Autonomous cars need to know when to yield. Google has already thought of that.
Tesla Motors made big headlines when CEO Elon Musk announced a few weeks ago that he would open up all of the automaker's patents. The response has been interesting, to say the least, with some electric vehicle advocates and investor groups praising the news and others saying that what Musk did wasn't all that big a deal, in the end.
When Tesla CEO Elon Musk says that he's thinking about something, you definitely need to pay attention because it's likely something big. In an eloquently worded press release (a very rare thing indeed) Musk explains reason after reason why Tesla is opening up all of its patents, effective immediately.
The remains of Fisker Automotive - which might not even include the name and logo - are supposed to finally be sold off tomorrow, but the scene before the auction is anything but clear. As as reminder, the two bidding parties are Wanxiang and Hybrid Tech Holdings. Hybrid Tech was denied an emergency motion in court last week that would have lifted an earlier ruling that limited how much debt it can use to try and buy Fisker. The limit remains at $25 million.
Samsung isn't talking, but a number of the South Korean electronics giant's recent patents are speaking volumes. The company has filed a number of patents for technology that could be used in electric vehicles, making many wonder if the company, which already makes batteries for plug-in vehicles, may go whole hog and start building EVs, according to the Wall Street Journal.
Toyota beat all its carmaker competitors for the title of most US patent filings last year, hands down. The Intellectual Property Owners Association reported that Toyota had 1,491 patents issued in 2012 by the United States Patent and Trademark Office. So, what is Toyota doing to generate that many patents?
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.
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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