The automotive industry continues to be a hotbed of patent innovation. Activity is driven by increasing demand for fuel cell electric vehicles, technological advancements, and government regulations to promote the adoption of FCEVs, and growing importance of technologies such as sensors, data acquisition systems, and data analytics software. 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 Fuel cells in automotive: fuel cell fault monitoringBuy 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.

Fuel cell fault monitoring is a key innovation area in fuel cells

Fuel cell fault monitoring refers to the process of monitoring and detecting faults or abnormalities in a fuel cell system, which is used for generating electrical energy through a chemical reaction between hydrogen and oxygen. By continuously monitoring various parameters and signals, such as temperature, voltage, current, and pressure, fuel cell fault monitoring aims to identify and diagnose any potential issues or malfunctions in the fuel cell system, ensuring its safe and efficient operation.

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 40 companies, spanning technology vendors, established automotive companies, and up-and-coming start-ups engaged in the development and application of fuel cell fault monitoring.

Key players in fuel cell fault monitoring – 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 fuel cell fault monitoring

Company Total patents (2010 - 2022) Premium intelligence on the world's largest companies
Volvo 34 Unlock Company Profile
Eaton 31 Unlock Company Profile
Qualcomm 37 Unlock Company Profile
Mercedes-Benz Group 41 Unlock Company Profile
Tata Motors 26 Unlock Company Profile
Toyota Motor 1264 Unlock Company Profile
TE Connectivity 34 Unlock Company Profile
Robert Bosch Stiftung 178 Unlock Company Profile
BYD 167 Unlock Company Profile
Siemens 52 Unlock Company Profile
Zhejiang Geely 30 Unlock Company Profile
Hyundai Motor 517 Unlock Company Profile
Nissan Motor 165 Unlock Company Profile
Lear 43 Unlock Company Profile
Hitachi 50 Unlock Company Profile
Schneider Electric 36 Unlock Company Profile
Renault 90 Unlock Company Profile
General Electric 80 Unlock Company Profile
Suzuki Motor 58 Unlock Company Profile
Honda Motor 181 Unlock Company Profile
Panasonic 329 Unlock Company Profile
LS Electric 90 Unlock Company Profile
Porsche Automobil 179 Unlock Company Profile
Proterra 27 Unlock Company Profile
General Motors 81 Unlock Company Profile
Bayerische Motoren Werke 61 Unlock Company Profile
LG 60 Unlock Company Profile
Denso 58 Unlock Company Profile
WiTricity 48 Unlock Company Profile
Yazaki 32 Unlock Company Profile
AES 39 Unlock Company Profile
Continental 39 Unlock Company Profile
Kia 302 Unlock Company Profile
Sumitomo Electric Industries 58 Unlock Company Profile
Ford Motor 103 Unlock Company Profile
Kawasaki Heavy Industries 68 Unlock Company Profile
Sogrepar 44 Unlock Company Profile
Stellantis 27 Unlock Company Profile
Kiekert 27 Unlock Company Profile
Gogoro 213 Unlock Company Profile

Source: GlobalData Patent Analytics

Toyota Motor (Toyota) is the leading patent filer in fuel cell fault monitoring, followed by Hyundai Motor. One of Toyota's latest innovations in FCEV fault monitoring is a new system that uses artificial intelligence (AI) to predict problems and identify potential causes. This system is still under development, but it has the potential to revolutionize FCEV fault monitoring by making it more accurate, proactive, and cost-effective. Another new innovation from Toyota is a fuel cell fault monitoring system that uses blockchain technology to store and transmit data. This system is designed to be more secure and tamper-proof than traditional systems, and can also be used to track the performance of FCEVs over time. Some other significant patent filers in the space include Panasonic, Kia, and Gogoro.

In terms of application diversity, AES leads the pack, while TE Connectivity and Kiekert stood in the second and third positions, respectively. By means of geographic reach, AES held the top position, followed by BYD and Gogoro.

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.