A keyless vehicle access control system is a fully automated system comprising of an electronic locking feature which secures access to the vehicle electronically and substitutes the conventional mechanical key. This system works on a number of low frequency transmitting antennae placed outside as well as inside the vehicle. Currently, a significant number of cars are equipped with such a system. Remote keyless entry system (RKES) have been available since 1983.These can be integrated into the car key itself or with a separate small remote control. The growing demand for RKES has led to the evolution of the passive keyless entry system (PKES) which was first patented in the US in 1990. Consumer can unlock the door of the vehicle from a certain distance with the use of a passive keyless entry system. Both RKES and PKES work on the radio frequency identification principle.
RKES and PKES are often combined with “keyless go”, “entry and go” systems, which further remove the need for the usual ignition lock. Additionally, this system can be used for several applications like car alarms, light control, front and rear seat settings, tire pressure monitoring systems, opening the tailgate, and storing multimedia files. It can also be paired with smartphones via Bluetooth for several other applications. The global keyless vehicle access control system market is expected to grow twofold from 2014 to 2020. The market is driven by three major factors: rise in automotive production across the globe, improving transportation and communication infrastructure, and increasing awareness about sophisticated features in vehicles. These factors together are expected to drive the growth of this market over the next six years.
Based on system type, the keyless vehicle-access market is segmented into RKES and PKES. Currently, RKES market is in the mature stage of its product life cycle. However, the PKES market segment is still in the nascent stage and has more room for expansion. Emerging economies such as Asia, Eastern Europe and Latin America are expected to exhibit higher penetration rate in the passenger and commercial vehicle market. APAC market is expected to register a significant growth from 2014 to 2020, due to increasing automotive production and demand. In the coming years, BRIC nations, especially India and China, will witness the highest growth rate, whereas developed countries are expected to witness sluggish growth.
Currently, North America is one of the largest markets for keyless vehicle access control system. Though it is one of the largest markets across the globe, due to the stagnancy in the automotive production and demand, in future it is expected that North America will lose its lead in the global market. The APAC region is expected to gain a larger share in the global market due to increase in automotive production and demand. In comparison to PKE systems, RKE systems recorded about 60% penetration rate of the total North American access control market. The rate is expected to fall due to increase in the penetration of PKE systems. This is due to the realization of revenue gains to automakers and benefits to consumers from PKE systems. Also, in North America the penetration rate of keyless vehicle access system is expected to dominate the passenger car sector.
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Key players in the keyless vehicle-access control systems market focus on research and development activities in order to produce advanced and cost-effective products. In 2013, TRW Automotive introduced PKES for ram trucks. Some of the major players in the keyless vehicle-access control systems market include Panasonic Corporation, TRW Automotive Holdings Corp., Alps Automotive, Inc., Calsonic Kansei Corporation, Delphi Automotive LLP, Lear Corporation, Mitsubishi Electric Group, Valeo S.A., Atmel Corporation, Continental Automotive GmbH, Denso Corporation, Marquardt Switches Inc., and Omron Automotive Electronics Co. Ltd.
Major challenges for original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) includes keeping check over price volatility in raw materials like semiconductors and other electronic components. In future, technology advancement will most likely offer additional features like vehicle temperature information, long-range communication, car security and comforts added to keyless vehicle access systems. These developments are also expected to create impressive business opportunities for the automotive market at a global level.