The automotive industry continues to be a hotbed of innovation, with activity driven by safety concerns, and connected and autonomous vehicles and growing importance of technologies such as the Internet of Things and artificial intelligence. 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 Cloud in Automotive: Vehicle head-up displays (HUDs). 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 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, EV discharge prediction, manufacturability analysis, and AI-assisted CAD are disruptive technologies that are in the early stages of application and should be tracked closely. Vehicle head up displays (HUDs), gesture-sensing AR/VR interfaces, and instrument cluster dashboard are some of the accelerating innovation areas, where adoption has been steadily increasing. Among maturing innovation areas are HUD dashboards and remote trip monitoring, which are now well established in the industry.

Innovation S-curve for cloud in the automotive industry

Vehicle head up displays (HUDs) is a key innovation area in cloud

A head-up-display (HUD) displays information on the windshield of the car, directly in the line of sight. Drivers get all the vital information such as warning signals, speed, and indicator arrows for navigation on the windshield and do not need to look at the instrument cluster or the secondary display.

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 80+ companies, spanning technology vendors, established automotive companies, and up-and-coming start-ups engaged in the development and application of vehicle head up displays (HUDs).

Key players in vehicle head up displays (HUDs) – 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 vehicle head-up displays (HUDs)

Company Total patents (2010 - 2021) Premium intelligence on the world's largest companies
Denso 467 Unlock company profile
Nippon Seiki 454 Unlock company profile
Panasonic 396 Unlock company profile
Porsche Automobil Holding 204 Unlock company profile
JVCKENWOOD 204 Unlock company profile
Fujifilm Holdings 190 Unlock company profile
Toyota Motor 184 Unlock company profile
Ricoh 181 Unlock company profile
Kyocera 169 Unlock company profile
Yazaki 116 Unlock company profile
Hyundai Motor Group 114 Unlock company profile
Samsung Group 108 Unlock company profile
Mitsubishi Electric 105 Unlock company profile
Ford Motor 103 Unlock company profile
Nissan Motor 93 Unlock company profile
Cox Enterprises 93 Unlock company profile
Pioneer 90 Unlock company profile
LG 88 Unlock company profile
Alps Alpine 83 Unlock company profile
Honda Motor 70 Unlock company profile
Maxell 65 Unlock company profile
Hitachi 61 Unlock company profile
Aisin 60 Unlock company profile
Beijing Electronics Holding 57 Unlock company profile
General Motors 53 Unlock company profile
Continental 52 Unlock company profile
Subaru 44 Unlock company profile
Robert Bosch Stiftung 44 Unlock company profile
Konica Minolta 41 Unlock company profile
Sony Group 41 Unlock company profile
Bayerische Motoren Werke 39 Unlock company profile
Kia 39 Unlock company profile
Compagnie de Saint-Gobain 38 Unlock company profile
Texas Instruments 35 Unlock company profile
Koito Manufacturing 33 Unlock company profile
Ricoh Innovations 32 Unlock company profile
Hamamatsu Photonics 32 Unlock company profile
Marelli Holdings 29 Unlock company profile
Hyundai Mobis 26 Unlock company profile
Magna International 24 Unlock company profile
Flex 24 Unlock company profile
Mazda Motor 24 Unlock company profile
Faurecia 21 Unlock company profile
Valeo 20 Unlock company profile
Mercedes-Benz Group 19 Unlock company profile
Valeo Comfort & Driving Assistance 19 Unlock company profile
Komatsu 18 Unlock company profile
Toshiba 17 Unlock company profile
Aptiv 16 Unlock company profile
Intel 16 Unlock company profile

Source: GlobalData Patent Analytics

Denso is a key player in the vehicle head-up displays (HUDs) innovation area. DENSO's new HUD can coordinate with sensor-based technologies to inform drivers of the presence of pedestrians ahead. It can also coordinate with vehicle navigation and project virtual directions and lane guidance on the windshield to provide information to the driver more quickly and naturally. The positions, colours, and other indication factors of the HUD offer a natural driving experience. Panasonic, Nippon Seiki, Fujifilm, Jvckenwood, Porsche Automobil and Toyota are some of the other key players.

To further understand how cloud is 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.