The automotive industry continues to be a hotbed of innovation, with activity driven by better fuel economy and speed efficiency, and growing importance of technologies such as RCS2 Ratio Control System by Aviationpros. 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: Gear ratio control system

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 

Gear ratio control system is a key innovation area in automotive 

The gear ratio (rt) is the ratio of two mating gears' rotational speeds. It is, more precisely, the quotient of the input and output speeds (rt = ωs / ωe). If the gear ratio is less than one, the system may cause a reduction, while if it is greater than one, the system may cause a multiplication. 

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 gear ratio control system. 

Key players in gear ratio control system – 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 gear ratio control system

Company Total patents (2010 - 2021) Premium intelligence on the world's largest companies
Hyundai Motor Group 218 Unlock company profile
Zeppelin-Stiftung 135 Unlock company profile
Tokai Rika 121 Unlock company profile
Kia 113 Unlock company profile
Isuzu Motors 82 Unlock company profile
Porsche Automobil Holding 75 Unlock company profile
SL 64 Unlock company profile
Honda Motor 62 Unlock company profile
Tata Motors 56 Unlock company profile
Nissan Motor 50 Unlock company profile
Kongsberg Automotive 42 Unlock company profile
Toyota Motor 40 Unlock company profile
General Motors 38 Unlock company profile
Stellantis 30 Unlock company profile
Ford Motor 24 Unlock company profile
Allison Transmission Holdings 23 Unlock company profile
Subaru 23 Unlock company profile
Renault 23 Unlock company profile
Kyung Chang Industrial 22 Unlock company profile
AB Volvo 20 Unlock company profile
JTEKT 18 Unlock company profile
Mazda Motor 17 Unlock company profile
Anhui Jianghuai Automobile Group 13 Unlock company profile
MiddleGround Capital 13 Unlock company profile
Shimano 12 Unlock company profile
Ningbo Gaofa Automotive Control System Company 12 Unlock company profile
Aisin 12 Unlock company profile
Beijing Automotive Group 11 Unlock company profile
GHSP 10 Unlock company profile
Guangzhou Automobile Industry Group Company 9 Unlock company profile
Fuji Heavy Industries 9 Unlock company profile
Denso 8 Unlock company profile
Kuester Automotive Door Systems 8 Unlock company profile
GETRAG FORD Transmissions 8 Unlock company profile
Tsuda Industries 8 Unlock company profile
Shandong Heavy Industry Group 7 Unlock company profile
China FAW Group 7 Unlock company profile
Yamaha Motor 7 Unlock company profile
Baoding Innovation Great Wall Asset Management Company 7 Unlock company profile
Honeywell International 7 Unlock company profile
Zhejiang Geely Holding Group 6 Unlock company profile
Nidec 6 Unlock company profile
Fiat Group Automobiles 6 Unlock company profile
MANNOH INDUSTRIAL 6 Unlock company profile
Dongfeng Motor 5 Unlock company profile
Panasonic 5 Unlock company profile
Robert Bosch Stiftung 5 Unlock company profile

Source: GlobalData Patent Analytics

Hyundai is one of the leading patent filers in gear ratio control systems. Hyundai pioneered the use of active shift control (ASC) transmission technology. The breakthrough improves transmission efficiency by monitoring gear shifts 500 times per second and precisely adjusting the transmission rotation speed to achieve faster shift times. The new technology will debut in the upcoming Hyundai Sonata Hybrid and will eventually benefit other Hyundai and Kia hybrids. Some other key patent filers in the automotive industry include Zeppelin-Stiftung, Tokai Rika, Kia, SL, and Honda.

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.