The automotive industry continues to be a hotbed of patent innovation. Activity is driven by safety concerns, regulations, and autonomous vehicles, and the growing importance of technologies such as sensors and ADAS driver monitoring 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: resistive braking motorsBuy 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 Foresight, 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 handing are useful technologies that are in the early stages of wider 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 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

Resistive braking motors is a key innovation area in automotive

The purpose of a braking resistor is to quickly stop or slow down the mechanical system by producing a braking torque. Braking resistors have features such as resistance, average braking power and higher reliability. The braking resistors with smaller ohmic values are designed to enable motors to stop faster and dissipate more heat.

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 resistive braking motors.

Key players in resistive braking motors – 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 resistive braking motors

Company Total patents (2010 - 2022) Premium intelligence on the world's largest companies
Liebherr-International 12 Unlock Company Profile
Rolls-Royce 18 Unlock Company Profile
NTT 12 Unlock Company Profile
Compagnie Generale des Etablissements Michelin 48 Unlock Company Profile
Taiyo Yuden 36 Unlock Company Profile
Toyota Motor 110 Unlock Company Profile
IHI 15 Unlock Company Profile
National Amusements 22 Unlock Company Profile
Ocean Power Technologies 22 Unlock Company Profile
Valeo 43 Unlock Company Profile
Samsung SDI 13 Unlock Company Profile
Robert Bosch Stiftung 113 Unlock Company Profile
Siemens 96 Unlock Company Profile
Danfoss 15 Unlock Company Profile
SEW-EURODRIVE 18 Unlock Company Profile
Hyundai Motor 41 Unlock Company Profile
Aisin 24 Unlock Company Profile
Nidec 15 Unlock Company Profile
Nissan Motor 25 Unlock Company Profile
Yamaha Motor 25 Unlock Company Profile
Hitachi 77 Unlock Company Profile
Renault 13 Unlock Company Profile
General Electric 14 Unlock Company Profile
Honda Motor 75 Unlock Company Profile
Mitsubishi Electric 70 Unlock Company Profile
Panasonic 16 Unlock Company Profile
Raytheon Technologies 14 Unlock Company Profile
Textron 14 Unlock Company Profile
Safran 26 Unlock Company Profile
Denso 43 Unlock Company Profile
Kia 23 Unlock Company Profile
Ford Motor 18 Unlock Company Profile
Kawasaki Heavy Industries 15 Unlock Company Profile
SZ DJI Technology 17 Unlock Company Profile
Premergy 20 Unlock Company Profile
BD Auto and energy 30 Unlock Company Profile

Source: GlobalData Patent Analytics

Toyota is one of the top patent filers in the resistive braking motors innovation area. Toyota’s braking resistors require less service and provide higher reliability by reducing wear on friction-based braking components and allowing regeneration that lowers net energy consumption. The resistive braking motors may also be used on railcars with multiple units, light rail vehicles, electric trams, and electric and hybrid electric automobiles. Robert Bosch Stiftung, Siemens, Hitachi, and Honda Motor are few other key players innovating in resistive braking motors.

In terms of application diversity, Renault held the top position, while BD Auto and Energy and Premergy stood in second and third positions, respectively. By means of geographic reach, Ocean Power Technologies leads the pack, followed by National Amusements and Premergy.

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.