Exploring automotive innovation: Is technology in the driver’s seat?

Matt Luby, director of Analytics, Asia, CPA Global

As traditional IT hardware business continues to commoditise, technology companies are looking for new industries to disrupt. The global automotive industry, with almost 90 million annual sales, provides a huge opportunity with global reach. In this blog, CPA Global shares patent trends following an analysis of the automotive industry.

The automotive industry is a significant force in driving global innovation and technological leadership, says Matt Luby, director of Analytics, Asia, CPA Global. Since 1999 the number of patents awarded in the manufacturing industry has increased by 3%. The number of patents awarded to the auto industry has increased by 10%. What can intellectual property (IP) tell us about the future of automotive?

High-tech highway

A 21st century car often represents the most refined technology a consumer owns, and automakers are continuously trying to implement high-tech to vehicles. Automakers are ranked amid the world’s most innovative companies, developing technologies such as: adaptive cruise control; automatic braking; and telematics control systems among many others.

Auto companies register an increasing number of patents each year to protect these innovative technologies, employing a highly skilled workforce to design and build their products.

Technological improvements in computers, smartphones, wireless communications and the cloud have converged to advance safety for connected consumers. According to ABI Research, the percentage of new vehicles with factory-installed telematics, is likely to increase from 10 percent in 2010 to 62% in 2016.

Vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V) information sharing and communication is another developing area of technology. Vehicles will soon be able to notify cars that are miles away from approaching congestion, preparing drivers to slow down. “Smart” intersections and motorways will allow signs and traffic lights to communicate with these same vehicles, with sensors to report when a vehicle fails to stop at a red light.

This field of development already includes patents filed to cover Vehicle-to-pedestrian (V2P) innovation to improve safety of pedestrians by notifying them or notifying the driver that each other is present.

Auto companies are also starting to use nanotechnology and nanomaterials to improve the performance of new cars. Nanocomposites can be used in bumpers and other body components to make vehicles up to 60% lighter, but twice as resistant to denting and scratching.

The cross-pollination of technology and automotive sectors is driven by consumer needs, but raises concerns about IP ownership for automakers. The technologies found in modern cars were not invented by the automotive industry, which means automakers do not own the original IP. One European automaker has been at the receiving end of 119 lawsuits for technology implementations.

Navigating a futuristic automotive industry

There is further potential for industry disruption at the hands of autonomous-vehicle technology. However, leading automakers – not technology companies – are in the best position to progress with new innovations and designs.

Prolific automakers like Ford and GM are dominating the self-driving patent landscape, but a number of more specialised technology and research institutions also have a healthy portfolio of related patents: LG; Samsung; Waymo (Google/Alphabet); and Amazon have all contributed significant IP.

Self-driving cars have been poised to dominate the automotive industry for some time, but as testing continues and more companies join the competitive race – other innovations are accelerating into the limelight. Toyota recently filed a patent for a “stackable wing for an aerocar”, there is a focus on vehicle self-diagnosis, reconfigurable body panels and even active health monitoring for drivers.

Fiat Chrysler’s concept car, The Portal, showcased what happens when a vehicle becomes self-driving at CES 2017.The steering wheel retracts; there are personal entertainment zones for different passengers; the doors slide open wider, and so on.

The automotive industry is a fluid and rapidly developing space, for companies that produce a revolutionary new invention, or create an innovative new product design – there is a need to protect these ideas as your own. By defending IP through patents and trademarks, IP owners create the legal underpinning necessary to safeguard ideas and prosecute portfolios.

Self-driving technology and the continuous innovation being displayed in the automotive industry will act as a catalyst for further automotive development and strategic partnerships that will generate breakthrough technologies. In an environment of constant innovation, it is important for auto companies to ensure the right resources, IP information and strategic partners are in place.

The author of this blog is Matt Luby, director of Analytics, Asia, CPA Global

Comment on this article below or via Twitter: @IoTNow_ OR @jcIoTnow

RECENT ARTICLES

Siemens closes Brightly acquisition, elevating software offering for building operations

Posted on: August 5, 2022

Siemens Smart Infrastructure (SI) has completed the acquisition of Brightly Software, a U.S.-based software-as-a-service (SaaS) provider of asset and maintenance management solutions. The acquisition elevates SI to a position in the software market for buildings and built infrastructure. It adds Brightly’s well-established cloud-based capabilities across key sectors – education, public infrastructure, healthcare, and manufacturing –

Read more

Visteon technology enriches the quality of automotive display graphics

Posted on: August 5, 2022

Van Buren Charter Township, United States. 03 August, 2022 – Visteon Corporation, a global technology company serving the mobility industry, has developed an integrated system that dynamically improves the vehicle display contrast ratio. The company’s solution uses proprietary advanced algorithms to control the full array local dimming display. A matrixed array of LEDs behind the

Read more
FEATURED IoT STORIES

9 IoT applications that will change everything

Posted on: September 1, 2021

Whether you are a future-minded CEO, tech-driven CEO or IT leader, you’ve come across the term IoT before. It’s often used alongside superlatives regarding how it will revolutionize the way you work, play, and live. But is it just another buzzword, or is it the as-promised technological holy grail? The truth is that Internet of

Read more

Which IoT Platform 2021? IoT Now Enterprise Buyers’ Guide

Posted on: August 30, 2021

There are several different parts in a complete IoT solution, all of which must work together to get the result needed, write IoT Now Enterprise Buyers’ Guide – Which IoT Platform 2021? authors Robin Duke-Woolley, the CEO and Bill Ingle, a senior analyst, at Beecham Research. Figure 1 shows these parts and, although not all

Read more

CAT-M1 vs NB-IoT – examining the real differences

Posted on: June 21, 2021

As industry players look to provide the next generation of IoT connectivity, two different standards have emerged under release 13 of 3GPP – CAT-M1 and NB-IoT.

Read more

IoT and home automation: What does the future hold?

Posted on: June 10, 2020

Once a dream, home automation using iot is slowly but steadily becoming a part of daily lives around the world. In fact, it is believed that the global market for smart home automation will reach $40 billion by 2020.

Read more

5 challenges still facing the Internet of Things

Posted on: June 3, 2020

The Internet of Things (IoT) has quickly become a huge part of how people live, communicate and do business. All around the world, web-enabled devices are turning our world into a more switched-on place to live.

Read more

What is IoT?

Posted on: July 7, 2019

What is IoT Data as a new oil IoT connectivity What is IoT video So what’s IoT? The phrase ‘Internet of Things’ (IoT) is officially everywhere. It constantly shows up in my Google news feed, the weekend tech supplements are waxing lyrical about it and the volume of marketing emails I receive advertising ‘smart, connected

Read more
IoT Newsletter

Join the IoT Now online community for FREE, to receive: Exclusive offers for entry to all the IoT events that matter, round the world

Free access to a huge selection of the latest IoT analyst reports and industry whitepapers

The latest IoT news, as it breaks, to your inbox