The automotive industry continues to be a hotbed of innovation, with activity driven by spark plugs, oxygen sensors, sticking float and fuel injectors, and growing importance of technologies such as electromechanical actuators, electrification, and connected and autonomous vehicles. 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 Innovation in Automotive: Catalytic exhaust flow deflectors. 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, eccentric crankshaft gears, retarder brake system, and closed-circuit liquid cooling are disruptive technologies that are in the early stages of application and should be tracked closely. Bio-fuel ICEs, electromagnetic valve actuators, and road friction estimation are some of the accelerating innovation areas, where adoption has been steadily increasing. Among maturing innovation areas are tyre bead fillers and vehicle turbochargers, which are now well established in the industry.

Innovation S-curve for the automotive industry

Catalytic exhaust flow deflectors is a key innovation area in automotive

An internal combustion engine's exhaust gases are discharged into a chamber with a larger transverse cross-section and a flow-through catalyst support when a deflector member is positioned within the flow of the exhaust gases.

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 catalytic exhaust flow deflectors.

Key players in catalytic exhaust flow deflectors – 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 catalytic exhaust flow deflectors

Company Total patents (2010 - 2022) Premium intelligence on the world's largest companies
Tenneco 108 Unlock Company Profile
Porsche Automobil Holding 63 Unlock Company Profile
Eberspacher Gruppe 49 Unlock Company Profile
Donaldson 39 Unlock Company Profile
Toyota Motor 37 Unlock Company Profile
Ford Motor 35 Unlock Company Profile
Robert Bosch Stiftung 26 Unlock Company Profile
General Motors 24 Unlock Company Profile
Friedrich Boysen 23 Unlock Company Profile
Renault 21 Unlock Company Profile
Isuzu Motors 21 Unlock Company Profile
Faurecia Sys Echappement 21 Unlock Company Profile
Mercedes-Benz Group 20 Unlock Company Profile
Eberspaecher Exhaust Technology International 16 Unlock Company Profile
Cummins 15 Unlock Company Profile
Caterpillar 15 Unlock Company Profile
Mazda Motor 13 Unlock Company Profile
Emitec Gesellschaft fur Emissionstechnologie mbH 12 Unlock Company Profile
J. Eberspacher 10 Unlock Company Profile
AB Volvo 9 Unlock Company Profile
Futaba Industrial 9 Unlock Company Profile
Komatsu 9 Unlock Company Profile
Purem 8 Unlock Company Profile
Continental 8 Unlock Company Profile
Rolls-Royce Holdings 8 Unlock Company Profile
Hyundai Motor Group 7 Unlock Company Profile
Winterthur Gas & Diesel 7 Unlock Company Profile
Daedong 7 Unlock Company Profile
Kia 6 Unlock Company Profile
AVL List 5 Unlock Company Profile
Marelli Holdings 5 Unlock Company Profile
E.ON 5 Unlock Company Profile
Yanmar Holdings 5 Unlock Company Profile

Source: GlobalData Patent Analytics

Tenneco engages in the development and manufacturing of catalytic exhaust flow deflectors. The company currently holds 108 filed patents in the segment. Other companies in catalytic exhaust flow deflectors for the automotive industry are AB Volvo, Cummins, and Kia.

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.