The automotive industry continues to be a hotbed of innovation, with activity driven by the need for better customer experience, interest in personalised vehicle information and growing importance of technologies such as cloud computing, Internet of Things, machine learning, deep learning, and cognitive systems. 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: Data-driven control systems. 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 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

Data-driven control systems is a key innovation area in artificial intelligence

Data-driven systems and applications are dedicated software solutions for the management, acquisition and presentation of information. These systems are typically created using the same technologies, software tools and processes utilised for developing other vehicle control systems.

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 60+ companies, spanning technology vendors, established automotive companies, and up-and-coming start-ups engaged in the development and application of data-driven control systems.

Key players in data-driven control systems – 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 data-driven control systems

Company Total patents (2010 - 2022) Premium intelligence on the world's largest companies
Toyota Motor 387 Unlock Company Profile
Ford Motor 244 Unlock Company Profile
Baidu 204 Unlock Company Profile
Porsche Automobil Holding 199 Unlock Company Profile
Hyundai Motor Group 137 Unlock Company Profile
Robert Bosch Stiftung 124 Unlock Company Profile
Nissan Motor 121 Unlock Company Profile
Tata Motors 120 Unlock Company Profile
Kia 105 Unlock Company Profile
INRIX 92 Unlock Company Profile
Panasonic 86 Unlock Company Profile
Hitachi 85 Unlock Company Profile
General Motors 77 Unlock Company Profile
Denso 71 Unlock Company Profile
Honda Motor 67 Unlock Company Profile
Superpedestrian 61 Unlock Company Profile
Bayerische Motoren Werke 58 Unlock Company Profile
Zhejiang Geely Holding Group 54 Unlock Company Profile
LG 54 Unlock Company Profile
Renault 52 Unlock Company Profile
Intel 48 Unlock Company Profile
Alphabet 33 Unlock Company Profile
Aptiv 29 Unlock Company Profile
Mitsubishi Electric 29 Unlock Company Profile
AB Volvo 29 Unlock Company Profile
Aisin 28 Unlock Company Profile
State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance 27 Unlock Company Profile
TomTom Telematics 26 Unlock Company Profile
KPIT Technologies 25 Unlock Company Profile
Zeppelin-Stiftung 22 Unlock Company Profile
International Business Machines 20 Unlock Company Profile
Continental 18 Unlock Company Profile
Dana 18 Unlock Company Profile
Mercedes-Benz Group 17 Unlock Company Profile
BlackBerry 15 Unlock Company Profile
Webfleet Solutions 15 Unlock Company Profile
Mazda Motor 14 Unlock Company Profile
Allison Transmission Holdings 14 Unlock Company Profile
Faurecia 13 Unlock Company Profile
Centro Ricerche Fiat 13 Unlock Company Profile
Hi-Tech Robotic Systemz 12 Unlock Company Profile
Valeo 12 Unlock Company Profile
Iveco Group 12 Unlock Company Profile
AVL List 12 Unlock Company Profile
Huawei Investment Holding 11 Unlock Company Profile
Samsung Group 10 Unlock Company Profile
Stellantis 10 Unlock Company Profile
Pioneer 9 Unlock Company Profile
Thunder Power Hong Kong 9 Unlock Company Profile
Dyson Holdings 8 Unlock Company Profile

Source: GlobalData Patent Analytics

Toyota is one of the leading players in the data-driven control systems segment. The company is partnering with Invisible AI to deploy artificial intelligence in its factories to enhance efficiency and safety, under a two-year agreement. Toyota factories will be equipped with a system consisting of 500 AI devices using NVIDIA processors and a high-resolution 3D camera to observe operations. The AI will analyse manufacturing operations to detect any technical issues, revealing the invisible problems to the human eye and help in fixing them to improve process quality and safety. Toyota will be able to analyse the processes in real-time, gaining insights from AI-acquired data. Ford, Baidu, Tata Motors and Porsche Automobil are some of the other key players in this area of innovation.        

To further understand how artificial intelligence is 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.