Identification of promising vacant technologies for the development of truck on freight train transportation systems

Sungchan Jun, Seong Ho Han, Jiwon Yu, Jumi Hwang, Sangbaek Kim, Chulung Lee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)


In this study, we identify promising, currently vacant technologies for a Truck on Flatcar or Truck on Freight Train (TFTFT) system by analyzing the relevant patent information. We then apply network analysis from macro-and microperspectives to establish technology development strategies. We first researched the patent database from the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) by extracting relevant keywords for the TFTFT system. We then preprocessed the patent data to develop a patent-International Patent Classification (IPC) matrix and a patent-keyword matrix. Next, we developed a generative topographic mapping (GTM)-based patent map using the patent-IPC matrix and detected any patent vacuums. Then, in order to confirm the promising patent vacuums, we technically examined criticality and trend analyses. Finally, we designed an IPC-based network and a keyword network with promising patent vacuums to derive a technology development strategy from a macro-and microperspective for the TFTFT system. As a result, we confirmed two promising patent vacuums. The patent vacuums found were defined as the technical field of rail vehicles suitable for TFTFT systems and the technical field of equipment and systems for freight transfer to rail vehicles. The proposed procedure and analysis method provide useful insights for developing a research and development (R&D) strategy and technology development strategy for a TFTFT system.

Original languageEnglish
Article number499
Pages (from-to)1-20
Number of pages20
JournalApplied Sciences (Switzerland)
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2021 Jan 2

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Funding: This research was supported by the “Study on the Core Technique of the Piggyback Flatcar Carrying of Road Transport” of the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport (20CTAP-C152178-02).

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.


  • Network analysis
  • Patent analysis
  • Patent map
  • Promising vacant technology
  • Time series analysis
  • Truck on flatcar or truck on freight train

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Materials Science
  • Instrumentation
  • General Engineering
  • Process Chemistry and Technology
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Fluid Flow and Transfer Processes


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