The automotive industry continues to be a hotbed of innovation, with activity driven by the need to enhance the driving experience and safety standards, and growing importance of technologies such as sensors, artificial intelligence, and machine learning. 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 Internet of Things in Automotive: Autonomous parking.

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, smart car seats, tyre sensors, and predictive maintenance systems are disruptive technologies that are in the early stages of application and should be tracked closely. Acoustic vehicle signalling devices, brake temperature monitoring, and autonomous parking are some of the accelerating innovation areas, where adoption has been steadily increasing. Among maturing innovation areas are disc brake actuators and AI-assisted dimming, which are now well established in the industry.

Innovation S-curve for IoT in the automotive industry

Autonomous parking is a key innovation area in IoT

Automatic parking is a self-driving car system that shifts a vehicle from a traffic lane into a parking space to perform parallel, perpendicular, or angled parking.

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 10 companies, spanning technology vendors, established automotive companies, and up-and-coming start-ups engaged in the development and application of autonomous parking.

Key players in autonomous parking – 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 autonomous parking

Company Total patents (2010 - 2021) Premium intelligence on the world's largest companies
Nissan Motor 110 Unlock company profile
Hyundai Motor Group 77 Unlock company profile
Kia 64 Unlock company profile
LG 27 Unlock company profile
Renault 23 Unlock company profile
Toyota Motor 18 Unlock company profile
Mando 15 Unlock company profile
Baidu 11 Unlock company profile
Robert Bosch Stiftung 10 Unlock company profile
Porsche Automobil Holding 6 Unlock company profile

Source: GlobalData Patent Analytics

Nissan Motor is one of the top patent filers in the autonomous parking innovation area in the automobile industry. The latest innovation from the company is the newly developed ProPILOT Parking Technology. Hyundai Motor Group and Kia are some of the other significant patent filers in the innovation area.

To further understand how IoT is disrupting the automotive industry, access GlobalData’s latest thematic research report on Internet of Things (IoT) in Automotive.


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.