The automotive industry continues to be a hotbed of patent innovation. Activity is 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 1.7 million patents filed and granted in the automotive industry, according to GlobalData’s report on Internet of Things in automotive: smart car seatsBuy the report here.

Smarter leaders trust GlobalData


Premium Insights Internet of Things in Automotive: Smart car seats

Buy the Report

Premium Insights

The gold standard of business intelligence.

Find out more

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 tyre health monitoring, and collision avoidance systems are some of the accelerating innovation areas, where adoption has been steadily increasing. Among 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

Smart car seats is a key innovation area in Internet of Things

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 30+ 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 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 smart car seats

Company Total patents (2010 - 2022) Premium intelligence on the world's largest companies
Leggett & Platt 118 Unlock Company Profile
Toyota Boshoku 138 Unlock Company Profile
Dorel Industries 41 Unlock Company Profile
Faurecia 357 Unlock Company Profile
Magna International 78 Unlock Company Profile
Tata Motors 98 Unlock Company Profile
Toyota Motor 183 Unlock Company Profile
Johnson Controls International 87 Unlock Company Profile
Robert Bosch Stiftung 79 Unlock Company Profile
Zhejiang Geely 39 Unlock Company Profile
Hyundai Motor 248 Unlock Company Profile
Aisin 164 Unlock Company Profile
Grammer 48 Unlock Company Profile
Lear 147 Unlock Company Profile
TS Tech 105 Unlock Company Profile
Renault 31 Unlock Company Profile
Honda Motor 72 Unlock Company Profile
Porsche Automobil 111 Unlock Company Profile
General Motors 55 Unlock Company Profile
Bayerische Motoren Werke 58 Unlock Company Profile
Fujikura 43 Unlock Company Profile
Kia 218 Unlock Company Profile
Ford Motor 418 Unlock Company Profile
Brose Fahrzeugteile 92 Unlock Company Profile
FISHER 49 Unlock Company Profile
KEIPER 65 Unlock Company Profile
Ningbo Joyson Electronic 34 Unlock Company Profile
Adient 85 Unlock Company Profile
CYBEX 46 Unlock Company Profile
Hyundai Transys 100 Unlock Company Profile
Bambino Prezioso Switzerland 72 Unlock Company Profile
Britax Romer Kindersicherheit 93 Unlock Company Profile
Wonderland Switzerland 156 Unlock Company Profile
Adient Engineering and IP 51 Unlock Company Profile
DAS Companies 56 Unlock Company Profile

Source: GlobalData Patent Analytics

Faurecia is one of the leading patent filers 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 personalized 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, Hyundai, Kia, and Toyota Motor are some of the other key players innovating in smart car seats.

In terms of application diversity Robert Bosch Stiftung held the top position, while Bambino Prezioso Switzerland and DAS Companies stood in second and third positions, respectively. By means of geographic reach, CYBEX leads the pack, followed by Britax Romer Kindersicherheit and Tata Motors.

To further understand how Internet of Things is disrupting the automotive industry, access GlobalData’s latest thematic research report on Internet of Things (IoT) in Automotive.

Premium Insights


The gold standard of business intelligence.

Blending expert knowledge with cutting-edge technology, GlobalData’s unrivalled proprietary data will enable you to decode what’s happening in your market. You can make better informed decisions and gain a future-proof advantage over your competitors.


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.