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Given the great amount of public interest in automated vehicles, global automakers are no longer kidding around. Off late, they are investing a great amount of time and resources, particularly in the research shops at Hyundai, GM and Toyota, in developing technologies to support this ambitious agenda. The chart below shows the spike in number of patents related to autonomous driving from the auto OEMs. The chart was part of a survey report by Thomson Reuters IP & Science, “The State of Innovation in the Automotive Industry 2015,” which analyzed patent applications and mapped trends in five key areas: Propulsion, navigation, handling, safety and security, and entertainment.
According to Reuters, Overall, Asians and Germans dominated the top 10 companies for patent applications, while GM, ranked seventh, was the only U.S. company making the list. The automotive sector saw the number of patent filings around the world grow by double-digits year-on-year over the past five years, the Thomson Reuters report said. While Google Inc has dominated headlines in self-driving cars, Toyota, GM and Hyundai received the most patents in this area, said Bob Stembridge, one of the report’s authors.