Automotive

Published on December 22nd, 2015 | by Daniel Sherman Fernandez

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Ford pushed for innovation through 2015

Ford employees delivered so many new inventions this year that the company has achieved a record number of new patents as Ford Smart Mobility and other initiatives continue to accelerate the pace of innovation. Innovators at Ford submitted nearly 6,000 new inventions in 2015, with many related to autonomous and connected vehicles, wearable devices, eBikes, navigation, ride-sharing platforms and other technologies – an increase of 36 percent from 2014. These include technologies to help autonomous vehicles detect other vehicles at obstructed intersections, technologies to alleviate range anxiety in electrified vehicles and to extend range in real-world driving. Another new invention is designed for cyclists – allowing riders to report road obstacles to help other riders.

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As part of Ford Smart Mobility – the company’s plan to use innovation to ascend to the next level in connectivity, mobility, autonomous vehicles, the customer experience, and data and analytics – 2015’s record-breaking output of inventions features thousands of technologies that enable key advancements in connectivity, analytics, wearables, electrification and safety. For example, a new bike system can detect bike lanes and alert cyclists of path deviations. Another one would suggest a safe vehicle speed based on nearby infrastructure, average vehicle speed and GPS data, and a new front brake light technology would improve vehicle-to-vehicle and autonomous driving-to-pedestrian communication.

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Hundreds of Ford employees all over the world are responsible for this achievement. In the past three years, Ford employees in Asia Pacific increased invention disclosure submissions more than 140 percent, North America is up almost 100 percent and Europe saw an increase of more than 50 percent. Recently, Ford showcased the breadth of its patent portfolio by licensing robotic test driving technology, which saves time and spares human test drivers from such physically demanding tasks as driving over curbs and through potholes to prove vehicle durability.

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