The automotive industry continues to be a hotbed of innovation, with activity driven by enhanced safety, autonomous vehicles and connected vehicles, and growing importance of technologies such as carbon fibre technology, iAlert and embedded sensors. 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: Smart car seats. Buy the report here.

Smarter leaders trust GlobalData

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

Smart car seats is a key innovation area in artificial intelligence

Smart car seats can make driving more comfortable, relaxed and safe through electrical or mechanical adjustments, or active health functions such as massage, lumbar support, heating or cooling. A smart car seat can also offer haptic or audio feedback to alert the driver to an event that requires the driver to regain control.

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 smart car seats.

Key players in smart car seats – 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 smart car seats

Company Total patents (2010 - 2022) Premium intelligence on the world's largest companies
Faurecia 263 Unlock Company Profile
Ford Motor 221 Unlock Company Profile
Aisin 161 Unlock Company Profile
Toyota Boshoku 154 Unlock Company Profile
Lear 109 Unlock Company Profile
Leggett & Platt 106 Unlock Company Profile
Hyundai Motor Group 95 Unlock Company Profile
Toyota Motor 79 Unlock Company Profile
Kia 74 Unlock Company Profile
Tata Motors 73 Unlock Company Profile
Brose Fahrzeugteile 72 Unlock Company Profile
Porsche Automobil Holding 68 Unlock Company Profile
KEIPER 66 Unlock Company Profile
TS Tech 62 Unlock Company Profile
Adient 62 Unlock Company Profile
Robert Bosch Stiftung 58 Unlock Company Profile
Johnson Controls International 52 Unlock Company Profile
Grammer 44 Unlock Company Profile
Magna International 39 Unlock Company Profile
Hyundai Transys 37 Unlock Company Profile
FISHER & COMPANY 37 Unlock Company Profile
Bayerische Motoren Werke 35 Unlock Company Profile
C. Rob. Hammerstein 34 Unlock Company Profile
DAS Companies 29 Unlock Company Profile
Adient Yanfeng Seating Mechanisms 29 Unlock Company Profile
Johnson Controls Metals & Mechanisms & Co 28 Unlock Company Profile
General Motors 25 Unlock Company Profile
NHK Spring 24 Unlock Company Profile
Delta Tooling 24 Unlock Company Profile
Tachi-S 21 Unlock Company Profile
ClearMotion 19 Unlock Company Profile
Honda Motor 17 Unlock Company Profile
Hochschule fur angewandte Wissenschaften Coburg 15 Unlock Company Profile
Mercedes-Benz Group 14 Unlock Company Profile
IMS Gear Holding 14 Unlock Company Profile
Faurecia Automotive Seating 13 Unlock Company Profile
Chongqing Yanfeng Adient Automotive Components 12 Unlock Company Profile
Beijing Electronics Holding 12 Unlock Company Profile
Subaru 11 Unlock Company Profile
Allen-Vanguard 11 Unlock Company Profile
Zhejiang Geely Holding Group 10 Unlock Company Profile
Astronics 10 Unlock Company Profile
IMS Gear 10 Unlock Company Profile
Renault 9 Unlock Company Profile
Clearmotion Acquisition I 9 Unlock Company Profile
Yanfeng Adient Seating 9 Unlock Company Profile
Raytheon Technologies 9 Unlock Company Profile
Continental 9 Unlock Company Profile
Nissan Motor 8 Unlock Company Profile
Delta Kogyo 8 Unlock Company Profile

Source: GlobalData Patent Analytics

Faurecia is a key player in the smart car seats innovation area. The company’s smart car seat helps users to feel more comfortable after any driving distance. It uses an all-in-one seat sensor to detect any physical pain and then activates corrective actions such as massages, haptic vibrations, and personalised sounds through integrated headphones in the headrest to alleviate any discomfort. The seat sensors can also help with safety features like driver monitoring and occupant detection.  Ford, Aisin, Toyota Boshoku and Lear 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.

Premium Insights


The gold standard of business intelligence.

Blending expert knowledge with cutting-edge technology, GlobalData’s unrivalled proprietary data will enable you to decode what’s happening in your market. You can make better informed decisions and gain a future-proof advantage over your competitors.


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.