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 electromechanical actuators, air brakes, electrification, and 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: Stabiliser bar type suspensions. 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
Stabiliser bar type suspensions is a key innovation area in automotive
Automobile suspensions have an anti-roll bar also known as a stabiliser bar that aids in minimising body roll, which is the axial rotation of a car's body towards the outside of a turn. Body roll happens when a vehicle's suspension is not rigid enough to prevent the body from leaning in the direction of the apparent centrifugal force acting on the vehicle.
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 50+ companies, spanning technology vendors, established automotive companies, and up-and-coming start-ups engaged in the development and application of stabiliser bar type suspensions.
Key players in stabiliser bar type suspensions – 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 stabiliser bar type suspensions
Source: GlobalData Patent Analytics
NHK Spring is one of the leading innovators in stabiliser bar type suspensions with 343 patents. The company’s stabiliser bar type suspensions are made of solid spring steel or premium, seam-welded hollow tubes. The material used in the suspensions makes it possible to achieve the ideal cost- and weight-to-performance metrics, which provides a competitive edge and delivers superior design versatility. Other companies innovating in this technology domain are Kia, Toyota, and Renault.
To further understand the key themes and technologies disrupting the automotive industry, access GlobalData’s latest thematic research report on Automotive.