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Apple files patent for GPS navigation system, looks similar to Waze

Apple seems to be working on a new method for generating car travel routes based on user preference and crowd-sourced real-time traffic data. With this new approach to create routes for ease of consumers, Apple might get into a competition with Waze, the maps app that was recently acquired by Google.

Apple had filed a patent application for “User-specified route rating and alerts”, and the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office published the same on Thursday. Apple has come up with a method that can generate custom routing information with the help of user input. The system will be usable on mobile devices like the iPhone and iPad that have built-in GPS components, provided that cellular network is enabled.

Credit: uspto.gov

Using this application, consumers will be able to find better routes as well as help other consumers by pushing data to the main server. The app allows users to rate a particular route they just traveled, and a central navigation service uses this rating to generate efficient routes for other consumers.

To ensure that the system works efficiently, user ratings for routes and locations are stored in a rating database that provides up-to-date information to users who have configured their devices for the service.

The application will also make use of GPS position in order to push updates specific to the route on which the user is currently traveling. For example, you will receive a message saying that ‘there has been an accident on the route you are traveling,’ and will request you to slow down or take an alternate route of available.

Apple’s route rating application has a practical approach and if implemented properly, could make a positive impact on safety and the way people travel. It is difficult to predict when Apple might integrate this feature in its Maps app, but we don’t see a reason why this wouldn’t happen in the near future.

This patent was filed back in December of 2011 by Jorge S. Fino who invented it.

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