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Posts Tagged: "General Motors patents"

GM and Honda announce joint investment in fuel cell development, marrying two largest patent portfolios in the field

The official announcement released by both GM and Honda notes that both companies enjoy patent portfolios related to fuel cell battery technologies, which are among the world’s largest. A review of clean energy patents granted during 2015 by the Clean Energy Patent Growth Index (CEPGI) shows that GM and Honda rank first and second, respectively, among companies that have been assigned U.S. patents directed at fuel cells between 2002 and 2015; the press release from the companies contradicts this slightly, claiming that Honda is third-place in this category. During the 14 years surveyed by the CEPGI, GM has earned 918 U.S. patents on fuel cells and related technologies while Honda has earned 757 U.S. patents.

The Top 10 Patent Applications of 2015

Innovation in the automotive sector was a huge story, both for the types of technologies being developed and the companies pursuing the R&D in that field. Drones and robotics also played a role in other top patent applications which we’re profiling today. Rounding out our list of top 2015 innovations includes an emotion analysis system for financial security, wireless charging schemes, low-power communications for wearable devices and a greenhouse window that can generate electricity while improving crop yield.

In the global race for Electric Vehicle innovation, America tops Japan for first place

When looking specifically at patents that specifically mention “electric vehicles,” it looks as though there are reasons to feel good about America’s place in the world. Both Ford and General Motors Company are atop the leaderboard in this sector, placing first and second overall respectively. One Ford technology developed to allow electric vehicle owners to make sure that electricity drawn from a vehicle comes from renewable sources is outlined within U.S. Patent No. 9024571, entitled ‘Charging of Electric Vehicles Based on Historical Clean Energy Profiles.’ General Motors is hoping to change the perception that Electric Vehicles are capable of only short range use, as evident by recently issued U.S. Patent No. 9002552, titled “Compact Electric Range Extender for an Electric Vehicle.”

GM ahead of Ford in autonomous vehicle development, but Google trumps both

The development of robust vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V) communication systems are needed for the incorporation of self-driving cars on our roads and GM has been working on its own V2V systems. With 25 U.S. patents, Ford has a much smaller autonomous driving patent portfolio than GM but we managed to find some interesting technologies. Fiat Chrysler is an Italian-American company with London headquarters so it seems sort of suspect to continue considering them as part of the Big Three. In any event, the most recent patent we could find for an autonomous navigation technology was issued to FCA in 2007, showing us that there’s not much autonomous vehicle development going on at the company anyway. It is, however, interesting to note that the first-place overall in the autonomous driving R&D sector is California-based Google, which holds 145 U.S. patents in this field.

Auto sector sees dramatic rise in worldwide patent acquisition

In terms of what’s being invented by major innovators in the automotive industry, it seems that the vast majority of the increase in patenting activities among all carmakers can be attributed to propulsion systems. The number of patents issued annually for fuel propulsion has raced forward from less than 2,000 in 2009 to nearly 12,000 in 2013. No other segment of automotive technology has seen such a dramatic rise in patents over those few years.

Is American auto innovation in decline?

Based on our own independent research conducted using the Innography patent analytics application, the state of American innovation in automobile manufacturing may not be as bleak as suggested by the Thompson Reuter’s study, but there is no doubt that there is a notable difference between U.S. patent holdings and international patent holdings for American automakers.

Big Three Auto Patents: Collision Safety to In-Vehicle Text Messaging Systems

Digital communications systems, including cloud-based methods of presenting technical manual information to car owners, are featured in a number of these patent applications. A trio of Ford patent applications discuss technologies for identifying occupants and drivers in a vehicle. Other patent applications that we discuss today feature collision safety systems, including one system for establishing voice communications with vehicle occupants after an accident. The patent portfolios of all of the Big Three automakers have increased in recent weeks and many of these new additions protect improvements to hybrid electric vehicles; some innovations in this field are discussed below. In-vehicle text messaging systems are the focus of a few other patents that we explored today. We also were piqued by a patent protecting a system of contacting persons via a vehicle telematics units to resolve missing persons cases.

GM Seeks Patent Wireless Collection of Data from Autos

Telematics systems are the focus of a number of patent applications which we delve into today, including today’s featured application, which uses on-board telematics to transmit important automobile information to a central facility. The system is capable of sending more data than previous systems by routing the data through a wireless mobile device used by the driver, reducing the cost of data transmission from the vehicle. Improved speech recognition for on-board computer system controls and a steering wheel light system designed to refocus a driver’s attention onto the road are also discussed. General Motors enjoys a very strong intellectual property portfolio compared to many other car manufacturers, and its recently issued patents protect everything from steering systems for three-wheeled vehicles to space-effective cargo compartments. A couple of patents which we explore in-depth protect innovations involving navigational systems, including one that incorporates local landmarks into audio responses from a navigational system for directional guidance. We also noticed a patent for tires which can run while flat and produce less noise than other flat tires.

Patent Watch: The Big Three U.S. Automakers

Today at IPWatchdog in the Companies We Follow Series, we’re looking at the Big Three to see what developmental goals these companies are planning for the future. Many deal with better systems of obtaining vehicle repairs. Ford has been issued a patent pertaining to online service scheduling for vehicle repair. As well, General Motors has filed a patent application for a system of vehicle repair that provides better resources than a typical service manual. We also explore three patent applications related to improvements in the driving experience. Two of these deal with safety: Chrysler has a patent application filed to prevent unintended operation of the gas or brake pedals, and Ford is seeking to protect a new airbag design that better prevents neck and head trauma. Finally, General Motors has filed an application to protect a telematics system providing contact information for known drivers within a certain proximity.