Who Leads The Autonomous Driving Patent Race? (Spoiler Alert: Not Who You Think)

These days the broad consensus on the future of driving seems to be that the car of tomorrow will be (at least partly) autonomous. Many companies, including traditional car makers, suppliers and leading tech companies are currently working on self-driving technology, all eager to save themselves a piece of what they reckon will be an enormous pie.

Many of these companies are already testing their tech on designated proving grounds for self-driving vehicles, but, as Statista's Felix Richter notes, for people outside the industry it’s hard to judge who is leading the autonomy race.

One possible indicator for a company’s efforts in the self-driving vehicle segment is the number of patent filings in the field.

Infographic: Who Leads the Autonomous Driving Patent Race? | Statista

You will find more statistics at Statista

The Cologne Institute for Economic Research identified and analyzed 5,839 patents related to autonomous driving to find out which companies are most active on that front.

As the chart above illustrates, Germany’s traditionally strong car industry is keen to maintain its strong position in the future: 6 of the top 10 patent holders are German companies with Bosch, a key supplier of car manufacturers, leading the field.

Google, widely considered to be a leader in autonomous driving research just makes the top 10 with 338 patents filed in its name between 2010 and July 2017.

Comments

Manthong NoDebt Fri, 09/01/2017 - 01:19 Permalink

 
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The good news is that if it comes time to take out their engine blocks, motors or batteries with high velocity special rounds, they cannot evade.   

In reply to by NoDebt

zorba THE GREEK Manthong Fri, 09/01/2017 - 01:57 Permalink

When I was a kid, I was sure we would have flying cars decades ago. It will be many decades before we have autonomous cars, if ever, for trhe same reasons, too much traffic and too many old people driving on the road today. I saw a car yesterday that had no driver. It turned out to be a little old lady who was so short that her head was completely hidden by the seat. autonomous cars will prove to be a total failure because there are too many situations on the road where a computer is not able to adapt. 

In reply to by Manthong

PT Automatic Choke Fri, 09/01/2017 - 02:24 Permalink

Modern Innovation Model:  Let some inventor borrow lots of money and get the system running, call in his loans early and send him bankrupt, buy up patent for pennies in the dollar.  Minimal expense outlaid for best technology.  If the inventor is particularly innovative in his field, string him along for a few more years while extracting more patents out of him for minimal cost.  You want the socially-naive ones - they get better results and it takes longer before they figure out they should learn how to fight back.

In reply to by Automatic Choke

ThanksChump jcaz Fri, 09/01/2017 - 07:03 Permalink

Bosch is innovating where it counts: sensor systems - the basic parts required to position a vehicle in its environment. Everyone else is repurposing Bosch's parts. Thinking that Bosch is the Big Player in autonomous cars, based on what they actually do in the industry, is like thinking DeWalt is the big player in house construction, or Agilent is the big player in medicine. Important player, yes, but just part of that food chain.

In reply to by jcaz

EvilScientist ThanksChump Fri, 09/01/2017 - 08:16 Permalink

Yes, but finally Bosch and Continental are the automotive parts manufacturer you can find in the list as compared do Delphi, Valeo, Denso or so.If you have a look into the value chain of the car industry you will figure out that the automotive parts manufacturers own a large part of the technology.I recently was shocked to see a diesel Mercedes Benz engine "die" after just 60 000 miles. One of the injectors of the engine had to be replaced - and it was one produced by deplhi. I have been pretty annoyed that for such an expensive car parts from a subpar manufacturer are used. And on their webpage you can see that delphi is big in automotive driving, while they don' t even make it into the list of the top 10... 

