Patents Assigned to Ford Motor Company
  • Patent number: 11145043
    Abstract: The present invention extends to methods, systems, and computer program products for using Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) to inspect autonomous vehicles. An autonomous vehicle carries a UAV (or “drone”) in a protected area, for example, in a glove compartment, trunk, etc. Between rides, the UAV can be deployed to inspect the autonomous vehicle. Images from the UAV can be sent to other components for image analysis. When an inspection is completed, the UAV can return to the protected area. The UAV can inspect both the interior and exterior of an autonomous vehicle. When an inspection is passed, the autonomous vehicle can begin a new ride. When an inspection is failed, the autonomous vehicle can report for repairs or summon a tow vehicle.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 24, 2016
    Date of Patent: October 12, 2021
    Assignee: Ford Motor Company
    Inventors: Scott Vincent Myers, Mark Crawford, Harpreetsingh Banvait, Alexandru Mihai Gurghian, Nikhil Nagraj Rao, Alexandro Walsh, Lisa Scaria
  • Patent number: 11135703
    Abstract: A temporary restraining device is provided that includes a head portion, a central body positioned below the head portion, an upper gap defined between the head portion and the central body, and a base portion positioned below the central body, a lower gap defined between the base portion and the central body. The temporary restraining device maintains a predetermined offset between workpieces disposed within the upper and lower gaps for subsequent manufacturing operations.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 25, 2018
    Date of Patent: October 5, 2021
    Assignee: Ford Motor Company
    Inventors: Thomas Norton, Mikhail Minevich, Vladimir Bogachuk
  • Patent number: 11131740
    Abstract: The present disclosure relates to a system and method of aligning a sensor assembly for a vehicle. The sensor assembly is disposed along a vehicle body and has a sensory face from which a measurement signal is transmitted. The sensor alignment system includes an alignment gauge that measures a datum angle of the sensor assembly, a sensor adjustment tool that adjusts a position of the sensor assembly relative to the vehicle body, and a controller that is in communication with the alignment gauge and the sensor adjustment tool. The controller further operates the sensor adjustment tool to control the datum angle of the sensor assembly to within a tolerance range.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 20, 2017
    Date of Patent: September 28, 2021
    Assignee: Ford Motor Company
    Inventors: Peter Houk, Matthew Miller
  • Publication number: 20210291250
    Abstract: An apparatus for forming a part is provided, which includes a die. The die includes a round orifice, a central mandrel disposed within the round orifice, and a plurality of bridges and a corresponding plurality of portholes between the bridges. The bridges and the portholes extending around the central mandrel. A spacing of the bridges around the mandrel is non-equiangular. The die allows a material to be extruded through the die to form a round, closed geometry tube from the material such that the round, closed geometry tube has non-equiangular welds after emerging from the die.
    Type: Application
    Filed: June 8, 2021
    Publication date: September 23, 2021
    Applicant: Ford Motor Company
    Inventors: Andrey M. Ilinich, Stephen Kernosky, Mark Stephen Salmonowicz, S. George Luckey, JR.
  • Patent number: 11126871
    Abstract: Method and apparatus are disclosed for advanced warnings to drivers of vehicles for upcoming signs. An example vehicle includes a GPS receiver to determine a vehicle location. The example vehicle also includes a condition identifier to determine a familiarity level of a driver for the vehicle location and detect an upcoming sign. The example vehicle also includes a warning determiner to compare the familiarity level to a threshold level and provide, in response to the familiarity level being less than the threshold level, an advanced warning to the driver for the upcoming sign.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 21, 2016
    Date of Patent: September 21, 2021
    Assignee: Ford Motor Company
    Inventors: Kwaku Prakah-Asante, Manoharprasad K. Rao
  • Patent number: 11123833
    Abstract: A locating fixture includes an adjustable locating member for supporting and restraining a part. The adjustable locating member allows for rotational and translational adjustment for aligning to a particular part configuration. The adjustable locating member utilizes a plurality of indicia and a position indicator to assist in the alignment of the adjustable locating member to a desired position, which is then restrained at a desired position by a restraining element.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 18, 2018
    Date of Patent: September 21, 2021
    Assignee: Ford Motor Company
    Inventors: Erik Riha, Michael Dean Blodgett
  • Patent number: 11123925
