The automotive industry continues to be a hotbed of patent innovation. Activity is driven by autonomous vehicles, enhanced comfort and safety requirements, and growing importance of technologies such as electro-hydraulic, and electric actuators. In the last three years, there have been over 1.7 million patents filed and granted in the automotive industry, according to GlobalData’s report on Innovation in automotive: electromagnetic valve actuatorsBuy 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 stabilizing 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.

300+ innovations will shape the automotive industry

According to GlobalData’s Technology Foresight, which plots the S-curve for the automotive industry using innovation intensity models built on over one million patents, there are 300+ innovation areas that will shape the future of the industry.

Within the emerging innovation stage, integrated multi-motor drivetrains, electric power steering (EPS), and post-collision handing are useful technologies that are in the early stages of wider application and should be tracked closely. Variable compression engines, V2V distance monitoring, and turbocharger shaft bearings are some of the accelerating innovation areas, where adoption has been steadily increasing. Among maturing innovation areas are kinetic energy recovery system (KERS) and plasma-jet ignition,, which are now well-established in the industry.

Innovation S-curve for the automotive industry

Electromagnetic valve actuators is a key innovation area in automotive

An electromechanical valve actuator (EMVA) uses solenoid to actuate valve movement separately for the application of internal combustion engine. It can considerably enhance the performance of a standard internal combustion engine. Electromagnetic valve actuators (EMVA) can achieve independent fully flexible control of valve and thus reduce the fuel consumption significantly. In order to improve the performance of the engine, precise motion control of EMVA is required.

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 electromagnetic valve actuators.

Key players in electromagnetic valve actuators – 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 electromagnetic valve actuators

Company Total patents (2010 - 2022) Premium intelligence on the world's largest companies
Eaton 37 Unlock Company Profile
Illinois Tool Works 11 Unlock Company Profile
Subaru 8 Unlock Company Profile
Mitsubishi Motors 37 Unlock Company Profile
Toyota Motor 42 Unlock Company Profile
Valeo 34 Unlock Company Profile
Robert Bosch Stiftung 16 Unlock Company Profile
Stoneridge 13 Unlock Company Profile
Zhejiang Geely 9 Unlock Company Profile
Hyundai Motor 129 Unlock Company Profile
Nissan Motor 28 Unlock Company Profile
Yamaha Motor 25 Unlock Company Profile
Aisan Industry 112 Unlock Company Profile
State Development and Investment 6 Unlock Company Profile
Honda Motor 16 Unlock Company Profile
Mitsubishi Electric 20 Unlock Company Profile
Porsche Automobil 23 Unlock Company Profile
General Motors 12 Unlock Company Profile
Burelle 19 Unlock Company Profile
Denso 105 Unlock Company Profile
Padmini VNA Mechatronics Private 16 Unlock Company Profile
Continental 86 Unlock Company Profile
Kia 83 Unlock Company Profile
Ford Motor 51 Unlock Company Profile
JAC Motors 4 Unlock Company Profile
Stant 6 Unlock Company Profile
Eagle Actuator Components 7 Unlock Company Profile
Zhejiang Geely 8 Unlock Company Profile

Source: GlobalData Patent Analytics

Aisan Industry is one of the key players in the electromagnetic valve actuators innovation area. The company is engaged in the development of electromagnetic valve actuators that improve the performance of internal combustion engines. Hyundai Motor, Denso, Continental, and Kia are some of the other key players.

In terms of application diversity, Burelle held the top position, while Eaton and Subaru stood in second and third positions, respectively. By means of geographic reach, Nissan Motor leads the pack, followed by Yamaha Motor and Illinois Tool Works.

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.