The automotive industry continues to be a hotbed of innovation, with activity driven by the growth of connected and autonomous vehicles, and growing importance of technologies such as artificial intelligence, cloud computing and cybersecurity. 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: Autopilot-manual switching.
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
Autopilot-manual switching is a key innovation area in artificial intelligence
The autonomous driving electronic control unit's (AD- ECU's) domain controller utilises a range of environmental data assembled by radar, stereo cameras, and other sensors to enable a vehicle's supervisory control from autopilot to manual steering.
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 50+ companies, spanning technology vendors, established automotive companies, and up-and-coming start-ups engaged in the development and application of autopilot-manual switching.
Key players in autopilot-manual switching – 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 autopilot-manual switching
Source: GlobalData Patent Analytics
Toyota Motor currently holds 230 filed patents in the autopilot-manual switching segment. The company provides a wide range of fully integrated, automated solutions (advanced systems, intelligent software, and life-cycle services) to implement automation technology quickly, effectively, and efficiently. Other companies in autopilot-manual switching for the automotive industry are Hyundai Motor Group, Alphabet, and Honda Motor Company.
To further understand how artificial intelligence is disrupting the automotive industry, access GlobalData’s latest thematic research report on Artificial Intelligence (AI) in Automotive.