The quantity of new innovations coming from Ford employees is expected to hit a new high this year, surpassing the more-than-6,000 inventions drafted by those in Ford’s employ throughout 2015. From the start of this year through August, more than 4,500 Ford employees have submitted invention disclosures, including nearly 1,700 first-time inventors.
“The significant increase in first-time inventors is a result of our push to drive innovation in all parts of our business,” says Ford CTO and Executive VP of Product Development Raj Nair. “At the same time, we’ve ramped up global innovation challenges, where we seek new ideas company-wide and then – coupled with input from employees – see how we can further those ideas.”
Today, Ford highlighted a few of the innovations from its employees at its annual Further with Ford trends conference. They include a vehicular water-collection and filtration system that turns air-conditioner condensation into clean drinking water, an electric personal transporter named “Carr-E” (pictured below) that fits within a typical spare-wheel well to help persons (or heavy luggage items) travel the last bit of distance to their destination, and a remote SYNC-control app that allows passengers to access a Ford vehicle’s infotainment from their mobile phone.
The latter of these is explained in greater detail in the video above, and it might be of use when traveling to a country where one doesn’t speak the primary language. For instance, the software could allow users to control the radio or climate while being transported via rideshare, even though he or she is unable to communicate directly with the driver. The software also allows the user to speak to the driver by entering text to be translated by SYNC.