Patent Filing Trends in AI – Automobiles (2019)

The growth of Artificial intelligence or AI in the last decade (2010-2019) has been mindboggling and remarkable, which can also be recognized by observing the patent filing trend since 2010 in the graph shown below.

The subset of AI techniques i.e., Machine learning (ML) and Deep learning (DL) contributes to the big chunk of these patent filing trends i.e. nearly 89% of the total filing. If we observe AI patent filing trend in 2019 – around 60,000 patents were filed. Similarly, in 2018 and 2017, around 100,000 and 97,000 patents were filed respectively that were related to AI in various technical fields. Therefore, it is evident that this technical domain is bound to shape the prospect of any field in the future.

In this article, we will be discussing the top assignees and the jurisdictions that outperformed others in the automotive domain, related to AI. We will also observe how the list of top assignees changed in 2019 when compared to 2018. Not only automobile giants like Ford, Daimler, BMW etc., are involved in exploring the use of AI in automobile, but assignees like LG, Samsung electronics are leading the way and consistently raising the bar.

Key Highlights:

  • Contribution of AI in the field of automobiles
  • Major contributors – key players and key markets in this domain
  • Individual contribution of Machine Learning and Deep Learning in the automobile sector via the patent filing trend (2019) and the top assignees.

Artificial Intelligence – A potential slingshot for automobile industry

Innovation in automobile industry got new vigour with the use of AI. The introduction of driverless cars and monitoring of driver’s behaviour are some of the innovations that are turning imagination into reality. Out of approximately 60,000 patent applications that were filed in the year 2019, technologies like machine learning, deep learning etc., together contributed around 89% of all the patent applications. Out of these 89% patent application, 8% were related to automobile industry.

Machine Learning- Patent Filing Trend

Machine learning uses (AI) to enable systems to automatically learn and improve from experience without being programmed to do so. It focuses on the development of computer programs to access data and apply the learning.

Source: Internally prepared graph using Questel Orbit.

Trends in Machine Learning (ML): Around 47,000 patents were filed on machine learning in 2019 in which nearly 3000 patent applications were related to automobile industry. The patent applications which were based on the use of ML in automobile skyrocketed in 2019 as the number of patent application filing increased more than three folds compared to the year 2018 (more than 280%).

*All the data, facts & trends presented here are restricted to our search strategies that were run on Questel Orbit database. The actual figures may vary depending upon the specific requirements and iterations.

Patent Filing

Following conclusions can be drawn from the graph shown above:

  • LG electronics narrowly led the list of top 10 assignees for the year 2019 with 40 patent applications followed by Qualcomm and Shanghai Cambricon Information Technology with 28 and 25 patent applications filed respectively.
  • Interestingly Robert Bosch, which occupied the top spot in the year 2018, dropped to 9th place.
  • In China, maximum patent applications were filed, which were approximately 1800 followed by EP and US.
  • The US, which grabbed the top spot on list in 2018 dropped by two places.
  • The other countries in the list saw close competition among themselves, especially India and Australia which occupied 7th and 9th spot respectively.
Patent Filing_Patent Families
  • India jumped two spots by improving its patent filing stat which rose to 622 in 2019 compared to 58 in 2018.
Patent Filing_Patent Families

The patent applications filed in different countries can also be understood by observing the world map shown above, where the number of applications filed in given countries can be shown by the contrast of the colour, darker the colour contrast, higher the number of filed patent applications.

Deep Learning in the Automobile Sector

Deep learning is an AI function that imitates the mechanisms of the human brain in processing data and creating patterns for use in decision making. Deep learning is a subset of machine learning in artificial intelligence (AI) that has networks capable of learning unsupervised from data that is unstructured or unlabelled.

First Application Year_Patent Filing

Deep Learning saw monumental change in terms of increase in filing of patent applications in the year 2019. In the year 2019, nearly 16,000 Deep Learning based patent applications were filed out of which around 1,800 patents were based on use of deep learning in automobile functions in the year 2019 i.e., increase of more than 300% when compared with the year 2018.

*All the data, facts & trends presented here are restricted to our search strategies that run on Questel Orbit database. The actual figures may vary depending upon the specific requirements and iterations.

Patent Filing

Following conclusions can be drawn from the graph shown above:

  • Although LG clinched the top spot in the list of top 10 assignees for the year 2019, Samsung Electronics narrowly led second place and Robert Bosch was placed third, filing only one patent more than fourth placed Qualcommand two patents more than fifth placed Intel.
  • Bottom 5 assignees had close completion amongst themselves. The other assignees in the list can improve their position in the coming years as they were not very far behind the top three assignees.
  • LG Electronics and Samsung Electronics, that occupied the top two spots in the year 2019, were not even among the top 30 in the year 2018. Performances of some of the major players are can be observed from the chart mentioned above.
Patent Filing
  • China led the list of countries with maximum number of patent applications filed, ahead of second positioned US which could not maintain the top spot from the year 2018.
  • EP grabbed the third spot in 2019 just like it did in 2018.
  • India secured 7th spot (10th position in 2018), ahead of countries like Canada, Australia and Germany and was narrowly led by the sixth placed Japan.
Patent Filing_Patent Families

The patent applications filed in different countries can also be understood by observing the world map shown below, where the number of applications filed in given countries can be shown by the difference of contrast in the colour. Darker the colour contrast, higher the number of filed patent applications.

Final comments

Futuristic tech in cars especially, Machine learning and Deep learning, has picked up some pace and is expected to set new benchmarks. The improvement shown, especially in past two years, has raised expectations from this domain, and it will be interesting to see how new players can perform as we are expecting greater number of patent filings in the coming years.

For detailed reports on different technologies, get in touch with us.

Note: All the data, facts & trends presented here are restricted to our search strategies that run on Questel Orbit database. The actual figures may vary depending upon the specific requirements and iterations.

-Akhil Kumar (Engineering) and The Editorial Team

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