The automotive industry continues to be a hotbed of innovation, with activity driven by the need for noise reduction and improved vehicle performance, and growing importance of technologies such as passive return linear damper and extension linear damper. 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 Innovation in Automotive: Linear dampers. 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, resilient spoke wheels, auto-transmission lubrication circuits, and ignition switching engines are disruptive technologies that are in the early stages of application and should be tracked closely. Engine purge actuators, electro-dynamic braking, and adsorptive vapour recovery system estimation are some of the accelerating innovation areas, where adoption has been steadily increasing. Among maturing innovation areas are collision avoidance braking control system and direct injection type engines, which are now well established in the industry.

Innovation S-curve for the automotive industry

Linear dampers are a key innovation area in automotive

Linear dampers are the perfect solution for smooth deceleration when opening or closing a door, or when raising or lowering an object. They help in controlling the speed of moving parts, preventing shocks and noise and significantly extending the life cycle of the product on which they are installed.

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 10+ companies, spanning technology vendors, established automotive companies, and up-and-coming start-ups engaged in the development and application of linear dampers.

Key players in linear dampers – 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 linear dampers

Company Total patents (2010 - 2022) Premium intelligence on the world's largest companies
Hitachi 116 Unlock Company Profile
KYB 60 Unlock Company Profile
Tenneco 42 Unlock Company Profile
ThyssenKrupp 39 Unlock Company Profile
Chudenko 16 Unlock Company Profile
Zeppelin-Stiftung 14 Unlock Company Profile
Bridgestone 10 Unlock Company Profile
Sistemi Sospensioni 9 Unlock Company Profile
Honda Motor 8 Unlock Company Profile
Toyota Motor 8 Unlock Company Profile
Nifco 7 Unlock Company Profile
Beijing West Industries 6 Unlock Company Profile
Siemens 6 Unlock Company Profile
Kendrion (Villingen) 6 Unlock Company Profile
Mando 5 Unlock Company Profile

Source: GlobalData Patent Analytics

Hitachi is a key player in the linear dampers innovation area. Hitachi’s linear damper is used for devices designed primarily for reciprocating motion attenuation rather than absorption of large shock loads. It helps in preventing shocks and reduces noise. KYB, Tenneco and ThyssenKrupp are some of the other key players.

To further understand the key themes and technologies disrupting the automotive industry, access GlobalData’s latest thematic research report on 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.