The automotive industry continues to be a hotbed of innovation, with activity driven by electrification, connected vehicles and autonomous vehicles, and growing importance of technologies such as augmented reality and virtual reality. 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: Instrument cluster display configuration. 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

Instrument cluster display configuration is a key innovation area in automotive

A car's instrument cluster display configuration houses the various displays and indicators that enable a driver to operate the vehicle. It includes a speedometer, odometer, tachometer, oil pressure gauge, and fuel gauge, in addition to various indicators for system malfunctions and warnings.

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 30+ companies, spanning technology vendors, established automotive companies, and up-and-coming start-ups engaged in the development and application of instrument cluster display configuration.

Key players in instrument cluster display configuration – 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 instrument cluster display configuration

Company Total patents (2010 - 2022) Premium intelligence on the world's largest companies
Panasonic 49 Unlock Company Profile
Denso 44 Unlock Company Profile
Mitsubishi Electric 36 Unlock Company Profile
Porsche Automobil Holding 35 Unlock Company Profile
Nippon Seiki 34 Unlock Company Profile
Samsung Group 24 Unlock Company Profile
Toyota Motor 20 Unlock Company Profile
LG 17 Unlock Company Profile
Honda Motor 15 Unlock Company Profile
Fujifilm Holdings 13 Unlock Company Profile
Yazaki 12 Unlock Company Profile
Elbit Systems 11 Unlock Company Profile
Continental 10 Unlock Company Profile
Aisin 10 Unlock Company Profile
Subaru 10 Unlock Company Profile
Konica Minolta 9 Unlock Company Profile
Compagnie de Saint-Gobain 9 Unlock Company Profile
Ricoh 8 Unlock Company Profile
DAF Trucks 8 Unlock Company Profile
Kyocera 7 Unlock Company Profile
Hyundai Motor Group 7 Unlock Company Profile
Kia 7 Unlock Company Profile
Ford Motor 7 Unlock Company Profile
Marelli Holdings 6 Unlock Company Profile
Apple 6 Unlock Company Profile
Sony Group 6 Unlock Company Profile
JVCKENWOOD 6 Unlock Company Profile
Alphabet 6 Unlock Company Profile
Lucid Group 6 Unlock Company Profile
Hyundai Mobis 5 Unlock Company Profile
Aptiv 5 Unlock Company Profile
MR Innovation 5 Unlock Company Profile

Source: GlobalData Patent Analytics

Panasonic is a key player in the instrument cluster display configuration innovation area. The company offers a wide range of products that resemble advanced electronic cockpit solutions by merging the digital instrument cluster with other cockpit displays in an easy-to-use human-machine interface (HMI). Denso, Mitsubishi Electric and Porsche Automobil 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.

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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.