The automotive industry continues to be a hotbed of innovation, with activity driven by preventing accidents and  speeding of vehicles by calculating the safe speed over the threshold limit based on the surrounding environment and road interruptions, as well as the growing importance of technologies such as array of sensors with instruments used to control and monitor the speed. In the last three years alone, there have been over 1.2 million patents filed and granted in the automotive industry, according to GlobalData’s report on Innovation in Automotive: Accelerator threshold-based speed control.

However, not all innovations are equal and nor do they follow a constant upward trend. Instead, their evolution takes the form of an S-shaped curve that reflects their typical lifecycle from early emergence to accelerating adoption, before finally stabilising and reaching maturity.

Identifying where a particular innovation is on this journey, especially those that are in the emerging and accelerating stages, is essential for understanding their current level of adoption and the likely future trajectory and impact they will have.

290+ innovations will shape the automotive industry

According to GlobalData’s Technology Foresights, which plots the S-curve for the automotive industry using innovation intensity models built on over 619,000 patents, there are 290+ innovation areas that will shape the future of the industry.

Within the emerging innovation stage, eccentric crankshaft gears, retarder brake system, and closed-circuit liquid cooling are disruptive technologies that are in the early stages of application and should be tracked closely. Bio-fuel ICEs, electromagnetic valve actuators, and road friction estimation are some of the accelerating innovation areas, where adoption has been steadily increasing. Among maturing innovation areas are tyre bead fillers and vehicle turbochargers, which are now well established in the industry.

Innovation S-curve for the automotive industry

Accelerator threshold-based speed control is a key innovation area in automotive

In this type of speed control, If the computed acceleration exceeds the threshold for more than a predetermined time, the engine torque is reduced in relation to the amount by which the computed acceleration exceeds the threshold. The torque reduction is gradually removed when the computed acceleration falls below the threshold.

GlobalData’s analysis also uncovers the companies at the forefront of each innovation area and assesses the potential reach and impact of their patenting activity across different applications and geographies. According to GlobalData, there are 20 companies, spanning technology vendors, established automotive companies, and up-and-coming start-ups engaged in the development and application of accelerator threshold-based speed control.

Key players in accelerator threshold-based speed control– a disruptive innovation in the automotive industry

‘Application diversity’ measures the number of different applications identified for each relevant patent and broadly splits companies into either ‘niche’ or ‘diversified’ innovators.

‘Geographic reach’ refers to the number of different countries each relevant patent is registered in and reflects the breadth of geographic application intended, ranging from ‘global’ to ‘local’.

Patent volumes related to accelerator threshold-based speed control

Company Total patents (2010 - 2021) Premium intelligence on the world's largest companies
Nissan Motor 220 Unlock company profile
Toyota Motor 98 Unlock company profile
Hyundai Motor Group 31 Unlock company profile
Robert Bosch Stiftung 22 Unlock company profile
Kia 22 Unlock company profile
Renault 15 Unlock company profile
Denso 11 Unlock company profile
Mitsubishi Motors 11 Unlock company profile
Tata Motors 10 Unlock company profile
Ford Motor 10 Unlock company profile
Compagnie Generale des Etablissements Michelin 9 Unlock company profile
Hitachi 8 Unlock company profile
Mitsubishi Electric 8 Unlock company profile
Honda Motor 7 Unlock company profile
Komatsu 7 Unlock company profile
Dana 6 Unlock company profile
NTT 6 Unlock company profile
Renesas Electronics 5 Unlock company profile
BYD 5 Unlock company profile
LG 5 Unlock company profile

Source: GlobalData Patent Analytics

Nissan Motors is one of the leading patent filers with 220 patents filed in accelerator threshold-based speed control technology in the automotive industry company focuses on the development, manufacturing and marketing of electrical and electronic products related to controlling the speed of vehicles. Some other key patent filers in the automotive industry include Toyota motors, Hyundai Motor Group and Kia.

To further understand the key themes and technologies disrupting the automotive industry, access GlobalData’s latest thematic research report on Automotive.


GlobalData, the leading provider of industry intelligence, provided the underlying data, research, and analysis used to produce this article.

GlobalData’s Patent Analytics tracks patent filings and grants from official offices around the world. Textual analysis and official patent classifications are used to group patents into key thematic areas and link them to specific companies across the world’s largest industries.