The automotive industry continues to be a hotbed of patent innovation. Activity is driven by location-based services, autonomous driving, and enhanced safety, and growing importance of technologies such as cloud computing, big data and location awareness. 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 Internet of Things in automotive: remote trip monitoringBuy 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, LiDAR scanners, smart automotive lighting, and autonomous steering are disruptive technologies that are in the early stages of application and should be tracked closely. Vehicle sensor network, AV tyre health monitoring, and collision avoidance systems are some of the accelerating innovation areas, where adoption has been steadily increasing. Among maturing innovation areas are remote trip monitoring and smart speed governors, which are now well established in the industry.

Innovation S-curve for Internet of Things in the automotive industry

Remote trip monitoring is a key innovation area in Internet of Things

Trip monitoring or fleet monitoring is a means to track the movement of a company's mobile assets, usually using a GPS tracking unit equipped to the vehicle or equipment being traced. The GPS unit often transmits the equipment or vehicle position utilising a built-in cellular or satellite connection.

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 remote trip monitoring.

Key players in remote trip monitoring – 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 remote trip monitoring

Company Total patents (2010 - 2022) Premium intelligence on the world's largest companies
Masco 12 Unlock Company Profile
Hubbell 24 Unlock Company Profile
Mueller Water Products 14 Unlock Company Profile
Phoenix Contact 11 Unlock Company Profile
Robert Bosch Stiftung 34 Unlock Company Profile
Siemens 9 Unlock Company Profile
Engie 15 Unlock Company Profile
Nippon Gas 10 Unlock Company Profile
Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft zur Forderung der Angewandten Forschung 23 Unlock Company Profile
Freestyle Technology 16 Unlock Company Profile
Schneider Electric 22 Unlock Company Profile
Kudelski 39 Unlock Company Profile
General Electric 17 Unlock Company Profile
Honda Motor 55 Unlock Company Profile
Mitsubishi Electric 20 Unlock Company Profile
Panasonic 55 Unlock Company Profile
LS Electric 15 Unlock Company Profile
Veolia Environnement 28 Unlock Company Profile
Badger Meter 11 Unlock Company Profile
Xylem 32 Unlock Company Profile
Aztech Associates 13 Unlock Company Profile
Itron 124 Unlock Company Profile
Toshiba 16 Unlock Company Profile
Charterhouse Capital Partners 19 Unlock Company Profile
NEC 13 Unlock Company Profile
Electricite de France 21 Unlock Company Profile
BASIC ELECTRONICS 9 Unlock Company Profile
Kerlink 11 Unlock Company Profile
Miitors ApS 22 Unlock Company Profile
Diehl Metering Systems 25 Unlock Company Profile
Semiconductor Energy Laboratory 17 Unlock Company Profile
OK amba 13 Unlock Company Profile
Apana 24 Unlock Company Profile
Senseware 51 Unlock Company Profile
SIPCO 13 Unlock Company Profile

Source: GlobalData Patent Analytics

Itron is the top patent filer in the remote trip monitoring innovation area. It is developing its long-term collaboration with Microsoft to quicken cloud adoption and the next generation of consumer and grid edge solutions for the utility and smart cities industries. The collaboration brings together Itron’s top energy management solutions and Microsoft’s top cloud solutions to convert how end users view and manage their energy, and how utilities meet the demands of a rapidly changing industry. Itron’s collaboration with Microsoft aims to improve solutions that deliver unique insights and advantages for utilities, communities, and enterprises to reach their goals, including grid resilience, customer engagement, operational competence, and decarbonization.

Honda Motor, Panasonic, Senseware and Kudelski are some of the other leading patent filers in remote trip monitoring.

In terms of application diversity, SIPCO held the top position, while Semiconductor Energy Laboratory and Senseware stood in second and third positions, respectively. By means of geographic reach, Senseware leads the pack, followed by Honda Motor and Apana.

To further understand how Internet of Things is disrupting the automotive industry, access GlobalData’s latest thematic research report on Internet of Things (IoT) in 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.