Though the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office granted Apple the patent, the original application was approved last year for BAE Systems Hägglunds Aktiebolag, a Swedish subsidiary of the huge global defense company.
The invention is designed to connect and steer two compartments of a vehicle inside a special “ballistic protection” enclosure. The new device would help steer the front and back units simultaneously. If the vehicle is turning left, for example, then the invention would steer the back wheels to the right to make the turn more easily.
It’s unclear why Apple would want a device that seems to serve such a specific military purpose. But many technologies were designed first for defense departments and later adapted for civilian use. GPS and autopilot navigation features are two big examples.
This was one of 80 patents that Apple was granted Tuesday, according to Patently Apple.