The Apple patent, called “System and Method for Vehicle Authorization,” describes a system where a vehicle can be unlocked via mobile authentication, perhaps using Face ID or Touch ID. As novel as the concept sounds, it’s been in existence for quite a while now. The patent was originally filed by Apple in 2017 before the Cupertino company laid off 200 employees from Project Titan, its self-driving car division. Today, unlocking and starting your car with your phone is fairly common. Tesla’s Model 3 allows for an authenticated smartphone to unlock its doors. Ford allows its owners to use the Sync ecosystem to remotely start their vehicles. Hyundai’s biometric system allows drivers to unlock and start a car with smart fingerprint technology.
The Apple patent, called “System and Method for Vehicle Authorization,” describes a system where a vehicle can be unlocked via mobile authentication, perhaps using Face ID or Touch ID. The patent suggests the use of multiple driver profiles depending on which device or individual is seen approaching the car. The driver profile would also suggest personalizations such as radio presets, seat positioning, climate control, and more.
Apple also wanted to exploit proximity-based geofencing to promote the purchasing of goods and services. For example, the car could detect if it was in range of a payment gateway for a morning latte from a Starbucks drive-through.
It’s not known whether the patent represents an active project. As with many tech companies, Apply could simply be patent hoarding. According to Wired, Apple has more than 75,000 patents and filed for over 2,200 more since the beginning of September 2017. If the technology turns into a commercial project, we could be looking at the future of mobility.