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 electrification, and 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: Macpherson strut type suspension damper. 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

Macpherson strut type suspension damper is a key innovation area in automotive

The MacPherson strut type suspension damper works by absorbing and dissipating the energy created by the movement of a vehicle. The strut compresses when a car hits a bump or pothole and the spring absorbs the shock, while the damper controls the oscillation of the spring, thereby helping to stabilise the vehicle. The damper contains oil and gas, which work together to resist the movement of the piston within the strut, creating friction that helps to slow down and smooth out the movement of the spring.

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 30+ companies, spanning technology vendors, established automotive companies, and up-and-coming start-ups engaged in the development and application of Macpherson strut type suspension damper.

Key players in Macpherson strut type suspension damper – 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 macpherson strut type suspension damper

Company Total patents (2010 - 2022) Premium intelligence on the world's largest companies
Oiles 327 Unlock Company Profile
AB SKF 261 Unlock Company Profile
Schaeffler 184 Unlock Company Profile
Zeppelin-Stiftung 79 Unlock Company Profile
KYB 72 Unlock Company Profile
ThyssenKrupp 67 Unlock Company Profile
Toyota Motor 56 Unlock Company Profile
Honda Motor 52 Unlock Company Profile
Porsche Automobil Holding 45 Unlock Company Profile
General Motors 43 Unlock Company Profile
Hyundai Motor Group 36 Unlock Company Profile
Mitsubishi Steel Mfg 35 Unlock Company Profile
NHK Spring 34 Unlock Company Profile
Tenneco 33 Unlock Company Profile
Hitachi 31 Unlock Company Profile
Bayerische Motoren Werke 31 Unlock Company Profile
Renault 25 Unlock Company Profile
Ford Motor 24 Unlock Company Profile
Kia 21 Unlock Company Profile
Sumitomo Electric Industries 20 Unlock Company Profile
SNR Roulements 19 Unlock Company Profile
ILJIN 18 Unlock Company Profile
Vibracoustic 17 Unlock Company Profile
Sistemi Sospensioni 17 Unlock Company Profile
Hyundai Mobis 16 Unlock Company Profile
Fox Factory Holding 13 Unlock Company Profile
Bridgestone 12 Unlock Company Profile
Continental 12 Unlock Company Profile
Nissan Motor 11 Unlock Company Profile
Societe Nouvelle de Roulements 10 Unlock Company Profile
Polaris 8 Unlock Company Profile
Zhejiang Geely Holding Group 7 Unlock Company Profile
Compagnie de Saint-Gobain 6 Unlock Company Profile
Vibracoustic North America 6 Unlock Company Profile
Rollax 6 Unlock Company Profile
Chudenko 5 Unlock Company Profile
Mercedes-Benz Group 5 Unlock Company Profile
BeijingWest Industries 5 Unlock Company Profile

Source: GlobalData Patent Analytics

Oiles is one of the leading innovators in Macpherson strut type suspension damper with 327 patents. The company has developed new struts to improve crash performance. Vehicles equipped with Oiles’ MacPherson struts are likely to pass more stringent small overlap crashes because they are packaged with a sizable structure in the front crash structure compared to vehicles with double wishbone suspension. Other companies innovating in this technology domain are AB SKF, Hyundai, and Renault.

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.