Ford hasn’t been sitting around doing nothing this year. It’s had quite a busy 365 days in the innovation department. This is on top of the recent announcement that Ford and Google are partnering up to build self-driving cars.
As we head into 2016, the automaker says it filed a record number of patents this year as part of its Smart Mobility Plan. Inventions run the gamut from autonomous and connected vehicles to eBikes, navigation, ride-sharing platforms and, yes, even wearable devices.
In all, Ford says it submitted nearly 6,000 new inventions in 2015.
“Our engineers and scientists are inventing ways to address mobility challenges more than ever – with more patent applications filed this year on car-sharing, wearables, bikes, cloud computing and in other areas to improve consumers’ lives inside and outside the car,” says Raj Nair, Ford executive vice president and chief technical officer. “By hosting – and participating in – more internal hackathons and innovation labs, our employees are stepping up to show that inventing is a priority for leadership in the industry.”
The automaker also says it’s increased its electrification patents by nearly 200 percent in the last five years. It has 275 U.S. patents for its EcoBoost engines with 200 more pending. Earlier this year, the company followed in the footsteps of Tesla and Toyota by opening up its portfolio of electrified vehicle technology patents for licensing to competitive automakers to accelerate industry-wide research and development.
Recently, Ford also showed off its robotic test driving technology.