The automotive industry continues to be a hotbed of patent innovation. Activity in releasable pedal arms is driven by safety and emergency situations, innovation in exercise equipment, technological integration, and global health and wellness trends, and growing importance of technologies such as quick-release mechanisms, adjustable pedal arm designs, and magnetic pedal systems. In the last three years alone, there have been over 1.7 million patents filed and granted in the automotive industry, according to GlobalData’s report on Innovation in automotive: releasable pedal arms. 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 stabilizing 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.

300+ 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 one million patents, there are 300+ innovation areas that will shape the future of the industry.

Within the emerging innovation stage, integrated multi-motor drivetrains, electric power steering (EPS), and post-collision handling are disruptive technologies that are in the early stages of application and should be tracked closely. Variable compression engines, V2V distance monitoring, and turbocharger shaft bearings are some of the accelerating innovation areas, where adoption has been steadily increasing. Among the maturing innovation areas are kinetic energy recovery system (KERS) and plasma-jet ignition, which are now well established in the industry.

Innovation S-curve for the automotive industry

Releasable pedal arms is a key innovation area in automotive

Releasable pedal arms are devices designed for use in vehicles to reduce the risk of injury to passengers during a collision by allowing the pedals to release or detach from their fixed positions upon impact. Pedals are pivotally mounted on a carrier or base support, with a lever element arranged between the carrier and the vehicle. During deformation of the vehicle caused by a collision, the lever element is pressed against a stop element to release or detach the pedal from its fixed position on the carrier.

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 releasable pedal arms.

Key players in releasable pedal arms – a disruptive innovation in the automotive industry

‘Application diversity’ measures the number of applications identified for each patent. It broadly splits companies into either ‘niche’ or ‘diversified’ innovators. 

‘Geographic reach’ refers to the number of countries each patent is registered in. It reflects the breadth of geographic application intended, ranging from ‘global’ to ‘local’.

Patent volumes related to releasable pedal arms

Company Total patents (2010 - 2022) Premium intelligence on the world's largest companies
Mercedes-Benz Group 7 Unlock Company Profile
Mitsubishi Motors 16 Unlock Company Profile
Toyota Motor 30 Unlock Company Profile
Robert Bosch Stiftung 17 Unlock Company Profile
TT Electronics 4 Unlock Company Profile
Kyung Chang Industrial 6 Unlock Company Profile
F-Tech 5 Unlock Company Profile
Zhejiang Geely 10 Unlock Company Profile
Hyundai Motor 56 Unlock Company Profile
Renault 34 Unlock Company Profile
Suzuki Motor 5 Unlock Company Profile
Honda Motor 7 Unlock Company Profile
Mazda Motor 26 Unlock Company Profile
Yorozu 8 Unlock Company Profile
Porsche Automobil 26 Unlock Company Profile
General Motors 18 Unlock Company Profile
AKWEL 4 Unlock Company Profile
Bayerische Motoren Werke 6 Unlock Company Profile
JTEKT 5 Unlock Company Profile
SL 8 Unlock Company Profile
Kia 37 Unlock Company Profile
Ford Motor 16 Unlock Company Profile
Flex-N-Gate 8 Unlock Company Profile
Donghee 12 Unlock Company Profile
Autohellas 3 Unlock Company Profile
Stellantis 12 Unlock Company Profile
CRRC Group 12 Unlock Company Profile
Subaru 4 Unlock Company Profile
ThyssenKrupp Sofedit 3 Unlock Company Profile
Mondragon 20 Unlock Company Profile
Toyoda Iron Works 41 Unlock Company Profile
Ksr 10 Unlock Company Profile
Coutier Moulage General Industry 4 Unlock Company Profile
Nuova FourB 7 Unlock Company Profile
Zeppelin-Stiftung 7 Unlock Company Profile
CJ Automotive 14 Unlock Company Profile

Source: GlobalData Patent Analytics

Hyundai Motor is one of the leading patent filers in releasable pedal arms. The company’s releasable pedal arms technology is intended to provide enhanced safety by preventing passengers from being injured in the event of a collision. The pedal arms are designed to detach from the pedals so that they will not trap passengers under the dashboard. Other key patent filers in this space include Toyoda Iron Works, Kia and Renault.

In terms of application diversity, JTEKT leads the pack, while Mazda Motor and Kyung Chang Industrial stood in the second and third positions, respectively. By means of geographic reach, Yorozu held the top position, followed by Toyota Motor and CJ Automotive.

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.