The automotive industry continues to be a hotbed of innovation, with activity driven by connected and autonomous vehicles, and growing importance of technologies such as artificial intelligence and cloud computing. 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: Vehicle head up displays (HUDs). 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

Vehicle head up displays (HUDs) is a key innovation area in IoT

A head-up-display (HUD) provides information such as warning signals, speed, and indicator arrows for navigation directly onto the windshield of the car. It provides drivers with all the vital information in the line of sight without the need to look at the instrument cluster or the secondary display.

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 vehicle head up displays (HUDs).

Key players in vehicle head up displays (HUDs) – 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 vehicle head-up displays (HUDs)

Company Total patents (2010 - 2022) Premium intelligence on the world's largest companies
SoftBank Group 1873 Unlock Company Profile
nChain Holdings 508 Unlock Company Profile
Headwater Research 189 Unlock Company Profile
Headwater Partners I 180 Unlock Company Profile
Visa 144 Unlock Company Profile
Capital One Financial 123 Unlock Company Profile
Cox Enterprises 121 Unlock Company Profile
Broadcom 82 Unlock Company Profile
AT&T 60 Unlock Company Profile
adidas 56 Unlock Company Profile
Toronto-Dominion Bank 47 Unlock Company Profile
Ant Group 41 Unlock Company Profile 41 Unlock Company Profile
International Business Machines 40 Unlock Company Profile
Pendrell 40 Unlock Company Profile
Sony Group 35 Unlock Company Profile
Microsoft 33 Unlock Company Profile
PayPal Holdings 31 Unlock Company Profile
Walmart 31 Unlock Company Profile
Digital Asset Holdings 31 Unlock Company Profile
Technikka Conexion 31 Unlock Company Profile
Coinplug 30 Unlock Company Profile 27 Unlock Company Profile
Civic Technologies 25 Unlock Company Profile
Anchor Labs 24 Unlock Company Profile
Security First 23 Unlock Company Profile
Genesys Telecommunications Laboratories 23 Unlock Company Profile
Intertrust Technologies 22 Unlock Company Profile
Authentify 22 Unlock Company Profile
Eluvio 20 Unlock Company Profile
Thales 20 Unlock Company Profile
JPMorgan Chase 18 Unlock Company Profile
Payfone 18 Unlock Company Profile
IDEMIA France 17 Unlock Company Profile
VeriFone 16 Unlock Company Profile
FMR 15 Unlock Company Profile
Early Warning Services 15 Unlock Company Profile
Samsung Group 14 Unlock Company Profile
Inveniam Capital Partners 14 Unlock Company Profile
Intel 14 Unlock Company Profile
Dover 14 Unlock Company Profile
Fiserv 13 Unlock Company Profile
Swirlds 13 Unlock Company Profile
Rokfin 12 Unlock Company Profile
NEC 12 Unlock Company Profile
Omlis 12 Unlock Company Profile
Theta Labs 11 Unlock Company Profile
Algorand 11 Unlock Company Profile
Rivetz 11 Unlock Company Profile
Accenture 10 Unlock Company Profile

Source: GlobalData Patent Analytics

Denso is a key player in vehicle head-up displays (HUDs) innovation area. Denso has developed a thin-film transistor (TFT) liquid-crystal display HUD to project critical driving information onto the windshield for drivers. The human-machine interface (HMI) is the world’s largest automotive HUD with 24in projection. The technology displays basic information such as speed limits and driving speed in addition to the locations of pedestrians through external sensors. It also provides lane guidance assistance that indicates the appropriate lane to follow at junctions and intersections. Panasonic, Nippon Seiki, Fujifilm, Jvckenwood, Porsche Automobil, and Toyota 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.