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A new Apple patent may be hinting that the company is seeking to improve the cruise control feature of some cars with its autonomous driving mode. Potentially, Apple could be setting up an electric car through this technology. Here's what we know about this development.

According to Patently Apple, Apple currently has a patent that improves a car's cruise control and will give the vehicle autonomous control through the data it gathers. The new Apple system will need cameras and scanning devices on its headlight and taillights to feed data into this new system.

Apple's autonomous system would then decide if the driver can give partial or full control of the vehicle to this system. Once the autonomous system takes over, the driver can rest up to prevent any stress from prolonged driving. This would also allow the driver to do something else like play on their phone on the trip.

The possible Apple autonomous driving system would definitely be a rival to Tesla's autopilot systems if it does come out in the market.

However, Apple has yet to announce its entry to the electric vehicle market as of now. In the company's recent 2019 public appearances, Apple's interest seemed to be focused solely on improving its apps and programs this year.

Their 2019 goals were announced at their CES 2019 show, and Apple is also planning to announce more about their services during their Steve Jobs Theater event this month.

Despite their focus on services, Apple head Tim Cook has also announced new devices on the way. If it does happen, Apple's entry into the electric car industry would be a surprise as the company has always released computers and smart devices over the past decade.

Meanwhile, Tesla currently has many rivals in the electric vehicle market. For the Model Y, the Byton M-Byte and the Porsche Macan will be entering the electric SUV market soon.

Moreover, other companies such as Ford are also looking to enter the electric vehicle market, which may give rise to more Tesla competitors.

For now, we'll have to wait for Apple and see if they're going to unveil their own vehicle following this patent, which was originally filed back in the first quarter of last year.

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The audience assembles before the start of Apple's annual developer conference in San Jose, California, U.S. June 5, 2017 REUTERS/Stephen Lam/File Photo

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