The automotive industry continues to be a hotbed of innovation, with activity driven by the need for low maintenance cost, resistance to harsh weather conditions and environmentally friendly features, and growing importance of technologies such as electromagnets, hydraulic braking systems and regenerative brakes. 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: Eddy current braking. 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, resilient spoke wheels, auto-transmission lubrication circuits, and ignition switching engines are disruptive technologies that are in the early stages of application and should be tracked closely. Engine purge actuators, electro-dynamic braking, and adsorptive vapour recovery system estimation are some of the accelerating innovation areas, where adoption has been steadily increasing. Among maturing innovation areas are collision avoidance braking control system and direct injection type engines, which are now well established in the industry.

Innovation S-curve for the automotive industry

Eddy current braking is a key innovation area in automotive

An eddy current braking system is used to slow or stop a moving object by generating eddy currents through electromagnetic induction, which creates resistance and thus dissipates its kinetic energy as heat.

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 20+ companies, spanning technology vendors, established automotive companies, and up-and-coming start-ups engaged in the development and application of eddy current braking.

Key players in eddy current braking – 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 eddy current braking

Company Total patents (2010 - 2022) Premium intelligence on the world's largest companies
Toyota Motor 86 Unlock Company Profile
Robert Bosch Stiftung 54 Unlock Company Profile
Aisin 47 Unlock Company Profile
Hitachi 41 Unlock Company Profile
Porsche Automobil Holding 30 Unlock Company Profile
Protean Electric 25 Unlock Company Profile
Nissan Motor 23 Unlock Company Profile
Ford Motor 20 Unlock Company Profile
Hyundai Motor Group 19 Unlock Company Profile
Honda Motor 16 Unlock Company Profile
Tata Motors 14 Unlock Company Profile
Continental 13 Unlock Company Profile
General Motors 13 Unlock Company Profile
Paice 12 Unlock Company Profile
Renault 10 Unlock Company Profile
SAF-HOLLAND 9 Unlock Company Profile
Suzuki Motor 9 Unlock Company Profile
Mando 8 Unlock Company Profile
Mitsubishi Motors 8 Unlock Company Profile
Safran 8 Unlock Company Profile
Kia 6 Unlock Company Profile
Mitsubishi Electric 6 Unlock Company Profile
Zeppelin-Stiftung 6 Unlock Company Profile
Huawei Investment Holding 5 Unlock Company Profile
Stella Vermogensverwaltungs 5 Unlock Company Profile
Viatec 5 Unlock Company Profile
NTT 5 Unlock Company Profile
Denso 5 Unlock Company Profile
Mitsubishi Heavy Industries 5 Unlock Company Profile

Source: GlobalData Patent Analytics

Toyota is a key player in the eddy current braking innovation area with 89 patents filed. The company is engaged in the production of eddy current braking, which helps in reducing the wear of brake pads and vibration. Robert Bosch Stiftung, Hitachi, Aisin are some of the other key players.

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.