The automotive industry continues to be a hotbed of patent innovation. Activity in brake torque distribution is driven by advancements in sensor technology, computing power, and autonomous vehicle development, and growing importance of technologies such as machine learning, vehicle-to-vehicle communication, LiDAR, and radar technologies. 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: brake torque distribution. Buy the report here.
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 the 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
Brake torque distribution is a key innovation area in automotive
Brake torque distribution refers to the process of distributing braking force between different wheels of a vehicle to optimize braking performance and stability. This is done by adjusting the hydraulic pressure to individual brake calipers, which in turn adjusts the amount of braking force applied to each wheel.
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 brake torque distribution.
Key players in brake torque distribution – 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 brake torque distribution
Source: GlobalData Patent Analytics
Robert Bosch Stiftung is one of the leading patent filers in brake torque distribution. Bosch's latest patent is for a machine learning system that predicts optimal brake torque distribution for each wheel in real time, improving braking performance, reducing stopping distances, preventing wheel lockups, and reducing wear and tear on brake components. Some other key patent filers in brake torque distribution for the automotive industry include Porsche Automobil and Toyota Motor.
In terms of application diversity, Komatsu leads the pack, while Ecolution KWH and BEDEO stood in the second and third positions, respectively. By means of geographic reach, Komatsu held the top position, followed by Transnet and Safran.
To further understand the key themes and technologies disrupting the automotive industry, access GlobalData’s latest thematic research report on Automotive.