GM Leads Innovation With Most Patents

GM Leads Innovation With Most Patents

Smug journalists across the internet are poking fun at the possibility that President Barack Obama might have referred to the 2013 Shelby GT500 Mustang as “sick” during his visit to the Washington D.C. Auto Show.

True or false, his remarks about the muscle car don’t really matter. What’s slightly more significant is the speech he made to herald General Motors’ return to the throne as the world’s highest volume automaker.

While it isn’t surprising that the President would want to talk about something like that, it is a good chance to point out that GM is doing more than taking the Costco approach to selling cars.

In fact, GM is leading more than just the number of vehicles sold. They’re also the industry’s top innovator, according to The Patent Board. This is actually the fourth consecutive quarter that the Detroit giant can claim that title. An impressive 1,123 U.S. patents were granted to the company in 2011 for global product engineering, global powertrain engineering, global research and development and OnStar organizations.

It’s interesting because we don’t always think of GM when imagining who will come out with the latest breaking tech or engineering feats, yet they emerged victorious over 183 other firms. It seems like most of the automotive wizardry starts overseas in Europe and makes its way to domestic vehicles a little while later.

Blind spot detection is a great example of that. Volvo was the first to introduce it, but companies like GM and Ford are on board with the bandwagon.

Among GM’s recent patents, there is technology for quieter brakes, better OnStar voice recognition and something called eAssist Thermal Management which controls engine shutoff to ensure occupant comfort in extremely hot or cold weather.

That begs the question: what’s next from some of the greatest minds in Michigan?

  • Phil

    You know… that’s a creepy ass photo.

  • John Paul Reis

    They are the industry’s top innovator in America perhaps, 1,000+ patents is nothing compared to how many patents Mercedes Benz has, but a bias American would never admit to that. Mercedes invented the airbag, anti-lock braking systems, seat belts, crumple zones, 4 wheel independent suspension, three box design, laser sensors, and electronic stability. The Mercedes Benz S Class was voted the 2015 Worlds Best Luxury Car, Audi A3 won 2015 Worlds Best Car, 911 GT3 won Best Performance Car 2015, and BMW i3 won 2015 Best Car Design/Best Green Car. When GM stops having all those recalls, and pays off their huge debt… then brag about their 1,123 US patents when Audi has over 8,000, Mercedes over 10,000. (Mercedes claimed it has 80,000patents, but no company is that great, or maybe they are) im putting 10,000 becuase that seems legit, 80,000 is a bit of a stretch