Technical Trends of Tire Pressure Monitoring Systems (TPMS)

TPMS-related patent application trends of Bridgestone, Continental, and others

2019/06/27

Summary

  This report created by MarkLines focuses on a number of technical topics surrounding the automotive industry, and is based on patent information obtained from the "Technical Information Distribution Service-swimy" information service provided by Toyota Technical Development Corp. (TTDC). The two business areas of TTDC are in the fields of intellectual property (IP) and measurement control solutions. The intellectual property (IP) side of TTDC is involved in the collection and analysis of information on automotive technology developments globally, and provides services such as consulting for research planning, applying for patents in foreign languages, and technical translation.

  This article describes some of the recent application trends at several suppliers of tire pressure monitoring systems (TPMS), which have become mandatory in the U.S. and Europe in recent years.

  Following an increase in the number of TPMS applicants from 2000 to 2004, the number tended to decrease from 2005 to 2009. Since 2010, however, the number of applications has trended upwards.

  The applicants who submitted the most number of applications around 2004 were Denso, Toyota Motor Corporation, Honda Motor Company, and Bridgestone. But in recent years, suppliers who have filed the most number of applications include Continental Automotive, Pacific Industrial, Bridgestone, Continental Reifen Deutschland, and Sumitomo Electric Industries.

  When looking at the products developed by Bridgestone, which has continuously filed applications over the years, the patents that it applied for in the 2004 timeframe were related to tire internal pressure warning devices and tire pressure monitoring systems, but in recent years, it has filed many patents relating to mounting structures.

  Taking a closer look at some of the products developed by applicants who have increased their number of patent applications, Continental Automotive filed the greatest number of patents for “method for lateral localization of the wheels of a vehicle,” Pacific Industrial filed the most for its “tire condition monitoring apparatus,” Continental Reifen Deutschland filed the most for “vehicle tire with a tire module,” and Sumitomo Electric Industries filed the most patent applications for “tire pressure monitoring systems and detection devices.”


Toyota Technical Development Corp.
Technical information distribution service swimy URL: https://thinktank.toyota-td.jp/


TTDC reports:
Car Sharing-related Technical Trends (Apr. 2019)

 



TPMS patent application trends

  From 2000, the number of TPMS patents increased, peaking at over 700 patents in 2004. The number of new patent applications decreased from 2005 to 2009, but from 2010 started to increase annually again, exceeding 800 patent applications in 2016.

TPMSの出願件数の年推移
Figure 1 Annual change in the number of TPMS patent applications

Source: Technical information distribution service swimy URL: https://thinktank.toyota-td.jp/pub/list

  Focusing on the number of patent applications by applicant, the data shows that around 2004, when the number of TPMS patent applications peaked, the suppliers filing for the most number of patent applications were Denso, Toyota Motor Corporation, Honda Motor Company, and Bridgestone. Conversely, from 2010 when the number of patent applications started to increase again, the company that filed the greatest number of patent applications was Tokai Rika Co., Ltd., but as of late the company seems to be submitting fewer patent applications. The suppliers submitting the greatest number of patent applications in recent years have been Bridgestone, Continental Automotive, Pacific Industrial, Continental Reifen Deutschland, and Sumitomo Electric Industries.

Number of patent applications filed by each company
Figure 2 Number of patent applications filed by each company

Source: Technical information distribution service swimy URL: https://thinktank.toyota-td.jp/pub/list

 



Bridgestone: TPMS mounting structures

Taking a closer look at Bridgestone, which has continuously filed applications over the years, the patents that it applied for in the 2004 timeframe were related to products such as tire internal pressure warning devices and tire pressure monitoring systems, but in recent years it has filed numerous applications for TPMS mounting structures.

Number of patents filed by Bridgestone’s developed products
Figure 3 Number of patents filed by Bridgestone’s developed products

Source: Technical information distribution service swimy URL: https://thinktank.toyota-td.jp/pub/list

  Regarding the TPMS mounting structure that Bridgestone developed, the company has filed patent applications, for example, for Japanese patent pending application 2017-154631 in a number of countries such as JP, US, EP, CN, and WO. With regards to the materials used for the mounting of functional components such as sensor modules, Bridgestone has developed technology that further improves TPMS functional component durability by distributing the load of the mounting structure material more evenly while the vehicle/tire is in motion to areas other than the tire wall facing the load direction.

