The technology industry continues to be a hotbed of innovation, with activity driven by factors such as the potential for fuel savings, increased road capacity, advancements in vehicle-to-vehicle communication, and growing importance of technologies such as sensor technologies and automated driving systems. This innovation aims to improve fuel efficiency, traffic flow, and safety by reducing aerodynamic drag and enabling synchronized movement. 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 Technology Innovation: Vehicle platooning. 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, microphone beamforming, live betting games, and quantum dots are disruptive technologies that are in the early stages of application and should be tracked closely. Circuit design testing, smart contracts, and surround sound systems are some of the accelerating innovation areas, where adoption has been steadily increasing. Among maturing innovation areas are, vehicle platooning, Peripheral Component Interconnect (PCI) power management, and wireless microphones, which are now well established in the industry.

Innovation S-curve for the technology industry

Vehicle platooning is a key innovation area in technology

Vehicle platooning is a type of connected and automated driving where vehicles travel in a closely spaced convoy. The lead vehicle is manually driven, while the following vehicles are autonomously controlled. This technology enhances road safety, decreases fuel usage, and enhances traffic efficiency.

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 technology companies, and up-and-coming start-ups engaged in the development and application of vehicle platooning.

Key players in vehicle platooning – 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 vehicle platooning

Company Total patents (2010 - 2022) Premium intelligence on the world's largest companies
Nuro 109 Unlock Company Profile
Porsche Automobil 98 Unlock Company Profile
Peloton Technology 58 Unlock Company Profile
Hyundai Motor Group 56 Unlock Company Profile
LG 54 Unlock Company Profile
Kia 51 Unlock Company Profile
Toyota Motor 49 Unlock Company Profile
Ford Motor 47 Unlock Company Profile
AB Volvo 42 Unlock Company Profile
Lyft 27 Unlock Company Profile
Qualcomm 26 Unlock Company Profile
Honda Motor 25 Unlock Company Profile
Intel 17 Unlock Company Profile
Hitachi 16 Unlock Company Profile
Robert Bosch Stiftung 13 Unlock Company Profile
Denso 13 Unlock Company Profile
Murata Machinery 13 Unlock Company Profile
Stella Vermogensverwaltungs 12 Unlock Company Profile
International Business Machines (IBM) 12 Unlock Company Profile
Here 11 Unlock Company Profile
Mitsubishi Electric 11 Unlock Company Profile
Cartica 11 Unlock Company Profile
Huawei Investment & Holding 11 Unlock Company Profile
DAF Trucks 10 Unlock Company Profile
General Motors 9 Unlock Company Profile
Uatc 8 Unlock Company Profile
Hyundai Mobis 7 Unlock Company Profile
Zhejiang Geely 7 Unlock Company Profile
Toshiba 7 Unlock Company Profile
Kymco Motors 7 Unlock Company Profile
Tata Motors 7 Unlock Company Profile
Baidu 6 Unlock Company Profile
JTEKT 6 Unlock Company Profile
Mando 6 Unlock Company Profile
Koninklijke Philips 6 Unlock Company Profile
Cummins 5 Unlock Company Profile
DISH Network 5 Unlock Company Profile
Samsung Group 5 Unlock Company Profile
Sony Group 5 Unlock Company Profile

Source: GlobalData Patent Analytics

Nuro is a leading patent filer in vehicle platooning. One of the company’s patents described in this disclosure includes a conveyance system, navigation system, communication system for interacting with a food delivery management system, storage modules for storing food items, preparation modules for preparing the food items, processors, and memory storing instructions. These instructions enable the autonomous robot vehicle to receive food orders independently, determine travel routes, travel to the destination using the conveyance system, and prepare the food items during the journey.        

Other prominent patent filers in the space include Porsche Automobil and Peloton Technology.         

By geographic reach, Tata Motors leads the pack, followed by Kymco Motors and Murata Machinery. In terms of application diversity, Nuro holds the top position, followed by DISH Network and Cartica.       

  Vehicle platooning offers significant benefits such as increased road safety, improved traffic flow, and reduced fuel consumption. By closely following each other in a convoy, vehicles in a platoon can leverage connected and automated technologies to enhance efficiency and optimize transportation operations.  

To further understand the key themes and technologies disrupting the technology industry, access GlobalData’s latest thematic research report on Technology.

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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.