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.
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 - 2021)||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.