The automotive industry continues to be a hotbed of innovation, with activity driven by factors such as enhanced driving experience, fuel efficiency, and engine performance, and growing importance of technologies such as artificial intelligence, the Internet of Things, sensors, and machine learning. 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 Robotics in Automotive: Smart factory systems.
According to GlobalData’s Technology Foresights, which uses over 619,000 patents to analyse innovation intensity for the automotive industry, there are 290+ innovation areas that will shape the future of the industry.
Smart factory systems is a key innovation area in robotics
The smart factory is a cyber-physical system that analyses data, powers automated processes, and continuously learns using cutting-edge technologies like artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning. It is a network of devices, communication systems, and computing power.
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 60+ companies, spanning technology vendors, established automotive companies, and up-and-coming start-ups engaged in the development and application of smart factory systems.
Key players in smart factory 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 smart factory systems
Source: GlobalData Patent Analytics
Strong Force IoT Portfolio 2016, with 333 patents, is one of the top companies to file for smart factory systems patents. The company's main goal is to optimise the manufacturing process by using a technology-driven strategy to monitor production and use equipment that is connected to the Internet. Toyota, JTEKT, and Toshiba are a few other notable patent filers in the same industry.
To further understand how robotics is disrupting the automotive industry, access GlobalData’s latest thematic research report on Automotive.