The automotive industry continues to be a hotbed of patent innovation. Activity in vehicle infotainment is driven by consumer demand for a personalized driving experience, the rise of autonomous driving, the use of artificial intelligence (AI), the popularity of electric vehicles (EVs), high-speed internet, and new display technologies and sensors, and growing importance of technologies such as AI-powered systems, augmented reality and virtual reality, 5G-connected systems, and context-aware systems. In the last three years alone, there have been over 1.7 million patents filed and granted in the automotive industry, according to GlobalData’s report on Innovation in automotive: vehicle infotainment. 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 stabilizing 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.
300+ 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 one million patents, there are 300+ innovation areas that will shape the future of the industry.
Within the emerging innovation stage, integrated multi-motor drivetrains, electric power steering (EPS), and post-collision handling are disruptive technologies that are in the early stages of application and should be tracked closely. Variable compression engines, V2V distance monitoring, and turbocharger shaft bearings are some of the accelerating innovation areas, where adoption has been steadily increasing. Among maturing innovation areas are kinetic energy recovery system (KERS) and plasma-jet ignition, which are now well established in the industry.
Innovation S-curve for the automotive industry
Vehicle infotainment is a key innovation area in automotive
Vehicle infotainment refers to the integration of entertainment, information, communication, and navigation features into a vehicle's dashboard system. It involves the use of various technologies and components, such as touchscreen displays, audio systems, voice recognition, GPS navigation, smartphone integration, and connectivity options. The goal of vehicle infotainment is to provide a seamless and user-friendly interface for drivers and passengers to access entertainment content, stay connected, and enhance the overall driving experience.
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 vehicle infotainment.
Key players in vehicle infotainment – a disruptive innovation in the automotive industry
‘Application diversity’ measures the number of applications identified for each patent. It broadly splits companies into either ‘niche’ or ‘diversified’ innovators.
‘Geographic reach’ refers to the number of countries each patent is registered in. It reflects the breadth of geographic application intended, ranging from ‘global’ to ‘local’.
Patent volumes related to vehicle infotainment
Source: GlobalData Patent Analytics
Samsung Group is one of the leading patent filers in vehicle infotainment. It filed patents for flexible modules for improved reliability and reduced weight. The company is investing in AI-powered voice assistants, AR/VR displays, and 5G-connected systems, to ensure a connected, personalized driving experience for consumers. Some other key patent filers in this space include Hyundai Motor, Bose, and Kia Motors.
In terms of application diversity, Akzo Nobel leads the pack, while Peak Design and Socionext stood in the second and third positions, respectively. By means of geographic reach, Akzo Nobel held the top position, followed by Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft and Kinetix. To further understand the key themes and technologies disrupting the automotive industry, access GlobalData’s latest thematic research report on Automotive.