cook, March 18, 2015

8 Comments

  1. I wonder if this is like the BOSE suspension system that came out years ago and, as I understand it, has only ever been used in super high-end vehicles. That system monitors the suspension hundreds of times a second (or something like that) and applies a neutralizing force if the car is beginning to bump up or down. That is, if the tire goes in a pothole and the car is beginning to lurch downward, the active suspension kicks in to raise the body of the vehicle so that the driver remains in a stable position, neither rising nor dropping. Same if the car hits a bump and the body of the car begins to rise — the active suspension compresses to ensure that the driver remains in a stable position. This makes so much sense to me, I’ve waited for years for someone else to replicate it. I’m not aware anyone has done so.

  2. I think Car will have two motors, one for front wheels and one for back wheels. Eventually (after a few gens) separate smaller motor for each wheel. Electric motors can be precisely control, and putting them at the wheels avoids the weight, space, and mechanical complexity of centralizing power production. Imagine how smooth and quiet it’ll be, plus more-stable weight distribution. This suspension system is part of re-imagining the “car” and leaving the vestiges of gasoline power behind.

    Apple learned a lesson from Motorola ROKR, the “iTunes phone” (anyone remember that disaster). Apple will NOT re-badge an existing car design and add interface software.

  3. The burning question for me is “what market(s) is Apple targeting”? The Ford/Toyota segments or the Lexus/Caddy segments? Or both? Probably a one model line at introduction.

    Apple has done very well in the lower segments with the iPhone, as well as the upper markets. Defining an auto segment is a lot more complicated because the lower segments are areas of volume and the upper segments are areas of profits.

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