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List of News and Information about patents on 4WheelsNews.com

News and Information about patents

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Patent Images of BMW 3 Series Wagon (G21) show up in design registration in Brazil

BMW is just fresh from unveiling the all-new seventh generation of the BMW 3 Series Sedan (G20) at the 2018 Paris Motor Show. Bringing the promise of being much better than its predecessor, the all-new 3 Series Sedan is poised to meet the expectations. Nonetheless, BMW isn't finished yet, as the German carmaker will also offer wagon variant of the 3 Series.

As to how the new BMW 3 Series Wagon (G21) would look like, perhaps a design registration with Brazil's Instituto Nacional da Propriedade Industrial could help. The images may not be as sharp as those released by BMW for the 3 Series Sedan, but they offer a good glimpse of the exterior of the upcoming 3 Series Wagon.

From the front end to the B-pillar, the BMW 3 Series Wagon looks identical to the 3 Series Sedan. The front end of the upcoming 3 Series Wagon is likewise marked by the large BMW kidney grille framed by a single surround. In addition, the bonnet of the 3 Series Wagon features four contour lines all flowing towards the BMW kidney grille.

Read the entire article Patent Images of BMW 3 Series Wagon (G21) show up in design registration in Brazil

Leaked patent images from Brazil show possible final looks of 2019 BMW X7 premium SUV

The final production model of the 2019 BMW X7 is already set to be unveiled to the global public at the upcoming Los Angeles Auto Show in November. Yet would-be customers are already hyped this early for the new sports utility vehicle from BMW. Now, the excitement grows bigger thanks to a purported leak of patent images showing how the BMW X7 might look like in production form.

Somehow, the resourceful people at Motor1.com Brazil managed to get a number of patent images from the Instituto Nacional da Propriedade Industrial (Brazilian National Institute of Industrial Property). Based on the leaked images, the new 2019 BMW X7 would be as expected – a more subtle version of the Concept X7 iPerformance show vehicle unveiled at the 2017 Frankfurt Motor Show.

The reveal of the BMW Concept X7 iPerformance in September 2017 at Frankfurt essentially signaled the imminent arrival of a new flagship SUV from BMW. By December 2017, first pre-production models of the X7 rolled off the assembly line at the carmaker’s Spartanburg site in South Carolina.

Read the entire article Leaked patent images from Brazil show possible final looks of 2019 BMW X7 premium SUV

Mazda patents new type of active rear spoiler with US Patent Office

It seems Japanese carmaker Mazda Motor Corp. has found a new way to implement a rear spoiler on its vehicles. In fact, Mazda has filed two patents – with the United States Patent & Trademark Office -- that would become vital elements of its innovative active rear spoiler.

Carmakers typically try to increase the aerodynamic performance of their vehicles by installing rear spoilers, which are also called rear wings. By spoiling unfavorable air movement over a moving vehicle, a rear spoiler could decrease the so-called aerodynamic turbulence or drag while generating more downforce. These rear spoilers are typically fixed – mounted permanently with an undeviating position – on the rear of the vehicle. Since these are fixed-mounted to the rear of the vehicle, the aesthetics of the model seems compromised from the rear viewpoint.

Nonetheless, there are those so-called active rear spoilers that rise automatically when the vehicle reaches a certain speed, and then settles down to fit flush with the vehicle when the speed goes down to a certain level. This way, the aesthetics of the vehicle would be enhanced, as the rear spoiler could be hidden flush when not really needed.

Read the entire article Mazda patents new type of active rear spoiler with US Patent Office

Mercedes-Benz patents a pedestrian protection system with airbags on the A-pillar

Pedestrian protection is increasingly becoming one of the priorities in vehicular safety. In fact, Euro NCAP includes pedestrian protection as of one of the four aspects by which it rates overall safety in vehicles. Now, Mercedes-Benz is trying to get ahead of its rivals in the field of pedestrian protection by registering a patent that would allow the German premium carmaker to install external airbags.

