The automotive industry continues to be a hotbed of patent innovation. Activity is driven by the need for enhanced driving experience, fuel efficiency, and engine performance, and growing importance of technologies such as air brakes, electrification, connected and autonomous vehicles. 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: self-sealing tiresBuy 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

Self-sealing tires is a key innovation area in automotive

Tires that self-seal have an inner layer of sealant material. When the tire is punctured by a nail or other foreign object, the sealant layer seals the hole to keep the air inside and keep the tire inflated.

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 self-sealing tires.

Key players in self-sealing tires – 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 self-sealing tires

Company Total patents (2010 - 2022) Premium intelligence on the world's largest companies
Kumho Tire 27 Unlock Company Profile
Bridgestone 804 Unlock Company Profile
Shandong Himile Mechanical Science & Tec 67 Unlock Company Profile
Camfin 267 Unlock Company Profile
Fujishoji 16 Unlock Company Profile
Compagnie Generale des Etablissements Michelin 1826 Unlock Company Profile
Yokohama Rubber 616 Unlock Company Profile
IHI 14 Unlock Company Profile
Toyo Tire 154 Unlock Company Profile
Nokian Tyres 31 Unlock Company Profile
Oracle 23 Unlock Company Profile
Kolon Industries 40 Unlock Company Profile
Fuji Seiko 16 Unlock Company Profile
Kuraray 39 Unlock Company Profile
Himile Mechanical Science & Technology 26 Unlock Company Profile
Goodyear Tire & Rubber 272 Unlock Company Profile
Hankook Tire & Technology 90 Unlock Company Profile
TKH Group 301 Unlock Company Profile
Saudi Arabian Oil 17 Unlock Company Profile
MESNAC 10 Unlock Company Profile
Safran 38 Unlock Company Profile
Cheng Shin Rubber Industry 10 Unlock Company Profile
Exxon Mobil 35 Unlock Company Profile
Continental 359 Unlock Company Profile
Sumitomo Electric Industries 529 Unlock Company Profile
Seino 163 Unlock Company Profile
Kolon 29 Unlock Company Profile
Haci Omer Sabanci 10 Unlock Company Profile
Triangle Tyre 17 Unlock Company Profile
Dow 12 Unlock Company Profile
Societe De Technologie Michelin 11 Unlock Company Profile
Texmag Gmbh Vertriebsgesellschaft 20 Unlock Company Profile

Source: GlobalData Patent Analytics

Bridgestone is one of the leading innovators in self-sealing tires. Bridgestone’s Selfseal technology is designed for sealing punctures up to 14" (6mm) caused by items that are most likely to be stranded on the roads such as nails and screws. It uses a natural rubber sealant material that has no effect on rolling resistance and maintains all other tire performances, while being environment friendly. Other major companies innovating in this technology domain are Compagnie Generale des Etablissements Michelin, Yokohama Rubber, Sumitomo Electric Industries, and Continental.

In terms of application diversity, Texmag Gmbh Vertriebsgesellschaft held the top position, while Saudi Arabian Oil and Kolon stood in second and third positions, respectively. By means of geographic reach, Oracle leads the pack, followed by Texmag Gmbh Vertriebsgesellschaft and Safran.

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.