Apple Inc. (Cupertino, CA)

A passenger vehicle comprises the vehicle body as well as a drive, steering system and either manual or automated control systems. The passenger compartment is defined by the vehicle body. The passenger vehicle is powered by the drive system. The steering system regulates the vehicle’s passenger. The manual control system includes input devices to receive user inputs is configured to regulate the drive and steering system according to the inputs of the user when the vehicle is in manual drive mode. The autonomous control system comprises sensors to detect an external condition and a controller which autonomously controls the steering and drive systems according to the external condition when the vehicle is operating in an autonomous drive mode. The user input devices can be moved between a first configuration that receives the user’s input through physical manipulation by the user. There is also another configuration where the user’s input is not received.

Driver input devices are utilized to accept inputs from drivers and control the vehicle’s motion in passenger vehicles that are traditional. Driver input devices usually include the steering wheel as well as an accelerator pedal. A brake pedal utilized to receive driver inputs. With the ongoing development of autonomous driving systems, driver inputs might not be necessary to regulate the movement of the vehicle under certain circumstances, while inputs from drivers may still be required or required in certain situations. In most cases, driver input is not required in the case of highways equipped with adaptive cruise control systems. These systems utilize radar-based sensors to determine whether vehicles are near and to automatically accelerate or slow the car. Lane-centering systems can automate control inputs for steering to ensure that the vehicle is in one the same lane. Based on the autonomous driving technology is used for a specific vehicle, driver input may still require input in some situations.

Here are some examples of passenger vehicle implementations with driver input devices.

A passenger car is a car that includes a vehicle body and a drive system. The vehicle body defines an interior compartment for passengers. The vehicle body is connected to the drive system. It can be used to move the vehicle. The steering system is connected to the vehicle and is designed to steer the passenger vehicle. When the passenger vehicle is operating in manual drive mode the manual control system is equipped with one or more input devices that allow users to input information. It controls the drive system and steering system according the user’s input. The autonomous control system consists of sensors for detecting external conditions and a controller which autonomously controls the drive system and the steering system according to the external conditions when the vehicle is operated in an autonomous driving mode. One or more input devices can be moved between a first configuration which allows users to manipulate it physically the device and an alternative configuration where user’s input isn’t received.

Two user input devices may be integrated into the passenger vehicle. One is an instrument for steering that takes a user’s input, and one is an input device for a driver that takes the input of another person. The steering input device could be mechanically attached to the vehicle body , and could be rotatable by user to receive steering input in the first configuration. A physical separation could be placed between the steering input device and the user in the second configuration.The drive input device could be a foot pedal mechanically coupled to the body of the vehicle, and can be operated by the user to accept the input for the drive in the initial configuration. The foot pedal is retracted into a recess in an internal surface that defines the passenger compartment in the second configuration. The input devices for the user could be used in the first configuration in the manual drive mode and in the second configuration , in the autonomous drive mode. In the second mode, the user input devices is not physically manipulated by the user.

In an application, a vehicle for passengers includes a vehicle body, a seat, a steering input device, and a movable fascia component. The body of the vehicle is the passenger compartment. In order to support an auser seating, the seat is placed within the passenger compartment. The steering input device is mechanically linked to the vehicle body and can be rotated by the driver to receive inputs from the steering to steer the vehicle. The compartment for passengers is enclosed by the fascia that is movable. It is possible to move the steering input device along with the facia component that is movable between two options. In one of the configurations the movable facia component is located behind the steering input device. In the other configuration the movable facia component is in the forward direction.

A fixed fascia component can be added to the vehicle’s passenger compartment. It is fixed in relation to the vehicle body and provides an additional surface inside the compartment for passengers. The component that is movable may be movable relative to the fixed fascia component in between the first and the second one as well as be in proximity to the fixed fascia component in the second configuration. The at minimum, one of the movable fascia component and the fixed fascia component has an electronic display. The device for steering can be in a retracted position in the first configuration , and extended in the second configuration. The steering input device of the initial configuration can be in the extended position within a chamber that is selectively sealed by the movable facia part.

A passenger car is a combination of a vehicle body, foot pedal and an interior surface. The body of the vehicle is an interior space for the user. The foot pedal, which is mechanically linked to the vehicle body, can be pressed by the user in order to regulate the speed of the car. The passenger compartment is defined by the interior surface, which includes a recess. The foot pedal is relocated from an extended position which extends to the interior of the compartment and an extended position that is retracted within the recess in the inside surface. The foot pedal being is configured to receive the user’s input while in the extended position.

The outside of the pedal could be complementary to an inner peripheral of the recess. When it is in a retracted position the outer face of the pedal may be nearly flush with the interior surface. The inside surface may be the floor of the compartment for passengers. To receive user input, the foot pedal could be adjustable relative to the floor. It is able to move between the extended and retracted positions.

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