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Is Apple planning a more human navigation system?

Apple is looking into creating a navigation system that gives directions more like a human would, and has filed a patent application to that effect for ‘humanized navigation instructions’.

What this means is that it wants to take a step away from the cold, technical approach currently employed by Siri in favor of using language that’s easier to comprehend, referencing specific landmarks and buildings rather than road names and compass directions.

This could mean friendlier, more useful phrases like ‘take a left just after the church’ or ‘stay on this road for about five minutes until you see the big McDonalds restaurant’. There’s even suggestion that it could get more specific: ‘your destination is the apartment complex with the water fountain in the front’.

The plan also involves reassuring the driver that a new plan is being calculated after a missed turn, and advice on which lane to be in. Apple hope to crowdsource data from drivers in order to figure out which routes or instructions cause the most confusion, to provide more detailed instructions at such points.

With Apple rumored to move into the car market in future, and systems like CarPlay already firmly in place, could this feature be closer than we think? Apple isn’t roaming the streets in mysterious minivans for nothing, surely.

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