The highly competitive automotive industry forces automakers to constantly innovate in order to encourage Americans to buy new cars. Much of latest advancements have been geared toward fuel-efficient vehicles.
According to a recent Thomson Reuters study, Auto Industry Sets Sights on Alternative Power, there was an increase of alternative power-related patents in 2011 by 182 percent when compared to 2006.
“With stringent new fuel economy standards introduced in the U.S. that require global auto manufacturers to double their average mileage requirements, car companies have gotten very serious about alternative power,” said Bob Stembridge, an intellectual property analyst at Thomson Reuters and author of the report. “The aggressive R&D efforts of some of the leading manufacturers suggest that consumer options for alternative power will grow considerably in the coming decade.”
The report showed that 1,901 inventions were from Toyota, which led the industry in patents. It was followed by Honda, which posted 587 inventions.
In addition, General Motors recently announced that it will be adding 1,000 jobs in the Atlanta area for high-tech workers at its Information Technology Innovations Center to keep up with industry trends.