The automotive industry continues to be a hotbed of patent innovation. Activity in high-definition mapping is driven by the growth in advanced driver assistance systems; smart cities and urban planning; electric and connected vehicles; advanced surveying and mapping technologies, and growing importance of technologies such as light detection and ranging; radio detection and ranging; camera systems and photogrammetry; and global positioning system. 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: high definition mappingBuy 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.

High definition mapping is a key innovation area in virtual and augmented reality

High-definition mapping refers to the creation and maintenance of accurate and up-to-date maps for use by autonomous vehicles. This involves the use of various sensors and technologies to collect data about the surrounding environment, which is then processed and analyzed to create detailed and precise maps that can be used to navigate safely and efficiently.

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 20+ companies, spanning technology vendors, established automotive companies, and up-and-coming start-ups engaged in the development and application of high definition mapping.

Key players in high definition mapping – 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 high definition mapping

Company Total patents (2010 - 2022) Premium intelligence on the world's largest companies
Baidu 11 Unlock Company Profile
Alphabet 16 Unlock Company Profile
Robert Bosch Stiftung 13 Unlock Company Profile
Zhejiang Geely 7 Unlock Company Profile
Honda Motor 5 Unlock Company Profile 37 Unlock Company Profile
NVIDIA 86 Unlock Company Profile
LG 9 Unlock Company Profile
DEKA Research and Development 1 Unlock Company Profile
Denso 4 Unlock Company Profile
Walmart 131 Unlock Company Profile
Wipro 2 Unlock Company Profile
ATW Technology 2 Unlock Company Profile
Intel 220 Unlock Company Profile
Ford Motor 5 Unlock Company Profile
Uber Technologies 8 Unlock Company Profile
Trax Technology Solutions 13 Unlock Company Profile
Meter Feeder 3 Unlock Company Profile
Here 3 Unlock Company Profile
Uatc 23 Unlock Company Profile
InsightTRAC 1 Unlock Company Profile
Toyota Motor 5 Unlock Company Profile

Source: GlobalData Patent Analytics

Intel is one of the leading patent filers in high-definition mapping. Intel's HD mapping technology is based on its Mobileye subsidiary's Road Experience Management (REM) technology. REM uses data from millions of vehicles equipped with Mobileye's EyeQ chips to create and update HD maps in real-time. This makes Intel's HD maps some of the most accurate and up-to-date in the industry. Some other key patent filers in the space include Walmart, NVIDIA and

In terms of application diversity, Walmart leads the pack, while Trax Technology Solutions and stood in the second and third positions, respectively. By means of geographic reach, Walmart held the top position, followed by Intel and Uatc.

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.