The automotive industry continues to be a hotbed of innovation, with activity driven by road safety, autonomous braking systems and advancement in sensors, and growing importance of technologies such as ADAS, sensors, and driver monitoring systems. 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: Electro-dynamic braking.
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
Electro-dynamic braking is a key innovation area in automotive
When slowing down a vehicle, dynamic braking uses an electric traction motor as a generator. If the produced electrical power is lost as heat in the brake grid resistors, it is referred to as "rheostatic," and if it is returned to the supply line, it is referred to as "regenerative."
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 electro-dynamic braking.
Key players in electro-dynamic 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 electro-dynamic braking
Source: GlobalData Patent Analytics
Nissan Motor, with 57 patents, is one of the top companies to file for electro-dynamic braking patents. The company's primary focus is on the production and development of advanced electro-dynamic braking systems. Komatsu, Siemens, and Aisin are a few other notable patent filers in the same industry.
To further understand the key themes and technologies disrupting the automotive industry, access GlobalData’s latest thematic research report on Automotive.