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.

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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

Company Total patents (2010 - 2022) Premium intelligence on the world's largest companies
Dana 11 Unlock Company Profile
Isuzu Motors 9 Unlock Company Profile
Mercedes-Benz Group 6 Unlock Company Profile
Tata Motors 82 Unlock Company Profile
Subaru 6 Unlock Company Profile
Toyota Motor 372 Unlock Company Profile
Schaeffler 17 Unlock Company Profile
Robert Bosch Stiftung 55 Unlock Company Profile
BYD 79 Unlock Company Profile
Zhejiang Geely 9 Unlock Company Profile
Hyundai Motor 456 Unlock Company Profile
Aisin 86 Unlock Company Profile
Cummins 18 Unlock Company Profile
Nissan Motor 342 Unlock Company Profile
Yamaha Motor 6 Unlock Company Profile
Hitachi 21 Unlock Company Profile
Renault 13 Unlock Company Profile
General Electric 8 Unlock Company Profile
Suzuki Motor 26 Unlock Company Profile
Honda Motor 80 Unlock Company Profile
Mitsubishi Electric 14 Unlock Company Profile
Porsche Automobil 51 Unlock Company Profile
General Motors 99 Unlock Company Profile
Oshkosh 30 Unlock Company Profile
Bayerische Motoren Werke 10 Unlock Company Profile
Denso 33 Unlock Company Profile
Kia 284 Unlock Company Profile
Ford Motor 227 Unlock Company Profile
MOSAID Technologies 7 Unlock Company Profile
Daimler Truck 13 Unlock Company Profile
Paice 20 Unlock Company Profile
Stella Vermogensverwaltungs 10 Unlock Company Profile
Zeppelin-Stiftung 38 Unlock Company Profile
KPIT Technologies 34 Unlock Company Profile

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).

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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.