The automotive industry continues to be a hotbed of patent innovation. Energy efficiency, cost savings and environmental concerns are the factors that are increasing the demand for smart street lighting. Activity in smart street lighting is also driven by the growing importance of technologies such as Internet of Things (IoT), sensors, artificial intelligence  (AI). 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 street lighting. 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 re 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

Smart street lighting is a key innovation area in Internet of Things

Smart street lighting refers to a lighting system that utilizes advanced technologies, such as LED luminaires, sensors, and communication networks to create a more energy-efficient, environment-friendly, and intelligent road lighting infrastructure. The system can be remotely controlled to optimize lighting levels based on traffic, weather, and other environmental conditions, and collect real-time data to improve public safety and provide useful insights to traffic managers and city planners.

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 street lighting.

Key players in smart street lighting – 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 street lighting

Company Total patents (2010 - 2022) Premium intelligence on the world's largest companies
Eaton 52 Unlock Company Profile
Koito Manufacturing 93 Unlock Company Profile
Seoul Semiconductor 46 Unlock Company Profile
Toyota Motor 82 Unlock Company Profile
Apollo Global Management 106 Unlock Company Profile
Valeo 104 Unlock Company Profile
Lutron Electronics 121 Unlock Company Profile
Alphabet 129 Unlock Company Profile
Robert Bosch Stiftung 49 Unlock Company Profile
Hyundai Motor 80 Unlock Company Profile
Zumtobel Group 45 Unlock Company Profile
Ricoh 43 Unlock Company Profile
Acuity Brands 64 Unlock Company Profile
General Electric 57 Unlock Company Profile
Koninklijke Philips 108 Unlock Company Profile
Panasonic 114 Unlock Company Profile
Goodrich Lighting Systems 39 Unlock Company Profile
Legrand 80 Unlock Company Profile
ams 145 Unlock Company Profile
Cooledge Lighting 42 Unlock Company Profile
Porsche Automobil 83 Unlock Company Profile
ilumisys 41 Unlock Company Profile
Stanley Electric 48 Unlock Company Profile
Hayward Industries 39 Unlock Company Profile 47 Unlock Company Profile
LG 159 Unlock Company Profile
Wolfspeed 118 Unlock Company Profile
EcoSense Lighting 46 Unlock Company Profile
Yazaki 65 Unlock Company Profile
Kia 42 Unlock Company Profile
Ford Motor 407 Unlock Company Profile
Hubble 54 Unlock Company Profile
Samsung Group 92 Unlock Company Profile
L&L Candle 52 Unlock Company Profile
Signify 466 Unlock Company Profile
Vaxcel International 68 Unlock Company Profile

Source: GlobalData Patent Analytics

Signify is one of the leading patent filers in smart street lighting and introduced LiFi technology. Ford Motor and LG are some other key patent filers in smart street lighting for automotive industry.

In terms of application diversity, Hayward Industries leads the pack, while Cooledge Lighting and Alphabet stood in the second and third positions, respectively. By means of geographic reach, Alphabet held the top position, followed by Cooledge Lighting and General Electric.

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