The automotive industry continues to be a hotbed of innovation, with activity driven by rapid electrification and need to improve safety, and growing importance of technologies such as battery disconnect unit. 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: Emergency protective circuits. Buy the report here.

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

Emergency protective circuits is a key innovation area in automotive

Emergency circuit protection devices protect a vehicle’s sensitive electronics against overcurrent, overvoltage, and printed circuit board (PCB) trace faults. Emergency protective circuits can accomplish both switching and protection of the system all in one unit.

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 10+ companies, spanning technology vendors, established automotive companies, and up-and-coming start-ups engaged in the development and application of emergency protective circuits.

Key players in emergency protective circuits – 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 emergency protective circuits

Company Total patents (2010 - 2021) Premium intelligence on the world's largest companies
Huawei Investment Holding 20 Unlock company profile
R2 Semiconductor 17 Unlock company profile
Siemens 16 Unlock company profile
Fuji Electric 15 Unlock company profile
Skyworks Solutions 13 Unlock company profile
TCL Technology Group 13 Unlock company profile
Delta Electronics 11 Unlock company profile
Samsung Group 10 Unlock company profile
Weidmueller Interface 9 Unlock company profile
ON Semiconductor 9 Unlock company profile
JTEKT 8 Unlock company profile
Raytheon Technologies 8 Unlock company profile
Safran 8 Unlock company profile
Toyota Motor 7 Unlock company profile
ROHM 6 Unlock company profile
Samsung Electro-Mechanics 6 Unlock company profile
Omron 5 Unlock company profile
Toshiba 5 Unlock company profile
Astec International 5 Unlock company profile

Source: GlobalData Patent Analytics

Huawei Investment is a key player in the emergency protective circuits innovation area with 20 patents filed. The company is engaged in the production of emergency protective circuits that provides protection from overcurrent and overvoltage. Fuji Electric, R2 Semiconductor, TCL Technology and Samsung 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.

Premium Insights


The gold standard of business intelligence.

Blending expert knowledge with cutting-edge technology, GlobalData’s unrivalled proprietary data will enable you to decode what’s happening in your market. You can make better informed decisions and gain a future-proof advantage over your competitors.


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.