    Abstract: A method of 3D printing a part with an overhanging portion requiring support during printing is provided. The method includes moving a dynamically adjustable support member to support the overhanging portion during printing of the part. The dynamically adjustable support member may be moved from a retracted position to a support position after a first portion of the part is printed and the overhanging portion may be supported by the dynamically adjustable support member in the support position. The part may be printed in a 3D printing chamber with a base and at least one wall. The base may have a first dynamically adjustable support member and the at least one wall may have a second dynamically adjustable support member. A first overhanging portion and a second overhanging portion of the part may be printed over the first dynamically adjustable support member the second dynamically adjustable support member, respectively.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 6, 2018
    Date of Patent: September 21, 2021
    Assignee: Ford Motor Company
    Inventors: Roy Zhou, Jevon Xiao, Andres Almeida Senatore, Siddharthan Selvasekar, Daniel Boccuccia, Daniel Russman
  • Patent number: 11119585
    Abstract: Dual-mode augmented reality interfaces for mobile devices are disclosed herein. A dual-mode augmented reality interface of a mobile device includes a first mode to be presented via a user interface of the mobile device in response to detecting an occurrence of a first motion of the mobile device. The dual-mode augmented reality interface further includes a second mode to be presented via the user interface in response to detecting an absence of the first motion. The second mode is different from the first mode. The first mode may be a browsing mode, and the second mode may be a learning mode. The first motion may be a panning motion.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 13, 2016
    Date of Patent: September 14, 2021
    Assignee: FORD MOTOR COMPANY
    Inventors: Yifan Chen, Pramita Mitra, Gary Steven Strumolo
  • Patent number: 11122691
    Abstract: A system for forming a conductive tape trace on a substrate includes a segment feeder arm configured to feed segments of conductive tape to the substrate and a segment placement armature configured to grasp and position the conductive tape segments in a predetermined pattern on the substrate. The conductive tape segments include a plurality of conductive tape bend segments and at least one conductive tape branch segment. The segment placement armature is configured to position and overlap the plurality of conductive tape bend segments on the substrate to form a conductive tape bend and position the at least one conductive tape branch segment in contact with and extending from the conductive tape bend. A roller can be included and be configured to apply a force onto the conductive tape segments positioned on the substrate. A welder that welds the conductive tape segments together can also be included.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 1, 2019
    Date of Patent: September 14, 2021
    Assignee: Ford Motor Company
    Inventor: Galen Keith Thomas
  • Patent number: 11097402
    Abstract: A socket assembly includes a socket head, an input member, and a plurality of transfer members. The socket head is disposed about an axis and defines an aperture extending axially through the socket head and through a side of the socket head. The socket head includes external teeth. The input member is coaxial with the socket head. Each transfer member includes a first end drivingly coupled to the input member and a second end configured to engage the external teeth.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 29, 2018
    Date of Patent: August 24, 2021
    Assignee: Ford Motor Company
    Inventors: Zachary Machinchick, Joshua Norwood, Douglas Michael Smith, Adam Wirth
  • Patent number: 11097940
    Abstract: Example methods and apparatus to ensure grounding between vehicles during a vehicle-to-vehicle refueling operation are described herein. An example vehicle described herein is to receive fuel from a refueling vehicle via a vehicle-to-vehicle refueling operation. The example vehicle includes a fuel tank having a vent passageway, a valve coupled to the vent passageway, and a controller to close the valve if the vehicle and the refueling vehicle are not electrically coupled during the vehicle-to-vehicle refueling operation.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 25, 2016
    Date of Patent: August 24, 2021
    Assignee: Ford Motor Company
    Inventors: Aed M. Dudar, Dennis Seung-Man Yang, Heather L. Knechtges
  • Publication number: 20210252577
    Abstract: A method of applying a marking to a part in a stamping die includes moving a component of the stamping die, the component having a mechanical application device secured thereto. A controlled volume of a marking medium flows through the mechanical application device during the moving such that a volume of the marking medium is controlled by the moving of the component during a stamping die operation. In one form, the component is an upper die of the stamping die.
