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

Your Parent Or Kid Moved In: Are You Covered?
A record 57 million Americans now live in multigenerational family households — double the number in 1980, according to a new Pew Research Center study. And I bet many of them have the wrong homeowner’s or renters...
 
 
Pandora Looks to Challenge Terrestrial Radio's Dominance in Cars
Pandora Media is one of the largest Internet radio providers in the U.S. with more than 75 million active users. While the company’s active user count has increased at a robust pace historically, it is likely to slow...
 
 
Are General Manager Salaries About To Skyrocket? Will There Be A Front Office Salary Cap?
Are General Manager Salaries About To Skyrocket? Will There Be A Front Office Salary Cap?
It’s January 2026. New York Yankees owner Hal Steinbrenner gets out of his driverless car and triumphantly marches before the gathered press to introduce his prized new free agent. It’s a record-breaking contract—over...
 
 
Volkswagen AG New Coverage: Trefis Price Estimate at $51
Volkswagen AG is the second largest automaker in the world behind Toyota and slightly ahead of GM, selling 9.72 million vehicles globally in 2013. Established in 1937, Volkswagen AG, along with its 340 subsidiary...
 
 
 

Latest from the Network

Lea Michele to play single mum in biker drama
Los Angeles, July 29 (IANS) "Glee" star Lea Michele will make a guest appearance as a single mother in biker drama "Sons of Anarchy". The actress took to microblogging site Twitter.com Monday to announce her one-...
Read more on Celebrity Balla
 
Green spaces impact birth weight positively
London, July 29 (IANS) Where expecting mothers live can also have a bearing on the birth weight of their babies as researchers have found that mothers who live near green spaces deliver babies with significantly higher...
Read more on Apple Balla
 
What makes you a pessimist?
London, July 29 (IANS) Cannot see thing turning out to be all right? A hyperactive habenula, half the size of a pea in the brain that tracks predictions about negative events, could be the key, a study suggests. A...
Read more on Apple Balla
 
Rocket attack kills girl in Egypt's Sinai
Cairo, July 29 (IANS) A nine-year-old girl was killed and another girl was injured when a rocket hit their house in Egypt's restive Sinai peninsula, an official said Tuesday. The rocket was apparently targeted at a...
Read more on Politics Balla
 
India thrash Trinidad and Tobago 14-0 in CWG hockey
Glasgow, July 29 (IANS) The Indian women's hockey team came back strongly from a 0-3 defeat to New Zealand to thrash minnows Trinidad and Tobago 14-0 in their third Pool A match of the Commonwealth Games here. India...
Read more on Sport Balla
 
Six killed in attack on Pakistan politician's house
Islamabad, July 29 (IANS/EFE) At least six people, including a local political leader's brother, were killed Tuesday in an attack by an armed group in northwestern Pakistan, a police official said. The attack was made...
Read more on Politics Balla
 
Mick Jagger has birthday brunch
Sir Mick Jagger marked his 71st birthday with a family brunch. The Rolling Stones rocker was joined by eight people - including daughters Georgia May and Karis - at Hakkasan New York on Saturday (07.27.14) during a...
Read more on Celebrity Balla
 
Kiefer Sutherland wishes Freddie Prinze Jr well
Kiefer Sutherland wishes Freddie Prinze Jr. ''the best''. The 47-year-old actor insists he never had a problem with his former '24' co-star - who claims ''unprofessional'' Kiefer made him want to quit acting - and never...
Read more on Celebrity Balla
 
Taylor Schilling celebrates birthday
Taylor Schilling was serenaded by her castmates at her 30th birthday party at the weekend. The 'Orange is the New Black' actress was joined by several stars of the show, including Laura Prepon, Laverne Cox, Natasha...
Read more on Celebrity Balla
 
Ricky Whittle 'scared' of meeting Bruce Willis
Ricky Whittle is dreading having to meet Bruce Willis. The 32-year-old British actor - who is best known for his role in UK TV soap 'Hollyoaks' - is romancing the 'Die Hard' star's daughter Rumer, and though he gets on...
Read more on Celebrity Balla