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.

Smarter leaders trust GlobalData

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

Company Total patents (2021 - 2023) Premium intelligence on the world's largest companies
Chudenko 12 Unlock Company Profile
Hyundai Mobis 15 Unlock Company Profile
Immsi 12 Unlock Company Profile
Mitsubishi Steel Mfg 36 Unlock Company Profile
Fox Factory 12 Unlock Company Profile
Subaru 11 Unlock Company Profile
Toyota Motor 35 Unlock Company Profile
Showa Sangyo 45 Unlock Company Profile
Schaeffler 60 Unlock Company Profile
NHK Spring 79 Unlock Company Profile
Zhejiang Geely 20 Unlock Company Profile
Hyundai Motor 12 Unlock Company Profile
Nissan Motor 35 Unlock Company Profile
Yamaha Motor 15 Unlock Company Profile
Hitachi 35 Unlock Company Profile
SKF 21 Unlock Company Profile
Renault 18 Unlock Company Profile
ThyssenKrupp 14 Unlock Company Profile
Honda Motor 29 Unlock Company Profile
Mazda Motor 13 Unlock Company Profile
Porsche Automobil 53 Unlock Company Profile
Tenneco 33 Unlock Company Profile
General Motors 12 Unlock Company Profile
Bayerische Motoren Werke 12 Unlock Company Profile
Polaris 28 Unlock Company Profile
Oiles 12 Unlock Company Profile
Continental 14 Unlock Company Profile
Sumitomo Electric Industries 9 Unlock Company Profile
Ford Motor 15 Unlock Company Profile
Polaris 11 Unlock Company Profile
Stellantis 21 Unlock Company Profile
KYB 121 Unlock Company Profile
Sistemi Sospensioni 15 Unlock Company Profile
Gordon Murray Design 13 Unlock Company Profile
HOERBIGER Automotive Komfortsysteme 17 Unlock Company Profile
Zeppelin-Stiftung 42 Unlock Company Profile

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.

Data 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.