The automotive industry continues to be a hotbed of patent innovation. Activity is driven by consumer demand for safety features, informed decision-making, and regulatory requirements, and growing importance of technologies such as sensors, Internet of Things (IoT), and artificial intelligence (AI). 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 Internet of Things in automotive: accident detection telematics. 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 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 Foresights, 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, LiDAR scanners, smart automotive lighting, and autonomous steering are disruptive technologies that are in the early stages of application and should be tracked closely. Vehicle sensor network, AV tire health monitoring, and collision avoidance systems are some of the accelerating innovation areas, where adoption has been steadily increasing. Among maturing innovation areas are remote trip monitoring and smart speed governors, which are now well established in the industry.

Innovation S-curve for Internet of Things in the automotive industry

Accident detection telematics is a key innovation area in Internet of Things

Accident detection telematics employs sensors and data analysis to identify and analyze vehicle collisions in real-time. This system collects data on vehicle movements, collisions, and other factors using various sensors such as accelerometers and GPS. The data is then processed and analyzed to establish whether an accident occurred, the severity of the accident, and other pertinent information. Insurance companies, emergency services, and car owners can all benefit from accident detection telematics to increase safety and reaction in the case of an accident.

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 accident detection telematics.

Key players in accident detection telematics – 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 accident detection telematics

Company Total patents (2021 - 2023) Premium intelligence on the world's largest companies
American International Group (AIG) 8 Unlock Company Profile
State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance 537 Unlock Company Profile
Swiss Re Asia Pacific 16 Unlock Company Profile
INRIX 123 Unlock Company Profile
Toyota Motor 9 Unlock Company Profile
USAA 21 Unlock Company Profile
Clearlake Capital Group 12 Unlock Company Profile
Cox Enterprises 116 Unlock Company Profile
Viatris 22 Unlock Company Profile
Flex 56 Unlock Company Profile
Robert Bosch Stiftung 10 Unlock Company Profile
Hyundai Motor 11 Unlock Company Profile
Hitachi 7 Unlock Company Profile
Apogee Technology 45 Unlock Company Profile
The Hartford Financial Services Group 22 Unlock Company Profile
Allstate 259 Unlock Company Profile
Honda Motor 13 Unlock Company Profile
Ping An Insurance (Group) 7 Unlock Company Profile
The Toronto-Dominion Bank 8 Unlock Company Profile
Nokia 11 Unlock Company Profile
Panasonic 12 Unlock Company Profile
FirstEnergy 14 Unlock Company Profile
Munchener Ruckversicherungs-Gesellschaft Aktiengesellschaft (Munich Re) 11 Unlock Company Profile
Sony Group 17 Unlock Company Profile
International Business Machines 14 Unlock Company Profile
Denso 9 Unlock Company Profile
KBC Group 7 Unlock Company Profile
Toshiba 7 Unlock Company Profile
Kia 11 Unlock Company Profile
Assurant 32 Unlock Company Profile
Ford Motor 10 Unlock Company Profile
Zendrive 22 Unlock Company Profile
Cambridge Mobile Telematics 27 Unlock Company Profile
Healthy io 23 Unlock Company Profile
Appy Risk Technologies 9 Unlock Company Profile

Source: GlobalData Patent Analytics

State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance  is one of the leading patent filers in accident detection telematics. The company has joined hands with USAA to include crash detection features in their individual mobile apps. Following the technology, the firm introduced its new Accident Assistance function in its Drive Safe & Save app, initially rolling it out to clients across Texas and Florida. The app asks the driver to confirm whether a crash has happened after using the sensors on their smartphone to identify a potential collision. If so, the app provides safety advice, enables to call, and allows to instantly file a claim through a simplified procedure. Allstate, INRIX, and Cox Enterprises are some other key patent filers in accident detection telematics, contributing to the development of accident detection features.

In terms of application diversity, Viatris leads the pack, while Cox Enterprises and Flex stood in the second and third positions, respectively. By means of geographic reach, INRIX held the top position, followed by Flex and Apogee Technology.

To further understand the key themes and technologies disrupting the automotive industry, access GlobalData’s latest thematic research report on Internet of Things (IoT) in 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.