Apple has filed a patent for a way for software to give directions that’s far better than what you’d get from a Sat Nav or map app.
An Apple patent filed in 2013 reveals that the company has developed a way of giving out directions that’s much more human than telling someone to “turn right in 0.8 kilometres.”
Apple’s navigation patent analyses the local area and gives driving instructions using local landmarks. Apple’s patent says that its improved navigations “mimic a real human navigator” and are “less stressful.”
An illustration from Apple’s patent filing shows that it includes three different landmarks on its map. Instead of telling the driver to turn left in a set distance, it could instead instruct them to turn on the corner next to a set landmark.
It’s important to note that just because Apple filed a patent for something doesn’t mean that the company is actually going to develop it. Patents can serve as a type of marketing for Apple, as its patents show it developing new products.
Maps are a big area for Apple. It is widely considered to have screwed up the launch of its own maps app in 2012. It developed its own competitor to Google Maps, but it launched with inaccurate directions, unmapped places and errors. It rushed to fix the problems, but the executive in charge of maps, Scott Forstall, was let go from the company.
It’s possible that Apple is planning a big update to its maps app, as several vans registered to the company have been seen driving around US cities. Mapping equipment sits on top of the vans, and it looks like Apple is collecting data to create a competitor to Google Street View.
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