The innovation game

Ford has applied for a record number of patents this year, including a three-fold increase in patents for electric cars.

This highlights a clear focus within the company towards greater innovation and technology, driven by chief executive officer Mark Fields.

The company announced on Tuesday that it had applied for 5,872 patents during 2015, a 36% increase on 2014, in areas including autonomous cars, wearable devices and ride-sharing. More than 400 of its patents related to electric cars.

About 1,000 of these patents have already been approved.

Bill Coughlin, chief executive officer of Ford Global Technologies, said ‘We’re getting innovation not just from the major centres we’ve had historically in Michigan and in Europe, but really the entire enterprise is becoming more inventive.

‘Once someone starts thinking like an inventor, they can’t turn that off. It changes your mind-set more toward one that would be very familiar in Silicon Valley.’

Recently Ford announced it would invest $4.5bn in electrified cars in the next five years.