Ford received more patents this year than any other automaker, mostly thanks to the American brand’s new research into alternative transportation.
Ford was granted about 1,500 patents this year from the U.S. Patent and Trademark office, a 25 percent increase over last year and about 75 more than second place Toyota. General Motors lags behind Ford by about 300 patents while Honda is back by about 400.
Ford sent in over 8,000 applications this year, the most in the brand’s 113-year history and 40 percent jump over 2015. Worldwide, the brand received an additional 1,700 patents, pushing the total up to about 3,200 patents received.
Many of the patented devices will never make it past the prototype phase, but we can still see what Ford’s development priorities are. One of the systems is a drone which can deploy from a vehicle to map the surrounding area. The Ford eChair, a lightweight electric wheelchair which can load itself into a car, was patented. A system that converts vehicle condensation into clean drinking water for occupants was also patented by Ford.
“At Ford we are fully engaged in the current climate where inventions and out-side-the-box thinking are being produced rapidly,” said Tony Lockwood, Ford manager of virtual driver system, autonomous vehicle development. “Ultimately, customers benefit as we open ourselves to new ideas and advance mobility using emerging technologies.”
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