Nikkei Asia has published an interesting read on Tesla’s patent numbers, which now number in the hundreds and cover a wide variety of topics. It seems like Tesla has a new patent for something every other day.
Nikkei conducted the study in collaboration with Intellectual Property Landscape, a Tokyo analytics company, and the two found that, since 2003, Tesla has been granted over 580 patents through March of this year. Tesla has 281 patents classified as electrical machinery and 168 classified as transportation, which includes user operation. One such example is a patent for a steering system that allows the vehicle to be operated via touchscreen. You can control the car by swiping or clicking on the interface and the driver receives feedback as if an actual button was pushed. That particular patent was applied to the Smart Summon feature in 2019, Nikkei noted.
A batch of 71 Tesla patents can be classified under the semiconductors category, which includes solar cells. Tesla holds patents in moisture-resistant solar cells and in solar panels that look like roof tiles, among other things in this sector.
Tesla also has 60 computer technology patents; many of which are associated with machine learning for autonomous driving. These include systems that process AI errors and technology that encrypts self-driving data. All of this is a reflection of Tesla’s focus on safety and security.
Another 29 patents cover thermal processes and apparatuses.
The article also noted that Tesla’s Chief Designer, Franz on Holzhausen, contributed to around 80 design patents, almost twice the amount the second most prolific inventor logged.
The future sure does look exciting, and much of the future is embedded in these patents.