Google, Apple Nab 345 Patents That May Govern Your Next Car

Jan 1 2014, 3:58pm CST | by

Google, Apple Nab 345 Patents That May Govern Your Next Car
Photo Credit: Forbes Auto

What will your next car be like? Google, Apple and other giants of the smartphone business have plenty of ideas. In fact, Google alone has 310 U.S. patents relating to areas such as car-based smart devices, navigation and route guidance. Apple has another 35. Meanwhile, five other smartphone players have a total of 617 additional U.S. patents with automotive implications.

Those numbers leap out of a new report on smartphone companies’ rapidly growing interest in the car market. The report was carried out by EnvisionIP, a patent-analysis firm in New York City. The study identifies seven tech companies that have been briskly filing patent applications in a bid to become “leading innovators in the smart vehicle and hybrid/electric vehicle space.”

EnvisionIP”s founder and managing director, Moulin Shah, finds that Google has the biggest automotive-related patent portfolio, in large part because of the patents it acquired in 2012 from Motorola Mobility. But he says Google also has some intriguing patents coined by its own engineers, including Patent No.  8,457,827, which covers  “modifying behavior of autonomous vehicle based on predicted behavior of other vehicles,” as well as Patent No. 8,428,873 , which applies to “panoramic images within driving directions”.

An especially intriguing Google patent application, 20130261871  — which hasn’t yet been approved — applies to “gesture-based automotive controls.” Google’ engineers Nicholas Hobs and Liang-Yu Chi define these as everything from tapping to pinching or waving. Once such gestures are recognized, all sorts of responses would be possible, including adjusting a seat or changing the windshield wipers’ speed.

Hobbs and Chi don’t explicitly include a raised middle finger as one of the gestures that their patent will track. Nor do they offer any ideas about what a Google-equipped car might be able to do — instantly — if a driver resorted to such a universal gesture of frustration. But their patent is broadly enough written that Google or its automotive partners have room to innovate in this area, too.

Other leading smartphone companies with U.S. automotive patents, according to EnvisionIP, include Samsung (234 patents), LG (161), Sony (155), Nokia (42) and BlackBerry (25).

Expect to hear a lot more this year about the convergence of smartphone technology and the car of the future. As The Wall Street Journal reported earlier this week, Google and Audi are expected to announced next week at the Consumer Electronics show in Las Vegas that they will be working together on developing in-car gadgetry based on Google’s Android operating system. Apple and its iOS operating system already have won interest from BMW, Ford Motor and Daimler AG’s Mercedes car business.

Source: Forbes Auto

 
 

Don't miss ...

 

<a href="/latest_stories/all/all/30" rel="author">Forbes</a>
Forbes is among the most trusted resources for the world's business and investment leaders, providing them the uncompromising commentary, concise analysis, relevant tools and real-time reporting they need to succeed at work, profit from investing and have fun with the rewards of winning.

 

blog comments powered by Disqus

Latest stories

Asia's Week: Japan's Rebound Gets More Taxing
Another calamitous loss of human life gripped Asia’s attention this week, relegating economic matters to secondary notice, but they were also of concern. China’s growth pauses never cease to furrow brows but it is Japan...
 
 
China's Round Two on Electric Cars: Will It Work?
Everyone loves China’s five-year plans. They tell you everything you need to know about the future direction of the Chinese economy: intentions and priorities, along with timetables and targets. The only thing missing...
 
 
Dodge Reveals One-Year Car Lease Terms, Unveils '05 Charger And Challenger
Innovative it might be, but as in any gamble the odds still favor the house. Dodge just put all its cards on the table after revealing earlier in the week that it was introducing a clever one-year lease program on the...
 
 
Bikes And Cars: Can They Ever Get Along?
EDITOR’S NOTE: Forbes has just published Curbing Cars: America’s Independence From The Auto Industry, an eBook investigating why a growing number of Americans are giving up their cars. Written by Forbes contributor and...
 
 
 

Latest from the Network

Ryan Seacrest to quit 'American Idol'?
Ryan Seacrest is reportedly planning to quit 'American Idol.' The 39-year-old star, who has hosted the US reality singing competition since its first season in 2002, wants to jump ship before the FOX series is cancelled...
Read more on Celebrity Balla
 
iOS 6 Users Facing Problems with FaceTime
The iOS 6 users are getting frustrated with the FaceTime, a popular video calling software, as it is continuing to crash in their iPhones and iPads.The users have informed the problem on a thread of Apple Support...
Read more on Apple Balla
 
Apple Offering Redesigned iPad Mini with Retina Display at 15% Discount
Apple brings a great offer for the iPad lovers, as the company decides to sell the refurbished model of iPad Mini with Retina display with a great discount of 15%.According to Apple Insider, the 16-GB model is being...
Read more on Apple Balla
 
SungardASVoice: Three Things Businesses Can Learn From The Decline Of American Idol
By Adam Wren Thirteen years into its prime-time run, “American Idol” is a brand in decline. But the kinds of things the show can do–and, in some cases, is doing–to change its fortunes can serve as an example to other...
Read more on Apple Balla
 
Justin Bieber crashed Drake Bell's party
Justin Bieber crashed Drake Bell's album party on Thursday night (04.17.14). The 20-year-old singer - who has been repeatedly attacked by the former Nickelodeon star on Twitter in recent months - went out of his way to...
Read more on Celebrity Balla
 
5 features an Amazon phone might offer
NEW YORK (AP) — Rumors of an Amazon smartphone reached a fever pitch this week, with the Wall Street Journal reporting that the device could be due out this year. Amazon hasn't confirmed that it has plans...
Read more on Business Balla
 
Asia's Week: Japan's Rebound Gets More Taxing
Another calamitous loss of human life gripped Asia’s attention this week, relegating economic matters to secondary notice, but they were also of concern. China’s growth pauses never cease to furrow brows but it is Japan...
Read more on Auto Balla
 
Why Drink Organic, Biodynamic And Sustainable Wines For Earth Day?
Six Organic Wines To Try Now Talking about organic wine is surprisingly complicated. When I set out to write this column I planned on rounding up some organic producers, tasting some wines and calling out the tastiest...
Read more on Business Balla
 
Washington's Anxiety as the President Heads to Asia
Anxiety is everywhere these days in the debate over U.S. policy toward Asia. Here in Washington, there seems to be deep anxiety about the Obama administration’s ability to fulfill its promise to rebalance to Asia. In...
Read more on Business Balla
 
 
Auto Balla Sexy Balla Sport Balla TV Balla Politics Balla Movie Balla Apple Balla Business Balla Ad Balla Celebrity Balla