The automotive industry continues to be a hotbed of patent innovation. Activity is driven by rising demand for smart seating features, improved command panel, comfort, and reclined seating option, and growing importance of technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI), sensors, and controllers in seating. 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 Robotics in automotive: autonomous seatingBuy the report here.

Smarter leaders trust GlobalData


Data Insights Robotics in automotive: Autonomous seating

Buy the Report

Data Insights

The gold standard of business intelligence.

Find out more

According to GlobalData’s Technology Foresights, which uses over one million patents to analyze innovation intensity for the automotive industry, there are 300+ innovation areas that will shape the future of the industry.

Autonomous seating is a key innovation area in robotics

Autonomous seating refers to the advanced seating system in autonomous vehicles that allows the passengers to control the seat’s various movements utilizing sensors, motors, and controllers. These seating systems adjust the seat’s position, angle, and inclination based on the passengers’ physiological characteristics and riding experiences.

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 autonomous seating.

Key players in autonomous seating – 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 autonomous seating

Company Total patents (2021 - 2023) Premium intelligence on the world's largest companies
Toyota Motor 1 Unlock Company Profile
Alphabet 24 Unlock Company Profile
Hyundai Motor 19 Unlock Company Profile
TS Tech 5 Unlock Company Profile
Porsche Automobil 3 Unlock Company Profile
LG 15 Unlock Company Profile
Kia 19 Unlock Company Profile
Ford Motor 17 Unlock Company Profile
Micron Technology 2 Unlock Company Profile
Uber Technologies 2 Unlock Company Profile
Thorley Industries 5 Unlock Company Profile
Nio 1 Unlock Company Profile
Cunningham John 7 Unlock Company Profile
Intelligent Technologies International 1 Unlock Company Profile
Uatc 6 Unlock Company Profile

Source: GlobalData Patent Analytics

Alphabet is one of the leading patent filers in autonomous seating. The company has filed a patent for a lockout assembly that folds vehicle seats and covers a latching mechanism in autonomous driving mode. The latching mechanism restricts certain areas in the vehicle, such as the trunk or cargo, and enables it to fold down the rear seats of a vehicle. The innovation will prevent passengers from actuating the latching mechanism during autonomous driving mode. Hyundai Motor, Kia, and Ford Motor are some other key patent filers in autonomous seating innovation.

In terms of application diversity, Micron Technology leads the pack, while Cunningham John and Intelligent Technologies International stood in the second and third positions, respectively. By means of geographic reach, Alphabet held the top position, followed by Ford Motor and Cunningham John.

To further understand the key themes and technologies disrupting the automotive industry, access GlobalData’s latest thematic research report on Automotive.

Data Insights


The gold standard of business intelligence.

Blending expert knowledge with cutting-edge technology, GlobalData’s unrivalled proprietary data will enable you to decode what’s happening in your market. You can make better informed decisions and gain a future-proof advantage over your competitors.


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.