The automotive industry continues to be a hotbed of innovation, with activity driven by increasing penetration of electronics into vehicle systems to make mobility safer and intelligent and enhance in-car experiences. Megatrends governing the auto industry, which include more connected features, autonomy, shared and electrification, are growing the importance of technologies such as artificial intelligence, cybersecurity, the Internet of Things, robotics and cloud computing. 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 Internet of Things in Automotive: Vehicle anti-theft systems. 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 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, smart car seats, tyre sensors, and predictive maintenance systems are disruptive technologies that are in the early stages of application and should be tracked closely. Acoustic vehicle signalling devices, brake temperature monitoring, and autonomous parking are some of the accelerating innovation areas, where adoption has been steadily increasing. Among maturing innovation areas are disc brake actuators and AI-assisted dimming, which are now well established in the industry.

Innovation S-curve for IoT in the automotive industry

Vehicle anti-theft systems is a key innovation area in IoT

Anti-theft alarm system functions on internally and externally installed sensors in a vehicle. The sensors activate on encountering a vehicle impact or motion triggering an alarm to notify owner.

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 vehicle anti-theft systems.

Key players in vehicle anti-theft 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 anti-theft systems

Company Total patents (2010 - 2022) Premium intelligence on the world's largest companies
Tokai Rika 336 Unlock Company Profile
Denso 268 Unlock Company Profile
Sumitomo Electric Industries 238 Unlock Company Profile
Toyota Motor 86 Unlock Company Profile
Alps Alpine 51 Unlock Company Profile
Auto Network Gijutsu Kenkyusho KK 46 Unlock Company Profile
Mazda Motor 29 Unlock Company Profile
Honda Motor 23 Unlock Company Profile
Panasonic 22 Unlock Company Profile
Nissan Motor 22 Unlock Company Profile
Marelli Holdings 18 Unlock Company Profile
Mitsubishi Electric 18 Unlock Company Profile
Global Mobility Service 15 Unlock Company Profile
MinebeaMitsumi 11 Unlock Company Profile
Nidec 11 Unlock Company Profile
Hitachi 10 Unlock Company Profile
Hyundai Motor Group 10 Unlock Company Profile
Yamaha Motor 8 Unlock Company Profile
Mitsubishi Heavy Industries 7 Unlock Company Profile
Zhejiang Geely Holding Group 7 Unlock Company Profile
Brose Fahrzeugteile 7 Unlock Company Profile
JVCKENWOOD 6 Unlock Company Profile
Sony Group 6 Unlock Company Profile
ABUS Security-Center 6 Unlock Company Profile
NEC 5 Unlock Company Profile
Toyota Jidosha Kogyo Kk 5 Unlock Company Profile
Image 5 Unlock Company Profile

Source: GlobalData Patent Analytics

Toko Rika has emerged as a leader in terms of total number of patents filed in anti-theft alarm systems. Toko Rika is a key supplier of electronics components including anti-theft alarm system to Toyota, which also happens to be a major shareholder in the company. Toko Rika has been working with other companies on the co-development of security solutions for connected and autonomous vehicles. It has recently partnered with Takenaka and two other companies to develop keyless entry system for aerial work vehicles.

Denso stands second in terms of number of patents filed in anti-theft alarm systems. Denso holds 9.72% share in ToTokaika. Denso have been heavily involved in innovations with respect to vehicle security. One such recent development is its partnership NTT Com to establish Security Operation Center (SOC) for vehicles to combat the threat of increasing vehicle cyber-attacks.

To further understand how IoT is disrupting the automotive industry, access GlobalData’s latest thematic research report on Internet of Things (IoT) 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.