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Rise in Patent Applications for Self-Driving Vehicles in Europe

November, 2018

A study by the European Patent Office finds that the number of European patent applications related to automated driving has grown 20 times faster than other technologies in recent years.

The study carried out in co-operation with the European Council for Automotive R&D reveals that innovation in self-driving vehicles (SDV) is accelerating fast and could be the sign of a transport revolution. Patent applications at the EPO for automated driving increased by 330% from 2011 to 2017 compared to 16% across all technologies in the same period. A breakdown by regions shows that Europe and the US have a strong lead in innovation.

“Automotive and digital technologies are both traditionally very innovative sectors and the report shows that there is a crossroads where the two sectors meet which is marked by significant changes in its patent landscape. As patents are filed ahead of the appearance of products in the market place, information from patents can offer unique insights into the direction a technology is heading, and which companies and countries are in the lead.” said EPO President António Campinos.

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