The automotive industry continues to be a hotbed of innovation, with activity driven by stringent government regulations on emissions and safety concerns, and growing importance of technologies such as Internet of Things and artificial intelligence. 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: Resilient spoke wheels. 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
Resilient spoke wheels is a key innovation area in automotive
The rims of resilient spoked wheels or suspension wheels are connected to their hubs by wire spokes. The wires used in these wheels are stronger than the normal wire rope and have a similar function as that of tensioned flexible wires while keeping the rim true and supporting applied loads.
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 resilient spoke wheels.
Key players in resilient spoke wheels – 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 resilient spoke wheels
|Company||Total patents (2010 - 2022)||Premium intelligence on the world's largest companies|
|Compagnie Generale des Etablissements Michelin||292||Unlock Company Profile|
|Bridgestone||122||Unlock Company Profile|
|Goodyear Tire & Rubber||71||Unlock Company Profile|
|Sumitomo Electric Industries||43||Unlock Company Profile|
|Hankook Tire & Technology||25||Unlock Company Profile|
|Kumho Tire||15||Unlock Company Profile|
|Honda Motor||13||Unlock Company Profile|
|Yokohama Rubber||11||Unlock Company Profile|
|MTD Products||10||Unlock Company Profile|
|BASF||9||Unlock Company Profile|
|RAILBLAZA||7||Unlock Company Profile|
|Seino Holdings||7||Unlock Company Profile|
|SoftBank Group||5||Unlock Company Profile|
Source: GlobalData Patent Analytics
Compagnie Generale des Etablissements Michelin is a key player in the resilient spoke wheels innovation area. The company’s resilient spoke wheels have airless technology that eliminates the risk of flats and rapid pressure loss and reduces environmental impact. It is a combined airless tyre and wheel assembly for passenger cars that enhances efficiency by reducing the risks of vehicle downtime and eliminating tyre-related maintenance needs such as pressure checks and tyre inflation. Bridgestone, Goodyear Tyre & Rubber, and Sumitomo Electric Industries are some of the other key players.
To further understand the key themes and technologies disrupting the automotive industry, access GlobalData’s latest thematic research report on Automotive.