The automotive industry continues to be a hotbed of innovation, with activity driven by the need for greater safety, and the emergence of autonomous and connected vehicles, and the growing importance of technologies such as big data and cloud computing. 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: Speed governors. 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

Speed governors is a key innovation area in artificial intelligence

A speed limiter or speed governor is a safety device fitted to a car to prevent the vehicle from exceeding certain pre-set speed limits. It allows a vehicle to be accelerated and decelerated as normal but acts as a speed warning system when driving above the limit that has been set.

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 20+ companies, spanning technology vendors, established automotive companies, and up-and-coming start-ups engaged in the development and application of speed governors.

Key players in speed governors – 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 speed governors

Company Total patents (2010 - 2022) Premium intelligence on the world's largest companies
Toyota Motor 59 Unlock Company Profile
Ford Motor 59 Unlock Company Profile
Porsche Automobil Holding 35 Unlock Company Profile
Hyundai Motor Group 34 Unlock Company Profile
General Motors 25 Unlock Company Profile
Kia 23 Unlock Company Profile
Tata Motors 20 Unlock Company Profile
Nissan Motor 19 Unlock Company Profile
Komatsu 18 Unlock Company Profile
Yanmar Holdings 17 Unlock Company Profile
Hitachi 15 Unlock Company Profile
Husqvarna 14 Unlock Company Profile
Dongfeng Motor 13 Unlock Company Profile
Yamaha Motor 12 Unlock Company Profile
Kubota 11 Unlock Company Profile
Mitsubishi Heavy Industries 10 Unlock Company Profile
AB Volvo 9 Unlock Company Profile
GE Jenbacher & OHG 9 Unlock Company Profile
Robert Bosch Stiftung 8 Unlock Company Profile
CNH Industrial 8 Unlock Company Profile
Honda Motor 6 Unlock Company Profile
NGK Spark Plug 6 Unlock Company Profile
Denso 6 Unlock Company Profile
YANMAR POWER TECHNOLOGY 6 Unlock Company Profile

Source: GlobalData Patent Analytics

Ford is a key player in the speed governors innovation area. Ford’s intelligent speed limiter can help drivers avoid exceeding the speed limit and facing fines. The speed governor technology scans traffic signs and adjusts the throttle to help drivers stay within the legal speed limit. Drivers can choose between speed limiting systems in the vehicle menu using the steering wheel controls and activate them using the speed system controls. The maximum speed for an intelligent speed limiter can be set and then raised or lowered in 5mph (8km/h) increments. Toyota, Hyundai, Porsche Automobil, and Tata Motors 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.