The automotive industry continues to be a hotbed of patent innovation. The automotive industry is enhancing anti-rattle control through consumer demand, government regulations, technological advancements, and competition to reduce noise, enhance driving experience, and differentiate premium vehicles. Toyota, Ford, General Motors, and Hyundai are implementing advanced anti-rattle technologies, using shape memory alloy to clamp loose parts, detect noise, and cancel vibration. In the last three years alone, there have been over 1.7 million patents filed and granted in the automotive industry, according to GlobalData’s report on Innovation in automotive: anti-rattle control. 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 stabilizing 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.

300+ 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 one million patents, there are 300+ innovation areas that will shape the future of the industry.

Within the emerging innovation stage, integrated multi-motor drivetrains, electric power steering (EPS), and post-collision handling are disruptive technologies that are in the early stages of application and should be tracked closely. Variable compression engines, V2V distance monitoring, and turbocharger shaft bearings are some of the accelerating innovation areas, where adoption has been steadily increasing. Among maturing innovation areas are kinetic energy recovery system (KERS) and plasma-jet ignition, which are now well established in the industry.

Innovation S-curve for the automotive industry

Anti-rattle control is a key innovation area in automotive

Anti-rattle control refers to a method or process that involves controlling at least one actuator of a vehicle to reduce rattling noise that occurs when driving on rough terrains or uneven surfaces. The system involves configuring the control function of the actuator to reduce the difference between the current rotational speed of the wheel and the target rotational speed of the wheel. This is achieved by obtaining data indicative of the vehicle's current operating condition and using it to set the control bandwidth of the control function.

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 30 companies, spanning technology vendors, established automotive companies, and up-and-coming start-ups engaged in the development and application of anti-rattle control.

Key players in anti-rattle control – a disruptive innovation in the automotive industry

‘Application diversity’ measures the number of applications identified for each patent. It broadly splits companies into either ‘niche’ or ‘diversified’ innovators.   

‘Geographic reach’ refers to the number of countries each patent is registered in. It reflects the breadth of geographic application intended, ranging from ‘global’ to ‘local’.  

Patent volumes related to anti-rattle control

Company Total patents (2010 - 2022) Premium intelligence on the world's largest companies
Volvo 9 Unlock Company Profile
Sangsin Brake 1 Unlock Company Profile
Corning Life Sciences 1 Unlock Company Profile
Tata Motors 33 Unlock Company Profile
Subaru 1 Unlock Company Profile
Ferrari 5 Unlock Company Profile
Toyota Motor 82 Unlock Company Profile
UT-Battelle 1 Unlock Company Profile
Robert Bosch Stiftung 7 Unlock Company Profile
Engie 3 Unlock Company Profile
Hyundai Motor 42 Unlock Company Profile
Aisin 21 Unlock Company Profile
Westinghouse Air Brake Technologies 7 Unlock Company Profile
Cummins 3 Unlock Company Profile
Hitachi 2 Unlock Company Profile
Caterpillar 7 Unlock Company Profile
Renault 13 Unlock Company Profile
General Electric 5 Unlock Company Profile
BAE Systems 3 Unlock Company Profile
Porsche Automobil 2 Unlock Company Profile
General Motors 9 Unlock Company Profile
Achates Power 2 Unlock Company Profile
ADATA Technology 1 Unlock Company Profile
Continental 1 Unlock Company Profile
Kia 29 Unlock Company Profile
Ford Motor 8 Unlock Company Profile
Subaru 2 Unlock Company Profile
Fuzhou Huaying Heavy Industrial Machinery 1 Unlock Company Profile
Iveco Group 4 Unlock Company Profile
VCTech 1 Unlock Company Profile

Source: GlobalData Patent Analytics

Toyota Motor is one of the key patent filers in anti-rattle control for the automotive industry. Their latest patent focuses on a durable, cost-effective device for reducing noise and vibration in vehicles. This technology is crucial for improving driving experiences. Hyundai Motor and Tata Motors are some of the other key patent filers in anti-rattle control.

In terms of application diversity, BAE Systems leads the pack, while Porsche Automobil and Iveco stood in the second and third positions, respectively. By means of geographic reach, Tata Motors held the top position, followed by Caterpillar and Renault.

To further understand the key themes and technologies disrupting the automotive industry, access GlobalData’s latest thematic research report on 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.