MIT Technology Review, a magazine all about innovation, has announced its list of the 50 most disruptive companies in 2013, and both Audi and Toyota made the cut. While the term "most disruptive" may carry a negative connotation in most uses (especially in the classroom), the acknowledgement in this case is an accolade, signifying that the company is at the forefront of its industry. In a nutshell, a disruptive company is a business whose innovations force other businesses to alter their strategic direction.

Audi made the list for "pushing autonomous cars closer to fruition with a laser-scanning road detector that fits in a vehicle's front grille," and Toyota for "expanding its dominance of the hybrid-car market with its new plug-in version of the Prius." Click on the image above to be taken to the original graphic at MIT Technology Review, where clickable colored squares reveal information about each of the 50 winners, compiled from a variety of industries.


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  • 40 Comments
      Antonio
      • 2 Years Ago
      I fail to see how Audi is considered "innovative". Audi is playing catchup in hybrids, still using old iron block motors. The 2.0 TSI is below average in performance and economy. The list goes on.
        FIDTRO
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Antonio
        1. Racing history and pedigree (also the Audi R15 TDI is the first racing car of its type, and Audi used Quattro to dominate raises until it was banned). 2. Quattro (notice how Mercedes is now putting 4MATIC on AMG cars, like Audi does with RS cars?). 3. Aluminum space frame technology (here's the article: http://www.autoblog.com/2008/05/15/audi-wins-european-inventor-of-the-year-award/). 4. First manufacturer to galvanize their entire line of cars for extended rust protection. 5. LED headlight design (not a big innovation, but everyone did copy Audi afterwards, hence what MIT calls "disruptive"). 6. Audi was also the first automaker to use Google Earth and allow it's vehicles to support their own Wi-Fi service (current-gen A8). 7. The 2.0T engine has won numerous awards, and is severely de-tuned and limited by Audi when it's capable of being so much more. Also more automakers (like BMW, Hyundai/Kia, Ford) are bringing 4-banger engines to this market when Audi was one of the earliest automakers to do so. 8. Final note, August Horch, founder of Audi, previously worked as an engineer alongside Karl Benz. By no means is Audi the best manufacturer in the world, but they have more than definitely contributed their fair share of innovations to the auto industry.
      SpikedLemon
      • 2 Years Ago
      I serious question a lot of these companies. Didn't Siemens sell Semprius? - implying that Siemens wasn't confident in the tech? I swear that someone just picked a bunch of brands from Wired magazine at random.
      usa1
      • 2 Years Ago
      Audi's on the list for a concept car technology? Whatever. Google is doing more in the space of autonomous cars. How about disruptive companies with products you can buy today?
      Jason Krumvieda
      • 2 Years Ago
      Some of the others all have related fields. Google, Apple, Mozilla and Microsoft? They are all the big players so they are making all of the others change their ways.
      Patrick
      • 2 Years Ago
      Oh, is it 2014 already?
      rmyoafno666
      • 2 Years Ago
      Toyota? Last time I checked, Ford made twin-turbos popular for the masses, it started Sync, and it made powerful V6's popular for pickups. What trends has Toyota started lately (aside from recalls)?
      Polly Prissy Pants
      • 2 Years Ago
      Either MIT Tech Review doesn't understand what a disruptive company is, or they don't understand what these companies are really doing and the impact they're having in their industries. A truly disruptive company is rare and the vast majority on this list don't meet the criteria.
      TrueDat
      • 2 Years Ago
      Question: what has Toyota done in the last 10 years that is so innovative?
        • 2 Years Ago
        @TrueDat
        [blocked]
      Scr
      • 2 Years Ago
      The Pious is very disruptive to traffc flow. The freakin\' things are so slow that they plug up the highway ruining everybody else\'s day.
      • 2 Years Ago
      [blocked]
      stumpy
      • 2 Years Ago
      Toyota more disruptive than Tesla Motors? You've got to be kidding me
        • 2 Years Ago
        @stumpy
        [blocked]
        Luc K
        • 2 Years Ago
        @stumpy
        Well Toyota is buying technology from Tesla.. So I guess if they say Toyota they really mean Tesla:-).
      The Red Devil
      • 2 Years Ago
      Hurr Durr the article says Toyota sows I must bash Toyota. (Let's see how many Totoya haters we end up with.) Let there be a Camry article and you can watch the words appliance, bland, unoriginal ad naseum. The only thing unoriginal is posting sheep like bleeting negative comments about Toyota on Autoblog. I mean at this point let's just have a filter so the haters can have one site called "'Murican cars R the Bestest" and another site called Autoblog.
        • 2 Years Ago
        @The Red Devil
        [blocked]
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