The automotive industry continues to be a hotbed of innovation, with activity driven by increasing penetration of electronics into vehicle systems to make mobility safer and intelligent, and growing importance of technologies such as artificial intelligence, cybersecurity, the Internet of Things, robotics 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 Innovation in Automotive: Power actuated vehicle anti-theft locks. 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

Power actuated vehicle anti-theft locks is a key innovation area in automotive

A motor vehicle is equipped with an electronic security device that prevents the engine from starting unless the proper key (a transponder or smart key) is present. This lessens motor vehicle theft by preventing the vehicle from being "hot wired" after entry has been made.

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 power actuated vehicle anti-theft locks.

Key players in power actuated vehicle anti-theft locks – 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 power actuated vehicle anti-theft locks

Company Total patents (2021 - 2023) Premium intelligence on the world's largest companies
Kiekert 165 Unlock Company Profile
Mitsui Mining & Smelting 118 Unlock Company Profile
Magna International 69 Unlock Company Profile
Aisin 53 Unlock Company Profile
Hyundai Motor Group 37 Unlock Company Profile
Kia 29 Unlock Company Profile
MinebeaMitsumi 27 Unlock Company Profile
Nippon Steel 19 Unlock Company Profile
Ford Motor 16 Unlock Company Profile
Renco Group 14 Unlock Company Profile
Brose Fahrzeugteile 10 Unlock Company Profile
Porsche Automobil Holding 7 Unlock Company Profile
PHA 6 Unlock Company Profile

Source: GlobalData Patent Analytics

Kiekert is one of the leading innovators in power actuated vehicle anti-theft locks with 327 patents. The company is a key supplier of electronics components including power actuated anti-theft locks to Toyota, which also happens to be a major shareholder in the company. Kiekert has been working with other companies on the co-development of security solutions for connected and autonomous vehicles. Other companies innovating in this technology domain are Kia, Hyundai, and PHA.

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.