The automotive industry continues to be a hotbed of innovation, with activity driven by the need for greater safety and the emergence of autonomous vehicles, and growing importance of technologies such as bluetooth low-frequency tyre pressure monitoring systems. 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: Tyre sensors. 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

Tyre sensors is a key innovation area in IoT

Tyre sensors measure the rate of revolution that each wheel is making, which can be used by onboard computer systems to compare with each other and other vehicle operation data such as speed. The computer can interpret the relative size of the tyres on a vehicle based on the rate of revolution of each wheel. When a wheel starts spinning faster than expected, the computer calculates that the tyre is underinflated and alerts the driver accordingly.

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 20 companies, spanning technology vendors, established automotive companies, and up-and-coming start-ups engaged in the development and application of tyre sensors.

Key players in tyre sensors – 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 tyre sensors

Company Total patents (2010 - 2022) Premium intelligence on the world's largest companies
Bridgestone 138 Unlock Company Profile
Compagnie Generale des Etablissements Michelin 110 Unlock Company Profile
Denso 69 Unlock Company Profile
Toyo Tire 62 Unlock Company Profile
Yokohama Rubber 33 Unlock Company Profile
Continental 29 Unlock Company Profile
Hankook Tire & Technology 25 Unlock Company Profile
Goodyear Tire & Rubber 20 Unlock Company Profile
Seino Holdings 17 Unlock Company Profile
Sumitomo Electric Industries 14 Unlock Company Profile
Kobe Steel 14 Unlock Company Profile
Komatsu 11 Unlock Company Profile
Verneuil Participations 10 Unlock Company Profile
Oita Taiheiyo Kogyo 9 Unlock Company Profile
Porsche Automobil Holding 7 Unlock Company Profile
NTT 6 Unlock Company Profile
TDK 5 Unlock Company Profile
Camfin 5 Unlock Company Profile
Ford Motor 5 Unlock Company Profile
Provana Quality Center SRL 5 Unlock Company Profile

Source: GlobalData Patent Analytics

Bridgestone is a key player in the tyre sensors innovation area. The company announced the development of the Smart Strain Sensor technology capable of estimating a wheel axle load and tyre wear condition by using sensors attached inside tyres. The sensor measures the change in strain that occurs when a tyre is in contact with the road while in motion in addition to tracking tyre inflation pressure and temperature. The Smart Strain Sensor technology incorporates next-generation IoT technologies and uses a proprietary algorithm to convert data collected into tyre load and wear information, which is then transferred to the cloud. Compagnie Generale des Etablissements Michelin, Denso, Continental and Toyo Tire 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.