The automotive industry continues to be a hotbed of patent innovation. Activity is driven by rising focus on improving ride comfort and safety in vehicles, increasing adoption of electric vehicles (EVs), which requires smart suspension to compensate heavy load, and growing importance of technologies such as air spring ride height sensors, body roll control monitors and automatically deploying auxiliary suspensions. 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 suspension. 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 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 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 suspension is a key innovation area in Internet of Things
Smart suspension refers to a suspension system in vehicles that utilizes advanced technologies and components to enhance the performance, comfort, and safety of the vehicle. It involves the use of sensors, actuators, and control systems to continuously monitor and adjust the suspension parameters based on road conditions, vehicle dynamics, and driver input. Smart suspension systems aim to provide improved handling, stability, and ride quality by actively adapting to different driving conditions and optimizing suspension settings in real-time.
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 suspension.
Key players in smart suspension – 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 suspension
Source: GlobalData Patent Analytics
Compagnie de saint – Gobain is one of the leading patent filers in smart suspension systems. The company introduced NORGLIDE® suspension strut sub-system technology. Nippon Sheet Glass, LG, and AGC are some other key players in smart suspension systems.
In terms of application diversity, Polaris leads the pack, while Polaris and Fox Factory stood in the second and third positions, respectively. By means of geographic reach, Mitsubishi Steel Mfg held the top position, followed by Gordon Murray Design and NHK Spring.
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.