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Century of Data

Google's Waymo unseats Toyota as automated-driving patent king

US company rides AI to cutting edge as data becomes center of auto competition

Waymo, once Google's self-driving car development arm, has had its patents widely recognized by reviewers.
Waymo, once Google's development arm for self-driving cars, has had its patents widely recognized by reviewers.   © Reuters

TOKYO -- Google's automated-driving cousin has replaced Toyota Motor as the field's leader in competitive power from patents, Nikkei has found, asserting its place on the cutting edge with artificial intelligence technology as data grows as an auto-sector battleground.

Waymo, the U.S.-based unit of Google parent Alphabet, surged to first place in Nikkei's ranking of patent-based competitiveness in the sector as of July's end, nearly tripling its score to 2,815 points from comparable results two years earlier and rising from fifth place. Toyota fell to second with 2,243, followed by General Motors, Ford Motor and Nissan Motor. German components maker Robert Bosch was pushed out of the top five. Nikkei was assisted in the survey by Tokyo-based research firm Patent Result.

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