    Type: Application
    Filed: May 4, 2021
    Publication date: August 19, 2021
    Applicant: Ford Motor Company
    Inventors: Nicholas Kalweit, John Michael Fritz, Joseph Yarnevich, Andrey M Ilinich, Christopher Taylor, Thomas Kandow
  • Patent number: 11091364
    Abstract: Example methods and apparatus to ensure grounding between vehicles during a vehicle-to-vehicle refueling operation are described herein. An example vehicle described herein is to receive fuel from a refueling vehicle via a vehicle-to-vehicle refueling operation. The example vehicle includes a fuel door to cover an inlet nozzle of a fuel tank, a lock to lock or unlock the fuel door, and a controller to cause the lock to unlock the fuel door if the vehicle and the refueling vehicle are electrically coupled.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 25, 2016
    Date of Patent: August 17, 2021
    Assignee: Ford Motor Company
    Inventors: Dennis Seung-Man Yang, Aed M. Dudar, Heather L. Knechtges
  • Patent number: 11084189
    Abstract: A method of forming a molding tool includes performing a computer aided engineering (CAE) analysis on a molding tool design. The CAE analysis predicts flow of injection molded material and a location of gas entrapment within a molding recess of the molding tool design. At least one venting design constraint is applied to the molding tool design as a function of the gas entrapment location. Also, a biomimetic shaped passageway for venting gas away from the gas entrapment location is selected from a plurality of biomimetic shaped passageways. A computational fluid dynamic (CFD) CAE analysis of the molding tool design with the selected biomimetic shaped passageway is performed and modifications of the selected biomimetic shaped passageway are CFD CAE analyzed until a final biomimetic shaped passageway is determined and a molding tool with the final biomimetic shaped passageway is formed.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 9, 2019
    Date of Patent: August 10, 2021
    Assignee: Ford Motor Company
    Inventors: Derren Woods, Robert D. Bedard
  • Patent number: 11059511
    Abstract: A vehicle is able to be set to operate in a factory mode (as opposed to a normal mode) in which certain features are disabled, such as an alarm system, a power liftgate, etc. This allows assembly workers to assemble, test, and calibrate the vehicle without various systems in the vehicle being undesirably activated. While in the factory mode, the vehicle can accomplish multiple ignition on/off cycles while being tested or driven between stations. A steering column and connected steering wheel are provided in the vehicle, and are situated between an instrument panel and a front seat. In response to the ignition completing an on/off cycle, a controller commands a motor to move the steering wheel and steering column to a predetermined position that is based on a visibility of the instrument panel relative to the steering wheel and steering column.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 28, 2017
    Date of Patent: July 13, 2021
    Assignee: Ford Motor Company
    Inventors: John Steven McWilliams, Kevin Stanton Giaier, Fernando Cruz Solis, Amol Bhaskar Kurkute, Madhuri Narvekar, Erick Michael Lavoie, Ronald Patrick Brombach
  • Patent number: 11052478
    Abstract: A device and method of tapping an engine component to orient a spark plug includes measuring a tap pitch, measuring a first distance between a tap end surface and a full tap tooth center at a first rotational location, calculating a phantom first tap tooth based on the pitch and first distance, determining a tap rotational offset from the first location to a location where the end surface intersects the phantom first tooth, calculating a tap rotational starting orientation that is the first location minus the tap rotational offset minus a spark plug offset, rotating a tool head to the rotational starting orientation, positioning the tap so the end surface is a pitch incremental distance away from the engine component, synchronizing a rotating speed of the tool head and a feed rate to the tap thread pitch, and operating the tool to cut or form threads in the engine component.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 4, 2018
    Date of Patent: July 6, 2021
    Assignee: Ford Motor Company
    Inventors: Ethan Timothy Hughey, Richard Earl Williford, Shibu Mathew Philipose
  • Patent number: 11052445
    Abstract: A method of forming a part includes extruding a billet through a die, forming a round, closed geometry tube from the billet, and hydroforming the round, closed geometry tube. The extrusion die contains an orifice with a central mandrel, a plurality of bridges, and a corresponding plurality of portholes between the bridges. A spacing of the bridges around the mandrel is non-equiangular. As a result, the round, closed geometry tube has non-equiangular welds after emerging from the die.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 31, 2018
    Date of Patent: July 6, 2021
    Assignee: Ford Motor Company
    Inventors: Andrey Ilinich, Stephen Kernosky, Mark Salmonowicz, S. George Luckey, Jr.
  • Patent number: 11053908
    Abstract: A method of verifying a cylinder deactivation mode on an engine is provided. The method can include activating an ignition device in a deactivated cylinder during an exhaust stroke of the deactivated cylinder. The method can include measuring a voltage of the ignition device. The method can include comparing at least one of an amplitude and a timing of a measured spike of the voltage against a baseline voltage spike. The method can include indicating a status of the deactivation mode based on the comparison against the baseline voltage spike.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 21, 2018
    Date of Patent: July 6, 2021
    Assignee: Ford Motor Company
    Inventors: David J. Chesney, Roderick Alexander Simpson
  • Patent number: 11052468
    Abstract: A surface roughening tool includes a cylindrical body and at least one grooving blade outwardly radially projecting from the body and configured to form grooves and peaks into a surface. The surface roughening tool also includes at least one swaging blade outwardly radially projecting from the body and configured to deform the peaks. The at least one swaging blade is aligned with the at least one grooving blade along a circumference of the body.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 21, 2017
    Date of Patent: July 6, 2021
    Assignee: FORD MOTOR COMPANY
    Inventor: David Alan Stephenson
  • Patent number: 11034338
    Abstract: Vehicles can be equipped to operate in both autonomous and occupant piloted mode. Refueling stations can be equipped to refuel autonomous vehicles without occupant assistance. Refueling stations can be equipped with wireless networks that communicate with vehicles to permit autonomous vehicles to self-schedule refueling at fueling stations serving a mixture of autonomous, semi-autonomous and occupant piloted vehicles.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 14, 2016
    Date of Patent: June 15, 2021
    Assignee: FORD MOTOR COMPANY
    Inventors: Oliver Lei, Shiqi Qiu, John Robert Van Wiemeersch, Jayanthi Rao