The automotive industry continues to be a hotbed of patent innovation. Activity is driven by the need to reduce undesirable traffic externalities, optimize transport more efficiently, and make cleaner transport with lower fuel consumption, and growing importance of technologies such as radar and light detection and ranging (LiDAR) sensors, collision avoidance systems, vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V) & vehicle-to-everything (V2X) communication, and remote trip monitoring. 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: AV platooningBuy the report here.

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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.

AV platooning is a key innovation area in robotics

AV platooning is a method of communication between a group of autonomous vehicles (AVs), which travel in a line or a platoon. The lead vehicle of the platoon shares information such as speed, distance, and road conditions with the following vehicles, allowing them to maintain a closer following distance, and thus reducing air resistance and improving fuel efficiency.

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 AV platooning.

Key players in AV platooning – 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 AV platooning

Company Total patents (2021 - 2023) Premium intelligence on the world's largest companies
Volvo 60 Unlock Company Profile
Hyundai Mobis 24 Unlock Company Profile
Huawei Investment & Holding 9 Unlock Company Profile
Lyft 41 Unlock Company Profile
State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance 72 Unlock Company Profile
Toyota Motor 95 Unlock Company Profile
Baidu 44 Unlock Company Profile
Alphabet 57 Unlock Company Profile
Robert Bosch Stiftung 32 Unlock Company Profile
Zhejiang Geely 11 Unlock Company Profile
Hyundai Motor 146 Unlock Company Profile
Aptiv 11 Unlock Company Profile
Nidec 17 Unlock Company Profile
Honda Motor 16 Unlock Company Profile
Panasonic 82 Unlock Company Profile
Porsche Automobil 88 Unlock Company Profile
General Motors 21 Unlock Company Profile
Tencent 10 Unlock Company Profile
LG 128 Unlock Company Profile
DAF Trucks 16 Unlock Company Profile
Denso 27 Unlock Company Profile
Kia 131 Unlock Company Profile
Intel 60 Unlock Company Profile
Ford Motor 109 Unlock Company Profile
Peloton Technology 83 Unlock Company Profile
Nio 56 Unlock Company Profile
Prosper Technologies 9 Unlock Company Profile
Emerging Automotive 19 Unlock Company Profile
Kopernikus Automotive 18 Unlock Company Profile

Source: GlobalData Patent Analytics

Hyundai Motor is one of the leading patent filers in AV Platooning. The company has recently filed a patent related to platooning controller, providing the sensors failure data to the other vehicles in the platoon. The company successfully demonstrated its autonomous driving capabilities for the truck platooning a few years back and is further working on its advancement for improved features. Some other key patent filers in the space include Kia, LG, and Ford Motor.

In terms of application diversity, Nidec leads the pack, while Nio and Prosper Technologies stood in the second and third positions, respectively. By means of geographic reach, State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance held the top position, followed by Nio and Panasonic.

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.