The automotive industry continues to be a hotbed of patent innovation. Activity is driven by environment regulations, electric vehicle (EV) market growth, smart grid integration and energy efficiency, and growing importance of technologies such as cloud computing, machine learning, computer vision, and blockchain technology. In the last three years alone, there have been over 1.7 million patents filed and granted in the automotive industry, according to GlobalData’s report on Artificial intelligence in automotive: autonomous charging. Buy the report here.
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 stabilizing 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.
300+ 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 one million patents, there are 300+ innovation areas that will shape the future of the industry.
Within the emerging innovation stage, autonomous on-demand logistics, end-to-end learning models, and adaptive driver alerting are disruptive technologies that are in the early stages of application and should be tracked closely. Vehicular vision, adaptive cruise control, and predictive acceleration control are some of the accelerating innovation areas, where adoption has been steadily increasing.
Innovation S-curve for artificial intelligence in the automotive industry
Autonomous charging is a key innovation area in artificial intelligence
Autonomous charging refers to the ability of an autonomous vehicle to evaluate its own charge level, identify charging stations, navigate to selected charging stations, and initiate and receive a charge from them without human intervention.
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 30+ companies, spanning technology vendors, established automotive companies, and up-and-coming start-ups engaged in the development and application of autonomous charging.
Key players in autonomous charging – a disruptive innovation in the automotive industry
‘Application diversity’ measures the number of applications identified for each patent. It broadly splits companies into either ‘niche’ or ‘diversified’ innovators.
‘Geographic reach’ refers to the number of countries each patent is registered in. It reflects the breadth of geographic application intended, ranging from ‘global’ to ‘local’.
Patent volumes related to autonomous charging
Source: GlobalData Patent Analytics
Nissan Motor is one of the key patent filers in AI autonomous charging. Nissan has been working on its e-POWER technology, which combines an electric motor with a gasoline engine acting as a generator. The technology can potentially optimize power management for EVs, including the charging process, although it might not be exclusively related to autonomous charging. State Farm Mutual Automotive Insurance, Ford Motors, and Hyundai Motors are some of the other key patent filers in autonomous charging.
In terms of application diversity, State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance leads the pack. Outrider Technologies and Emerging Automotive stood in the second and third positions respectively. By means of geographic reach, State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance held the top position followed by Emerging Automotive and Nissan Motor.
To further understand the key themes and technologies disrupting the automotive industry, access GlobalData’s latest thematic research report on Artificial Intelligence (AI) in Automotive.