The automotive industry continues to be a hotbed of innovation, with activity driven by electrification and autonomous vehicles, and growing importance of technologies such as artificial intelligence and Internet of Things. 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: Vehicle electric insulation systems. 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
Vehicle electric insulation systems is a key innovation area in automotive
Electric vehicle insulation system is used to minimise the impact of sound, heat, and shaking on the car as well as on the passenger.
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 10+ companies, spanning technology vendors, established automotive companies, and up-and-coming start-ups engaged in the development and application of vehicle electric insulation systems.
Key players in vehicle electric insulation systems – 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 vehicle electric insulation systems
Source: GlobalData Patent Analytics
Sumitomo Electric Industries is a key player in the vehicle electric insulation systems innovation area. Sumitomo supplies chemical substances such as mica, which is a major mainstay in thermal insulation and protection solutions in electric and hybrid vehicles. Micas have a sheet-like molecular structure made up of silica (SiO4) tetrahedrons, with sheets cross-linked by cations and minimal routes for electrons to pass freely between layers. It gives them two key qualities that make them vital as an insulating and protective barrier in EVs and HEVs. The first is a high degree of thermal resistance and the second is the ability to withstand extremely high electrical forces insulating against up to 22kV/mm. Yazaki, Furukawa Electric, Toyota, and Hyundai are some of the other key players.
To further understand the key themes and technologies disrupting the automotive industry, access GlobalData’s latest thematic research report on Automotive.