The automotive industry continues to be a hotbed of patent innovation. Activity is driven by safety concerns, regulations and vehicle electrification, and growing importance of technologies such as brake-by -wire and regenerative braking. 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 Innovation in Innovation in automotive: interlocking type brake liningBuy the report here.

Smarter leaders trust GlobalData

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 stabilizing 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.

300+ innovations will shape the automotive industry

According to GlobalData’s Technology Foresight, which plots the S-curve for the automotive industry using innovation intensity models built on over one million patents, there are 300+ innovation areas that will shape the future of the industry.

Within the emerging innovation stage, integrated multi-motor drivetrains, electric power steering (EPS), and post-collision handing are useful technologies that are in the early stages of wider application and should be tracked closely. Variable compression engines, V2V distance monitoring, and turbocharger shaft bearings are some of the accelerating innovation areas, where adoption has been steadily increasing. Among maturing innovation areas are kinetic energy recovery system (KERS) and plasma-jet ignition, which are now well-established in the industry.

Innovation S-curve for the automotive industry

Interlocking type brake lining is a key innovation area in automotive

Interlocking type brake linings apply frictional forces to a cylindrical drum attached to the wheel during braking operations to decrease its speed and provide better control of the vehicle.

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 interlocking type brake lining.

Key players in interlocking type brake lining – 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 interlocking type brake lining

Company Total patents (2010 - 2022) Premium intelligence on the world's largest companies
COSCO Shipping 44 Unlock Company Profile
Nippon Steel 95 Unlock Company Profile
Tata Motors 3 Unlock Company Profile
Akebono Brake Industry 32 Unlock Company Profile
Nisshinbo 13 Unlock Company Profile
Daido Steel 6 Unlock Company Profile
Schaeffler 10 Unlock Company Profile
Miba 18 Unlock Company Profile
Robert Bosch Stiftung 11 Unlock Company Profile
SEW-EURODRIVE 11 Unlock Company Profile
Westinghouse Air Brake Technologies 79 Unlock Company Profile
Nucap Industries Inc 30 Unlock Company Profile
Tenneco 13 Unlock Company Profile
General Motors 5 Unlock Company Profile
Icahn Enterprises 13 Unlock Company Profile
Nabtesco 8 Unlock Company Profile
ITT 12 Unlock Company Profile
Sumitomo Bakelite 20 Unlock Company Profile
Safran 13 Unlock Company Profile
Honeywell International 7 Unlock Company Profile
Fine Sinter 29 Unlock Company Profile
Central Japan Railway - Tokyo Head Office 3 Unlock Company Profile
PureForge 9 Unlock Company Profile
Gienanth 5 Unlock Company Profile
Util Industries 5 Unlock Company Profile
Beijing Tianyishangjia New Material 25 Unlock Company Profile
Beijing Bei Mo Gao Ke Friction Material 8 Unlock Company Profile
KnorrBremsesysteme Fuer Schienenfahrzeuge 2 Unlock Company Profile
Nanjing Zhongsheng Rolling Stock Components 2 Unlock Company Profile
Stemco Products 4 Unlock Company Profile
Stella Vermogensverwaltungs 89 Unlock Company Profile
Nuova FourB 10 Unlock Company Profile

Source: GlobalData Patent Analytics

Nippon Steel is a key player in the interlocking type brake lining innovation area. The company’s interlocking-type brake lining helps in reducing emissions, running resistance, and engine displacement for better fuel efficiency. Nippon’s interlocking-type brake lining requires little maintenance, is more reliable, and offers protection. Stella Vermogensverwaltungs, Westinghouse Air Brake Technologies, COSCO Shipping, and Akebono Brake Industry are some of the other key players.

In terms of application diversity, General Motors held the top position, while Nucap and Daido Steel stood in second and third positions, respectively. By means of geographic reach, ITT leads the pack, followed by SEW-EURODRIVE and Nippon Steel.

To further understand the key themes and technologies disrupting the automotive industry, access GlobalData’s latest thematic research report on Automotive.

Premium Insights


The gold standard of business intelligence.

Blending expert knowledge with cutting-edge technology, GlobalData’s unrivalled proprietary data will enable you to decode what’s happening in your market. You can make better informed decisions and gain a future-proof advantage over your competitors.


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.