The automotive industry continues to be a hotbed of innovation, with activity driven by increased security, reduced noise transmission, protection from UV, upgraded energy efficiency, and improved thermal & acoustic properties and the growing importance of technologies such as double-glazed, tinted glass, cover glass for car-mounted displays, and HeatControl windshield. 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: Double glazing vehicle windows.
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
Double glazing vehicle windows is a key innovation area in automotive
Double-glazed products insulate against heat and cold up to four times better than single-glazed windows and doors due to their unique design. The space between the two panes of glass serves as a thermal barrier between the vehicle interior and the outside world.
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 10+ companies, spanning technology vendors, established automotive companies, and up-and-coming start-ups engaged in the development and application of double glazing vehicle windows.
Key players in double glazing vehicle windows – 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 double glazing vehicle windows
|Company||Total patents (2010 - 2021)||Premium intelligence on the world's largest companies|
|Compagnie de Saint-Gobain||319||Unlock company profile|
|Sekisui Chemical||242||Unlock company profile|
|Kuraray||76||Unlock company profile|
|AGC||69||Unlock company profile|
|Corning||43||Unlock company profile|
|AGC Glass Europe||24||Unlock company profile|
|AGP America||16||Unlock company profile|
|Nippon Sheet Glass||10||Unlock company profile|
|AGC Glass Company North America||10||Unlock company profile|
|Toray Industries||10||Unlock company profile|
|Nippon Electric Glass||8||Unlock company profile|
|Manitou BF||8||Unlock company profile|
|Central Glass||7||Unlock company profile|
|Chang Chun Group of Companies||6||Unlock company profile|
|Tata Motors||6||Unlock company profile|
|Webasto||5||Unlock company profile|
Source: GlobalData Patent Analytics
Compagnie de Saint-Gobain is one of the leading innovators in double-glazing vehicle windows. In a recent development, Saint-Gobain Glass has integrated a carbon footprint calculation tool into its Calumen®Live glazing configurator to aid in decarbonisation. Calumen®Live is a free professional tool for configuring and calculating the technical performance of glazing solutions. Other companies innovating in this technology domain are Sekisui Chemical, AGC, and Corning. To further understand the key themes and technologies disrupting the automotive industry, access GlobalData’s latest thematic research report on Automotive.