The automotive industry continues to be a hotbed of patent innovation. Activity in the field of view (FoV) enhancement sensors is driven by increased awareness about road safety, rising popularity of surround-view cameras, parking assistance systems, and in-car entertainment systems, and growing importance of technologies such as radar, ultrasonic sensors, and microelectromechanical systems sensors. 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: FoV enhancement sensors. 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 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

FoV enhancement sensors is a key innovation area in Internet of Things

FoV enhancement sensors are advanced sensor systems that, when integrated with a vehicle, significantly enhance driver assistance applications like blind spot detection, pre-crash assist, and adaptive cruise control. These sensors can detect the presence of multiple types of obstacles, including vehicles, pedestrians, and other users significantly far from the vehicle and measure their velocity.

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 FoV enhancement sensors.

Key players in FoV enhancement sensors – 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 FoV enhancement sensors

Company Total patents (2021 - 2023) Premium intelligence on the world's largest companies
Marelli 7 Unlock Company Profile
Magna International 53 Unlock Company Profile
Qualcomm 8 Unlock Company Profile
Gentex 8 Unlock Company Profile
Toyota Motor 41 Unlock Company Profile
Baidu 34 Unlock Company Profile
Alphabet 143 Unlock Company Profile
Robert Bosch Stiftung 11 Unlock Company Profile
Siemens 9 Unlock Company Profile
Hyundai Motor 12 Unlock Company Profile
Aptiv 12 Unlock Company Profile
Hitachi 13 Unlock Company Profile
Panasonic 8 Unlock Company Profile
General Motors 50 Unlock Company Profile
Sony Group 13 Unlock Company Profile 26 Unlock Company Profile
NVIDIA 20 Unlock Company Profile
Donnelly Group 9 Unlock Company Profile
LG 29 Unlock Company Profile
SoftBank Group 8 Unlock Company Profile
Kia 10 Unlock Company Profile
Intel 29 Unlock Company Profile
Ford Motor 62 Unlock Company Profile
SZ DJI Technology 11 Unlock Company Profile
Samsung Group 10 Unlock Company Profile
Beijing TuSimple Future Technology 7 Unlock Company Profile
Stradvision 8 Unlock Company Profile
Luminar Technologies 7 Unlock Company Profile
Uatc 25 Unlock Company Profile

Source: GlobalData Patent Analytics

Alphabet is one of the leading patent filers in the field of FoV enhancement sensors. The company is developing high-resolution cameras with wider FoVs to provide a more comprehensive view of the surrounding environment. It is also working on advanced sensor fusion techniques to combine data from multiple sensors to create a complete and more accurate picture of the surrounding environment. Sensor fusion is being used in Waymo's self-driving cars and is expected to be used in future advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS). Some other key patent filers in this space include Ford Motor, Magna International, and General Motors.

In terms of application diversity, Intel leads the pack, while SoftBank Group and Marelli stood in the second and third positions, respectively. By means of geographic reach, Intel held the top position, followed by Siemens and SoftBank Group.

In terms of application diversity, Intel leads the pack, while SoftBank Group and Marelli stood in the second and third positions, respectively. By means of geographic reach, Intel held the top position, followed by Siemens and SoftBank Group.

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.