The automotive industry continues to be a hotbed of innovation, with activity driven by developments in artificial technology and machine learning, and growing importance of technologies such as vehicle traction and object dection and avoidance, satellite technology and big data. 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: LiDAR for 3D object detection.
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
LiDAR for 3D object detection is a key innovation area in artificial intelligence
LiDAR is one of the vital sensors for perception tasks such as vehicle tracking, drivable region segmentation and object detection. The point cloud created by LiDARs supplies 3D spatial information of the objects in the form of (X, Y, Z) coordinates and intensity.
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 100+ companies, spanning technology vendors, established automotive companies, and up-and-coming start-ups engaged in the development and application of LiDAR for 3D object detection.
Key players in LiDAR for 3D object detection – 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 LiDAR for 3D object detection
Source: GlobalData Patent Analytics
Baidu is one of the leading patent filers in LiDAR for 3D object detection. The company is advancing autonomous vehicle technology and aims to field a fleet of autonomous taxis within China. The second largest patent filer is Faro Technologies, which provides 3D LiDAR scanning for industry production and modelling that can be utilised in defence for manufacturing. Other key patent filers in the industry include Sony, NVIDIA and Alphabet.
To further understand how artificial intelligence is disrupting the automotive industry, access GlobalData’s latest thematic research report on Artificial Intelligence (AI) in Automotive.