Apple has been working on its plans to create an augmented reality (AR) windshield, according to new documents.

In recent filings with the US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), Apple has begun working on designs for the AR interface. Initially, the Cupertino-based firm filed a series of patents dating back to 2015 linked to the solution.

The development comes as Apple builds upon its CarPlay ecosystem, which has been driving user adoption rates for years, media reports have shown.

For automotive AR, user interfaces are crucial to the perfect user experience. Digital overlays need to be seamless, in real-time, and with low latency to avoid accidents.

Some of the top companies in the world have experimented with immersive technologies, including BMW, Audi, Mercedes-Benz, and others. However, many use simple interfaces that do not cover the entire screen.

AR Driving: Powered by Apple

Leveraging sensors like infrared cameras, LiDAR, and traditional cameras, vehicles are now more connected than ever to their physical surroundings. This has significantly improved driver safety by updating users with vital environmental information.

AR is a step up from traditional info systems by building three-dimensional environmental models of data sets. This can provide drivers with speed, collision, navigational, weather, road, and other safety data as events occur.

According to the patent, Apple’s AR driving take could show data like speed bumps. It could also stabilise driving performance by communicating with the vehicle or displaying school zones to alert of speed limits.

Finally, additional passthrough options could provide views of traffic signs hidden behind objects.

News of the solution comes just two months after the company unveiled its groundbreaking Apple Vision Pro mixed reality (MR) headset.

AR Windshields Offer Motorists Something to ‘Raythink’ About

The news comes after Chinese AR heads-up display (AR-HUD) company Raythink launched a new augmented auto solution in early June.

For the firm, it debuted its latest creation at the 20th annual Shanghai International Automobile Industry Exhibition. Attendees received a first look at its OpticalCore picture generation unit, which seamlessly integrated real-time 3D (RT3D), photorealistic images in the car’s HUD to provide real-time driving data.

The solution’s massive, three-lane field of view (FoV) also provides sufficient viewing real estate for interacting with the natural world. It does so by incorporating laser beam scanning, optimised power efficiency, and enhanced contrast in its AR-HUD module.