Find My iPhone has been invaluable at recovering lost Apple devices, but if you’re anything like me, keeping track of where you parked the car amid a sea of concrete and sedans is even harder than remembering where you dropped your selfie machine.
Apple’s latest patent filings reveal it has been working to solve those lost car disasters with an ingenious system that could be included in the future iPhones to guide you back to your vehicle, and it doesn’t even need an LTE or GPS signal.
A pair of Apple patents — “Automatic identification of vehicle location” and “Vehicle location in weak location signal scenarios” — explain how your iPhone could establish a connection with your vehicle over a service like CarPlay, and then transmit info over Bluetooth or WiFi. Once the connection is established, your iPhone could automatically detect when you’ve parked, where’s you’ve gone, and then guide you back to your vehicle using location tracking data other than GPS.
The patents say iPhone users could even simply pull up Siri and tell it to “Find my car” in order to pull some quick directions and a map leading to your cruiser. To work out the directions, the iPhone would estimate your movements relative to the vehicle by using sensors to retrieve motion data, gyroscope data, pedometer info and time stamps to extrapolate your location, kind of like a trail of crumbs back to your CarPlay equipped ride.
Of course, this is just a patent so there’s no guarantee Apple will actually adopt the technology.