Ford patents outpace rivals in 2016

The USPTO has granted Ford around 1,500 patents so far this year.

Ford employees have significantly ramped up their invention pace in recent years, allegedly receiving more patent grants in 2016 than any other automaker.

The US Patent and Trademark Office granted Ford around 1,500 patents so far this year, representing a 25 percent increase compared to 2015's numbers. The total accounts for nearly half of Ford's 3,200 global patents awarded this year.

The company suggests its employees have submitted the most patent applications in the company's entire 113-year history this year. Global filings increased by 40 percent to 8,000 inventions, a 90 percent leap over 2014.

"We are living the innovation mindset in all parts of our business across the globe," says Ford CTO Raj Nair. "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."

The 'On-the-Go H2O' system is among the more radical inventions, collecting vehicle condensation to use as drinking water. The Carr-E is a personal transportation device that can double as a package delivery system, while the eChair electric wheelchair self-loads into a car. Another invention equips autonomous vehicles with drones.

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