Au­ton­o­mous ve­hi­cle tech leads in­dus­trial in­no­va­tion

Busi­nesses world­wide are us­ing patents to plant the seeds of the fully self-driv­ing car in­dus­try of the fu­ture

China Daily (Hong Kong) - - IP SPECIAL - LI YOU liyou@chi­

Au­ton­o­mous driv­ing tech­nolo­gies have be­come a “clear leader” in terms of in­no­va­tive ac­tiv­ity in the au­to­mo­tive sec­tor, said in­dus­try in­sid­ers.

Au­ton­o­mous driv­ing in­volves nav­i­gat­ing a ve­hi­cle with­out in­put from pas­sen­gers through the use of sen­sory, con­trol and nav­i­ga­tion equip­ment.

“Cur­rently, about 40 per­cent of the cost of a car is for elec­tronic com­po­nents. In the fu­ture, an au­ton­o­mous car will have thou­sands of elec­tronic com­po­nents deal­ing with data,” said Zhu Shaobin, a lawyer from Fin­negan, a global in­tel­lec­tual prop­erty law firm.

Zhu pre­dicted there will be “no bat­tle” for patents, as the in­dustr y heavy­weights that own most of the in­tel­lec­tual prop­erty have equal mar­ket power and mu­tual com­pe­ti­tion.

IP scene

He sug­gested that Chi­nese en­ter­prises should ap­ply for p a t e n t s t h a t h av e a s o l i d mar­ket in or­der to form a real con­straint on com­peti­tors.

Be­tween Jan­uary 2010 and Oc to­ber 2015, there were more than 22,000 unique self­driv­ing in­ven­tions glob­ally, ac­cord­ing to the 2016 State of Self-Driv­ing Au­to­mo­tive In­no­va­tion, a re­port un­veiled ear­lier this year by Thom­son Reuters’ IP & Science busi­ness, now known as Clar­i­vate An­a­lyt­ics.

The trend is pre­dicted to con­tinue.

Ac­cord­ing to the re­port, Ja­pan holds the world’s lead­er­ship po­si­tion in au­ton­o­mous driv­ing in­no­va­tion, as Toy­ota Mo­tor leads the pack, fol­lowed by Denso, Bosch, Nis­san Mo­tor and Honda Mo­tor.

The re­port was com­piled based on an­a­lysts’ study of the to­tal num­ber of unique in­ven­tions is­sued in pub- lished patent ap­pli­ca­tions and granted patents from Jan 1, 2010, through Oct 31, 2015.

A tech­nol­ogy roadmap of en­erg y-sav­ing and ne w en­erg y ve­hi­cle tech­nolog y re­leased by the So­cie ty of Au­to­mo­tive Engi­neers of China showed its out­look for the coun­try’s in­dus­try.

By 2020, ve­hi­cles with driver as­sis­tance or par­tial au­ton­o­mous driv­ing ca­paci ty s h o u l d h av e a 5 0 p e rcent marke t share of the auto mar­ket. By 2025, there will be 15 per­cent marke t share for highly au­ton­o­mous driv­ing ve­hi­cles and by 2030, fully au­ton­o­mous driv­ing ve­hi­cles should have a 10 per­cent marke t share.

The Min­istry of In­dus­try and In­for­ma­tion Tech­nol­ogy has set up pi­lot bases for au­to­matic driv­ing in Bei­jing, Shang­hai and other cities. In ad­di­tion, an in­no­va­tion cen­ter for the na­tional net­work of in­tel­li­gent au­to­mo­biles is on the way, said Hao Jian­qing, an of­fi­cial at the min­istry.

Mean­while, tech busi­nesses dab­bling in the au­to­mo­tive sec­tor con­tinue to at­tract at­ten­tion.

Ap­ple an­nounced its own­er­ship of a new patent last week, which al­lows au­to­matic driv­ing ve­hi­cles to avoid col­li­sion of ar­bi­trary shapes via a re­mote sens­ing sys­tem at a de­tect­ing rate of 60 times per sec­ond.

Fol­low­ing a num­ber of tech com­pa­nies and au­tomak­ers such as Google, Ford Mo­tor, Tesla Mo­tors and MercedesBenz, the United States chip­maker Nvidia was re­cently ap­proved by the Cal­i­for­nia De­part­ment of Mo­tor Ve­hi­cles to test its un­manned ve­hi­cle on pub­lic roads.

Up to now, six states in the US have passed bills al­low­ing un­manned ve­hi­cles to drive within the speed limit of 30 kilo­me­ters per hour.

In the fu­ture, an au­ton­o­mous car will have thou­sands of elec­tronic com­po­nents deal­ing with data.” Zhu Shaobin, lawyer from Fin­negan in­tel­lec­tual prop­erty law firm about self-driv­ing cars glob­ally from 2010 to Oc­to­ber 2015


An en­gi­neer of Changan Au­to­mo­bile tests a self-driv­ing car on a high­way in Bei­jing on April 16.

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