We are already used to seeing patents from Apple showing new technologies that the company has been experimenting with in its devices, but this one is a bit different. The US Patent and Trademark Office this week granted Apple a patent for a car sunroof – which certainly wasn’t made for an iPhone or iPad.

The Apple-patented sunroof has variable opacity glass, meaning that the driver would have the option to adjust the sunroof’s transparency. As noted by MotorTrend, the patent also shows that the sunroof opens in sequence with side windows, while current cars with similar technologies have a fixed sunroof.

Here’s part of the patent description:

Another aspect of the disclosed embodiments is a vehicle that includes a window and a variable translucence area defined on the window. The variable translucence area is controllable to allow a desired degree of light admission through the window. A movable panel assembly is movable between a closed position and an open position.

In other words, drivers of the rumored “Apple Car” will be able to choose whether they want to let sunlight into the car without having to open the sunroof or open it fully to get some fresh air. It’s not hard to imagine Apple Car sunroof adjustments available on CarPlay or even through Siri.

But of course, the most important part about this patent is that it corroborates all the rumors regarding Apple working on its own car.

Recent reports show that Apple continues to develop and test a new self-driving vehicle system, while it has also been discussing manufacturing plans with other companies. However, even if all the rumors are true, the launch of the Apple Car is still 3-4 years away – especially as the company has been losing multiple engineers from the car project team.

Read also:

FTC: We use income earning auto affiliate links. More.


Check out 9to5Mac on YouTube for more Apple news:

You’re reading 9to5Mac — experts who break news about Apple and its surrounding ecosystem, day after day. Be sure to check out our homepage for all the latest news, and follow 9to5Mac on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn to stay in the loop. Don’t know where to start? Check out our exclusive stories, reviews, how-tos, and subscribe to our YouTube channel

About the Author

Filipe Espósito

Filipe Espósito is a Brazilian tech Journalist who started covering Apple news on iHelp BR with some exclusive scoops — including the reveal of the new Apple Watch Series 5 models in titanium and ceramic. He joined 9to5Mac to share even more tech news around the world.