The automotive industry continues to be a hotbed of patent innovation. Activity in driver fatigue monitoring is driven by factors such as rising concern about road safety and stricter government regulations mandating the use of advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS), and growing importance of technologies such as lane departure warning system and automatic emergency braking system. 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: driver fatigue monitoring. 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 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 the 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
Driver fatigue monitoring is a key innovation area in Internet of Things
Driver fatigue monitoring refers to the use of technology and sensors to detect and monitor the level of fatigue or drowsiness in a driver. This technology aims to prevent accidents caused by drivers falling asleep or being in a drowsy state while operating a vehicle. It involves the use of various sensors and algorithms to track the driver's physical and cognitive indicators, such as eye movement, facial expressions, and brainwave activity, to determine their level of fatigue and issue appropriate alerts or interventions.
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 driver fatigue monitoring.
Key players in driver fatigue monitoring – 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 driver fatigue monitoring
Source: GlobalData Patent Analytics
Hyundai Motor is one of the leading patent filers in driver fatigue monitoring systems. M.Brain from Hyundai Mobis is the world’s first brainwave-based driver monitoring system. The system checks for health issues like exhaustion, drowsiness, and distraction by analyzing the driver's brain waves and alerting him when necessary. Additionally, a smartphone app can be connected to the M.Brain system. Some of the key patent filers in the driver fatigue monitoring space include Toyota Motor, Kia, and Ford Motor.
In terms of application diversity, Cox Enterprises leads the pack, while Nio and INRIX stood in the second and third positions, respectively. By means of geographic reach, INRIX held the top position, followed by Cox Enterprises and Nissan Motor.
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.