The automotive industry continues to be a hotbed of innovation, with activity driven by autonomous vehicles, connected vehicles and safety concerns], and growing importance of technologies such as solid-state LiDAR systems and advanced signal-processing algorithms. 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 vehicle anti-collision. 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

LiDAR for vehicle anti-collision is a key innovation area in artificial intelligence

LiDAR is a critical sensing technology for autonomous vehicles due to its ability to produce a high-resolution mapping of objects in relation to the vehicle. LiDAR sensors transmit a laser pulse, detect the backscattered or reflected light energy, and calculate the distance to the object based on the elapsed time. The technology is useful in detecting road features, such as curbs and lane markings, as well as in tracking objects in proximity to a vehicle.

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 140+ companies, spanning technology vendors, established automotive companies, and up-and-coming start-ups engaged in the development and application of LiDAR for vehicle anti-collision.

Key players in LiDAR for vehicle anti-collision – 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 vehicle anti-collision

Company Total patents (2010 - 2022) Premium intelligence on the world's largest companies
Robert Bosch Stiftung 446 Unlock Company Profile
Alphabet 413 Unlock Company Profile
Toyota Motor 293 Unlock Company Profile
Ford Motor 293 Unlock Company Profile
General Motors 261 Unlock Company Profile
Aptiv 218 Unlock Company Profile
Porsche Automobil Holding 196 Unlock Company Profile
Denso 176 Unlock Company Profile
Valeo 158 Unlock Company Profile
Honda Motor 137 Unlock Company Profile 131 Unlock Company Profile
Continental 131 Unlock Company Profile
Baidu 127 Unlock Company Profile
Koito Manufacturing 113 Unlock Company Profile
Zeppelin-Stiftung 106 Unlock Company Profile
Bayerische Motoren Werke 92 Unlock Company Profile
Hyundai Motor Group 89 Unlock Company Profile
Sony Group 87 Unlock Company Profile
Nissan Motor 75 Unlock Company Profile
Komatsu 75 Unlock Company Profile
Mercedes-Benz Group 67 Unlock Company Profile
Mitsubishi Electric 66 Unlock Company Profile
State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance 66 Unlock Company Profile
SSW Partners 64 Unlock Company Profile
Hitachi 60 Unlock Company Profile
Intel 59 Unlock Company Profile
Uatc 58 Unlock Company Profile
Huawei Investment Holding 54 Unlock Company Profile
Qualcomm 54 Unlock Company Profile
Kia 54 Unlock Company Profile
LG 54 Unlock Company Profile
Samsung Group 51 Unlock Company Profile
Panasonic 48 Unlock Company Profile
Kyocera 41 Unlock Company Profile
Zhejiang Geely Holding Group 38 Unlock Company Profile
Pioneer 36 Unlock Company Profile
Mando 36 Unlock Company Profile
Siemens 36 Unlock Company Profile
Hyundai Mobis 35 Unlock Company Profile
TomTom 35 Unlock Company Profile
Tata Motors 33 Unlock Company Profile
BorgWarner 33 Unlock Company Profile
Nio 32 Unlock Company Profile
Caterpillar 32 Unlock Company Profile
Stella Vermogensverwaltungs 32 Unlock Company Profile
NVIDIA 29 Unlock Company Profile
Renault 25 Unlock Company Profile
Orica 25 Unlock Company Profile
Luminar Technologies 24 Unlock Company Profile 23 Unlock Company Profile

Source: GlobalData Patent Analytics

Robert Bosch Stiftung is a key player in the LiDAR for vehicle anti-collision innovation area. It has developed production-ready LiDAR sensors, which will enable vehicles to detect objects of different finishes, shapes, and sizes over a long range and wide field of vision, giving sufficient time for vehicle steering and braking systems to react in a safe manner. Bosch believes its long-range LiDAR will meet all the safety requirements for automated driving. Alphabet, Ford, General Motors, Toyota and Aptiv are some of the other key players.

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.