Ford & Rivian

Patents

The Opportunity

Over the past several years, software has become an increasingly important part of the experience of owning and operating an automobile. This change has opened opportunities for innovation in various aspects of human-vehicle interaction, such as turn-by-turn navigation, charge/trip planning, off-road driving, and more.

Throughout my nine-year career in the automotive industry, I have explored novel solutions to dozens of problems in these subject areas. I am a named inventor on five issued and 22 pending patents, and I am the lead inventor on the majority of them. A selection of my patents is captured below.

My Responsibilities

Wireframes

Prototypes

Logic Flows

Patent Applications

Competitive Analyses

Technical Communication

Who I Collaborated With

Intellectual Property Engineers

In-House Patent Attorneys

Intellectual Property Law Firms

Patents

Search Along Route

A color-coded timeline-based in-vehicle user interface that minimizes driver distraction by presenting information about upcoming traffic, weather, restaurants, and other items at-a-glance and enabling the user to add waypoints with just a few taps.

patent

Lane Guidance

A color-coded user interface that provides persistent lane instructions to help the driver avoid making a wrong turn.

patent

Destination Selection (Part 1 of 2)

An algorithm that analyzes the gaps in a user's schedule and helps them determine how much time they have to, say, eat at a given restaurant or spend in a retail store, without being late for their next commitment.

patent

Destination Selection (Part 2 of 2)

A continuation of the patent above.

patent

Liftgate Motor Chime

The ability to use a vehicle's power liftgate motor to notify bystanders via an audible warning that the liftgate is lowering.

patent

Weather Along Route

A graphical user interface that combines Doppler radar with turn-by-turn navigation, providing a driver with easy-to-digest weather forecasts that help them make informed on-the-fly routing decisions with minimal distraction.

pending patent

Vehicle Footprint Based Parking Identification

A vehicle-based system that recommends parking locations at a campsite that can accommodate vehicle accessories, such as a kitchen, awning, or tent, and assists the driver with maneuvering into a parking spot of their choice.

pending patent

Map Positioning Prior to Turn

An algorithm that detects a user's intention to turn onto an upcoming street and intelligently adjusts the framing of the map to reveal traffic or incidents on the street ahead.

pending patent

User Interface Adjustment Prior to Turn

A navigation feature that identifies when a user has a turn coming up ahead and temporarily hides select user interface elements above the map to ensure that important landmarks (streets, buildings, etc.) remain unobscured, thereby reducing the chance of a wrong turn.

pending patent

Last Mile Walking Directions

A seamless cross-platform navigation system that hands off from an in-vehicle infotainment system to a mobile device for last mile walking directions.

pending patent

Energy to Reach Frequent Destinations

A navigation feature that helps an electric vehicle driver understand how long they need to charge their vehicle to reach their frequently visited destinations (e.g. work, friend's house, etc.).

pending patent

Advanced Range Spider

A visualization that makes it easy for an electric vehicle owner to understand which areas of the world they can reach without stopping to charge, with 1 charging stop, with 2 charging stops, etc.

pending patent

Trip Planner Algorithm

An algorithm that accepts a start point and a destination, calculates a route, and recommends electric vehicle charging stops along the way to ensure the driver can complete the trip without running out of charge.

pending patent

Advanced Trip Planner Algorithm

An electric vehicle trip planning algorithm that intelligently adjusts the start time, duration and location of each charging stop to accommodate the driver's schedule and avoid bad weather.

pending patent

Multi-Modal Trip Planner

A tool for planning trips that contain a mix of segments traversed by an electric vehicle and by an electric bicycle (e-bike).

pending patent

Tour Guide Mode

An interactive navigation feature that enables the user to identify a nearby driving tour and guides the user along that tour using turn-by-turn directions, imagery, audio, and videos.

pending patent

Off-Road Activity Tracker

A navigation feature that automatically detects when a vehicle leaves a mapped road and tracks various off-roading metrics, such as distance traveled, elevation gained, time elapsed, etc. At the end of the trek, the data is compiled into an easily digestible report.

pending patent

Charging Site Details

A method for classifying electric vehicle charging sites and presenting them on an in-vehicle map, thereby making it easy for the driver to find a suitable site nearby to recharge their battery.

pending patent

Inline Search Query Refinement

A navigation feature that enables complex point-of-interest search query refinements with one tap, such as "restaurant along the highway that's easy-off/easy-on."

pending patent

Driver Assistance Alerts

An algorithm that helps keep the driver of a vehicle safe by monitoring various risk factors for a collision, such as drowsiness, tire tread wear, and road surface friction, and triggering driver assistance alerts earlier in riskier scenarios.

pending patent

Incident Alerts

An algorithm that helps keep the driver of a vehicle safe by monitoring various risk factors for a collision, such as drowsiness, tire tread wear, and road surface friction, and triggering road incident alerts (e.g. disabled vehicle, lane closure, pothole, etc.) earlier in riskier scenarios.

pending patent

Activities While Charging

A system that provides a driver with smart recommendations for activities to do while their electric vehicle charges at a public charging site.

pending patent

Cliff Detection

A navigation feature that provides vehicle occupants with hazard warnings in off-road environments.

pending patent

Key Takeaways

Clear communication saves everyone time. An intellectual property team reviewed each of my ideas and decided whether to file a patent application. I sped up the review process and improved my success rate by developing and using a template for clearly communicating my ideas.

Immersion and observation are key to innovation. If you immerse yourself in the products on the market and observe customers using them, you can start to see gaps between what the products provide and what the customers need. Each gap is an innovation opportunity.