Technology is becoming a bigger and bigger part of the automotive world, between safety features, infotainment offerings and, of course, vehicle autonomy, software is arguably the most important thing for a carmaker’s research and development team. Ford has talked a big game on the tech front this year, promising to roll out self-driving cars within five years and essentially upend its long-standing business model. It also has some numbers to back that claim up.
Ford Motor Co. said Friday its employees have been granted 1,442 U.S. Patents so far this year, more than any other major automaker.
Ford, citing U.S. Patent and Trademark Office utility Patent data, said Patent awards to Ford employees are up 25 percent from 2015 and represent the most Patents submitted in the automaker’s 113-year history. Globally, Ford has been issued about 3,200 Patents this year.
Among other highlighted Ford inventions are the eChair, a lightweight electric wheelchair that can load by itself into a car that was developed by engineers at the automaker’s proving grounds in Belgium; the Carr-E, an electric personal transportation device, developed by a German Ford systems engineer, that also can move packages and heavy items and On-the-Go H2O, that gathers vehicle condensation, filters the fluid and pumps it into a faucet in the car for drinking water