The automotive industry continues to be a hotbed of innovation, with activity driven by stringent government regulations to reduce emissions and need for enhanced safety and efficiency, and growing importance of technologies such as infrared sensors and light sensing photo cells. 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 street lighting controls. 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 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 street lighting controls is a key innovation area in artificial intelligence

Smart streetlight systems are an intelligent street lighting control system that uses artificial Intelligence technology to deliver automated services. The streetlight uses advanced AI algorithms to recognise vehicles that illegally drive in yellow lanes or make illegal loadings and unloading and automatically cites them for a traffic violation.

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 80+ companies, spanning technology vendors, established automotive companies, and up-and-coming start-ups engaged in the development and application of smart street lighting controls.

Key players in smart street lighting controls – 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 street lighting controls

Company Total patents (2010 - 2022) Premium intelligence on the world's largest companies
Alphabet 141 Unlock Company Profile
Lutron Electronics 53 Unlock Company Profile
Samsung Group 44 Unlock Company Profile
Cooledge Lighting 41 Unlock Company Profile
Panasonic 35 Unlock Company Profile
Texas Instruments 35 Unlock Company Profile
Eaton 35 Unlock Company Profile
ams 35 Unlock Company Profile
Ford Motor 34 Unlock Company Profile
Siemens Building Technologies 33 Unlock Company Profile
ilumisys 30 Unlock Company Profile
Delos Living 28 Unlock Company Profile
Ricoh 28 Unlock Company Profile
EcoSense Lighting 25 Unlock Company Profile
Apple 24 Unlock Company Profile
Rakuten Group 24 Unlock Company Profile
Environmental Light Technologies 24 Unlock Company Profile
Current Lighting Solutions 22 Unlock Company Profile
Wolfspeed 20 Unlock Company Profile
Xicato 20 Unlock Company Profile
Toyota Motor 19 Unlock Company Profile
LG 19 Unlock Company Profile
Porsche Automobil Holding 19 Unlock Company Profile
Microsoft 19 Unlock Company Profile
Valeo 19 Unlock Company Profile
Acuity Brands 18 Unlock Company Profile
Hubble 17 Unlock Company Profile
Koito Manufacturing 16 Unlock Company Profile
Dai Nippon Printing 16 Unlock Company Profile
Intel 16 Unlock Company Profile
STEINEL Vertrieb 15 Unlock Company Profile 14 Unlock Company Profile
Best Lighting Products 14 Unlock Company Profile
Zumtobel Group 14 Unlock Company Profile
Goodrich Lighting Systems 14 Unlock Company Profile
Maxell 14 Unlock Company Profile
GENTEX 13 Unlock Company Profile
Pioneer 13 Unlock Company Profile
Hitachi 12 Unlock Company Profile
Verizon Patent And Licensing 12 Unlock Company Profile
Siemens 12 Unlock Company Profile
Altair Engineering 12 Unlock Company Profile
Gentex 11 Unlock Company Profile
Seoul Semiconductor 11 Unlock Company Profile
Honeywell International 10 Unlock Company Profile
Yazaki 10 Unlock Company Profile
Gecko Alliance Group 10 Unlock Company Profile
Benmore Ventures 10 Unlock Company Profile
Hyundai Motor Group 9 Unlock Company Profile
Ubicquia 9 Unlock Company Profile

Source: GlobalData Patent Analytics

Alphabet is a key player in the smart street lighting controls innovation area with 141 patents filed. With a network of sensors and intelligent management systems Alphabet’s smart lighting controls can respond to real-time factors to dim or turn on and off lights on a system-wide, specified-group, or individual level. Lutron Electronics, Samsung, Eaton and Siemens Building Technologies 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.