The automotive industry continues to be a hotbed of patent innovation. Activity is driven by enhancing vehicle performance, efficiency, and user experience, and growing importance of technologies such as transmission control unit (TCU) and predictive control algorithms. 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 Electric vehicles in automotive: HEV clutch controls. Buy the report here.
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.
HEV clutch controls is a key innovation area in electric vehicles
The systems and procedures used to operate the different clutches in a hybrid or electric vehicle’s driveline are HEV clutch controls. These controls regulate the clutches’ engagement and disengagement, the power take-off (PTO) and the transmission’s use of electric motors for driving or selectively driving them, as well as the techniques for monitoring and modifying torque for best results.
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 HEV clutch controls.
Key players in HEV clutch controls – 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 HEV clutch controls
Source: GlobalData Patent Analytics
Hyundai Motor is the key patent filer in HEV clutch controls. Hyundai has introduced smart HEV clutch control systems that optimize the engagement and disengagement of the clutch based on driving conditions and driver input. These systems aim to provide a smoother and more efficient transition between the internal combustion engine and the electric motor. Toyota Motor and Nissan Motors are some of the other patent filers.
In terms of application diversity, Paice leads the pack, while Yamaha Motor and Daimler Truck stood in the second and third positions, respectively. By means of geographic reach, Oshkosh held the top position, followed by Renault and KPIT Technologies.
To further understand the key themes and technologies disrupting the automotive industry, access GlobalData’s latest thematic research report on Electric Vehicles (EV).