The automotive industry continues to be a hotbed of innovation, with activity driven by connected vehicles and growing importance of technologies such as contactless fingerprint technology, facial recognition, iris recognition, palm vein recognition, and voice recognition. 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: Contactless authentication.
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
Contactless authentication is a key innovation area in IoT
Contactless or touchless access control allows quick and secure access to a vehicle without the need for physical contact. Frictionless or contactless door entry and access control technologies such as biometrics, Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE), RFID, and smartphone keyless entry are increasingly being chosen as the preferred entry options.
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 20+ companies, spanning technology vendors, established automotive companies, and up-and-coming start-ups engaged in the development and application of contactless authentication.
Key players in contactless authentication – 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 contactless authentication
Source: GlobalData Patent Analytics
Thales currently holds 116 filed patents in contactless authentication for the automotive industry segment. The company is engaged in the development, manufacture, and trading of contactless authentication. Other innovators in contactless authentication for the automotive industry are Vodafone Group, Apple, and Samsung Group.
To further understand how IoT is disrupting the automotive industry, access GlobalData’s latest thematic research report on Internet of Things (IoT) in Automotive.