The automotive industry continues to be a hotbed of innovation, with activity driven by connected vehicles, autonomous vehicles and need for enhanced safety, and growing importance of technologies such as pulse sensors and temperature sensors. 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: Sensor-integrated mirrors. 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 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, acoustic vehicle signalling devices, autonomous parking, and brake pedal sensors are disruptive technologies that are in the early stages of application and should be tracked closely. Vehicle head up displays (HUDs), smart light dimmers, and automatic actuated vehicle doors are some of the accelerating innovation areas, where adoption has been steadily increasing. Among maturing innovation areas are road slope estimation and V2V distance monitoring, which are now well established in the industry

Innovation S-curve for IoT in the automotive industry

Sensor-integrated mirrors is a key innovation area in IoT

An infrared sensor provides a homogeneous reflection of an image without shadows or brightness. These sensors are included in smart mirrors in vehicles to give a reflection-free, light-adjusted view of the rear side.

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 50+ companies, spanning technology vendors, established automotive companies, and up-and-coming start-ups engaged in the development and application of sensor-integrated mirrors.

Key players in sensor-integrated mirrors – 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 sensor-integrated mirrors

Company Total patents (2010 - 2021) Premium intelligence on the world's largest companies
GENTEX 302 Unlock company profile
Gentex 162 Unlock company profile
Magna International 161 Unlock company profile
Samvardhana Motherson International 140 Unlock company profile
Hyundai Motor Group 88 Unlock company profile
Porsche Automobil Holding 88 Unlock company profile
Panasonic 84 Unlock company profile
Ford Motor 67 Unlock company profile
Murakami 63 Unlock company profile
Nitto Denko 50 Unlock company profile
LG Display 45 Unlock company profile
Beijing Electronics Holding 44 Unlock company profile
Fujifilm Holdings 44 Unlock company profile
Tokai Rika 39 Unlock company profile
Kia 37 Unlock company profile
Valeo 33 Unlock company profile
General Motors 32 Unlock company profile
Bayerische Motoren Werke 29 Unlock company profile
Continental 24 Unlock company profile
Shenzhen Tianma Microelectronics 23 Unlock company profile
Honda Motor 23 Unlock company profile
Mercedes-Benz Group 23 Unlock company profile
Toyota Motor 22 Unlock company profile
Fico Mirrors, 19 Unlock company profile
Denso 18 Unlock company profile
Compagnie de Saint-Gobain 17 Unlock company profile
Japan Display 16 Unlock company profile
Samsung Group 16 Unlock company profile
Donnelly Group 15 Unlock company profile
Yazaki 13 Unlock company profile
Flex 13 Unlock company profile
JVCKENWOOD 12 Unlock company profile
Tata Motors 12 Unlock company profile
Deere & Co 12 Unlock company profile
SL 11 Unlock company profile
Mitsubishi Electric 10 Unlock company profile
Valeo Comfort & Driving Assistance 9 Unlock company profile
Sony Group 9 Unlock company profile
LG 7 Unlock company profile
Omron 7 Unlock company profile
Koito Manufacturing 6 Unlock company profile
TS Tech 6 Unlock company profile
Hyundai Mobis 6 Unlock company profile
Robert Bosch Stiftung 6 Unlock company profile
Renault 6 Unlock company profile
ROSCO 6 Unlock company profile
Nio 6 Unlock company profile
AB Volvo 5 Unlock company profile
Hon Hai Precision Industry 5 Unlock company profile
Huf Hulsbeck & Furst 5 Unlock company profile

Source: GlobalData Patent Analytics

Gentex is a key player in sensor-integrated mirrors innovation area. The Gentex sensor-integrated mirrors optimise visibility by providing an unobstructed panoramic rearward view. It also has bimodal functionality and can operate either as a standard automatic dimming rearview mirror or a rear video display. Magna International, Samvardhana Motherson International, Porsche Automobil and Panasonic are some of the other key players.

To further understand how IoT is 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.