The automotive industry continues to be a hotbed of innovation, with activity driven by demand for artificial intelligence (AI) technology, as well as the growing importance of technologies such as robotics, cloud, and Internet of Things. The demand for deep learning, in particular, has been rising quickly, allowing robots to have more complex perception and decision-making abilities. However, the nature of this system necessitates a constant trade-off between universality and detail accuracy. When AI is paired with automated lines that are extremely sensitive to position inaccuracy, it results in significant limits. A robot with strong adaptability may fully benefit from modern AI technologies. Additionally, the capacity to manage fine forces offers a stronger sense of touch and dexterity, which creates more room for artificial intelligence to flourish in the robotics industry. 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: AI-assisted adaptive control 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.
AI-assisted adaptive control systems is a key innovation area in robotics
In robotics, AI-assisted adaptive control systems integrate high-performance force control, computer vision, and sophisticated AI technologies, allowing the robot to adapt to complex settings and achieve superior “hand-eye” synchronisation like humans.
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 AI-assisted adaptive control systems.
Key players in AI-assisted adaptive control 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 AI-assisted adaptive control systems
Source: GlobalData Patent Analytics
Fanuc, one of the leading patents filers with 353 patents, has invented the AI route control function to increase the accuracy of cutting and welding using robots. An acceleration sensor estimates the robot's course, and the AI learns the degree of departure from the command path. The AI function may be used to alter pathways only when the robots are first powered up. This feature will progressively be added to additional models after being originally introduced with the ARC Mate series.
Some other key players in robotics automotive are Factual, Siemens, and Robert Bosch Stiftung.
To further understand how robotics is disrupting the automotive industry, access GlobalData’s latest thematic research report on Automotive.