The automotive industry continues to be a hotbed of innovation, with activity 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 1.2 million patents filed and granted in the automotive industry, according to GlobalData’s report on Innovation in Automotive: Self-sealing tyres. Buy the report here.

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

Self-sealing tyres is a key innovation area in automotive

Tyres that self-seal have an inner layer of sealant material. When the tyre is punctured by a nail or other foreign object, the sealant layer seals the hole to keep the air inside and keep the tyre 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 20 companies, spanning technology vendors, established automotive companies, and up-and-coming start-ups engaged in the development and application of self-sealing tyres.

Key players in self-sealing tyres – 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 self-sealing tyres

Company Total patents (2010 - 2021) Premium intelligence on the world's largest companies
Compagnie Generale des Etablissements Michelin 715 Unlock company profile
Bridgestone 382 Unlock company profile
Yokohama Rubber 361 Unlock company profile
Sumitomo Electric Industries 227 Unlock company profile
Toyo Tire 127 Unlock company profile
Continental 114 Unlock company profile
Seino Holdings 104 Unlock company profile
Goodyear Tire & Rubber 71 Unlock company profile
Camfin 58 Unlock company profile
Himile Mechanical Science & Technology 46 Unlock company profile
Kolon Industries 38 Unlock company profile
Hankook Tire & Technology 36 Unlock company profile
Exxon Mobil 36 Unlock company profile
Kolon 29 Unlock company profile
Kuraray 22 Unlock company profile
Kumho Tire 9 Unlock company profile
Nippon Zeon 8 Unlock company profile
Toyobo 8 Unlock company profile
Apollo Tyres 6 Unlock company profile
Cheng Shin Rubber Industry 5 Unlock company profile

Source: GlobalData Patent Analytics

Bridgestone is one of the leading innovators in self-sealing tyres with 382 patents. 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 tyre performances, while being environment friendly. Other companies innovating in this technology domain are Continental, Toyobo, and Camfin.

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.