Technology

These Are the Two Most Innovative Automakers Today

They're both American: Suck on that, rest of the world.

Innovation is a key to success in the auto industry, and carmakers are always making claims about just how innovative they are. You see this all the time in radio, print and television ads. But when all of that advertising is pushed aside, only the facts remain. In other words, General Motors and Ford can proudly claim to be the top two most innovative automakers today. More specifically, GM came in at number one for the 11th consecutive quarter in the filing of patents.

For Ford, it’s all-new 215 F-150 currently holds the title of having more patents filed than any pickup truck ever. Some of GM’s patent examples include fuel cells, phone apps, and various other technologies designed to reduce energy consumption. Actually, GM leads all other automakers for US clean energy patents granted, according to The Detroit Bureau. In the past year alone, GM accumulated 1,643 patents, including two dozen relating to the new eight-speed automatic gearbox for the Corvette Stingray. It even led in the total number of fuel cell patents for 2013. For the Ford F-150, it has over 100 new patents either approved or pending.

Examples include the LED side-mirror spotlights, remote tailgate release, BoxLin cargo management, and the new heat-treating aluminum alloy that’s helped to reduce the truck’s weight by 700 lbs. Ford is also heavily involved in hybrid technology R&D, with about 500 patents filed in recent years. 200 alone were for the Fusion Energi plug-in hybrid.

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