Tag: Patent

By on September 23, 2019

Rotary engine fans are an odd bunch, but boy, are they patient. Say “maybe in the next decade” to them and they’ll pass their time doing whatever the hell rotary fans do in their off hours until it’s finally time for a resurrection of the pistonless internal combustion engine.

Over at Mazda, it’s been a long wait. Rumors of a successor to the RX-8, which bit the dust in 2012, have circulated for years, but company brass have remained focused on new crossovers, more efficient Skyactiv engines, and, more recently, electrification. And yet the automaker refuses to close the door on a rotary revival, keeping hope alive for those waiting for a new RX- product.

This latest patent from Mazda should tide them over. (Read More…)

By on February 13, 2018

Image: U.S. Patent and Trademark Office

The relationship between humans and cars is poised to become quite different in the years to come, or so the automakers warn promise us. Autonomous vehicles will whisk us to whatever destination we desire, simply by inputting our desired address into a navigation system or, perhaps, just by speaking it aloud. Already, the level of communication between humans and the modern car astounds.

We’ve come a long way from Chrysler’s Electronic Voice Alert, that nagging companion of the 1980s.

Now, Ford Motor Company looks ready to take our current relationship to the next level, while putting the human in charge. A U.S. patent published today describes a car that opens its doors only when it hears its master’s voice. And by “open,” we mean wide open, not just unlocked. (Read More…)

By on February 2, 2018

Here at TTAC, we sometimes offer up a story published by a sister publication after deciding it’s something worthy of your time. This piece, published by GMInsideNews, fits that bill. While the soulless autonomous future scares many of us, General Motors is working on a way to stop those driverless cars from plowing over each and every one of us. Read on.

General Motors continues to pour money and time into perfecting vehicle autonomy.

One of the integral themes of an autonomous driving future is communication. Vehicles will be required to rapidly and constantly talk to one another, relaying position, speed, and intent, with the same demands applying to our roadways and intersections — which will be expected to relay weather, traffic, and safety information in real time as vehicles approach.

Pedestrians, however, pose a unique problem. In busy cities, pedestrians and drivers routinely communicate nonverbally by making eye contact or gesticulating, but an autonomous vehicle doesn’t have that privilege. Its machine code is dependant on a series of binary questions it must ask itself in order to determine if the person is a threat, which — if affirmative — currently results in the car coming to a halt, which on occasion has caused a rear-end collision, or two.

Well, GM is working on a system in which autonomous vehicles will be capable of better understanding the motions of pedestrians by communicating with their Internet-connected devices, be it smart-phones, wearables, or perhaps even future advancements made towards transhumanism. (Read More…)

By on February 1, 2018

Iron or aluminum? For cylinder head construction, that’s the basic menu we’ve long grown used to. There’s advantages and drawbacks to both. Aluminum is lighter, but more prone to warping. Iron is stronger but heavier, with low thermal conductivity. Both materials are prone to the ups and downs of the commodities market, frustrating beancounters working at automakers everywhere.

In a U.S. patent application filed in October and published today, Ford Motor Company’s global tech division proposes something new: a cylinder head containing a barest minimum of metal. Called the Hybrid Composite Cylinder Head, most of the component’s bulk is made up of polymer composite, not aluminum or iron. (Read More…)

By on December 12, 2017

Front Pedestrian Braking, a new active safety technology available on the 2016 Chevrolet Malibu and 2016 Cadillac CT6, is one of many safety features tested at General Motors' new Active Safety Test Area at the Milford Proving Ground in Milford, Michigan. Image: Jeffrey Sauger/General Motors

Resident internet sleuth Bozi Tatarevic has unearthed an interesting patent granted to General Motors last week. Described as a “Fender Located Pedestrian Airbag,” it is intended to provide protection to a pedestrian hit by the front area of a vehicle.

Given that pedestrian safety standards are often cited as the reason for the pop-up headlamp’s demise, one can only assume that the units are poised for a glorious comeback on the next Corvette. No? Damn.

(Read More…)

By on September 1, 2017

ford-shifter-main
The traditional console-mounted transmission shifter is disappearing, being replaced by buttons or rotary knobs in many models as shift-by-wire becomes the industry standard. The 2018 GMC Terrain recently debuted — and received criticism for —  pushbuttons mounted low in the center stack in order to control the transmission.

