The technology industry continues to be a hotbed of innovation, with activity driven by the convergence of technological progress, heightened connectivity, and the necessity for companies to enhance efficiency and competitiveness in a swiftly transforming marketplace, and growing importance of technologies such as global positioning system (GPS), global navigation satellite system (GNSS), radar, and light detection and ranging (LiDAR). These technologies are often combined and integrated into a comprehensive anti-collision system for drones, providing multiple layers of protection and enhancing the safety of drone operations. In the last three years alone, there have been over 3.6 million patents filed and granted in the technology industry, according to GlobalData’s report on Innovation in Internet of Things: Drone anti-collision systems. Buy the report here.

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.

300+ innovations will shape the technology industry

According to GlobalData’s Technology Foresights, which plots the S-curve for the technology industry using innovation intensity models built on over 2.5 million patents, there are 300+ innovation areas that will shape the future of the industry.

Within the emerging innovation stage, environmental sensors, digital twins, and network-on-a-chip are disruptive technologies that are in the early stages of application and should be tracked closely. Intelligent embedded systems, smart factory systems and smart grids are some of the accelerating innovation areas, where adoption has been steadily increasing. Among maturing innovation areas are, contactless verification, wearable physiological monitors, and software-defined wide area network, which are now well established in the industry.

Innovation S-curve for IoT in the technology industry

Drone anti-collision systems is a key innovation area in IoT

Anti-collision systems for drones have been developed to identify and prevent collisions with objects, including other drones, structures, vegetation, power lines, and individuals. These systems leverage a range of technologies like GPS, sensors, computer vision, and radio-based systems to detect and monitor nearby objects. The collected data is then utilised to compute an optimal path for the drone, ensuring collision avoidance.

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 120+ companies, spanning technology vendors, established technology companies, and up-and-coming start-ups engaged in the development and application of drone anti-collision systems.

Key players in drone anti-collision systems – a disruptive innovation in the technology 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 drone anti-collision systems

Company Total patents (2010 - 2022) Premium intelligence on the world's largest companies
SZ DJI Technology 386 Unlock Company Profile
Walmart 166 Unlock Company Profile 165 Unlock Company Profile
Qualcomm 158 Unlock Company Profile
Intel 106 Unlock Company Profile
Boeing 100 Unlock Company Profile
Wing Aviation 73 Unlock Company Profile
International Business Machines (IBM) 69 Unlock Company Profile
Xiaomi 68 Unlock Company Profile
United Parcel Service 64 Unlock Company Profile
Panasonic 59 Unlock Company Profile
Samsung Group 56 Unlock Company Profile
Sony Group 46 Unlock Company Profile
GeoFrenzy 45 Unlock Company Profile
Guangzhou Xaircraft Technology 43 Unlock Company Profile
Telefonaktiebolaget LM Ericsson 43 Unlock Company Profile
Tevel Aerobotics Technologies 43 Unlock Company Profile
Verizon Patent And Licensing 41 Unlock Company Profile
General Electric 40 Unlock Company Profile
Airbus 37 Unlock Company Profile
NEC 37 Unlock Company Profile
Pictometry International 36 Unlock Company Profile
Ford Motor 35 Unlock Company Profile
Honeywell International 34 Unlock Company Profile
SoftBank Group 32 Unlock Company Profile
Proxy Technologies 31 Unlock Company Profile
GoPro 29 Unlock Company Profile
ETAK Systems 28 Unlock Company Profile
KDDI 27 Unlock Company Profile
Lockheed Martin 27 Unlock Company Profile
Halliburton 25 Unlock Company Profile
AeroVironment 25 Unlock Company Profile
Safran 25 Unlock Company Profile
Nokia 24 Unlock Company Profile
BAE Systems 24 Unlock Company Profile
Honda Motor 23 Unlock Company Profile
Deutsche Telekom 23 Unlock Company Profile
Rakuten Group 21 Unlock Company Profile
Alarmcom 19 Unlock Company Profile
Here 19 Unlock Company Profile
Deere 19 Unlock Company Profile
Legend 18 Unlock Company Profile
Autel Robotics USA 18 Unlock Company Profile
AT&T 18 Unlock Company Profile
Subaru 16 Unlock Company Profile
Huawei Investment & Holding 15 Unlock Company Profile
Kespry 15 Unlock Company Profile
TerraClear 14 Unlock Company Profile
Siemens 14 Unlock Company Profile
Nippon Telegraph and Telephone 13 Unlock Company Profile

Source: GlobalData Patent Analytics

SZ DJI Technology is one of the leading patent filers in drone anti-collision systems. The company’s patents are aimed at method and apparatus for prompting a position of an aerial vehicle. The method may include obtaining first position information of the aerial vehicle and second position information of a ground end and presenting a relative position relationship between the aerial vehicle and the ground end on a pre-set map according to the first position information and the second position information. Flight status including flight position and other suitable information of an aerial vehicle may therefore be directly provided.

Other prominent patent filers in the space include Walmart and Amazon.

By geographic reach, Halliburton leads the pack, followed by Tevel Aerobotics Technologies and MinebeaMitsumi. In terms of application diversity, PRENAV holds the top position, followed by Alarmcom and BlueHalo.

Drone anti-collision systems can play a significant role in ensuring safety, regulatory compliance and operational efficiency, enabling diverse applications, and shaping public perception. These systems are pivotal in maximising the benefits of drone technology while mitigating risks associated with collisions and ensuring responsible drone operation.

To further understand how IoT is disrupting the technology industry, access GlobalData’s latest thematic research report on Internet of Things – Thematic Research.

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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.