• Jun 3rd 2009 at 7:52PM
  • 13
2010 Ford Fusion Hybrid - Click above for a high-res image gallery

More technology than ever before is being added to modern automobiles, and much of this whiz-bang tech has been created to cut down on fuel consumption and reduce emissions. This being the case, it's not particularly surprising to hear that the new 2010 Ford Fusion Hybrid holds the title of The Most Patented Car in History. So says Christine Wren, director of business development for The Patent Board, a firm that tracks and analyzes patents across 17 industries globally:

Ford's patented technologies are closer to the cutting edge than its competitors. Ford's overall patent portfolio plays a significant role in serving as a foundation for other technology innovation as shown by receiving 20 percent more citations than the average portfolio in this industry.

Just how many patents are we talking about? Apparently, there are 119 total patents and patent applications for the 2010 Ford Fusion and Fusion Hybrid alone, including patents related to Ford's proprietary hybrid technology, SmartGuage with EcoGuide, Blind Spot Information System and EasyFuel Capless Fuel-Filler System. Want to know more? Make the jump for the official press release.


[Source: Ford]

PRESS RELEASE:

2010 Ford Fusion Hybrid: The most patented car in history

· Leading patent analyst ranks Ford above all other automakers for the quality and significance of its technology patents.

· The 2010 Fusion and Fusion Hybrid – America's most fuel efficient mid-size sedan – sets new standard for technology innovation with 119 U.S. patents and patent applications

A study by the world's leading patent analyst, The Patent Board™, found that Ford Motor Company outperformed all other automakers in the quality and significance of its technology patents.

"Ford's patented technologies are closer to the cutting edge than its competitors," says Christine Wren, director of business development for The Patent Board, which tracks and analyzes patents across 17 industries globally.

Technological innovation is a core value at Ford as the company drives for leadership in quality, safety, fuel efficiency and in-car connectivity. For example, the 2010 Ford Fusion and Fusion Hybrid, which is America's most fuel efficient mid-size sedan, have 119 patents, a record for Ford.

The Patent Board recently issued its Top 10 Innovators in Automotive & Transportation Patent Scorecard™ for the fourth quarter of 2008, which ranks Ford above all other automakers in Research Intensity™ and Industry Impact™. Ford's Research Intensity score, which is more than twice that of the industry average, indicates the extent to which its portfolio includes patents with strong scientific support.

Similarly, The Patent Board's Industry Impact score measures the broader significance and impact of a company's patent portfolio across the industry. This indicator analyzes how other patents build on Ford's innovation by looking at patent-to-patent citations.

"Ford's overall patent portfolio plays a significant role in serving as a foundation for other technology innovation as shown by receiving 20 percent more citations than the average portfolio in this industry," Wren says.

For the Fusion Hybrid, for example, teams of research scientists and engineers developed Ford-exclusive technologies that helped the vehicle achieve a certified 41 mpg in the city, 8 mpg better than the Toyota Camry hybrid.

"Ford is using technology to remake our lineup with the green, high-tech vehicles customers want," says Derrick Kuzak, group vice president, Global Product Development. "The Fusion Hybrid team set the bar high – to develop America's most fuel efficient mid-size sedan – and that's what they delivered."

Patents on the Fusion Hybrid pertain to technologies such as Ford's new-generation hybrid powertrain and SmartGaugeTM with EcoGuide digital instrument cluster that helps coach drivers to achieve better fuel efficiency.

"We focus on getting high-quality patents that have the best breakthrough potential for the company," says Bill Coughlin, president and CEO of Ford Global Technologies.

Specific Fusion and Fusion Hybrid patents include:

· Hybrid technology – The Fusion Hybrid's powertrain system combines the best attributes of the gasoline engine and electric battery-driven motors to deliver the optimal experience for the customer in terms of driving performance and fuel economy. The overall system upgrade allows the hybrid to operate up to 47 mph in pure electric mode, approximately twice as fast as some competitors. The city driving range on a single tank of gas is expected to be more than 700 miles.

· SmartGauge with EcoGuide – This unique instrument cluster helps coach Fusion Hybrid drivers on how to optimize performance of their vehicle for maximum fuel efficiency. It features two, high-resolution, full-color liquid crystal display (LCD) screens on either side of the analog speedometer that can be configured to show different levels of information, including fuel and battery power levels, average and instant mpg report.

