The automotive industry continues to be a hotbed of patent innovation. Activity in augmented reality (AR)/virtual reality (VR) navigation interfaces is driven by factors such as increased adoption of AR/VR technologies, rise in enterprise applications, and navigation in smart cities, and growing importance of technologies such as gesture recognition, eye tracking, spatial computing, and sensor technologies. 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 Virtual and augmented reality in automotive: AR/VR navigation interfacesBuy the report here.

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According to GlobalData’s Technology Foresights, which uses over one million patents to analyze innovation intensity for the automotive industry, there are 300+ innovation areas that will shape the future of the industry.

AR/VR navigation interfaces is a key innovation area in virtual and augmented reality

AR/VR navigation interfaces refer to the use of augmented reality and virtual reality technologies to provide intuitive and immersive navigation experiences. These interfaces utilize head-up display devices and display devices in vehicles to project navigation information onto the windshield or a combiner, allowing the driver to view virtual images that overlay the real-world scene. AR/VR navigation interfaces improve situational awareness and offer more natural guidance by fusing navigation data with the driver’s field of vision.

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 AR/VR navigation interfaces.

Key players in AR/VR navigation interfaces – 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 AR/VR navigation interfaces

Company Total patents (2010 - 2022) Premium intelligence on the world's largest companies
Hyundai Mobis 197 Unlock Company Profile
Fujifilm 328 Unlock Company Profile
Sekisui Chemical 196 Unlock Company Profile
Toyota Motor 448 Unlock Company Profile
Johnson Controls International 80 Unlock Company Profile
Nippon Kayaku 77 Unlock Company Profile
Valeo 220 Unlock Company Profile
Robert Bosch Stiftung 238 Unlock Company Profile
Hyundai Motor 233 Unlock Company Profile
Nippon Seiki 670 Unlock Company Profile
Nissan Motor 77 Unlock Company Profile
Pioneer 128 Unlock Company Profile
Hitachi 377 Unlock Company Profile
Ricoh 266 Unlock Company Profile
JVCKENWOOD 224 Unlock Company Profile
Honda Motor 258 Unlock Company Profile
Mitsubishi Electric 100 Unlock Company Profile
Panasonic 683 Unlock Company Profile
Kyocera 164 Unlock Company Profile
Compagnie de Saint-Gobain 462 Unlock Company Profile
Porsche Automobil 435 Unlock Company Profile
General Motors 297 Unlock Company Profile
Bayerische Motoren Werke 210 Unlock Company Profile
LG 176 Unlock Company Profile
Denso 798 Unlock Company Profile
Yazaki 599 Unlock Company Profile
AGC 99 Unlock Company Profile
Continental 311 Unlock Company Profile
Kia 95 Unlock Company Profile
Ford Motor 217 Unlock Company Profile
Beijing Electronics 173 Unlock Company Profile
Magic Leap 424 Unlock Company Profile
Samsung Group 300 Unlock Company Profile
GENTEX 85 Unlock Company Profile
Johnson Controls Automotive Electronics 78 Unlock Company Profile

Source: GlobalData Patent Analytics

Denso is one of the leading patent filers in AR/VR navigation interfaces. The driver may more easily and naturally access important information about the car and its surroundings with Denso's head-up display (HUD), which presents a virtual screen three meters ahead of the driver without requiring them to shift their sight. By using external sensors, the technology shows pedestrian positions in addition to fundamental data such as speed limits and the vehicle's speed. Additionally, it offers lane direction aid using a vehicle navigation system with an arrow indicating which lane to follow at intersections and junctions. Some other key patent filers in the space include Panasonic, Nippon Seiki, and Yazaki.

In terms of application diversity, Sekisui Chemical leads the pack, while Nissan Motor and AGC stood in the second and third positions, respectively. By means of geographic reach, Magic Leap held the top position, followed by Sekisui Chemical and Nippon Kayaku.

To further understand the key themes and technologies disrupting the automotive industry, access GlobalData’s latest thematic research report on Augmented Reality (AR) in 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.