The automotive industry continues to be a hotbed of patent innovation. The industry is undergoing significant transformation due to the rise of electric vehicles, autonomous driving, and connected cars. Key factors driving innovation in automotive operating systems include efficient management of electric vehicles’ powertrain and battery systems, seamless integration of autonomous driving systems with the vehicle’s operating system (OS), and secure and reliable support of connected cars’ features and services. Automotive operating systems are becoming increasingly complex and sophisticated, requiring over-the-air (OTA) updates for improved security and performance. Artificial intelligence (AI) is being used to enhance features such as voice recognition and navigation. 5G connectivity is enabling faster data transmission for real-time traffic updates and high-definition maps. Microservices, a software development approach, breaks down large applications into smaller services, making automotive operating systems more modular, scalable, and easier to develop and maintain. 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 Cybersecurity in automotive: automotive operating systemsBuy the report here.

Smarter leaders trust GlobalData

According to GlobalData’s Technology Foresights, which uses over one million patents to analyze innovation intensity for the automotive industry, there are 300+ innovation areas that will shape the future of the industry.

Automotive operating systems is a key innovation area in cybersecurity

Automotive operating systems refer to the software and hardware systems that are used to control and operate various features of vehicles, such as navigation, entertainment, safety, and maintenance. These systems rely on a range of technologies, including wireless communication, sensors, cameras, and software algorithms.

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 automotive operating systems.

Key players in automotive operating systems – 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 automotive operating systems

Company Total patents (2010 - 2022) Premium intelligence on the world's largest companies
HTC 50 Unlock Company Profile
Faurecia 42 Unlock Company Profile
Fujifilm 40 Unlock Company Profile
Microsoft 178 Unlock Company Profile
Toyota Motor 121 Unlock Company Profile
Cox Enterprises 218 Unlock Company Profile
Valeo 62 Unlock Company Profile
Tokai Rika 52 Unlock Company Profile
Lutron Electronics 44 Unlock Company Profile
Alphabet 62 Unlock Company Profile
Robert Bosch Stiftung 74 Unlock Company Profile
BYD 34 Unlock Company Profile
Apple 376 Unlock Company Profile
Hyundai Motor 209 Unlock Company Profile
Snap-on 37 Unlock Company Profile
LG Display 56 Unlock Company Profile
Meta Platforms 65 Unlock Company Profile
Honda Motor 115 Unlock Company Profile
Mitsubishi Electric 52 Unlock Company Profile
Panasonic 51 Unlock Company Profile
Crown Equipment 49 Unlock Company Profile
Compagnie de Saint-Gobain 34 Unlock Company Profile
Porsche Automobil 278 Unlock Company Profile
Immersion 40 Unlock Company Profile
Sony Group 89 Unlock Company Profile
Bayerische Motoren Werke 53 Unlock Company Profile
LG 107 Unlock Company Profile
International Business Machines 42 Unlock Company Profile
Denso 125 Unlock Company Profile
Kia 102 Unlock Company Profile
Ford Motor 85 Unlock Company Profile
Beijing Electronics 52 Unlock Company Profile
Magic Leap 129 Unlock Company Profile
MondayCom 66 Unlock Company Profile
OrCam Technologies 35 Unlock Company Profile
Samsung Group 250 Unlock Company Profile

Source: GlobalData Patent Analytics

Apple is one of the leading patent filers in automotive operating systems. Apple's patents cover self-driving cars, augmented reality dashboards, and in-car entertainment systems. Some other key patent filers in this space include Porsche Automobil and Samsung Group, whose patents focus on self-driving cars, electric vehicles, fuel efficiency improvements, and infotainment systems. The growing number of patents in automotive operating systems indicates a growing interest in developing innovative technologies, driven by the increasing demand for self-driving cars and electric vehicles.

In terms of application diversity, Lutron Electronics leads the pack, while Cox Enterprises and Compagnie de Saint-Gobain stood in the second and third positions, respectively. By means of geographic reach, Magic Leap held the top position, followed by Crown Equipment and Lutron Electronic.

To further understand the key themes and technologies disrupting the automotive industry, access GlobalData’s latest thematic research report on Cybersecurity in Automotive.

Premium Insights


The gold standard of business intelligence.

Blending expert knowledge with cutting-edge technology, GlobalData’s unrivalled proprietary data will enable you to decode what’s happening in your market. You can make better informed decisions and gain a future-proof advantage over your competitors.


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.