Self-driving vehicles (SDVs) are expected to be commercially available from 2025 and recent statistics for patent applications reveal that innovation in SDVs is accelerating fast and could signal the coming of this transport revolution. By looking at patent applications in this field, it gives a unique insight into the race to innovate in smart, connected and automated vehicles.
In this respect, in co-operation with the European Council for Automotive R&D (EUCAR), the European Patent Office (EPO) has carried out a study providing a comprehensive picture of current trends and emerging leaders in SDV technologies.
The findings show that during the past six years, patent applications at the EPO for autonomous driving increased by 330%, compared to 16% across all technologies in the same period, and in the past ten years the EPO received some 18,000 patent applications related to self-driving vehicles, with nearly 4,000 in 2017 alone.
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