Apple wants to integrate the Vision Pro into its top-secret car project

Apple Vision Pro battery pack
(Image credit: Future / Lance Ulanoff)

It’s only been a couple of weeks since Apple’s Vision Pro headset launched, but there have been a few instances of people apparently wearing the device while driving, with videos of them doing so going viral.

Now it looks like Apple is working on a dedicated feature that would allow Vision Pro owners to use their headsets while they're on the road, and which will presumably be a safer experience than is currently the case.

This concept was spotted in a recently published patent (via Patently Apple) that combines two of Apple’s most advanced projects: the Vision Pro and the company’s top secret self-driving car, codenamed Project Titan.

The patent (number 20240051391) is concerned with an adaptive cruise control system that could adjust a vehicle’s speed based on the speed and proximity of a car directly in front of the driver. In discussing this system, Apple explains that a car’s computer system could be “part of a user-wearable device, such as a headset.”

It’s an interesting idea, even if it is only mentioned in passing. It’s been known for years that Apple is secretly working on a self-driving car, but integrating it with a headset like the Vision Pro is a relatively new concept. Given how Apple likes to tie its devices together into a coherent ecosystem, it potentially makes a lot of sense.

Apple’s patent also proposes that the vehicle could come with all manner of sensors and systems, including touchpads and trackpads, haptic feedback providers, screens for video calls, and a lot more. It sounds like Apple is going all-in on the idea of turning a car into a mobile computer.

The car of the future?

Apple Car Concept

(Image credit: Industry Leaders)

This wasn’t the only interesting tidbit from Apple’s patent. The company also explained that users might be able to control the proposed vehicle using cameras that track their gestures. These could be “hand gestures and/or air gestures,” according to the patent. In other words, there might not be a need for conventional dials and buttons that you’d normally find in a car – instead, you could simply wave a gesture to control the vehicle.

Of course, given that this is just a patent, we may never actually see it become a reality. And there’s another hurdle Apple will have to overcome: government skepticism. Regulators are already unhappy with foolish road users donning the Vision Pro while driving, so will have to be convinced by Apple that a purpose-built system that integrates a headset into a car is safe to use.

With Apple’s Project Titan suffering delays and reduced scope, it may be a long time until we see anything like the system described in Apple’s patent. But if that day eventually arrives, it could change how you drive forever.

Alex Blake
Freelance Contributor

Alex Blake has been fooling around with computers since the early 1990s, and since that time he's learned a thing or two about tech. No more than two things, though. That's all his brain can hold. As well as TechRadar, Alex writes for iMore, Digital Trends and Creative Bloq, among others. He was previously commissioning editor at MacFormat magazine. That means he mostly covers the world of Apple and its latest products, but also Windows, computer peripherals, mobile apps, and much more beyond. When not writing, you can find him hiking the English countryside and gaming on his PC.