Latest Research News on Automotive Technology : Nov 2020|

Disentangling the automotive technology structure: a patent co-citation analysis

While most technological positioning studies were traditionally addressed by comparing firms technological patents classes and portfolios, only a few of them adopted science mapping patent co-citation techniques and none of these seeks to understand the impact of collective cognition on the technology structure of an entire industry. What is the firms technological positioning landscape within an high collective cognition sector? What is the groups technological positioning evolution? How do technology structures shift according to different economic scenarios? Through a strategic lens we contribute to technology strategy literatures by proposing an invention behavior map of automotive actors at a firm, groups and industry level. From Derwent Innovation Index, about 581,000 patents, 1,309,356 citations and 1,287,594 co-citations relationships between (a) the main 49 firms assignees of 1991–2013 and (b) the main 28 or 34 groups assignees by considering three timespan 1991–1997, 1998–2004, 2005–2013, were collected. Results: (1) most of the companies are located close together, depicting the sector technology structure as highly dense; (2) the market leaders do not coincide with technology production leaders and not necessarily occupy central technological positions; (3) the automotive groups considerably varies in the three timespan in terms of position and composition; (4) the market leaders groups occupy technological remoteness positions during economic growth timespan; (5) the sector technology structure is highly dense during growth, strongly scattered and lacking of technologically center positioned actors after economic decline. Finally, strategic implications supporting central locating or suburb R&D positioning planning and M&As recombinational partners decision making are discussed. [1]

Precious Metals in Automotive Technology: An Unsolvable Depletion Problem?

Since the second half of the 20th century, various devices have been developed in order to reduce the emissions of harmful substances at the exhaust pipe of combustion engines. In the automotive field, the most diffuse and best known device of this kind is the “three way” catalytic converter for engines using the Otto cycle designed to abate the emissions of carbon monoxide, nitrogen oxides and unburnt hydrocarbons. These catalytic converters can function only by means of precious metals (mainly platinum, rhodium and palladium) which exist in a limited supply in economically exploitable ores. The recent increase in prices of all mineral commodities is already making these converters significantly expensive and it is not impossible that the progressive depletion of precious metals will make them too expensive for the market of private cars. The present paper examines how this potential scarcity could affect the technology of road transportation worldwide. We argue that the supply of precious metals for automotive converters is not at risk in the short term, but that in the future it will not be possible to continue using this technology as a result of increasing prices generated by progressive depletion. Mitigation methods such as reducing the amounts of precious metals in catalysts, or recycling them can help but cannot be considered as a definitive solution. We argue that precious metal scarcity is a critical factor that may determine the future development of road transportation in the world. As the problem is basically unsolvable in the long run, we must explore new technologies for road transportation and we conclude that it is likely that the clean engine of the future will be electric and powered by batteries. [2]


Research has suggested that teachers tend to teach the way they were taught (Gardner, 1999; Jonassen, 1981). A finding such as this presents a problem that requires attention since everyone learns differently. In an effort to provide career and technical education (CTE) professionals with additional insight on how to better meet the individual educational needs of the learner, this study first sought to identify the predominant personality type of postsecondary automotive technology students and second examined whether there was a relationship between the participant’s predominant personality type and learning style. The findings suggested that the majority of participants had a predominant Realistic personality classification. Additional analysis revealed a relationship between personality and learning style in participants with both a Realistic and Accommodating classification. [3]

Impact Analysis on the Application of Contemporary Methods of Maintenance in the Nigeria Automotive Industry

Modern automobiles are now embedded with a lot of sensors and actuators controlling several systems in the vehicle, thereby making it an electro-mechanical means of transportation rather than the mechanical means known some decades ago. Consequently, several automobile diagnostic tools have been made available to diagnose faults developed by these modern automobiles. This paper analyses the impacts of the contemporary diagnostic tools for automobile maintenance/repair in the Nigerian Automobile Industry. Benz, Toyota, Honda, Kia, and Nisan are the sample model used for the research; On Board Diagnostic (OBD II); Coolant Tester; Pressure Test Kit; Spark Checker Kit; Fuel Injection Pump Tester; Compression Tester; Mechanic’s Stethoscope; Digital Multimeter, are the modern tools used for the study. In the study, various automobile repair and maintenance tools were investigated using a questionnaire administered to local and modern automobile repair garages. The impact of the modern automobile diagnostic tools on different car models, and different car systems has been studied. The study reveals that not all the modern tools are effective when used to diagnose faults. Fuel Injection Pump Tester is the most effective tool (with about 85% effectiveness), followed by Digital Multimeter (about 75% effectiveness), and OBD II (about 70% effectiveness). Compression Tester and Mechanic’s Stethoscope are less effective (about 40%), and many auto-technicians do not make use of them. Ignition, Fuel and Transmission systems are mostly maintained with these modern tools. Though all the respondents are aware of the paradigm shift in the automobile industry, almost all of them (95%) consented that there is need for modern diagnostic tools, but only 75% make use of these modern diagnostic tools. [4]

Training for the Future? A Case of Automotive Training in TVET Institutions in Kenya

Aims: To evaluate the opinions of the automotive trainers on the extent to which their training programs were futuristic in content and organization. To establish whether the training was in line with changes in technology in industry; the main emphasis of training and suggestions ways of improving the situation.

Study Design: Survey.

Place and Duration of Study: Technical training institutions in Kenya involving Automotive trainers in the year 2015.

Methodology: Data was collected by use of a questionnaire. Sample: The study involved 31 Automotive trainers in Kenya.

Results: The study established that the training programs are not fully aligned to the requirements for the future practice in automotive industry. A greater percentage 67.7% (21) of the trainers agreed that the automotive mechanics course was a sufficient preparation for work in the automotive industry while 29% (9) disagreed. A total of 64.5% (20) of trainers disagreed that the facilities at industry are different from those at the training institution. A large number 96.8% (30) agreed that the automotive mechanics course should be restructured to focus on work in industry. There were 55% (17) respondents agreeing they were able to cope with changes in industry while 42% (13) disagreed. There were 51.6% (16) trainers agreeing that training on the job is better for repair work than institute based training while 45.3% (14) disagreed. Collaboration with industry in program design was found to be inadequate. There were 93.6% (29) trainers who reported the view that the collaboration is missing.

Conclusion: Training at the Technical Training institutes should be designed for flexibility with key stakeholders being involved. Training facilities should be as close as possible to the work place facilities. [5]


[1] Castriotta, M. and Di Guardo, M.C., 2016. Disentangling the automotive technology structure: a patent co-citation analysis. Scientometrics, 107(2), pp.819-837.

[2] Bardi, U. and Caporali, S., 2014. Precious metals in automotive technology: an unsolvable depletion problem?. Minerals, 4(2), pp.388-398.

[3] Threeton, M.D., 2008. The relationship between personality type and learning style: A study of automotive technology students.

[4] O. Emmanuel, S. and Oyekola James, A. (2017) “Impact Analysis on the Application of Contemporary Methods of Maintenance in the Nigeria Automotive Industry”, Advances in Research, 11(6), pp. 1-11. doi: 10.9734/AIR/2017/32664.

[5] Kitainge, K. M. (2016) “Training for the Future? A Case of Automotive Training in TVET Institutions in Kenya”, Current Journal of Applied Science and Technology, 16(4), pp. 1-10. doi: 10.9734/BJAST/2016/25391.

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