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

Company Total patents (2010 - 2021) Premium intelligence on the world's largest companies
SoftBank Group 1873 Unlock company profile
nChain Holdings 508 Unlock company profile
Headwater Research 189 Unlock company profile
Headwater Partners I 180 Unlock company profile
Visa 144 Unlock company profile
Capital One Financial 123 Unlock company profile
Cox Enterprises 121 Unlock company profile
Broadcom 82 Unlock company profile
AT&T 60 Unlock company profile
adidas 56 Unlock company profile
Toronto-Dominion Bank 47 Unlock company profile
Ant Group 41 Unlock company profile 41 Unlock company profile
International Business Machines 40 Unlock company profile
Pendrell 40 Unlock company profile
Sony Group 35 Unlock company profile
Microsoft 33 Unlock company profile
PayPal Holdings 31 Unlock company profile
Walmart 31 Unlock company profile
Digital Asset Holdings 31 Unlock company profile
Technikka Conexion 31 Unlock company profile
Coinplug 30 Unlock company profile 27 Unlock company profile
Civic Technologies 25 Unlock company profile
Anchor Labs 24 Unlock company profile
Security First 23 Unlock company profile
Genesys Telecommunications Laboratories 23 Unlock company profile
Intertrust Technologies 22 Unlock company profile
Authentify 22 Unlock company profile
Eluvio 20 Unlock company profile
Thales 20 Unlock company profile
JPMorgan Chase 18 Unlock company profile
Payfone 18 Unlock company profile
IDEMIA France 17 Unlock company profile
VeriFone 16 Unlock company profile
FMR 15 Unlock company profile
Early Warning Services 15 Unlock company profile
Samsung Group 14 Unlock company profile
Inveniam Capital Partners 14 Unlock company profile
Intel 14 Unlock company profile
Dover 14 Unlock company profile
Fiserv 13 Unlock company profile
Swirlds 13 Unlock company profile
Rokfin 12 Unlock company profile
NEC 12 Unlock company profile
Omlis 12 Unlock company profile
Theta Labs 11 Unlock company profile
Algorand 11 Unlock company profile
Rivetz 11 Unlock company profile
Accenture 10 Unlock company profile

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.

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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.