The automotive industry continues to be a hotbed of innovation, with activity driven by increasing penetration of electronics into vehicle systems to make mobility safer, more intelligent and enhance in-car experiences, along with the growing importance of technologies such as artificial intelligence, cybersecurity, Internet of Things, robotics and cloud computing. 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: HEV silencers. Buy 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 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

HEV silencers is a key innovation area in automotive

A muffler or silencer is a device used to lessen the noise produced by an internal combustion engine's exhaust, particularly one that is integrated into an automobile's exhaust system.

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 HEV silencers.

Key players in HEV silencers – 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 HEV silencers

Company Total patents (2021 - 2023) Premium intelligence on the world's largest companies
Toyota Motor 260 Unlock Company Profile
Yamaha Motor 151 Unlock Company Profile
Honda Motor 133 Unlock Company Profile
Ford Motor 53 Unlock Company Profile
Hyundai Motor Group 35 Unlock Company Profile
Kia 32 Unlock Company Profile
Porsche Automobil Holding 31 Unlock Company Profile
General Motors 23 Unlock Company Profile
Continental 20 Unlock Company Profile
Renault 16 Unlock Company Profile
Mitsui Mining & Smelting 15 Unlock Company Profile
TVS Group 14 Unlock Company Profile
Johnson Matthey 14 Unlock Company Profile
Nissan Motor 12 Unlock Company Profile
Suzuki Motor 12 Unlock Company Profile
Zhejiang Geely Holding Group 12 Unlock Company Profile
Robert Bosch Stiftung 11 Unlock Company Profile
Burelle 11 Unlock Company Profile
Isuzu Motors 10 Unlock Company Profile
Denso 9 Unlock Company Profile
Mercedes-Benz Group 8 Unlock Company Profile
Tata Motors 7 Unlock Company Profile
IFP Energies nouvelles 7 Unlock Company Profile
AB Volvo 7 Unlock Company Profile
Mazda Motor 7 Unlock Company Profile
Immsi 6 Unlock Company Profile
J C Bamford Excavators 5 Unlock Company Profile
Daimler Truck Holding 5 Unlock Company Profile

Source: GlobalData Patent Analytics

Toyota, with 260 patents, is one of the top companies to file for HEV silencers patents. The company’s sound absorbing devices and sound attenuating apparatus, muffler or silencer are used with the exhaust gas system of a vehicle’s internal combustion engine for attenuating or absorbing sound waves entrained in a gas stream. Denso, Honda, and Ford are a few other notable patent filers in the same industry.

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.