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: Power window tensioners. 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+ power window tensioners s 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 window tensioners is a key innovation area in automotive

Power window tensioners are hidden inside the door panel, where they remain until they malfunction. When power is applied to an electric motor or in the case of manual windows, when the window crank is turned, the power window tensioner is the mechanical assembly that raises and lowers a window.

GlobalData’s analysis also uncovers the companies at the forefront of each power window tensioners 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 power window tensioners.

Key players in power window tensioners – 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 window tensioners

Company Total patents (2010 - 2021) Premium intelligence on the world's largest companies
Brose Fahrzeugteile 327 Unlock company profile
Aisin 179 Unlock company profile
Hi-Lex 135 Unlock company profile
Compagnie de Saint-Gobain 113 Unlock company profile
Magna International 66 Unlock company profile
Kuester Automotive Door Systems 42 Unlock company profile
Porsche Automobil Holding 42 Unlock company profile
AGC 35 Unlock company profile
General Motors 34 Unlock company profile
Renco Group 30 Unlock company profile
Toyota Motor 26 Unlock company profile
Hyundai Motor Group 25 Unlock company profile
Ford Motor 23 Unlock company profile
Honda Motor 21 Unlock company profile
Nissan Motor 14 Unlock company profile
Nippon Sheet Glass 14 Unlock company profile
Hochschule fur angewandte Wissenschaften Coburg 14 Unlock company profile
Kia 13 Unlock company profile
Grupo Antolin-Irausa 12 Unlock company profile
Fiat Group Automobiles 11 Unlock company profile
ACS France 11 Unlock company profile
Bayerische Motoren Werke 9 Unlock company profile
Cummins 8 Unlock company profile
Mazda Motor 7 Unlock company profile
Aston Martin Lagonda Global Holdings 7 Unlock company profile
Robert Bosch Stiftung 7 Unlock company profile
Continental 6 Unlock company profile
Kuster Automotive 6 Unlock company profile
Kiekert 5 Unlock company profile
Daicel 5 Unlock company profile
Denso 5 Unlock company profile
Toyota Boshoku 5 Unlock company profile
Hsin Chong Machinery Works 5 Unlock company profile
MITSUBA 5 Unlock company profile
Stellantis 5 Unlock company profile

Source: GlobalData Patent Analytics

Aisin is one of the leading innovators in power window tensioners with 179 patents. Aisin’s power window tensioners integrate an anti-pitch device that stops the window, as soon as it recognises an object on its edge while it is being pulled up for closing. The window tensioners have a power backup, which is supplied to the window circuit even after the engine is turned off. In case someone forgets to roll up the windows, this feature saves from the hassle of turning the ignition on again, just to pull up the windows. It also allows the driver to control the windows with just the touch of his fingers. Other companies innovating in this technology domain are Kia, Honda, and Denso.

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.