The automotive industry continues to be a hotbed of innovation, with activity driven by autonomous driving, connectivity, electrification and safety features, and growing importance of technologies such as sensors, artificial intelligence, and machine learning. 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: Retarder brake system. 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

Retarder brake system is a key innovation area in automotive

A retarder is a tool typically used in heavy vehicles to supplement or substitute some of the functions of primary friction-based braking systems. Retarders are used to slow down a vehicle or keep it constant as it descends a hill to stop it from running away and accelerating.

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 20+ companies, spanning technology vendors, established automotive companies, and up-and-coming start-ups engaged in the development and application of retarder brake system.

Key players in retarder brake system – 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 retarder brake system

Company Total patents (2010 - 2022) Premium intelligence on the world's largest companies
Robert Bosch Stiftung 145 Unlock Company Profile
Porsche Automobil Holding 78 Unlock Company Profile
Aisin 49 Unlock Company Profile
Hitachi 30 Unlock Company Profile
Zeppelin-Stiftung 24 Unlock Company Profile
General Motors 24 Unlock Company Profile
Toyota Motor 24 Unlock Company Profile
Hyundai Motor Group 22 Unlock Company Profile
Nissan Motor 21 Unlock Company Profile
Hyundai Mobis 18 Unlock Company Profile
Continental 18 Unlock Company Profile
Honda Motor 17 Unlock Company Profile
Ipgate 14 Unlock Company Profile
Cummins 13 Unlock Company Profile
Safran 13 Unlock Company Profile
Kia 10 Unlock Company Profile
Mitsubishi Electric 10 Unlock Company Profile
Denso 10 Unlock Company Profile
Renault 9 Unlock Company Profile
Bombardier 8 Unlock Company Profile
Bayerische Motoren Werke 7 Unlock Company Profile
Shimano 7 Unlock Company Profile
Siemens 7 Unlock Company Profile
Nuova FourB 6 Unlock Company Profile

Source: GlobalData Patent Analytics

Robert Bosch Stiftung is one of the leading innovators in retarder brake systems with 145 patents. The company’s retarder brake systems help in making vehicles safer on the road and extend the brake life service. They are usually used as additional assistance to slow vehicles, with the final braking done by a conventional friction braking system. 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.