Ford has patented a way to use information about things like road grade and navigation data to more efficiently make use of the adaptive cruise control. The system seems perfect to help autonomous vehicles maximize their fuel economy.
GM now has a patent for a cloud-based system to transfer personalization settings between vehicles, including the seating position, audio presets, contacts, and much more. The automaker sees useful applications for car sharing services and rental companies.
Hyundai has a patent for a way to disable smartphone features, like calls and texting, by using specific software and antennas inside the vehicle. It can even limit these restrictions simple to the area around the driver's seat.
Toyota has patented an improved eye-tracking technology that attempts to eliminate false-positive results caused by redeye. The system also monitors a driver's upper and lower eyelids to calculate how open the is.
A study by Thomson Reuters looks at the past 24 years of auto patents to examine Apple's current place in the industry. Samsung might be a big competitor, but an Apple merger with Tesla could be a real boon for both businesses.