The automotive industry continues to be a hotbed of patent innovation. Activity in vehicle traction control is driven by improved safety, performance, and fuel efficiency,  emissions control, increasing availability of sensors, development of new control algorithms, and growing importance of technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI), V2X communication, road condition estimation, and torque vectoring. 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 traction control. Buy the report here.

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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 traction control is a key innovation area in automotive

Vehicle traction control refers to the technology and systems implemented in vehicles to optimize traction and improve driver control on different road surfaces and conditions. It involves utilizing various sensors, control units, and mechanisms to regulate the power delivery and braking forces to individual wheels or sets of wheels to enhance stability, prevent wheel slip, and ensure efficient vehicle performance.

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 traction control.

Key players in vehicle traction control – 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 traction control

Company Total patents (2010 - 2022) Premium intelligence on the world's largest companies
Hyundai Mobis 11 Unlock Company Profile
Huawei Investment & Holding 15 Unlock Company Profile
American Axle & Manufacturing 10 Unlock Company Profile
NTT 57 Unlock Company Profile
Tata Motors 37 Unlock Company Profile
Subaru 8 Unlock Company Profile
Toyota Motor 110 Unlock Company Profile
iRobot 21 Unlock Company Profile
Schaeffler 12 Unlock Company Profile
Robert Bosch Stiftung 26 Unlock Company Profile
BYD 22 Unlock Company Profile
Siemens 13 Unlock Company Profile
Hyundai Motor 59 Unlock Company Profile
Aisin 16 Unlock Company Profile
Westinghouse Air Brake Technologies 11 Unlock Company Profile
Cummins 8 Unlock Company Profile
Nissan Motor 22 Unlock Company Profile
Pioneer 20 Unlock Company Profile
Hitachi 158 Unlock Company Profile
Caterpillar 8 Unlock Company Profile
Renault 13 Unlock Company Profile
NTN 34 Unlock Company Profile
Honda Motor 71 Unlock Company Profile
Mitsubishi Electric 22 Unlock Company Profile
Porsche Automobil 70 Unlock Company Profile
General Motors 11 Unlock Company Profile
BorgWarner 9 Unlock Company Profile
Kia 40 Unlock Company Profile
Ford Motor 53 Unlock Company Profile
Cargotec Oyj 11 Unlock Company Profile
Kyushu Railway 9 Unlock Company Profile
Zeppelin-Stiftung 16 Unlock Company Profile
BD Auto and energy 10 Unlock Company Profile

Source: GlobalData Patent Analytics

Hitachi is one of the leading patent filers in vehicle traction control. It has developed an AI-powered vehicle traction control system that can predict and prevent wheel slippage. The system uses sensors to collect data and can improve safety and performance and reduce fuel consumption and emissions. Some of the other key patent filers are Toyota Motor and Honda Motor.

In terms of application diversity, Aisin leads the pack, while Cummins and Kia stood in the second and third positions, respectively. By means of geographic reach, iRobot held the top position, followed by Cargotec and Honda Motor.

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.