The automotive industry continues to be a hotbed of innovation, with activity driven by the need for enhanced driving experience, fuel efficiency, and engine performance, and growing importance of technologies such as air brakes, electrification, connected and autonomous vehicles. 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: Lubrication pumps. Buy the report here.

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

Lubrication pumps is a key innovation area in automotive

Lubricant is fed into the tubing system of an automatic centralised lubrication system by lubrication pumps from the lubricant reservoir. The manometric pressure must be high enough to account for pressure drops in the tubing, components (filters, valves, distributors), and friction points.

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 40 companies, spanning technology vendors, established automotive companies, and up-and-coming start-ups engaged in the development and application of lubrication pumps.

Key players in lubrication pumps – 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 lubrication pumps

Company Total patents (2010 - 2021) Premium intelligence on the world's largest companies
Polaris 187 Unlock company profile
Hitachi 94 Unlock company profile
Hyundai Motor Group 93 Unlock company profile
Honda Motor 50 Unlock company profile
Kia 48 Unlock company profile
General Motors 43 Unlock company profile
Continental 40 Unlock company profile
Rheinmetall 40 Unlock company profile
Hunan Oil Pump 39 Unlock company profile
Ford Motor 38 Unlock company profile
Nissan Motor 34 Unlock company profile
Porsche Automobil Holding 33 Unlock company profile
Yamada Manufacturing 31 Unlock company profile
Toyota Motor 30 Unlock company profile
Mazda Motor 28 Unlock company profile
Johnson Electric Holdings 24 Unlock company profile
Aisin 21 Unlock company profile
BYD 19 Unlock company profile
Magna International 18 Unlock company profile
Taiho Kogyo 18 Unlock company profile
SHW 16 Unlock company profile
Raytheon Technologies 13 Unlock company profile
Suzuki Motor 13 Unlock company profile
Secop 12 Unlock company profile
Whirlpool 12 Unlock company profile
Hanon Systems 11 Unlock company profile
SHW Automotive 10 Unlock company profile
Atlas Copco 9 Unlock company profile
Winterthur Gas & Diesel 8 Unlock company profile
Airbus 7 Unlock company profile
Shandong Heavy Industry Group 7 Unlock company profile
Chery Automobile 7 Unlock company profile
JTEKT 7 Unlock company profile
AB SKF 7 Unlock company profile
Orcan Energy 7 Unlock company profile
CNH Industrial 6 Unlock company profile
Yamada Seisakusho 6 Unlock company profile
Unick 5 Unlock company profile
GEA Group 5 Unlock company profile
Keihin 5 Unlock company profile

Source: GlobalData Patent Analytics

Polaris is one of the leading innovators in lubrication pumps. The company’s lubrication pumps help in reducing fuel consumption and maximise the performance and longevity of the transmission system. Hitachi and Aisin are a few further significant patent filers in the innovation area.

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.