New Apple patent will allow route finding around wireless blackspots


Tech giants Apple have been granted a new patent that will allow their navigation systems to plan routes based on optimum wireless connectivity. Everyone with a smartphone or tablet will know how frustrating it can be to lose 3G or 4G connectivity during a car journey. It can be particularly critical for business users who need to have unbroken access for important conference calls. Now Apple are hoping to take the guesswork out of finding a good signal, with their new system.

Apple wireless executives Swapnil Dave and Devrim Varolgu are listed as inventors of the technology that uses complex algorithms to layer mobile signal strength over map data in vehicle navigation systems. The system should then be able to recommend a route for the driver to take which has unbroken access – even if this is longer than the route they would normally have taken.

The Apple system plans to both send out data about signal strenghts and gather it from devices themselves, so that a constantly updated, live-coverage map can be developed. The system is a reflection of Apple’s growing interest in connected vehicles and automotive technology.


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Tom has edited Traffic Technology International magazine and the Traffic Technology Today website since he joined the company in May 2014. Prior to this he worked on some of the UK's leading consumer magazine titles including Men's Health and Glamour, beginning his career in journalism in 1997 after graduating with a law degree from the London School of Economics (LSE).

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