A new patent application from Apple suggests the company could be working on proprietary global positioning system software that would calculate road trip times and recommend routes, based on real-time data collected from numerous users, and uploaded to a centralized server.
In the recently revealed U.S. patent filing, Apple describes a system for obtaining drivers' personal travel data and using it to estimate driving times. Such a system could take into account speed, time of day, location, driving patterns, season, route type and features, traffic information, road conditions and location data.
Originally filed for in 2008, the patent could save drive times and other data on the local system, and also upload it to a centralized database where the data would be shared with others.
I would call this a complete waste of time that goes nowhere. Why? Because you do not have to do all of that as can be seen using any of the modern Garmin Nuvis for driving. Set out on the road and the ETA is 10:57 PM. It really is strange but no matter what the traffic (except for stop and go) I will hit the end point of the drive within 5 minutes of that original ETA.
I am not sure how it does it. I have a suspicion it learns how I drive. That I go 9-11 miles over the speed limit but it must know what kind of roads. During the trip it constantly adjusts the ETA but really it is mostly rock solid.
What Apple needs to do:
1) Do the turn by turn software themselves. This Tom Tom software should be fill in. Leave these companies in the dust by tailoring it specifically for the phone. The Tom Tom is going to shrink their software to the iPhone screen and I bet it will be very noticeable.
2) They have to figure out how to run the iPhone cooler while running the GPS. I run Motion-X GPS Lite on the iPhone. Very neat software but if my phone rang after using it for a half hour the phone would burn my ear.
(The Motion-X software is baby steps compared tot he Garmin. M-X just gave me a top speed of 197mph. My Garmin never accepts extraneous data like that.)
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