Ford is no stranger to these configurations. The Blue Oval uses buttons mounted on the left side of the center stack in the Lincoln MKZ and a console-mounted rotary knob in the Ford Fusion. Now, Ford has an idea for an even more complex shifting system — and this one comes with a bit of retro flair.

(Read More…)

By on March 24, 2017

Chevrolet Corvette Active Aero Patent, Image Source: USPTO

General Motors has filed a patent application for an innovative active aerodynamics system that may find its way into forthcoming C7 Corvette variant.

(Read More…)

By on January 16, 2017

gmmansteptitle

General Motors loves to poke at its competitors, especially when it comes to trucks. We’re all familiar with its recent barrage of ads attacking Ford for using aluminum in the F-150’s bed, but another ad from 2009 may be coming back to bite them.

The ad in question made fun of a new feature that extended a step and handle from the tailgate of the F-150. Chevrolet didn’t have anything similar at the time, so it decided instead to make an ad mocking the step and making it seem like a feature for unmanly weaklings. Chevy resurrected a similar feature in the bumpers of some trucks a few years later, though a recent set of patents shows the automaker is almost replicating the step they ridiculed eight years ago. (Read More…)

By on May 20, 2016

2008 Chevrolet Corvette ZR1, Image: GM

General Motors filed a trademark application for the “ZR1” name, reports AutoGuide, once again fueling rumors of the second coming of Jesus a mid-engine Chevrolet Corvette.

The last time a Corvette wore the ZR1 designation, it came packing 638 horsepower thanks to a blown 6.2-liter LS9 V8. The next ZR1, however, may just eclipse the 707-horsepower Hellcat duo for the Horsepower Wars Output Crown.

(Read More…)

By on December 8, 2015

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General Motors this month filed a patent application for a navigation system that can gauge how effective it is in frustrating guiding drivers based on their eye movements and how well those drivers follow directions.

The patent application filed Dec. 3 details a navigation system that watches “visual focus, the driver vocalizations and the driver emotions, along with vehicle system parameters from a data bus … to evaluate driver satisfaction with navigation guidance and determine driver behavior.”

“You missed our last turn, Aaron.”

I know, OnStar. We’re going off course.

“I don’t like how that sounds, Aaron.”

Take me to the nearest hole in the desert, OnStar.  (Read More…)

By on July 23, 2015

Screen Shot 2015-07-23 at 8.37.13 AMGeneral Motors may store seat position, radio presets, contacts and Internet browsing history in a cloud-based system to serve to drivers regardless of the car they’re in, a patent discovered by Autoblog shows.

The patent, which was filed July 14, said separate drivers would be required to authenticate their identities via RFID chip, text input, voice identification or fingerprint reader. The information would be downloaded to the car via telematics.

The patent filing includes several mentions of security measures the automaker would take to protect sensitive information, which would include phone contacts, voicemails, Internet browsing history and Paula Abdul song alerts.

(Read More…)

By on July 16, 2015

Screen Shot 2015-07-16 at 10.59.27 AMFuture Fords may have decorative exterior molding or body panels with built-in lights, Carscoops.com (via FocusRSClub) has uncovered in patent filings.

The filings detail luminescent panels and moldings that would light up to accent portions of some of Ford’s vehicles.

Or you know, the stuff aftermarket shops have been offering for years now.

(Read More…)

By on July 6, 2015

Photo courtesy FCA

Folks over at Chrysler have filed another extension for the Barracuda nameplate, according to Allpar, which would be at least the fifth extension in three years with no new car in sight.

The filing over at the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office is wonderfully vague, specifying only “passenger automobiles, their structural parts, trim and badges” in the filing made June 23.

Reviving the Barracuda name would be incredibly difficult, considering it may not currently have a place to live.

(Read More…)

By on August 31, 2012

 

If a Pennsylvania company will get its say, Ford needs to equip its F150 truck with carburetors. Or, at the very least, with something else than its current fuel injection system. TMC Fuel Injection System LLC of Wayne, Pennsylvania, sued Ford for allegedly infringing a TMC patent, Reuters says. (Read More…)

By on April 19, 2012

Last week General Motors filed an application with United States Patent & Trademark Office to register SS as a trademark (search for 85597402 here). Though Chevrolet has used the SS designation since the early 1960s, first appearing on the ’61 Impala SS, it has apparently never before taken the steps to protect it as a trademark. (Read More…)

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