Germany´s traditionally strong car industry leads the autonomous driving patent race.
As mobile connectivity continues to strengthen across many industries, self-driving cars look to be the most compelling new feature of technology in years to come.
However, this high-tech industry has failed to work completely free of human intervention while guaranteeing to deliver a sense of security to its users, as failed scenarios in auto-pilot and driver assist systems have been experienced in San Francisco and Culver City, respectively.
Despite these glitches and creating a false sense of security given by driver-free cars, some companies continue to work to establish the definite grounds of how autonomous vehicles should be built up as well as their production, and according to The Cologne Institute for Economic Research, Bosch leads the autonomous driving patent race with 958 worldwide patent filling related to autonomous driving.
Audio and Continental, two other German companies, are too key suppliers of car manufacturers, as they gather a total of 526 and 439 patent fillings.
Japan and U.S. aim to dethrone German manufacturers
Even though 6 of the 10 patent holders are German corporations, Japan and U.S. companies still have their say.
Ford, GM, and Google are the American corporations who aim to pick up on the industry, while Japan´s Toyota sits on position number 7 after making a $9.1 million-dollar investment in autonomous software from PKSHA Technology Inc., which focuses on machine learning.
According to a Statista survey, 66% of Japanese internet users has had heard of self-driving cars, but never used them, on a further report, only 1% of the respondents have had used driverless cars before as of August 2017.
Google, according to the graphic, widely considered to be a leader in autonomous driving research, has 338 patents filed in its name between 2010 and July 2017, which barely puts it in the top ten.
An automated future
IHS Markit reports that more than 33 million autonomous vehicles will be sold by 2040. It also shows that the United States will lead the world in initial deployment and early adoption of production autonomous vehicles as early as 2019, while Europe and China are expected to begin adding considerable volume from 2021 onward. Total U.S. volumes of autonomous vehicles are expected to reach 7.4 million units per year in 2040.
By that year, HIS Markit forecasts autonomous vehicles sales in other global markets to reach nearly 6.3 million per year combined, compared to more than 27.4 million between the U.S., China and Europe.
Click here for the full Cologne Institute for Economic Research report.