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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 touch interfaces. 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

Instrument cluster touch interfaces is a key innovation area in automotive

A car's instrument cluster houses the various displays and indicators that enable a driver to operate the vehicle. It is equipped with a speedometer, odometer, tachometer, oil pressure gauge, and fuel gauge apart from 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 50+ companies, spanning technology vendors, established automotive companies, and up-and-coming start-ups engaged in the development and application of instrument cluster touch interfaces.

Key players in instrument cluster touch interfaces – 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 touch interfaces

Company Total patents (2010 - 2022) Premium intelligence on the world's largest companies
Porsche Automobil Holding 398 Unlock Company Profile
Bayerische Motoren Werke 75 Unlock Company Profile
Hyundai Motor Group 60 Unlock Company Profile
General Motors 53 Unlock Company Profile
Ford Motor 50 Unlock Company Profile
Continental 48 Unlock Company Profile
Mercedes-Benz Group 46 Unlock Company Profile
Valeo 42 Unlock Company Profile
Toyota Motor 41 Unlock Company Profile
Visteon 32 Unlock Company Profile
Robert Bosch Stiftung 27 Unlock Company Profile
Tokai Rika 25 Unlock Company Profile
LG 25 Unlock Company Profile
Zeppelin-Stiftung 24 Unlock Company Profile
Honda Motor 23 Unlock Company Profile
Panasonic 23 Unlock Company Profile
Ningbo Joyson Electronic 22 Unlock Company Profile
Mitsubishi Electric 20 Unlock Company Profile
Brose Fahrzeugteile 19 Unlock Company Profile
Autoliv 18 Unlock Company Profile
Behr-Hella Thermocontrol 17 Unlock Company Profile
AB Volvo 14 Unlock Company Profile
Nissan Motor 13 Unlock Company Profile
Johnson Controls International 12 Unlock Company Profile
Samsung Group 10 Unlock Company Profile
Kia 10 Unlock Company Profile
AMAZONEN-WERKE H. Dreyer 10 Unlock Company Profile
TKJP 9 Unlock Company Profile
Yazaki 9 Unlock Company Profile
Renault 8 Unlock Company Profile
Subaru 8 Unlock Company Profile
Mazda Motor 8 Unlock Company Profile
Denso 8 Unlock Company Profile
Aisin 8 Unlock Company Profile
Alps Alpine 7 Unlock Company Profile
Valeo Comfort & Driving Assistance 7 Unlock Company Profile
Westinghouse Air Brake Technologies 7 Unlock Company Profile
Kubota 7 Unlock Company Profile
Thales 7 Unlock Company Profile
Bombardier 7 Unlock Company Profile
Thunder Power Hong Kong 7 Unlock Company Profile
Ego Group 7 Unlock Company Profile
Nexteer Automotive Group 6 Unlock Company Profile
International Automotive Components Group 6 Unlock Company Profile
Corning 6 Unlock Company Profile
Lear 6 Unlock Company Profile
Sharp 6 Unlock Company Profile
Tesla 6 Unlock Company Profile
DXC Technology 6 Unlock Company Profile

Source: GlobalData Patent Analytics

Porsche Automobil is a key player in the instrument cluster touch interfaces innovation area. The company engages in the production and development of instrument cluster touch interfaces. It is updating its model 911 by adopting digital instrument cluster, infotainment screen and centre console.  Ford, Honda, Hyundai and BMW 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.