The construction industry continues to be a hotbed of patent innovation. Activity is driven by an increased focus on environmental sustainability, productivity and workplace safety, and the growing importance of technologies such as the Internet of Things (IoT) and robotics. In the last three years alone, there have been over 425,000 patents filed and granted in the construction industry, according to GlobalData’s report on Artificial intelligence in construction: smart construction site monitoring. Buy the report here.

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According to GlobalData’s Technology Foresights, which uses over 232,000 patents to analyze innovation intensity for the construction industry, there are 80+ innovation areas that will shape the future of the industry. 

Smart construction site monitoring is a key innovation area in artificial intelligence

Smart construction site monitoring refers to the use of advanced technologies and systems to monitor and track construction sites. It involves the deployment of monitoring cameras and sensors at different locations on the construction site to capture real-time data and provide visual monitoring of the work carried out. These monitoring systems can be integrated with intelligent algorithms and software to analyze the data and provide insights on site conditions, worker safety, and equipment performance.

GlobalData’s analysis also uncovers the companies at the forefront of each innovation area and assesses the potential reach and impact of their patenting activity across different applications and geographies. According to GlobalData, there are 10+ companies, spanning technology vendors, established construction companies, and up-and-coming start-ups engaged in the development and application of smart construction site monitoring.

Key players in smart construction site monitoring – a disruptive innovation in the construction industry

‘Application diversity’ measures the number of applications identified for each patent. It broadly splits companies into either ‘niche’ or ‘diversified’ innovators.  

‘Geographic reach’ refers to the number of countries each patent is registered in. It reflects the breadth of geographic application intended, ranging from ‘global’ to ‘local’. 

Patent volumes related to smart construction site monitoring

Company Total patents (2021 - 2023) Premium intelligence on the world's largest companies
Komatsu 311 Unlock Company Profile
Sumitomo Heavy Industries 203 Unlock Company Profile
Hitachi 136 Unlock Company Profile
Kobe Steel 50 Unlock Company Profile
Deere 27 Unlock Company Profile
Caterpillar 20 Unlock Company Profile
Kubota 18 Unlock Company Profile
AB Volvo 12 Unlock Company Profile
Doosan Infracore 12 Unlock Company Profile
Mitsubishi Heavy Industries 4 Unlock Company Profile
Continental 4 Unlock Company Profile
YANMAR POWER TECHNOLOGY 4 Unlock Company Profile
Yanmar (Tokyo Office) 3 Unlock Company Profile
CNH Industrial 1 Unlock Company Profile
Microsoft 1 Unlock Company Profile

Source: GlobalData Patent Analytics

Komatsu, one of the world’s leading construction, mining, forestry, and military equipment manufacturers, is the leading player in terms of filings related to smart construction site monitoring. The company’s Smart Construction solutions deliver data, reports, and remote capabilities. These cover a range of areas and technology, including Komatsu’s fleet mobile app technology, which enables users to manage mixed fleet load counts, as well as drone survey technology and Komatsu’s innovative Intelligent Machine Control (IMC), which enables users to program 3D design data directly into machines. Some other key patent filers in the space include Sumitomo Heavy Industries and Hitachi.

In terms of application diversity, Kubota leads the pack, while Mitsubishi Heavy Industries and CNH Industrial stood in the second and third positions, respectively. By means of geographic reach, Komatsu held the top position, followed by Kubota and Sumitomo Heavy Industries.

To further understand the key themes and technologies disrupting the construction industry, access GlobalData’s latest thematic research report on Artificial Intelligence (AI) in Construction.

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GlobalData, the leading provider of industry intelligence, provided the underlying data, research, and analysis used to produce this article.

GlobalData’s Patent Analytics tracks patent filings and grants from official offices around the world. Textual analysis and official patent classifications are used to group patents into key thematic areas and link them to specific companies across the world’s largest industries.