According to its patent application with United States Patent and Trademark Office, the pedestrian protection device includes a bonnet that could be popped up or opened in order to further soften an impact. The car is fitted with a number of sensors that could detect when the vehicle hits a pedestrian. As soon as the car senses that a collision has occurred against the edge of the bonnet, this part of the vehicle would shift in the direction of the windscreen.

The pedestrian protection device also includes two airbags, which when triggered, would extend across a region of the windscreen pillar, which is also known as the A pillar. The airbag would have a cylindrical shape -- or even an oval shape -- and would be fitted inside a fabric tube. The associated actuator system is also fitted in the fabric tube. One end of the fabric tube would be connected to the edge of the bonnet or to the hinge of the hood. Meanwhile, the other end is fixed to front frame cross-member of the roof or to the A-pillar.

Read the entire article Mercedes-Benz patents a pedestrian protection system with airbags on the A-pillar

This month, a new patent was registered by Nissan Malaysia's patent office under the name "Terra". This patent suggests that a new electric SUV/CUV by the Japanese automaker may be on its way. Just after the company announced the Nissan LEAF, we hear about the Terra, so we are thinking that this might be the five-door hatchback model that the company will be developing next.

This is because back in 2012, Nissan had already presented a concept they called the Terra at the Paris Motor Show. This was a hydrogen fuel cell concept that carried a Nissan LEAF powertrain. Now that there's a patent for it, people are assuming that the Nissan Terra will be an all-electric model, similar to the Nissan LEAF. But it might get a second electric motor on the rear to make it an all-wheel drive setup. The fact that Nissan is sharing development costs between several vehicles is quite smart. That’s what they’re doing for their electric vehicles including the LEAF, the e-NV200, and most likely the Terra EV.

You may be wondering why the patent was registered in Malaysia, instead of a country that's closer to the brand like Japan or the US. This is probably because large companies like Nissan want to avoid making too much noise about their strategies. That’s why they didn’t file the application at a nearer or larger patent office. Too bad Autocar was able to track the registry almost instantly.

Read the entire article Nissan registers the name 'Terra' at Malaysian patent office

Two years ago, there was a patent filed by Honda Motors under the name “baby NSX”. It then had a angular sports car design that is clearly mid-engine, and had a soft top. Looking at the image from two years ago, you would actually think it could be a Lamborghini, except it is not.

On June 26, the European Union Intellectual Property Office published some images that are very similar to the one from two years ago, but these are much better as it appears to have lost its roof and windshield so we could see what’s inside of it. And based on the images, the driver-focused cabin looks very similar to the NSX. Though we think that it might have the name “ZSX” instead because exactly a year before this had been published, the Japanese automaker registered that name with EUIPO. This strengthens the possibility that the 2015 and the 2017 models may be related.

The images suggest that both models are similar not only from the shape of the lights and the grille, but also the front fender vent and the lines that run from it. Some of these elements may even remind you of the Japanese version S660 kei roadster, while the large angular intakes are like that of the Acura NSX. There is also a noticeable pushbutton transmission setup in the center console, that is like the Acura.

Read the entire article Interior images of Honda ‘Baby NSX’ are seen in patent filing

The wait is over for those who have been waiting to see more of the 2018 Renault Megane RS. Though, the actual model will be officially revealed in September at the 2017 Frankfurt Motor Show, patent images have already been published by World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO). These images show the hatch's built from every angle, exposing all of its features without any kind of camouflage.

Overall, the performance model looks significantly sportier and more aggressive than its GT counterpart. The patent images had the same design elements from the teasers and spy shots that we have seen earlier. These elements include: flared wheel arches on the car's profile, huge air vents up front, and a trapezoidal exhaust tip.

Other than what we have already seen before, there are some bits that are new to us like the headlights up front that are not like the other Megane models, as well as the taillights on the rear end of the car. The bumpers just by the taillights also look more muscular with two side scoops. Like the Clio RS, the Megane gets the same checkered flag motif on the LED fog lights.

Read the entire article Patent images of 2018 Renault Megane RS are here

The Concept X2, introduced back at the 2016 Paris Motor Show, impressed many people with its low-profile roof, and dramatic front end. Its looks implied a better performance and it appeared to be less of a utilitarian car such as traditional SUVs.

