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.

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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 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

Company Total patents (2010 - 2022) Premium intelligence on the world's largest companies
Hyundai Mobis 36 Unlock Company Profile
Bombardier 17 Unlock Company Profile
Tata Motors 29 Unlock Company Profile
HL Mando 14 Unlock Company Profile
Toyota Motor 128 Unlock Company Profile
Robert Bosch Stiftung 198 Unlock Company Profile
Siemens 19 Unlock Company Profile
Hyundai Motor 56 Unlock Company Profile
Aisin 108 Unlock Company Profile
Cummins 18 Unlock Company Profile
Nissan Motor 123 Unlock Company Profile
Hitachi 72 Unlock Company Profile
Renault 27 Unlock Company Profile
Honda Motor 35 Unlock Company Profile
Mitsubishi Electric 18 Unlock Company Profile
Komatsu 53 Unlock Company Profile
Porsche Automobil 131 Unlock Company Profile
Transnet SOC 12 Unlock Company Profile
General Motors 42 Unlock Company Profile
Bayerische Motoren Werke 16 Unlock Company Profile
Safran 23 Unlock Company Profile
Denso 17 Unlock Company Profile
Continental 34 Unlock Company Profile
Kia 27 Unlock Company Profile
Ford Motor 61 Unlock Company Profile
Stellantis 22 Unlock Company Profile
SAF-HOLLAND 18 Unlock Company Profile
Ipgate 25 Unlock Company Profile
Stella Vermogensverwaltungs 11 Unlock Company Profile
Zeppelin-Stiftung 41 Unlock Company Profile
Ecolution KWH 17 Unlock Company Profile
BD Auto and energy 28 Unlock Company Profile

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

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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.