Are you ready for a Google Car? Google Nabs 310 Patents

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By Precious Silva | January 3, 2014 3:06 PM EST

How will cars be in the future? Tech giants like Google and Apple have their ideas already. According to recent reports, Google has around 310 U.S. patents related to car-based smart devices. Apple, on other hand, has around 35 patents. Other smartphone manufacturers boast a total of 617 U.S. patents emphasizing the increasing focus of tech companies on automotive. 

Reuters
A neon Google logo is seen at the new Google office in Toronto, November 13, 2012.

The numbers came from a recent report showing how smartphone producers are eyeing the car market. With the range of innovations in the tech industry, it seems companies want to try out something new. Exploring different screen sizes have been becoming saturated included multifunctions in phones. There are no certified leaders yet in smart vehicles. Analysts think companies want to tap the market for that potential. 

According to Moulin Shah, founder and managing director of EnvisionIP, Google remains to be the leader of the pack. The company has the biggest automotive-related patent portfolio. Majority of this stems from its acquisition of Motorola Mobility in 2012. 

Shah also noted that there are also other interesting patents under Google from its engineers. For instance, Patent No. 8,457,827 focuses on "modifying behavior or autonomous vehicle based on predicted behavior of other vehicles." Patent No. 8,428,873 focuses on "panoramic images with driving directions." 

There is also another patent for approval with the number 20130261871. The patent is about "gesture-based automotive controls." According to Google engineers, Liang-Yu and Nicholas Hobbs, the technology will touch on gestures ranging from waving to pinching. Once the vehicle recognizes the gestures, it can respond accordingly. For instance, it can change the speed of the wipers and adjust a seat. 

Analysts think it will be interesting to find how tech companies will translate their "smart" technology to vehicles. It is a different ball game. Vehicles are mobile devices but they bigger in scale compared to phones and tablets. There are much more considerations. 

People will have to wait until Google confirms their smart technologies for vehicles. On another note, the market still continues to wait for the second generation Nexus 10. However, there are also reports saying the company will release Nexus 12 instead. 

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(Photo: Reuters / )
A neon Google logo is seen at the new Google office in Toronto, November 13, 2012.
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