Ford and Toyota Tops Patent Activity in Autopilot Technology


Experts believe that the future of the automotive industry lies in electric cars and drones. This is also felt by automakers seeking to lead actively developing market segments.

For example, Ford and Toyota have stepped up their autopilot patents today. We learn about this from the rating, which was initiated by the authoritative Japanese edition of the Nikkei Asian Review.

The dynamics can be traced by comparing the real state of affairs with the 2018 rating. Thus, the Ford Motor Company over the past years was able to lead the rating, moving up to the top line from the fourth place. At the same time, experts note that the American auto giant is less successful in terms of the number of valid patents in this area: in this case, Toyota Motor is in the lead, which in the overall rating receives “silver”, as it did three years ago.

But the former leader – the American firm Waymo, whose unmanned taxi recently tried to “escape” from technical support, this time dropped to third place. The holders of the first two places have over a thousand active patents in the field of autopilot. Waymo has just over 580 such documents. General Motors, which failed to keep its third place, has 678 active patents.

Interestingly, this year, not all companies have thoroughly taken up the development of autonomous driving technologies.

For example, Uber decided to sell its core business to Aurora Innovation, and its competitor Lyft wants to sell similar assets to Toyota.

In any case, Ford and Toyota have mastered the “theoretical base” best of all, but Waymo is becoming the leader in terms of practice. His drones have run over hundreds of kilometers. In the future, companies will have to move from theory to practice, and this process will determine a new leader.