The automotive industry continues to be a hotbed of innovation, with activity 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 1.2 million patents filed and granted in the automotive industry, according to GlobalData’s report on Innovation in Automotive: Electromagnetic valve actuators.

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

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 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 electromagnetic valve actuators

Company Total patents (2010 - 2021) Premium intelligence on the world's largest companies
Aisan Industry 93 Unlock company profile
Denso 79 Unlock company profile
Hyundai Motor Group 56 Unlock company profile
Continental 55 Unlock company profile
Kia 29 Unlock company profile
Valeo 28 Unlock company profile
Nissan Motor 27 Unlock company profile
Toyota Motor 26 Unlock company profile
Ford Motor 23 Unlock company profile
Burelle 16 Unlock company profile
Porsche Automobil Holding 16 Unlock company profile
Eaton 16 Unlock company profile
Honda Motor 16 Unlock company profile
Robert Bosch Stiftung 15 Unlock company profile
Padmini VNA Mechatronics Private 14 Unlock company profile
Mitsubishi Motors 13 Unlock company profile
Yamaha Motor 11 Unlock company profile
Mitsubishi Electric 11 Unlock company profile
General Motors 10 Unlock company profile
Zhejiang Geely Holding Group 9 Unlock company profile
Mitsubishi Heavy Industries 8 Unlock company profile
Stoneridge 7 Unlock company profile

Source: GlobalData Patent Analytics

Aisan Industry is a key player in the electromagnetic valve actuators innovation area with 93 patents filed. The company is engaged in the development of electromagnetic valve actuators that improve the performance of internal combustion engines. Denso, Hyundai Motor, Continental and Valeo 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.


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.