Market Overview The automotive smart key market is estimated to register a CAGR of over 7% during the forecast period, 2019-2024.
Automotive smart key has gained traction over the last decade, owing to advantages, such as increased vehicle security. Features similar to high-end luxury cars are also being implemented in budget cars by companies, such as Honda, which are engaged in developing smart keys for budget cars. In addition, the emergence of advanced technology, which makes use of radio frequency (RF) signals and converts them to digital information, has made smart keys more prevalent in the automotive sector, which is expected to drive the growth of the market in the near future. Advancements in terms of automotive technology, as well as increasing vehicle thefts are likely to propel the development of smart keys, thus, leading to a growth in the market in the coming years. The usage of lightweight and eco-friendly materials for the manufacturing of the inside chip and buttons for smart keys is gaining traction, thus, leading to various car manufacturers, such as BMW, Volkswagen, and Mercedes-Benz developing compact and attractive smart keys. Thus, the usage of lightweight materials for developing the components of a smart key shall provide growth opportunities for the market in the years to come.
Scope of the Report A smart key, also known as an intelligent key, is a key with information or digital features, which can provide more functionalities than just unlocking a digital or physical lock system. It is part of a computerized system that uses microchips and sensors to automatically unlock the doors and start the vehicle without the use of a key. Moreover, a smart key works as an electronic access and authorization system and is available either as standard equipment or as an optional component, depending on the model of the car. The automotive smart key market study includes various applications, such as single function and multi-function, technologies, such as Transmitter Technology (Remote Keyless Entry), Capacitive Sensor Technology (Passive Keyless Entry), Infra-red Sensor Technology (only qualitative analysis) and Other Technologies, and installation done by OEM and aftermarket.
Key Market Trends Other Technology Segment projected to grow at a high pace
Currently, the other technologies segment has the highest share out of all the segments. This segment includes the biological entry system, as well as smartphone connected car technology. Majority of the other technologies are based on passive keyless entry (PKE) technology, where the PKE device operates while stored in the user’s pocket or bag, unlike a standard remote keyless entry (RKE) device, which requires the user to hold the device and push a button to lock or unlock the vehicle. Auto companies, such as Leap Motor, have introduced biological entry system with the launch of their smart electric coupe S01 model in China, in January 2019. These vehicles will be equipped with a “Leap In” biological lock/unlock system that integrates finger vein recognition and face recognition technologies, thus, giving the customers a keyless experience from entering the vehicle to starting the engine. Moreover, the “Leap ID” smart system can match car-using habits (preferences for seat position, music, news, air conditioners, and navigation) through face recognition of the user. Thus, the increasing focus on this segment shall lead to its expected high CAGR.
Asia-Pacific is expected to see the highest growth
In the automotive smart key market, the growth of the Asia-Pacific region is expected to be more during the forecast period. China is one of the biggest automotive markets in the world. In 2018, the volumes of production and sales of vehicles were lower than expected at the beginning of the year, due to political factors and microeconomics. However, new energy vehicle (NEV) sales continued to rise rapidly, while exports also showed fast growth. The demand for smart keys in the Chinese, as well as the Indian market, is growing rapidly, as various Chinese and Indian companies are launching vehicles with keyless entry features, which shall lead to a growth of the automotive smart key market in China and India. The increasing demand for smart keys with advanced technology in Japan is likely to propel the smart key market in the country in the years to come. Thus, such developments are expected to lead to growth in the automotive smart key market in the Asia-Pacific region.
Competitive Landscape The automotive smart key market is fragmented, with various players existing in the market. Tokai Rika Co. Ltd is the leading player in the automotive smart key market. Additionally, Tokai Rika, Denso, and Alpha Corporation have been the major suppliers of electronic keys/smart keys/keyless systems to Toyota, Nissan, etc., in Japan. Other players in the market include Bosch, Valeo, etc., which constitute over 20% of the market. In addition, the majority of these players are now offering smart key solutions in the aftermarket channel. Various initiatives, as well as product innovations done by Tokai Rika Co. Ltd have led them to strengthen their presence in the market. For example, in 2017, the company Continental AG’s Keys-as-a-Service Portfolio led to car owners possessing the ability to access cloud-based solutions, like Continental Smart Access (CoSmA) and Remote Cloud Key (RCK). This solution shall help owners to secure keyless vehicle access, as well as authorization, just by making use of a smart device, such as a smartphone.
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