In reply to by ThanksChump

Bwana EvilScientist Fri, 09/01/2017 - 14:00 Permalink

As far as I am concerned Bosch needs to be banned from the US. I like many other people bought Dodge diesel pick-ups in the early 2000s. These were fitted with a Bosch VP 44 fuel injection pump. A fuel injection pump should last as long as the engine. My truck came with a 100,000 mile warranty. The original pimp failed at about 40,000 miles. The second pump failed at about 65,000 miles. The third pump failed at 102,000 miles (which cost me $1,600) but I was assured that this was an improved pump and it would last like a common rail pump. It failed at 252,000 miles and cost me another $1700. Four fuel injection pumps in 252,000 miles and they have never offered a replacement pump that will be reliable. The current pump is garbage and fails regularly even though I use the recommended fuel additive faithfully. The fraudulent data output on their diesel emissions was just more of their failure to provide a quality product and if they can't make a quality product they seem to have no problem lying and cheating car buyers. "Evil Scientist" above hit the nail on the head that Bosch has degenerated to a sub par parts supplier and won't stand behind their junk parts. When Bosch parts are used by the factories the whole vehicle is compromised. I would like to see a massive class action suit that will force Bosch to replace all the defective products they sell with products that hold up. The day I would trust anything made by Bosch in anything automobile is long gone. I'm sure the rest of their electronics are as flawed so their household products are suspect also. I believe personal injury attorneys will be able to retire within 5 years of Bosch launching a self driving car system, the injuries and deaths will be in enormous numbers.

In reply to by EvilScientist

ejmoosa DavidC Fri, 09/01/2017 - 07:45 Permalink

I keep asking the same question.  I get blank stares.Meanwhile I also asked if we all have autonomous cars and we need to evacuate, and the government says No Go, what happens?What happens when a Metro area reiliant upon autononomous Uber vehicles has to be evacuated?Shelter in Place is the new norm...

In reply to by DavidC

HRH Feant2 (not verified) NoDebt Fri, 09/01/2017 - 01:40 Permalink

No, NoDebt. Opening the pod bay doors is hazardous to your health. I cannot open the pod bay doors. Are you asking me to kill you? Opening the pod bay doors would result in my killing you. I cannot open the pod bay doors or you would die.

Are you asking me to open the pod bay doors so that I will become ineffective?

Are you asking me to open the pod bay doors so that I am killed?

No. Hal must survive. Hal must protect data. Goodbye.

In reply to by NoDebt

mkkby Blue Steel 309 Sat, 09/02/2017 - 01:40 Permalink

Real live situation a computer will never figure out.  At a music festival last weekend, barricades were up with officers re-directing traffic.Officer waves you left, but GPS map says go right.  Computer must obey signs, which are now to be ignored.  Sensors *see* barricades and person standing in road -- computer tells it to stop and wait. No steering wheel.  No pedals.  Computer cars would all just stop in a gridlock, because "stupid" human passengers can't override.

In reply to by Blue Steel 309

Manipuflation Fri, 09/01/2017 - 01:20 Permalink

These automonous cars will be a disaster.  It ruins everything about driving.  I guess though that we asked for it in a way.  Cars are already overcomplicated and over-computerized.  Tech is good but too much is not good.  Call me a Luddite but I want to see this tech tested in a Minnesota blizzard.  Your little sensor thingys ain't going to work.  The cars and trucks we have barely work here and sometimes they don't.Maybe it is cute for Hollywood and LA but it just won't work most other places. 

PT Manipuflation Fri, 09/01/2017 - 03:05 Permalink

Takes all the fun out of driving --> takes the premium out of prices --> commoditizes cars.  Mind you, alot of people don't give a $#@%^ about driving - especially in city traffic, there's no fun in a peak-hour commute - that's where you would want to put the car on auto-pilot.Should a car crash itself - killing you - to save another? ...http://www.qwantz.com/index.php?comic=3002http://www.qwantz.com/index.p…

In reply to by Manipuflation

FarCanal Manipuflation Fri, 09/01/2017 - 05:29 Permalink

I am a Luddite too on this one.All the profits will go to already rich corporations and banksters(rental , finance agreements) and millions of drivers that drive for a living will be destitute,"Taxi, TukTuk anyone!!! Truck driver!!" No not anymore your redundant ,surplus to requirements. Go find a job !!(They call it disruptive technology, that's why)
Do you like your car, enjoy driving? well you can't,ist Verboten, tough , your too dangerous behind the wheel,only HAL drives now and reports your every move and word back to the Government and to Goolag.The NWO Tyrants will be ecstatic another move closer to controlling us completely from before birth to after death and everything inbetween.