Representative chart of Japanese patent 2017-154631
Figure 4 Representative chart of Japanese patent 2017-154631


Continental: METHOD FOR LATERAL LOCALIZATION OF THE WHEELS OF A VEHICLE

  Taking a closer look at the suppliers that have increased the number of patent applications for the products they have developed products in recent years, it can be seen that Continental Automotive has filed the greatest number of applications for its “method for lateral localization of the wheels of a vehicle.”

Continental Automotive’s developed items
Figure 5 Continental Automotive’s developed items

Source: Technical information distribution service swimy URL: https://thinktank.toyota-td.jp/pub/list

  Among the recent patents applied for, Continental’s “method for lateral localization of the wheels of a vehicle,” FR3032523A, has been applied for in more countries than any other, in the US, CN, WO, FR, and IN. The company has described how the acceleration sensors used in its TPMS system can detect when a vehicle is lying on its side due to an event such as a traffic accident.

Representative chart of FR3032523A
Figure 6 Representative chart of FR3032523A


Pacific Industrial: Tire condition monitoring apparatus

  Pacific Industrial has filed the most patents for its “tire condition monitoring apparatus.”

Pacific Industrial’s developed items
Figure 7 Pacific Industrial’s developed items

Source: Technical information distribution service swimy URL: https://thinktank.toyota-td.jp/pub/list

  As for the company’s “tire condition monitoring apparatus,” it has filed the greatest number of patents in JP, US, EP, CN, WO, and KR, in descending order. For example, its patent 06027265 involves technology for a wheel positioning identification device capable of identifying the exact position of a wheel even when there is a large deviation in the acceleration detected by the sensor (due to factors such as the amount of distortion in the maximum detection range of the acceleration sensor or when driving on rough roads).

Representative chart of Japanese patent 06027265
Figure 8 Representative chart of Japanese patent 06027265


Continental Reifen: Vehicle tire with a tire module

  Continental Reifen Deutschland has filed the most patent applications for its “vehicle tires with a tire module” invention.

"Continental
Figure 9 Continental Reifen Deutschland’s developed items

Source: Technical information distribution service swimy URL: https://thinktank.toyota-td.jp/pub/list

  Among its “vehicle tires with a tire module” patents, the company applied for a number of  technology applications in DE as well as WO. For example, DE102017214990A is a technology used to attach a film-like RFID transponder film to a tire.

Representative chart of DE102017214990A
Figure 10 Representative chart of DE102017214990A


Sumitomo Electric Industries: Tire pressure monitoring system and detection device

  Sumitomo Electric Industries has filed the most patents for its “tire pressure monitoring system and detection devices.”

Sumitomo Electric Industries’ developed items
Figure 11  Sumitomo Electric Industries’ developed items

Source: Technical information distribution service swimy URL: https://thinktank.toyota-td.jp/pub/list

  Among the patents for its “tire pressure monitoring system and detection devices,” it has filed most patent applications for its Japanese patent pending 2016-185763 in a number of countries such as JP, US, CN, and WO. This patents involves technology for a communication device mounting position determination system and a determination apparatus, which enable relaxing limitations on where a device can be installed in a vehicle.

Representative chart of Japanese patent 2016-185763
Figure 12 Representative chart of Japanese patent 2016-185763

  Many of the patent applications submitted by Sumitomo Electric Industries were joint applications, and prior to 2004 many s were filed jointly with Sumitomo Rubber Industries. As per the diagram, one can see that after 2005 the company has jointly filed numerous patents in collaboration with Autonetworks Technologies and Sumitomo Wiring Systems.

Annual Sumitomo Electric Industries patent applicant trends
Figure 13 Sumitomo Electric Industries' patent applicant trends

Source: Technical information distribution service swimy URL: https://thinktank.toyota-td.jp/pub/list

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Keywords
TTDC, patent application, TPMS, Tire, Sensor, Bridgestone, Continental, Pacific Industrial, Sumitomo Electric Industries

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