The automotive industry continues to be a hotbed of innovation, with activity driven by the need for greater safety, and autonomous and connected vehicles, and growing importance of technologies such as artificial intelligence and machine learning algorithms. 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: Smart car seats.
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
Smart car seats is a key innovation area in IoT
Smart car seats feature smart materials that offer climate and stain resistance as well as smart functions through various electrical and mechanical adjustments and sensors. Smart car seats make driving comfortable, relaxed, and safe.
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 60+ companies, spanning technology vendors, established automotive companies, and up-and-coming start-ups engaged in the development and application of smart car seats.
Key players in smart car seats – 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 smart car seats
|Company||Total patents (2010 - 2021)||Premium intelligence on the world's largest companies|
|Faurecia||263||Unlock company profile|
|Ford Motor||221||Unlock company profile|
|Aisin||161||Unlock company profile|
|Toyota Boshoku||154||Unlock company profile|
|Lear||109||Unlock company profile|
|Leggett & Platt||106||Unlock company profile|
|Hyundai Motor Group||95||Unlock company profile|
|Toyota Motor||79||Unlock company profile|
|Kia||74||Unlock company profile|
|Tata Motors||73||Unlock company profile|
|Brose Fahrzeugteile||72||Unlock company profile|
|Porsche Automobil Holding||68||Unlock company profile|
|KEIPER||66||Unlock company profile|
|TS Tech||62||Unlock company profile|
|Adient||62||Unlock company profile|
|Robert Bosch Stiftung||58||Unlock company profile|
|Johnson Controls International||52||Unlock company profile|
|Grammer||44||Unlock company profile|
|Magna International||39||Unlock company profile|
|Hyundai Transys||37||Unlock company profile|
|FISHER & COMPANY||37||Unlock company profile|
|Bayerische Motoren Werke||35||Unlock company profile|
|C. Rob. Hammerstein||34||Unlock company profile|
|DAS Companies||29||Unlock company profile|
|Adient Yanfeng Seating Mechanisms||29||Unlock company profile|
|Johnson Controls Metals & Mechanisms & Co||28||Unlock company profile|
|General Motors||25||Unlock company profile|
|NHK Spring||24||Unlock company profile|
|Delta Tooling||24||Unlock company profile|
|Tachi-S||21||Unlock company profile|
|ClearMotion||19||Unlock company profile|
|Honda Motor||17||Unlock company profile|
|Hochschule fur angewandte Wissenschaften Coburg||15||Unlock company profile|
|Mercedes-Benz Group||14||Unlock company profile|
|IMS Gear Holding||14||Unlock company profile|
|Faurecia Automotive Seating||13||Unlock company profile|
|Chongqing Yanfeng Adient Automotive Components||12||Unlock company profile|
|Beijing Electronics Holding||12||Unlock company profile|
|Subaru||11||Unlock company profile|
|Allen-Vanguard||11||Unlock company profile|
|Zhejiang Geely Holding Group||10||Unlock company profile|
|Astronics||10||Unlock company profile|
|IMS Gear||10||Unlock company profile|
|Renault||9||Unlock company profile|
|Clearmotion Acquisition I||9||Unlock company profile|
|Yanfeng Adient Seating||9||Unlock company profile|
|Raytheon Technologies||9||Unlock company profile|
|Continental||9||Unlock company profile|
|Nissan Motor||8||Unlock company profile|
|Delta Kogyo||8||Unlock company profile|
Source: GlobalData Patent Analytics
Faurecia is a key player in the smart car seats innovation area. The company’s smart car seat technology is a haptic solution that offers an immersive and safe experience, where tactile sensations are embedded in the car seat, stimulating the user’s sense of touch. It uses an all-in-one seat sensor to identify potential physical pain and then activates corrective actions, such as massages, haptic vibrations, seat position adjustments, and personalised sounds via integrated headphones in the headrest to alleviate any discomfort. The seat sensors can also help with safety features such as driver monitoring, occupant detection, drowsiness and stress detection and offer alerts and comfort adjustments. Ford Motor, Aisin, Toyota Boshoku, Hyundai Motor, and Tata Motors 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.