Did you wonder how a BMW X2 production version would look like? Well, it shouldn't be that hard to imagine. Just take the concept, and bring the styling down a notch by around 25 percent. The Japanese bureau submitted patent drawings of what could be the production-ready BMW X2 last February 22, but these had only been published on July 3rd.

The changes made to the final X2 are likely the same ones you would see on the patent. The slender side mirrors have been replaced with a set of chunkier side mirrors that offer a better view of the back.

Read the entire article These patent drawings might actually be of the upcoming BMW X2 production version

Faraday Future, California based company, usually pops up when the topic is about technology and electric vehicles. Though the company currently isn’t doing very well in terms of its production facility, they continue to stick to their mission, hoping that one day, things will turn out well for them. For those of you who aren’t updated, they had to shut down their Nevada factory earlier this year due to lack of funds. But now, FF is making some news and things seem quite promising.

One of the patents from Faraday Future that caught our attention is called “System and Method For Operating Vehicle Using Mobile Device”. Basically, if you lose the key to your car, this technology will let you use your smartphone to open it, by sending a code to the car to open the door, without having to be connected to the Internet. Sounds cool enough?

By looking at the patent that is in partnership with this, you might find it a little disturbing that the sketch looks almost like the Chevy Volt concept. But we promise that this isn’t a reinvention of the Chevy concept, and was taken from a Faraday Future patent application.

Read the entire article Faraday Future’s new patent is on controlling EVs using mobile devices

In September 27, 2016, Porsche initially filed for a patent that is the “Unique Active Rear Diffuser”. And earlier this week, on April 27, 2017, the United States Patent and Trademark Office published this. When the patent was published, several images of the sketch surfaced on the internet.

We do know that some of Porsche’s vehicles already feature active deploying rear wings. And supposedly, this new patent they filed offers similar functions with the use of its unique diffuser.

Yes, diffusers do exist in cars already. But according to Porsche, what differs with the patent is that the installation and integration in the underbody region is very complicated. The location of the diffuser will have to be directly below the bumper. The purpose of this is that when the diffuser is not in use, it will blend into the body, which explains its concave inner shape.

Read the entire article Porsche patents unique Active Rear Diffuser for future vehicles

Ford Global Technologies filed a patent in 2015 and only recently was it published by the United States Patent and Trademark Office. It detailed a technology with high potential that Blue Oval came up with -- a tech in which any electric vehicle with a built-in internal combustion engine could automatically start the said engine to recharge its own battery. Now that is sweet.

Electric vehicles are all the buzz right now in the automotive industry. There are several prominent variants of electric vehicles currently introduced in the market: including pure electric vehicles such as the Tesla Model S and the Nissan Leaf, and plug in hybrids like the Chevrolet Volt and the Ford C-MAX Energi. According to Paul Scott, a founding member of the EV advocacy group Plug in America, the main difference is that the hybrid has a small scale combustible engine that is being hooked to a generator. It runs via electricity but still utilizing the oil and engine to generate that electricity. In summary, the hybrid car will run on the electric charge alone and when the battery is nearly depleted, the engine will take over for the battery to charge. This will allow the client to drive farther locations until it will be eventually recharged or refuelled.

The idea of Ford is that it keeps the plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV) charged by using the gas engine even though the car is parked and there's no one on the driving seat. It's a bit disturbing for a car to just do that by itself but Ford thinks otherwise. The patent is officially labelled as "Electrified Vehicle Method and System for Charging During a Non-Drive Cycle."

Read the entire article Ford has patent to turn on engine and charge EV battery while it’s parked (in open space)

Has Toyota started the production of a new electric supercharger? Well, a patent that was recently published indicated that they might have. And this electric supercharger looks more durable and more practical to assemble.

The illustrations are very technical that not everyone would understand if it were presented to them. But it basically involves the assembly of the bearing that helps the turbo spin. Instead of the usual plate springs, the company will be using a coil spring, which applies a more consistent pressure. Not only will this making building easier, the coil spring also gives more durability and a better performance especially when revolving at very high speeds.

