Apple received a patent for Extendable bumpers for vehicles, which it applied for back in 2019. The technology will allow changing the length of the car on command and, possibly, will be used on the first car of the American corporation.
Judging by the diagram, the technology works as follows: behind the bumper is a cylinder filled with gas, which, upon receiving a signal from the car’s electronics, will begin to inflate the bumper. At the same time, the latter is connected to the body by hinges, which provide reliable fastening both in folded and unfolded state.
In the accompanying note, Apple notes that the “expandable bumper” has many advantages. The device will allow to reduce the size of cars, thanks to which they will take up less space in parking lots, as well as create a unique front end design previously unavailable due to safety requirements.
In addition, Apple engineers are confident that a gas-filled “cushion” in place of the bumper can improve safety in the event of an accident. It will reduce the risk of injury to both car occupants and pedestrians and other vulnerable road users.
The idea is far from new: cars were previously offered to be equipped with inflatable outdoor devices, and two years ago the German company ZF demonstrated an external airbag that protects against side impacts. Then it was reported that the airbag is ready for serial production.
As for the car from Apple, there is still very little confirmed information about it. It is expected that it will be an unmanned electric car, which will be released no earlier than 2024. Previously, the possible partners of the Californian company were called Hyundai and KIA, but now they are talking about the Korean LG and the Canadian supplier of auto components Magna International.
However, competitors are not asleep: Xiaomi has already announced that it will create an electric car that will become a direct competitor to Apple and Tesla. Huawei is also planning to enter a new market for itself.