The automotive industry continues to be a hotbed of innovation, with activity driven by the need for enhanced vehicle safety at night, autonomous and connected vehicles, and growing importance of technologies such as forward phase dimming and reverse phase (ELV) dimming. 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 light dimmers. 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 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 light dimmers is a key innovation area in IoT

Smart light dimmers automatically manage light intensity and beam settings based on input parameters received from the environment. The smart light dimmers operate the lights using an LDR sensor, with high/low beams being managed using a front body-mounted camera, while left/right movement is managed based on steering position and up/down movement based on incline/decline.

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 100+ companies, spanning technology vendors, established automotive companies, and up-and-coming start-ups engaged in the development and application of smart light dimmers.

Key players in smart light dimmers – 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 light dimmers

Company Total patents (2010 - 2022) Premium intelligence on the world's largest companies
Ford Motor 319 Unlock Company Profile
ams 90 Unlock Company Profile
Wolfspeed 84 Unlock Company Profile
LG 69 Unlock Company Profile
Panasonic 63 Unlock Company Profile
Hyundai Motor Group 48 Unlock Company Profile
Yazaki 47 Unlock Company Profile
L&L Candle Company 46 Unlock Company Profile
Valeo 45 Unlock Company Profile
Acuity Brands 37 Unlock Company Profile
Eaton 37 Unlock Company Profile
Porsche Automobil Holding 36 Unlock Company Profile
Stanley Electric 33 Unlock Company Profile
Koito Manufacturing 32 Unlock Company Profile
Toshiba 32 Unlock Company Profile
Hubble 32 Unlock Company Profile
Toyota Motor 31 Unlock Company Profile
Samsung Group 29 Unlock Company Profile
Belgravia Wood 25 Unlock Company Profile
Denso 25 Unlock Company Profile 25 Unlock Company Profile
Legrand 24 Unlock Company Profile
Hon Hai Precision Industry 23 Unlock Company Profile
Goodrich Lighting Systems 22 Unlock Company Profile
Orion Energy Systems 22 Unlock Company Profile
Techtronic Industries 20 Unlock Company Profile
Korrus 20 Unlock Company Profile
Kia 19 Unlock Company Profile
Seoul Semiconductor 19 Unlock Company Profile
EcoSense Lighting 18 Unlock Company Profile
Robert Bosch Stiftung 18 Unlock Company Profile
Honda Motor 16 Unlock Company Profile
ROHM 16 Unlock Company Profile
Church & Dwight 15 Unlock Company Profile
Sumitomo Electric Industries 15 Unlock Company Profile
Boeing 15 Unlock Company Profile
Telebrands 15 Unlock Company Profile
Mazda Motor 14 Unlock Company Profile
Lifi Labs 14 Unlock Company Profile
Unity Opto Technology 13 Unlock Company Profile
Foxconn Technology 13 Unlock Company Profile
Nite Ize 12 Unlock Company Profile
KLS Martin 12 Unlock Company Profile
LG Display 12 Unlock Company Profile
General Motors 12 Unlock Company Profile
ASSIA 12 Unlock Company Profile
Hyundai Mobis 11 Unlock Company Profile
Sharp 11 Unlock Company Profile
Snap-on 10 Unlock Company Profile
Mitsubishi Electric 10 Unlock Company Profile

Source: GlobalData Patent Analytics

Ford is a key player in the smart light dimmers innovation area with 319 patents filed. The company’s smart light dimmers can automatically turn on or off when required and feature a driver-activated system with a windshield-mounted camera that can scan the road. The smart dimmer turns on the lights based on the road conditions to improve visibility and dims the lights to low beam to reduce glare for approaching vehicles. Wolfspeed, AMS, Panasonic and LG 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.