The automotive industry continues to be a hotbed of patent innovation. The automotive industry is enhancing autonomous emergency braking (AEB) technology to reduce collision risks, boosting reliability and efficiency. Autonomous emergency braking technologies in the automotive industry utilize LiDAR sensors, machine learning, integrated systems, and multi-object tracking for high-resolution 3D images and obstacle detection. 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: autonomous emergency braking. 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 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

Autonomous emergency braking is a key innovation area in automotive

Autonomous emergency braking (AEB) is a safety system in vehicles that helps to prevent accidents by automatically applying the brakes in response to a potential collision. The system uses sensors to detect obstacles and potential collisions and takes control of the braking system to either slow down or stop the vehicle completely, depending on the situation.

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 autonomous emergency braking.

Key players in autonomous emergency braking – 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 autonomous emergency braking

Company Total patents (2010 - 2022) Premium intelligence on the world's largest companies
Volvo 9 Unlock Company Profile
Hyundai Mobis 22 Unlock Company Profile
Magna International 7 Unlock Company Profile
Mercedes-Benz Group 5 Unlock Company Profile
Subaru 8 Unlock Company Profile
HL Mando 35 Unlock Company Profile
Toyota Motor 194 Unlock Company Profile
Valeo 8 Unlock Company Profile
Robert Bosch Stiftung 85 Unlock Company Profile
Zhejiang Geely 13 Unlock Company Profile
Hyundai Motor 10 Unlock Company Profile
Aisin 29 Unlock Company Profile
Westinghouse Air Brake Technologies 22 Unlock Company Profile
Nissan Motor 29 Unlock Company Profile
Yamaha Motor 11 Unlock Company Profile
Hitachi 31 Unlock Company Profile
Renault 16 Unlock Company Profile
Suzuki Motor 8 Unlock Company Profile
Honda Motor 17 Unlock Company Profile
Porsche Automobil 11 Unlock Company Profile
General Motors 15 Unlock Company Profile
ZF Commercial Vehicle Control Systems India 6 Unlock Company Profile
Bayerische Motoren Werke 10 Unlock Company Profile
Denso 58 Unlock Company Profile
Continental 46 Unlock Company Profile
Kia 10 Unlock Company Profile
Ford Motor 10 Unlock Company Profile
SZ DJI Technology 8 Unlock Company Profile
Subaru 7 Unlock Company Profile
Stella Vermogensverwaltungs 14 Unlock Company Profile
Zeppelin-Stiftung 22 Unlock Company Profile

Source: GlobalData Patent Analytics

Toyota Motor is one of the leading patent filers in autonomous emergncy braking (AEB) for the automotive industry. The company has filed a patent for an AEB system using cameras, radar, and LiDAR sensors. This innovative technology has the potential to revolutionize the industry and reduce traffic accidents. Toyota's AEB solutions include detecting pedestrians and cyclists at night, partially obscured obstacles, and coordinating with other vehicle systems. Robert Bosch Stiftung and Denso are some of the other key patent filers in this space.

In terms of application diversity, Ford Motor leads the pack, while Yamaha Motor and Zhejiang Geely stood in the second and third positions, respectively. By means of geographic reach, Stella Vermogensverwaltungs held the top position, followed by Yamaha Motor and Ford Motor.

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