‘Peloton’ Complements Apple’s Self-Driving Technology

Apple may not have a physical vehicle in the works, but the company does seem to have a big focus on driverless and electric vehicle technology. The tech giant has filed a patent for an EV system called “Peloton”, which is designed for future autonomous cars.

The patent was filed on Tuesday with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) and it suggests a platoon of electric cars could drive together closely and autonomously along a stretch of road, thus lessening drag when the cars speed up on long journeys. Apple also claimed that this could shorten travel time.

The “Peloton” system works like to the one employed by the main group of cyclists who ride closely to reduce drag in a race. Apple adopts this idea with autonomous electric cars in place of the cyclists, thus cars behind the peloton could get less drag. In addition, the journey would be more efficient as the group of cars would change positions every once in a while to give the front cars a break.

As we all know, drag adds pressure, so reducing it could speed up the vehicles, save energy, and extend their ranges. The benefits of the convoy system don’t stop here. According to Apple, it could also cut down the need to recharge during long trips.

The technology is so smart that it would arrange the group of cars in the best order possible for maximum efficiency. For instance, cars with greater battery life would be positioned at the front of the group, taking the most drag, while others efficiently drive behind them.

Still, that’s probably not the most impressive part of the system, which enables the vehicles to share a charge with one another. As the patent describes, this maneuver would require electric vehicles to feature a retractable technical equipment for power sharing. An electric vehicle at the rear of the pack could plug into one at the front to share electrical energy and boost efficiency. When you think about it, this is such a brilliant technique; assuming autonomous vehicle technology is smart enough to execute all the necessary moves.

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