Patent application reveals possible new Apple Maps features

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In a bid to get iOS users to use Apple Maps instead of arch-rival Google Maps, Apple is planning some new features for its navigation and mapping app that might surface in a future version of the Apple Maps app. A new patent application with the title “User interfaces for customized navigation routes” (via autoevolution) gives us some examples of what Apple has in mind for Apple Maps.

One new feature suggested by the patent will allow Apple Maps to determine routes depending on your vehicle’s engine profile. This happens to be something already offered in cars that have Apple Maps embedded inside the infotainment system. With this feature, the app will suggest when the driver should stop to refuel or charge up an EV. The app will look at the range that the vehicle has based on current fuel supply or battery charge and suggest routes within that range.

If the vehicle can’t make it to the destination because there is not enough fuel or battery life remaining, Apple Maps will look for gas stations or charging stations. The app will also estimate how much fuel or battery life will remain after you reach your destination. Users will be able to decide whether to follow the suggestions when to stop to refuel or charge or whether to roll the dice and continue driving.

Another feature listed in the patent will allow Apple Maps to avoid areas where access is limited based on the vehicle’s license plate. Apple Maps will avoid navigating a driver into such a restricted area. The patent also mentions advanced navigation that would be possible by inputting the engine type, more info about the vehicle, and the license plate number. The result will be routes suggested by Apple Maps that suggest when to stop for refueling or charging, and will also bypass areas where there might be a license plate restriction.

Keep in mind that just because Apple files a patent application for new Apple Maps features, it does not mean that the company will receive the patent. Nor does it mean that Apple will definitely add these features to Apple Maps.

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