Ford Leads Auto Industry in U.S. Patents Awarded in 2016


Ford Motor Co. in Dearborn was granted 1,500 patents this year — more than any other automaker ­— according to data from the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.

The number of patents awarded to Ford employees was a 25 percent since 2015, and total Ford patents have reached 3,200 globally this year. This year, 8,000 new inventions were submitted by Ford employees, a 40 percent increase from 2015.

“Our employees are delivering exciting new technologies for our customers at record levels. As an auto and mobility company, this is an exciting time, and our employees are aggressively advancing emerging technologies and increasing our mobility patents at record levels,” says Raj Nair, Ford’s executive vice president of product development and chief technical officer.

Ford has earned 1,700 additional patents in other countries, bringing their global tally to 3,200 for this year. The patents include an invention for equipping autonomous vehicles with drones in order to map the surrounding area beyond what vehicle sensors can detect. Vehicle passengers control the drone using the car’s infotainment or navigation system.

“At Ford we are fully engaged in the current climate where inventions and out-side-the-box thinking are being produced rapidly,” says Tony Lockwood, Ford’s manager for the virtual driver system. “Ultimately, customers benefit as we open ourselves to new ideas and advance mobility using emerging technologies.”

The 113-year-old Dearborn-based automotive and mobility company has 203,000 employees and 62 plants worldwide. The automaker is pursuing emerging opportunities for innovation with investments in electrification, autonomy, and mobility.

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