The automotive industry continues to be a hotbed of innovation, with activity driven by the need for greater safety, and the emergence of autonomous and connected vehicles, and growing importance of technologies such as cloud computing 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 Artificial intelligence in Automotive: Speed profile estimation.

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, manufacturability analysis, autonomous parking, and lidar for vehicle anti-collision are disruptive technologies that are in the early stages of application and should be tracked closely. Speed profile estimation, smart light dimmers, and driver drowsiness detection are some of the accelerating innovation areas, where adoption has been steadily increasing. Among maturing innovation areas are road slope estimation and adaptive cruise control, which are now well established in the industry.

Innovation S-curve for artificial intelligence in the automotive industry

Speed profile estimation is a key innovation area in artificial intelligence

Speed profile estimation allows drivers to accurately predict their travel times and choose an alternate route or time to travel, when necessary. The traditional method for calculating the fastest routes and estimating travel times relies on road size or legal speed limits that remain the same, regardless of the time and day.

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 30+ companies, spanning technology vendors, established automotive companies, and up-and-coming start-ups engaged in the development and application of speed profile estimation.

Key players in speed profile estimation – 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 speed profile estimation

Company Total patents (2010 - 2021) Premium intelligence on the world's largest companies
Porsche Automobil Holding 258 Unlock company profile
Toyota Motor 86 Unlock company profile
Hyundai Motor Group 61 Unlock company profile
Ford Motor 46 Unlock company profile
Robert Bosch Stiftung 41 Unlock company profile
Kia 38 Unlock company profile
Hitachi 30 Unlock company profile
Baidu 27 Unlock company profile
Zeppelin-Stiftung 27 Unlock company profile
Bayerische Motoren Werke 26 Unlock company profile
Continental 18 Unlock company profile
General Motors 16 Unlock company profile
Isuzu Motors 16 Unlock company profile
Aisin 16 Unlock company profile
Mitsubishi Electric 15 Unlock company profile
Mercedes-Benz Group 13 Unlock company profile
AB Volvo 12 Unlock company profile
Denso 12 Unlock company profile
Tata Motors 11 Unlock company profile
International Business Machines 11 Unlock company profile
Valeo 11 Unlock company profile
Sumitomo Electric Industries 10 Unlock company profile
Aptiv 9 Unlock company profile
Alphabet 9 Unlock company profile
Zhejiang Geely Holding Group 9 Unlock company profile
Honda Motor 9 Unlock company profile
AVL List 8 Unlock company profile
Renault 6 Unlock company profile
Beijing Electronics Holding 6 Unlock company profile
Hyundai Mobis 6 Unlock company profile
Tencent Holdings 6 Unlock company profile
Mitsubishi Heavy Industries 6 Unlock company profile
Compagnie Generale des Etablissements Michelin 5 Unlock company profile
Marelli Holdings 5 Unlock company profile
E.ON 5 Unlock company profile

Source: GlobalData Patent Analytics

Porsche Automobil is a key player in the speed profile estimation innovation area. Porsche’s Innodrive predictively sets a vehicle's speed for upcoming road conditions. It analyses speed limits and topographical road features, such as gradients or corner radii using high-resolution navigation data and information supplied by the radar and video sensors. The InnoDrive modifies the gearshift strategy and speed of the vehicle based on this data. Toyota, Baidu, Hyundai Group, Ford, and Kia are some of the other key players.

To further understand how artificial intelligence is disrupting the automotive industry, access GlobalData’s latest thematic research report on Artificial Intelligence (AI) in Automotive.


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.