The newly published patent hints that Toyota, is not just looking into electric superchargers, but is now studying them and learning how these things work. Also, the company’s engineers are considering how they can build parts better, meaning that they must have gone through enough development to make a decision like this.

Read the entire article Toyota files patent for more durable electric supercharger, filing hints at hybrid Supra

Could this be a special version of Ferrari’s much acclaimed LaFerrari? No matter how we look at it, the patent images for this sports car from Ferrari indicate its striking resemblance to the LaFerrari coupe.

Actually, the Italian sports car maker filed in August 2016 to register or patent the design of a sports car with the European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO). While it has been around six months since the application was filed, the images were only recently published on the Web site of the EUIPO. This design was patented by Ferrari S.p.A. and was penned by no other than the carmaker’s chief of design, Flavio Manzoni – the same man responsible for the stunning automotive artwork called the LaFerrari.

While this patented design very much looks like the LaFerrari, there is an array of differences that point out how distinct it is from the actual vehicle. For instance, the bonnet of this sports car is much cleaner and neater -- marked by a recess on the center potion going to the windshield -- than that of the La Ferrari. Likewise, while the bonnet of the LaFerrari is seemingly pointed to the front, the hood of the patented sports car isn’t. In addition, the patented sports car features massive front air vents in carbon fiber as well as a prominent front splitter.

Read the entire article Design patent reveals possible special edition Ferrari model based on LaFerrari

A publication by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office revealed that Honda is still looking into the Project 2&4 Concept. Officially unveiled during the 2015 Frankfurt Motor Show, the Project 2&4 Concept was the result of the collaboration between the automotive engineers of Honda and its motorcycle engineers. This concept car was powered with a 999cc V4 engine capable of delivering output at 212 hp (158 kW) with peak torque of 87 lb.-ft. (118 Nm). Overall weight meanwhile was 893 lbs. (405 kg).

Published on February 16, 2017, the said patent was first filed back in August 2016. Looking at the filing itself, it reveals a body structure that comes with a backbone frame that goes through the vehicle’s center. Meanwhile, the sketches show that it has some similarities to the basic show car shown some years back.

Based on the filing, Honda believes that by utilizing a beam made of die-cast aluminum, it can create a body structure that would use fewer parts. In addition, it would also enhance stiffness to the point that an occupant would actually feel the acceleration much like an automobile. Further, it would also help lower the overall weight. The patent filing added that the production process itself would also be simple, given that the needed parts would be bolted to the supports that protrude from the center spine. This would be the same mounting process used for the seats, pedals, and even the steering.

Read the entire article USPTO filing shows Honda not done with Project 2&4 Concept

Amazon is now moving beyond the four corners of online retailing. Only recently, the retail giant has been awarded a patent for its Road Network system. Since the patented technology is specifically made for self-driving vehicles, it goes without saying that Amazon is also headed towards the autonomous future.

Amazon’s roadway management deals with autonomous vehicles that the company would possibly use in delivering their products to their consumers. The system lets the vehicles determine which lanes are most suitable for the current traffic situation. This is very useful on multiple lanes as it comes with features that can read overhead signals. That way, the vehicle can switch to reversible lanes as needed.

The technology works by defining the current requirements of the autonomous vehicle at a given situation. Aside from maximizing the traffic flow on the highways, it can help in traffic management in several ways such as maximizing the speed of the vehicles as well as boost the parking and toll revenue.

Read the entire article Amazon gets new patent for road network, adding to rumors of driverless delivery trucks

Most of you may have heard or already have one of those autonomous home appliances doing the house chores. Thus, it’s not anymore unusual to see a car going places without a driver. Only recently, a mysterious “sci-fi looking” prototype model was seen driving by itself all the way to the European Union Intellectual Property Office. We have no idea where it went first, but one of the members of the Volkswagen Vortex seems to know more.

