Apple has been granted a new patent that could make touchscreen controls safer to use while driving. US Patent No. 8,482,535 is for an in-car, touchscreen telematics system that uses tactile feedback so drivers can change settings without looking down. It would provide more control with less time spent looking away from the road. The system uses the series of knobs, slides and touchscreen controls we already have in cars, but gives the user the ability to have greater control to program options.
It also extends more services to the touchscreen, including safety features like the windshield wipers. In addition to the standard services you'd expect in a modern touchscreen, the patent also mentions bringing apps from your phone to your console screen. Checking your stocks and quickly accessing your entertainment apps in the middle of a traffic jam will be easier and safer in the future.
One of the biggest features of the upcoming iOS 7 is Apple's iOS In The Car feature, thanks in large part to the company's focus on building relationships with car manufacturers. Of note, 95 percent of new cars on the market today have some form of integrated iOS support. This patent is a signal of what's to come.