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Apple files for a patent for 'humanized navigation instructions for mapping applications' that would provide more human-like detail to navigation instructions.

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Ram may be preparing a new sort of tailgate that could rethink the way we access the bed of the company's pickup trucks. Rather than the typical fold-down tailgate that we know so well, patent drawings show a tailgate that combines the functionality of a traditional fold-down design with a 50/50 split that can, individually, be opened like a barn-door design or dropped flat like a standard tailgate.

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Someone filed a patent application in China for the Jaguar XJ limousine seen above, but no one's sure who filed it or what the car is for. One camp thinks it's a State limo for UK royals like the Bentley State Limousine, another camp thinks it's the work of aftermarket coachbuilders.

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This should raise the eyebrows of a few Camaro enthusiasts. GM Authority is reporting that General Motors has filed with the "United States Patent and Trademark Office for a trademark of the "Z28" moniker. Oh, do we have your attention?

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Subaru unveiled its steroid-enhanced Impreza – the XV concept – at the 2011 Shanghai Motor Show earlier this year, previewing what a high-riding version of the automaker's new C-segment hatchback could look like. Here in the United States, the XV is better known as the Impreza Outback Sport – a vehicle which we've gotten quite accustomed to, especially for its signature two-tone look.

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A true driver's car can seem to know exactly what the driver's thinking, but that's really not the case. Right?

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Plug-in vehicles are all the rage right now – witness the Nissan Leaf, Chevrolet Volt and Ford Transit Connect Electric all coming to market between now and the end of the year. Unfortunately, electric and hybrid vehicles carry a significant price premium over conventional models (most of the time) so automakers like Ford are looking for more cost-effective improvements that can be applied to millions of conventionally powered vehicles.

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Over the years, General Motors has not often been seen as a forward-thinking company when it comes to green technologies. Sure, the Chevrolet Chevette was one of the first American cars to crack the 30 miles per gallon mark (the diesel model got north of 50 mpg). True, the EV-1 experiment showed some promising results (or, depending on who you ask, helped kill the electric car). But for the most part, The General has put most of its blood sweat and tears into basic, and not particularly breakthr

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Toyota Camry patent filings – Click above for high-res image gallery

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2010 Chevrolet Malibu patent drawings – Click above for high-res image gallery

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Mercedes SLS AMG Roadster patent images – Click above for image gallery

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"Simplify, then add lightness." Those are the famous words spoken by Sir Colin Chapman, the father of Lotus and one of the automotive world's great geniuses. Speaking of genius, the dual-clutch transmission (at a sane price point) is a major step forward. It combines the automaticness of an automatic with the manualness of a manual and the speed of a bullet. The trouble is, dual-clutches are complex and heavy. But what if the company Colin built had their way? What if you could simplify a dual-c

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Toyota is the undisputed world leader in hybrid vehicle sales, so it unsurprisingly follows that the company dominates the charts when it comes to patents for "electric propulsion vehicles." A recent study conducted by the Japan Patent Office on global trends in the EV industry found that 76 percent of the 16,670 patents filed for electric propulsion vehicles (here defined as pure electric vehicles, hybrids and fuel cell vehicles, excluding railroad vehicles) came from Japanese companies.

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Toyota is the undisputed world leader in hybrid vehicle sales, so it's no surprise the company dominates the charts when it comes to patents for "electric propulsion vehicles." A recent study conducted by the Japan Patent Office on global trends in the EV industry found that 76 percent of the 16,670 patents filed for electric propulsion vehicles (here defined as pure electric vehicles, hybrids and fuel cell vehicles, yet excluding railroad vehicles) came from Japanese companies.

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