The automotive industry continues to be a hotbed of patent innovation. Activity is driven by Autonomous vehicle simulation and testing are crucial for the automotive industry for safety, cost reduction, and performance improvement. They help identify safety issues, reduce the need for physical prototypes, and improve AV performance in various conditions. Additionally, they help automakers comply with global regulations by demonstrating their AVs’ safety and reliability to regulators. Overall, AV simulation and testing are essential for ensuring the safety and reliability of autonomous vehicles. The automotive industry is utilizing advanced technologies for AV simulation and testing. High-fidelity simulation environments accurately represent real-world scenarios, while AI-powered tools generate test cases and identify safety issues. Real-time simulation tools allow engineers to test AVs in real-world conditions without deployment on public roads. Digital twins, virtual replicas of real-world objects, collect data on AV performance in simulated scenarios. 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: AV simulation and testing. 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
AV simulation and testing is a key innovation area in artificial intelligence
AV simulation and testing involves using various methods and systems to assess and test the performance, functionality, and safety of autonomous vehicles in different scenarios. This includes developing simulation models, collecting and analyzing data from sensors and other sources, and identifying faults, so that improvements can be made to AVs.
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 AV simulation and testing.
Key players in AV simulation and testing – 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 AV simulation and testing
Source: GlobalData Patent Analytics
State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance, the leading patent filer in autonomous vehicle (AV) simulation and testing, has filed a system and method for autonomous vehicle (AV) simulation and testing. The system includes a simulation environment that models the real world, including vehicles, pedestrians, and traffic infrastructure. Data is collected to identify potential safety issues. Ford Motor and Baidu are also at the forefront of innovation in AV simulation and testing, with their patents essential for the development of safe and reliable AVs. State Farm Mutual's patent for a system and method for AV simulation and testing is a significant contribution to the field, potentially accelerating the development and deployment of safe and reliable AVs.
In terms of application diversity, State Farm Mutual leads the pack. Bridgestone and General Motors stood in the second and third positions respectively. By means of geographic reach, State Farm Mutual held the top position followed by IBM and Aurora Operations.
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.