The automotive industry continues to be a hotbed of innovation, with activity driven by the rapid installation of electric vehicle (EV) charging stations and increasing adoption of EVs, and the growing importance of technologies such as smart grid-enabled technologies and advanced metering infrastructure. 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: V2G smart metering.
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
V2G smart metering is a key innovation area in IoT
Vehicle-to-grid (V2G) smart metering refers to the method of feeding the electricity enclosed in an electric car's batteries back into the electrical grid while it is parked. The smart meter enables bidirectional communication and remote control between electric vehicles and the grid. It can measure voltage and current, active and reactive power, and other electrical parameters.
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 80+ companies, spanning technology vendors, established automotive companies, and up-and-coming start-ups engaged in the development and application of V2G smart metering.
Key players in V2G smart metering – 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 V2G smart metering
Source: GlobalData Patent Analytics
Itron is a key player in the V2G smart metering innovation area. Itron’s V2G smart metering enables utilities and EV charging operators to access comprehensive EV charging, energy management, and turnkey solutions to help maintain grid reliability, resiliency and efficiency. The V2G smart metering can manage constraints at the grid edge for the utility through grid analytics and control and enables chargers to be grid-integrated assets. Panasonic, Honda Motor, Siemens, and Diehl Metering System 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.