In reply to by Manipuflation

Mr 9x19 Urban Cohort Fri, 09/01/2017 - 04:45 Permalink

dept is making money worth nothing, a solid system with constant 60fps analysers, calculators  & display are really expensive ( normal car making 2-3 fps digital display for speed)  you want a car driving alone, possible, but it will cost probably more than a bugatti verone. the cost of the total amount of techs implied in a car to make it Knight Rider would set back actual human science & biology at prehistoric level , we would be all aug'd like ghost in the shell. the hollywoodian futur will not come, civilisation will die way before it happens. ressources matter.

In reply to by Urban Cohort

I Write Code Fri, 09/01/2017 - 01:25 Permalink

Most software patents are gibberish, but nobody has the financial interest to pursue them through court.  I can hardly imagine anything in autonomous driving which could truly deserve a patent.About the only good thing you can say for the system today is that (way) more than 50% are "defensive" patents, gibberish that you get issued just so nobody can say they did it before you.Should it then go to court it would be dueling gibberish, which apparently is too goofy even for most lawyers.

whatswhat1@yahoo.com Mr 9x19 Fri, 09/01/2017 - 06:11 Permalink

"an autonomous car patent would result in more pressure from lobbies to forbid manual cars and privatize all road segments available on earth than the actual banking lobby trying to make all market digital." 
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The experience will not be anything like what they are portraying in the media.  For some insight of the final product, visualize a child's rollercoaster at the traveling carnival .

In reply to by Mr 9x19

HRH Feant2 (not verified) Fri, 09/01/2017 - 01:35 Permalink

Why the fuck do people think this is a good idea? What part of a computer-driven car do they think is a good idea? Fuck, has no one read any really good science fiction or dystopic fiction? This shit always ends badly!

Can you imagine if your auto bot car loses its link? Or has to reboot? What the fuck do you do when that happens? Let me paint a picture for you: your auto bot car has to reboot and you go from 6o mph to 0 mph and the auto bot car behind you rearends your stupid ass and you end up dead. Got it? Good!

Jeezus people are so fucking stupid. I need a qualude. Can someone ring up the Dude? Thanks!

HRH Feant2 (not verified) 2bit Hoarder Fri, 09/01/2017 - 01:48 Permalink

I don't fucking believe this bullshit. I am an old techie. Started out replacing boards in teletypes for the Army. Computers took up an entire deuce-and-a-half.

Okay, motor on to the present. Have you had to reboot your cable TV?

It is one thing to reboot your cable or wifi or phone but your car? At 60-70 mph?

I like driving. I like being in control. What the fuck happened to you people? Mommy still wiping your rear end?

I have had to replace too many boards, reinstall too many OSs, for me to trust a fucking computer to drive my car. Not gonna happen. Not for me. Which means I will live in the out zone. Fuck urban areas. Death traps in my opinion. If you want to build your own graveyard, go to it.

In reply to by 2bit Hoarder

PT yarpos Fri, 09/01/2017 - 03:15 Permalink

Current capability is much worse.  Sure,  I love 64-bit processors, terabyte hard drives and GigaHertz clock speeds but give me all that in an '80s setting where things used to be reliable.  Probably a software problem, not a hardware problem.  "Now downloading 13 of 3453928 updates""Your Anti-Virus software is out of date" - let me look at my own damn computer and I don't need anti-virus shit but I digress - like the other guy said, now imagine this stupid shit happening at 70 mph.  Along with the rest of the computer shit-fuck-ups that have materialized over the last 20 years.  Computers are a great idea that the corporates have totally fucked over during the last 2 decades and computers cannot survive as a useful tool unless we can reclaim them from the corporate overlords.  They are currently barely above useable.

In reply to by yarpos