The patent is for a system that remembers your individual settings and has your car automatically adjust them for you. If you enjoy the side mirrors at a 90-degree angle and the steering wheel at 45 degrees, in theory, your iPhone could fix that for you. Since the settings are stored on your iPhone, it wouldn't matter if you moved to a new car. The program would read the settings from your constant mobile companion.
Here's the patent's abstract:
With Apple's increased focus on automobiles thanks to iOS in the Car, this patent provides a look at where the company is planning on taking car/mobile integration in the future. Of course with the increasing presence of hackers in the world, it will be interesting to see what safety precautions come along with the increased linking of car functions to our mobile devices.
A user's portable electronic device can learn configuration preferences from a first environment, such as the user's car, and when the user visits another similar environment, such as a rented automobile, those configuration preferences can be imported into the visited environment and used to automatically configure the environment according to the imported preferences.