· Blind Spot Information System (BLIS™) with Cross Traffic Alert – Ford's new Cross Traffic Alert feature will help warn drivers of impending traffic while backing out by using radars to pick up moving objects within a 65-foot range from either side of the vehicle. Two warnings are given: an indicator lights up in the corresponding outside mirror and an audible alert is sounded. The feature works in conjunction with Ford's radar-based Blind Spot Information System, utilizing this system's two multiple beam radar modules, which are packaged in the rear quarter panels – one per side. The radar identifies when a vehicle enters the defined blind spot zone and illuminates an indicator light on the corresponding sideview mirror providing a warning that a vehicle is approaching.

· EasyFuel™ Capless Fuel-Filler System – This industry-exclusive feature eliminates the need to touch dirty gas caps and helps to reduce evaporative emissions that create smog and global warming. When fueling is completed and the fuel pump nozzle is removed, the system automatically seals shut.

Patenting is a global activity at Ford, with experts in the United States, Europe, India and China sharing common processes and reporting through Ford Global Technologies, LLC, a wholly owned Ford subsidiary responsible for managing Ford's intellectual property worldwide.


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  • 13 Comments
      • 6 Years Ago
      I remember when the Porsche 968 came out. They advertised it as the most patented car ever.

      Then the Honda Insight came out and I saw it for the first time at an earth day event at USC, the Honda rep said it was the most patented car ever.

      I'm glad Ford is patenting some thing. But I question the validity of the claim as most patented ever.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Hopefully ford will lock up a bunch of hybrid tech patents and all the other car companies will be forced to produce electric cars.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Well, they're sort of late to the game, so I doubt it. They'll probably license out the technology to make some cash on the side, they sort of need it you know.

        I like how GM was smart enough to develop a system that can be adapted to both plug-in hybrid and pure EV drivetrains, that'll last them for decades. Though of course it does them little good as long as they aren't selling any cars.
        • 6 Years Ago
        At the very least, the speculation tht Ford is using first generation Toyota technology for the Fusion Hybrid. So Americans can build world class cars after all!
      CaMaven
      • 6 Years Ago
      Hooray for Ford! I'm glad to see that they are advancing with the times, with a nice, economical compact. I drove one recently and was favorably impressed. We replaced our Mercedes 420SEL with a Toyotya Prius last year, otherwise we would consider this Ford. Ford has managed better than GM and Chrysler and deserves support.
      • 6 Years Ago
      I'll have to say one thing about this: I'm fairly impressed with the Ford Fusion hybrid. It's too bad the Big Three didn't put something like this together back in 2004 when the second gen Prius was released.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Congrats to Ford. Patent standards have be raised much higher in the last few years, so it's much harder to get one.

      Keep it up!
        • 6 Years Ago
        Not really. I own a couple junk patents myself. There's virtually no standard at all. The patent reviewers seem to just skip over half the applications.
      • 6 Years Ago
      These reports are produced by companies trying to drum up business for their patent research business.

      Sheer number of patent citations is not necessarily a measure of anything.
      • 6 Years Ago
      I bet those horrible tail lights are not patented.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Pontiac patented ugliness when they rolled out the Aztek.

        Anyhow I was sceptical of the new Fusion's look. I was a fan of the older fusion and at first really didn't like the new look because it watered things down too much. Two weeks ago I drove by a Fusion hybrid and got a good look at it and I can say that it actually looks pretty good. Obviously some people won't like some aspect of it, but I was impressed and as a child of the 80s I am predisposed to hate all American cars so Ford did something right.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Blind spot warning, parking assist, lane keep assist... just when you thought there was still a minimum level of things like spatial awareness needed to hurdle a 3500 lb car down the road they find another way to lower the bar.

      Stew
      • 6 Years Ago
      I wonder how many of these will lead to lawsuits by patent trolls.

      A revision of the patent system is long overdue, well, actually, all IP legislation could use a serious update to cope with the technological realities of the 21st century. I mean, most IP laws in my country (Germany) can be traced back to before WW1, how crazy is that.

      Anyway, waiting for the next "most patented car" hype when the Volt comes out.
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