Okay, so that means Volkswagen apparently owns the futuristic autonomous concept vehicle? Probably. And though we’ve seen a lot of interesting VW concepts in this year’s Paris Motor Show, the recent discovery is really something else. Here’s what we have to say;

Registered under Volkswagen at the European Union Intellectual Property Office (or EUIPO), the robotic car is said to bear the shape of a coupé. Quite a long coupé that is, the concept vehicle that was seen “driverless” is also very low and close to the ground. Everything here is highly futuristic where the rear spoiler might probably deploy on its own. The gullwing doors on the sides and the very extensive front and rear overhangs seem to come straight from a sci-fi film.

Read the entire article Patent images of autonomous VW concept seen on the trademark office

Toyota could be on its way to building a flying car. This comes as the Japanese carmaker has filed a patent application for a stackable wing system that could pave way to the creation of a flying car. Toyota's wings differ from most flying car designs, which typically have heavy folding wings that compromise a vehicle's width as well as visibility during driving mode.

Toyota's design entails mounting several narrow wings on the vehicle's roof to prevent them from protruding beyond the sides of its body and to make them deployable as needed. The patent filing included an example of a four-wing design, each featuring a solid top and a morphing bottom section that enables them to be closely stacked when not deployed.

Moreover, the filing suggests that all four wings are needed to generate enough lift for takeoff, while only two are required to keep the vehicle aloft at cruising speed.

Read the entire article Toyota submits patent application for retractable wings of flying car

Ford Motor Co. is offering its electric-car technology patents to rivals as part of a move to hasten the development of electric vehicles. While some may regard it as following Tesla Motors footsteps, the difference is that Ford’s hundreds of patents are available for a fee while Tesla’s own patents have been released to the public domain last year absolutely for free.

In a statement, Kevin Layden, director of Ford electrification programs, said that the company’s goal is “innovation.” He added that to offer the best technology, progress and development have to be constant. He explained that by sharing their research with others, electrified vehicle technology will grow quicker and the customers will get better products.

Ford currently has over 650 patents and approximately 1,000 pending patent applications associated with hybrid and plug-in vehicles. Last year, Ford filed over 400 patents for electrified vehicle technologies. These make up more than 1/5 of its filings in 2014. This year, the automaker is planning to hire 200 more electrified-vehicle engineers.

Read the entire article Ford offering electric vehicle patents to competitors for a fee

Audi has secured a crucial fuel-cell technology that will be vital in advancing the Volkswagen Group’s development of green vehicles. Under a deal valued up to $112 million, Canadian tech firm Ballard Power Systems will transfer automotive-related patents to VW Group for $50 million and will provide engineering services until March 2019.

Audi intends to make the technology available to other Volkswagen brands like Porsche, Bentley and Lamborghini. Fuel cell technology could make possible zero-emission vehicles to have longer ranges than current electric cars while only emitting heat and water as waste.

Despite that some top auto executives like Carlos Ghosn of Renault-Nissan and Elon Musk of Tesla Motors have been critical of the economic viability of the fuel cell technology as well as the large investment required to set up hydrogen fueling stations.

Read the entire article Audi acquires fuel-cell patents from Ballard Power Systems

Toyota Motor Corp. won’t enforce over 5,600 patents it owns on hydrogen fuel-cell technology until 2020, which means that other carmakers could use them royalty-free. Toyota follows a similar move by Tesla Motors Inc. in 2013, when it declared its patents as open-source to hasten the adoption of battery electric vehicles.

Toyota is believed to be doing the same, as the Japanese gets ready to launch the hydrogen-fueled sedan in the United States this fall. For its part, Toyota is betting that sharing the technology for free would make the auto industry more interested in fuel cells and help hydrogen become a viable alternative to gasoline.

The 5,680 patents include 1,970 patents related to the fuel cell “stack;” 3,350 patents on the software for controlling the fuel cell system; 290 patents related to hydrogen storage tanks; and 70 patents for hydrogen production and supply. So far, fuel cell vehicles have been hindered by very high development costs and the lack of a fueling infrastructure.

Read the entire article Toyota opens over 5,600 patents on fuel-cell tech until 2020