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 (TTi) magazine and its Traffic Technology Today website since May 2014. During his time at the title, he has interviewed some of the top transportation chiefs at public agencies around the world as well as CEOs of leading multinationals and ground-breaking start-ups. Tom's earlier career saw him working on some the UK's leading consumer magazine titles. He has a law degree from the London School of Economics (LSE).