The aerospace and defence industry continues to be a hotbed of innovation, the need to combat emerging technologies such as hypersonics, and growing importance of technologies such as AI and computer vision. In the last three years alone, there have been over 174,000 patents filed and granted in the aerospace and defence industry, according to GlobalData’s report on Robotics in Aerospace, Defence & Security: Radar for vehicle anti-collision.
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.
180+ innovations will shape the aerospace and defence industry
According to GlobalData’s Technology Foresights, which plots the S-curve for the aerospace and defence industry using innovation intensity models built on over 262,000 patents, there are 180+ innovation areas that will shape the future of the industry.
Within the emerging innovation stage, collision avoidance for robots, computer vision for autonomous navigation, and autonomous control systems are disruptive technologies that are in the early stages of application and should be tracked closely. UAV swarm control, and drone flight control system are some of the accelerating innovation areas, where adoption has been steadily increasing. Among maturing innovation areas includes sensor-guided aiming assists which are now well established in the industry.
Innovation S-curve for robotics in the aerospace and defence industry
Radar for vehicle anti-collision is a key innovation area in robotics
A collision sensor is an electronic safety equipment that utilises vibrations to detect impacts for avoiding collision.
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 70+ companies, spanning technology vendors, established aerospace and defence companies, and up-and-coming start-ups engaged in the development and application of radar for vehicle anti-collision.
Key players in radar for vehicle anti-collision – a disruptive innovation in the aerospace and defence 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 radar for vehicle anti-collision
Source: GlobalData Patent Analytics
The largest patent filer in this sector is Alphabet, which has filed numerous patents within the sector, as an effort to push the development of autonomous vehicles. The patents have been filed for various applications ranging from the advancement of fully autonomous driving and navigation to autonomous parking capabilities. The second largest company in the sector is Amazon.com, which has largely invested in the technology for package delivery purposes, though the advancements are dual purpose. The company has also filed patents for autonomous vehicles, in order to detect stop lights and other potential obstacles.
Alphabet is also the largest company in terms of application diversity, indicating its dominant position in the market. The second largest company in the sector is Israel Aerospace Industries, which is developing the technology for object tracking purposes. The most significant company in terms of geographic spready is ADB SAFEGATE, which is an aerospace company focused on creating smart terminals.
The industry is expanding in a variety of directions with companies filing patents for numerous reasons, but the development of the technology will have an overall positive effect on the aerospace and defence sector.
To further understand the key themes and technologies disrupting the aerospace and defence industry, access GlobalData’s latest thematic research report on Defence.