The automotive industry continues to be a hotbed of innovation, with activity driven by advancements in connectivity, sensors, and telecommunications, and growing importance of technologies such as artificial intelligence, neural network, advanced driver assistance systems, and driverless automobiles. 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 Artificial intelligence in Automotive: Autonomous fleet platooning. 

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, manufacturability analysis, autonomous parking, and LiDAR for vehicle anti-collision are disruptive technologies that are in the early stages of application and should be tracked closely. Speed profile estimation, smart light dimmers, and driver drowsiness detection are some of the accelerating innovation areas, where adoption has been steadily increasing. Among maturing innovation areas are road slope estimation and adaptive cruise control, which are now well established in the industry. 

Innovation S-curve for artificial intelligence in the automotive industry 

Autonomous fleet platooning is a key innovation area in artificial intelligence 

To adapt quickly to changing conditions, each vehicle in a platoon is outfitted with radar, camera, and GPS sensors. The first vehicle (often a truck) is driven by a person, but the subsequent vehicles will be autonomous in the future. The lead driver's actions will cause following autonomous vehicles to adapt and react. Human drivers continue to watch the road and respond to traffic, but their feet will be off the pedals in a platoon. Platooning provides a number of benefits, including lower total cost of ownership and supporting fleets in fulfilling their sustainability goals. 

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 fleet platooning. 

Key players in autonomous fleet platooning – 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 autonomous fleet platooning

Company Total patents (2010 - 2021) Premium intelligence on the world's largest companies
Porsche Automobil Holding 311 Unlock company profile
Peloton Technology 106 Unlock company profile
Hyundai Motor Group 91 Unlock company profile
Kia 86 Unlock company profile
Toyota Motor 75 Unlock company profile
AB Volvo 52 Unlock company profile
Ford Motor 48 Unlock company profile
Stella Vermogensverwaltungs 46 Unlock company profile
LG 36 Unlock company profile
Lyft 27 Unlock company profile
Honda Motor 23 Unlock company profile
Tata Motors 23 Unlock company profile
Continental 22 Unlock company profile
Robert Bosch Stiftung 21 Unlock company profile
Denso 21 Unlock company profile
Toshiba 18 Unlock company profile
JTEKT 14 Unlock company profile
Qualcomm 13 Unlock company profile
Mercedes-Benz Group 12 Unlock company profile
General Motors 12 Unlock company profile
Cartica 11 Unlock company profile
DAF Trucks 10 Unlock company profile
Thales 10 Unlock company profile
Zhejiang Geely Holding Group 8 Unlock company profile
Micron Technology 7 Unlock company profile
Compagnie Generale des Etablissements Michelin 7 Unlock company profile
Baidu 6 Unlock company profile
DISH Network 6 Unlock company profile
Hitachi 6 Unlock company profile
SEW-EURODRIVE 6 Unlock company profile
Mando 6 Unlock company profile
NEC 5 Unlock company profile
Here 5 Unlock company profile
Transdev Group 5 Unlock company profile
Huawei Investment Holding 5 Unlock company profile
Magna International 5 Unlock company profile
Beijing Electronics Holding 5 Unlock company profile

Source: GlobalData Patent Analytics

Porsche Automobil Holding engages in the development, manufacture, and trading of automobiles. It operates through the Porsche (PSE) and Intelligent Transport Systems (ITS) segments. The company currently holds 311 filed patents in the artificial intelligence autonomous fleet platooning segment. Other companies in autonomous fleet platooning for the automotive industry are Peloton Technology, Hyundai Motor Group, and Kia

To further understand how artificial intelligence is disrupting the automotive industry, access GlobalData’s latest thematic research report on Artificial Intelligence (AI) in 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.