Apple working on Self Driving Car “Peloton”
So what’s new? Apple is working on a self- driving car. There has been talks of the tech giant trying to enter into the automobile industry for like forever. But this time around it is with a self- driving called Peloton. This self- driving car will apparently save costs and increase efficiency of all the cars on the road. How do you say?
Apple has proposed a self- driving car called Peloton that will be able to drive in groups to reduce drag and energy usage for all the cars in that group. Whether it is fuel or battery power that will be saved is dependant on the type of car you choose.
Apple’s Peloton Patent:
The United States Patent and Trademark Office on Tuesday published Apple’s new patent simply titled “Peloton”. The patent goes on to explain how with a convoy of vehicles on the road, the cars can share fuel or energy thereby cutting costs for the users.
The system of cutting costs has been taken from cyclists. In a race, where there is a team of cyclists, a pair rides in the front leading the group and disrupts the airflow thereby reducing the energy needed to be expended by those behind or in other words the drag. The drivers behind the leading pair can conserve energy as they do not have to fight against the wind. At certain points in the race the others at the back move in front of the leading pair giving the pair rest.
This same principal can be applied to Apple’s Peloton vehicles. The vehicles at the back can reduce their fuel consumption either by maintaining the same speed or by increasing speed while consuming the same amount of fuel or energy.
If this really works, Apple says that it could reduce the navigational range of the Peloton vehicles by reducing the number of petrol stops or charging stops along the way.
The Peloton System:
Apple has said that the navigational system within the Peloton vehicle will be able to communicate with other vehicles in the convoy and arrange an optimal configuration while driving. What this means is that the vehicles with less fuel in the tank or energy reserves will be placed at the back of the convoy while those with larger reserves will be the leading pair as in the cycle race.
Apple also says that electric vehicles will even be able to share reserves while on the road. Two Peloton vehicles will have to drive close to one another for a prolonged period for this to happen. Since all Peloton cars on the road will be able to share information about the road and traffic conditions, this becomes a distinct possibility.
The only disadvantage to this system is that Apple has not considered the fact that all cars will be Peloton with the same tech and whether a driver in one car will permit sharing of energy reserves with that of one that is running on less.