Ford Employees to Set Record for Inventions in 2016


Through August of this year, more than 4,500 employees at Dearborn-based Ford Motor Co. have submitted invention disclosures, With nearly 1,700 of them new inventors, the company is expected to outperform last year’s record of 6,000 inventions.

“The significant increase in first-time inventors is a result of our push to drive innovation in all parts of our business,” says Raj Nair, executive vice president of product development  and CTO of Ford. “At the same time, we’ve ramped up global innovation challenges, where we seek new ideas company-wide and then see how we can further those ideas.”

Some of the new inventions from Ford employees include a prototype system that collects, filters, and pumps condensation directly to a faucet located inside a car; a passenger remote-control Sync system; and a transportable device that can move people and objects at short distances.

While the voice activation program Sync was already available to drivers of a vehicle, the new Sync remote control now allows passengers to have control over the alignment of seats, temperature, and music. Created by Ford employees Perry MacNeille and Jack Van Hoecke, Sync can be operated by passengers from their mobile devices. The phone will automatically open an app interface, where passengers can see all of the controllable features.

Kilian Vas, a systems engineer in Germany, created the four-wheeled electric pedestrian assistant, Carr-E.  The device is catered towards commuters who are still far away from their destination. The compact, circular machine can be placed inside a vehicle and used where cars are not permitted or unavailable.

With nearly 203,000 employees and 67 plants worldwide, Ford manufactures, designs, markets, and services its line of cars, trucks, and SUVs, as well as Lincoln luxury vehicles. Alongside automotive business, the company is also interested in mobility and electrification opportunities.

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