The Internet of Things (IoT) is the upcoming game changer of the coming decade. Each and every objects will go smart and autonomous with the development of IoT technologies. The adoption of IoT in almost every industries is happening in a fast pace with the help of smart sensors, highly sophisticated software/ algorithms with or without artificial intelligence (AI). Examining the various industries, automotive industry can be considered one of the early adopters of internet of things (IoT). Incorporating smart features to vehicles to making them fully autonomous has been the research motive of the automotive industry for years. Patent protection, being one of the strong factors in innovation cycle of technologies, is one main element to be considered. How far patent system affects innovation is a major question of the era, which can only be answered by analysing the patent applications of respective technologies and tracking their patent status.
In this paper, we shall examine one of the main component of autonomous vehicle, the light detection and ranging (LiDAR) systems, which is crucial for autonomous vehicles in the environment understanding and decision making. Analysis of patent applications of LiDAR systems and their statuses can be helpful in the analysis of whether the development of that technology is enhanced with the patent protection or whether it leads to hindering of research and development in that area.