The automotive industry continues to be a hotbed of innovation, with activity driven by the need to enhance driving experience, safety, emission standards, and growing importance of technologies such as 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: Silica-based tyre compositions. Buy the report here.

Smarter leaders trust GlobalData

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

Silica-based tyre compositions is a key innovation area in automotive

Silica is used as a reinforcing filler in tyres due to its better dispersibility. A greater filler contact area and better filler distribution homogeneity within the compound are responsible for its good dispersion properties.

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 silica-based tyre compositions.

Key players in silica-based tyre compositions – 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 silica-based tyre compositions

Company Total patents (2010 - 2022) Premium intelligence on the world's largest companies
Sumitomo Electric Industries 648 Unlock Company Profile
Bridgestone 572 Unlock Company Profile
LG 445 Unlock Company Profile
Compagnie Generale des Etablissements Michelin 374 Unlock Company Profile
JSR 263 Unlock Company Profile
Yokohama Rubber 250 Unlock Company Profile
Zeon 130 Unlock Company Profile
Goodyear Tire & Rubber 123 Unlock Company Profile
Continental 106 Unlock Company Profile
Saudi Arabian Oil 93 Unlock Company Profile
Lanxess 89 Unlock Company Profile
Seino Holdings 87 Unlock Company Profile
International Business Machines 86 Unlock Company Profile
Trinseo 84 Unlock Company Profile
Asahi Kasei 49 Unlock Company Profile
Toyo Tire 45 Unlock Company Profile
Kuraray 36 Unlock Company Profile
Shin-Etsu Chemical 34 Unlock Company Profile
Synthos 32 Unlock Company Profile
Hankook Tire & Technology 29 Unlock Company Profile
Exxon Mobil 27 Unlock Company Profile
Chi Mei 14 Unlock Company Profile
Synthos Dwory 7 Sp zoo 12 Unlock Company Profile
TSRC 9 Unlock Company Profile
Nippon Zeon 8 Unlock Company Profile
China Petrochemical 7 Unlock Company Profile
Osaka Soda 6 Unlock Company Profile
Amyris 6 Unlock Company Profile
Ube Industries 5 Unlock Company Profile
Hyundai Motor Group 5 Unlock Company Profile

Source: GlobalData Patent Analytics

Bridgestone is one of the leading innovators in silica-based tyre compositions with 572 patents. The company has started using next-generation silica to increase the efficiency of its tyres. A new tread compound and tread pattern were created using this next-generation silica to increase wet traction and reduce rolling resistance. Other companies innovating in this technology domain are Cummins, Ford, and Dana.

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

Premium 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.