Pair of Apple Patents Aims to Answer: 'Where'd I Park My Car?'

iPhones might soon be able to determine when and where a car has been parked, and then guide absentminded drivers back to their vehicles.

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By Geoff Weiss • Jan 1, 2016 Originally published Aug 8, 2014

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

Does there really have to be an app for everything?

A pair of patents initially filed in February 2013 by Apple suggests that the storied tech company is seeking to answer a question asked by absentminded drivers through the ages: Where'd I park my car?

The patents, first noted by AppleInsider, could theoretically determine when and where a car has been parked, and then navigate users back to their vehicles without requiring a data connection.

For instance, an iPhone might establish a Bluetooth connection with a car in order to watch for certain triggers -- such as open doors or shuttered ignitions -- to determine that it has been parked.

Related: Want to Text and Walk and Still See Where You're Going? Apple Has a Patent for That.

Then, using GPS when a signal is available and the iPhone's own onboard sensors and accelerometer data when it's not, the technology could purportedly tracks a driver's whereabouts by dropping digital breadcrumbs in relation to that parking spot.

To activate directions, Apple imagines that users might initiate a vocal command to Siri -- upon which an audio and/or visual navigation would appear.

The patents would seem to bolster Apple's marked play for car integration -- including its CarPlay system, which syncs users' iPhones with a built-in dashboard display and whose launch was recently pushed into next year.

Related: Apple's Latest Patent Tracks Temperature, Perspiration and Heart Rate -- in Your Headphones

Geoff Weiss

Former Staff Writer

Geoff Weiss is a former staff writer at Entrepreneur.com.

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