The automotive industry continues to be a hotbed of patent innovation. Collaborative autonomous driving (CAD) is driving innovation in the automotive industry due to its potential to improve safety, efficiency, cost, and regulation. CAD allows autonomous vehicles (AVs) to communicate and coordinate, reducing collision risks, reducing traffic congestion, and reducing the need for expensive sensors and computing hardware. Governments worldwide are developing regulations to ensure safe and efficient operation of AVs. The automotive industry is utilizing technologies such as vehicle to vehicle (V2V) communication, vehicle to infrastructure (V2I) communication, cloud-based CAD systems, and edge computing to improve collaborative autonomous driving systems. These technologies, while still under development, have the potential to revolutionize CAD systems and accelerate the deployment of safe and reliable AVs. 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: collaborative autonomous driving. Buy the report here.

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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

Collaborative autonomous driving is a key innovation area in artificial intelligence

Collaborative autonomous driving refers to a system where multiple vehicles and devices interact and communicate with each other to improve driving safety and efficiency. This involves data sharing, analysis of driving behavior, seamless switching of road side units, information interaction between vehicles, driving risk analysis, and the construction of map data. By utilizing collaborative autonomous driving, vehicles can cooperate and make informed decisions, resulting in safer and more efficient driving.

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 collaborative autonomous driving.

Key players in collaborative autonomous driving – 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 collaborative autonomous driving

Company Total patents (2010 - 2022) Premium intelligence on the world's largest companies
Huawei Investment & Holding 175 Unlock Company Profile
State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance 318 Unlock Company Profile
INRIX 107 Unlock Company Profile
NIKE 105 Unlock Company Profile
Qualcomm 194 Unlock Company Profile
Toyota Motor 474 Unlock Company Profile
Cox Enterprises 139 Unlock Company Profile
Baidu 412 Unlock Company Profile
Alphabet 240 Unlock Company Profile
Robert Bosch Stiftung 136 Unlock Company Profile
Hyundai Motor 213 Unlock Company Profile
Aptiv 85 Unlock Company Profile
Nissan Motor 146 Unlock Company Profile
Hitachi 136 Unlock Company Profile
Allstate 127 Unlock Company Profile
Mitsubishi Electric 157 Unlock Company Profile
Panasonic 87 Unlock Company Profile
Porsche Automobil 393 Unlock Company Profile
General Motors 179 Unlock Company Profile
Sony Group 82 Unlock Company Profile 146 Unlock Company Profile
LG 309 Unlock Company Profile
International Business Machines 158 Unlock Company Profile
Denso 173 Unlock Company Profile
Continental 87 Unlock Company Profile
Kia 148 Unlock Company Profile
NEC 104 Unlock Company Profile
Intel 473 Unlock Company Profile
Ford Motor 645 Unlock Company Profile
Uber Technologies 110 Unlock Company Profile
Samsung Group 128 Unlock Company Profile
Here 103 Unlock Company Profile
Uatc 107 Unlock Company Profile

Source: GlobalData Patent Analytics

Ford Motor, the leading automotive patent holding company in collaborative autonomous driving, has filed a patent for a CAD system that enables real-time communication and coordination between autonomous vehicles. The system uses sensors such as cameras, radar, and LiDAR to collect data and process it by a cloud-based server. This could improve safety, efficiency, and fuel efficiency in complex traffic situations. Toyota Motor and Intel are some of the other leading patent filers in CAD innovation, contributing to the development of safe and reliable AVs.

In terms of application diversity, Enterprises leads the pack. Intel and Panasonic stood in the second and third positions respectively. By means of geographic reach, INRIX held the top position followed by NIKE and Enterprises.

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.

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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.